Woman discovers dad is a fugitive on FBI Most Wanted List

For decades, Kathy Gillcrist never quite understood why she wasn’t more like her quiet and reserved parents, who had adopted her when she was a baby.

In contrast Gillcrist, from the US state of North Carolina, was loud and extroverted as well as having a passion for the performing arts that neither of her adoptive parents shared.

In 2017, Gillcrist decided to take an at-home DNA test which led her to third cousin Susan Gillmor.

Gillmor was a genealogist and offered to help her long-lost cousin track down her biological parents.

She tracked down Gillcrist’s birth mother first, who put her up for adoption in 1957 and had since died.

But it took several years of work for Gillmor to discover her cousin’s father – and an ugly family secret along with it.

“(Gillmor) said, ‘OK, I found your father. All I’m going to do is give you his name,’ Gillcrist told local station WECT.

“I said, ‘Is it someone famous?’ She said, ‘Um, yeah.'”

Gillcrist’s father was William Bradford Bishop Jr, a man wanted by the FBI since 1976 for allegedly bludgeoning to death his wife and their three sons aged 5, 10 and 14.

Bishop is also alleged to have killed his 68-year-old mother before burying all five bodies in a shallow grave and setting them on fire.

His car was later found abandoned at a national park and it’s believed he may be living overseas.

“I just laughed. We have a great sense of humour in my adoptive family and I thought, ‘Of course, my father’s a murderer!” Gillcrist said of her reaction to finding out who her biological father was.

Bishop had fathered Gillcrist during a relationship with her mother prior to his marriage and alleged crimes.

It is not known whether Gillcrist’s late mum, who had three other daughters that she also put up for adoption, ever knew what Bishop was accused of.

The FBI has continued to offer a $129,000 reward for information that leads to Bishop’s capture and he is considered “armed and extremely dangerous with suicidal tendencies”.

A 2014 FBI report describes Bishop as a “highly intelligent” insomniac who had been passed over for a promotion at the US State Department the day he allegedly committed the killings.

“He was an avid outdoorsman,” FBI case agent Charles Adams said. “He had an aptitude for learning languages: Spanish, Serbo-Croatian, French, Italian.”

Bishop would be 84 years old today and Gillcrist believes there is every chance he is still alive and living under an alias.

“My gut feeling is he’s alive and living in Europe,” she told Bethseda magazine.

“Because he lived in Europe for a time. He had the means and cognitive abilities to get himself back there.”

While finding out her father is an alleged mass murderer was an unsettling discovery, it has also helped fill in the missing puzzle pieces in Gillcrist’s life.

Her paternal grandmother had also loved theatre like she does, while Bishop had also been extroverted like Gillcrist, who has always been the “loudest” in her family.

Even photos of Gillcrist’s slain brothers shows she has an uncanny likeness to them.

“They look more like me than my own children do and when I look at the behaviours and characteristics it’s more than clear in my mind,” she told WECT.

Gillcrist has now written a book, It’s In My Genes, documenting her journey finding out who her father was.

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