UPDATE: DNA test reveals Scottsboro John Doe not FBI top ten fugitive

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SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (WHNT) -- The FBI Announced Tuesday that DNA tests have confirmed a John Doe killed in 1981 in Scottsboro is not FBI top ten fugitive William Bradford Bishop, Jr.

Investigators with the FBI exhumed John Doe's body in order to gather DNA evidence earlier this month.

Scottsboro Police Department investigators and FBI officials were on the scene at a Scottsboro cemetery while workers exhumed the body of the unknown male.

The FBI was looking into the chance that the John Doe buried in Scottsboro could be a fugitive on the ten most wanted list linked to a mass killing of a Maryland family 38 years ago.

Investigators also gathered dental records from John Doe to determine if he is William Bradford Bishop, Jr, a man accused of using a sledgehammer to murder his wife, mother, and three children in Potomac Maryland in 1976.

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As you can see from these pictures of John Doe and Bishop, there is a resemblance.

Bishop was added to the FBI ten most wanted list in 2014.

Investigators said it is possible Bishop hid in the mountains for several years and could have hitchhiked 200 miles to Alabama. They said over the years , hundreds of tips have poured in related to the case, but so far no links.


John Doe was hit by a car on Highway 72 in 1981. "The guy had no identification on him whatsoever, all he had was a piece of paper with a phone number on it," Scottsboro Police Lt. Scott Matthews says.

Lt. Matthews says that paper didn't lead police investigators far. John Doe remained unknown since then. "In November of last year the Scottsboro Police Department re-opened the cold case investigation into John Doe," Daymond says.

WHNT News 19 did a profile on John Doe in Nov of last year. Investigators hoped our story and social media would help them figure out who the man was. Other local media outlets also ran the same profile.

Daymond says a resident saw the picture of John Doe in the media, and having already seen a picture of Bishop on other programming, called officials with a tip on the similarities between the two likenesses.

It took less than a week for the DNA results to come back.


  • B

    That would be interesting to say the least… With any luck it is Bishop, a disgusting murderer, that our tax dollars didn’t have to pay for to rot in prison. That will at least give some closure to the remainder of friends and family.

  • jon

    I really hope this is him. It would be nice to know that this sick man did not get to enjoy much time on the run before he died a violent death himself….. If this is him, I hope he is burning down under.

  • Nuclear Mike

    What was supposed to be many weeks or months to determine the DNA results just took a few days…perhaps they should have taken their time hoping the real killer would make a mistake and expose himself in some manner to be captured…one can guess the FBI announced this so early because they truly suspect he is already dead.

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