Fugitive is still sought in '76 deaths

Officer hoping TV show will generate more leads

January 13, 2000|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

Col. Robert Keefer has spent many years in the search for a man accused of a multiple killing in Montgomery County in 1976. Yesterday, Keefer -- now chief deputy at the Carroll County Sheriff's Office -- took another step to keep the unresolved case alive.

The vehicle: an ABC News crew, which was in Westminster yesterday to interview Keefer. He is a long-term figure in the international search for William Bradford Bishop Jr., accused of killing his mother, wife and three sons.

"Bishop's out there, somewhere," said Keefer, who was interviewed in Westminster for a March episode of "Vanished," a television series that focuses on people who have disappeared. "Reader's Digest ran a story about our fugitive search in October, and we had hundreds of new leads to follow up. Maybe this new publicity will be seen by someone who knows where he is, and we'll finally get him."

Keefer became involved with the case in 1989 when, as a sheriff's deputy in Montgomery County, he was asked to look into the case. He hasn't stopped looking, even after his retirement from Montgomery County in 1998 and his appointment in Carroll County that year.

Bishop, who would be 63, is a former U.S. diplomat wanted in Montgomery in the homicides March 1, 1976, of his mother, Lobelia Amaryllis Bishop, 68; his wife, Annette Kathryn Bishop, 37; and sons, William Bradford Bishop III, 14, Brenton Germaine Bishop, 10, and Geoffrey Corder Bishop, 5.

Bishop is wanted by the FBI and U.S. marshal's office on federal warrants for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, Keefer said.

According to information gathered over the years by Keefer and others Bishop apparently became upset at being passed over for a promotion.

It is believed Bishop left work early and stopped on the way to his Bethesda home to buy a gasoline can and a small sledgehammer. That night, it is alleged, he used the sledgehammer to kill his family.

Keefer believes Bishop -- who speaks five languages fluently -- is alive, wealthy and living in Europe.

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