It just gets weirder. Ipswich neighbors recall confrontations with Amy Bishop:
Bishop once stopped a local ice cream truck from coming into their neighborhood. According to WBZ-1030 radio, she said it because her own kids were lactose intolerant, and she didn’t think it was fair that her kids couldn’t have ice cream.
“That’s who it was!” Lafoe said. “When we were younger the ice cream truck just stopped coming around. That’s strange.”
Bishop & her husband both seem to have a history of self-centered anti-social behavior. There seems a precedent of many actions aimed at optimizing their own short-term utility at the expense of the greater good. No one else existed in their universe. This sort of behavior isn’t totally uncommon, the prickly neighbor who dictates the norms of the community through threats of legal action has often been a problem. I recall reading years ago about a woman who had a litigious reputation who set off a wave of home sales in one community after she relocated because her potential neighbors anticipated a much lower quality of life after she moved to their block. She’d had a notorious past history of simply suing everyone who displeased her.*
Of course, some of these recollections of Bishop and her family might be selection bias as people think back to strange events which might have prefigured her murders. But the incident with her brother and the later the possible association with a bomb can’t be dismissed, I assume most of readers of this weblog wouldn’t have two events like this in their own lives. This is particularly true of individuals from upper middle class backgrounds who tend to be embedded in a world characterized by less social chaos and interpersonal violence.
Note: The argument about lactose intolerance might simply have been a spurious rationale, the rest of the story indicates that Bishop and her husband seem to have objected to the neighbor children riding their bikes at 3 or 4 in the afternoon because of the noise. I recall a sensitivity to sounds is a problem with some people with autism. Everything I’ve read strongly points to Amy Bishop possibly being easily diagnosed with aspergers syndrome.
* I had some friends who lived in a cul-de-sac several years ago. One of their neighbors decided to sue everyone else on the block so as to force them to maintain their properties at the same level and style that they did. Whether they would have won the suits was debatable, but most of the neighbors caved in because the cost of litigation was going to be more than the minor aesthetic changes demanded. The couple who sued their neighbors naturally kept to themselves, and had a great deal of disposable income (they were proudly child-free), so the cost of legal action wasn’t particularly onerous for them. My friend found in the public records that there were instances of past lawsuits where this couple had been litigants.