Episode 97: A Biology Professor & Winona Ryder’s Shoplifting Trial

Nov 27, 2019, 11:30 AM

It was a seemingly normal day at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. The biology department was holding their weekly meeting. Biology professor Amy Bishop was unusually quiet that day, but her coworkers didn’t seem to mind. She tended to dominate their meetings. Perhaps being denied tenure had made her less enthusiastic? Roughly 50 minutes into the meeting, Amy suddenly stood. She pulled out a gun and began firing.  Then, Kristin tells us about Winona Ryder’s shoplifting trial. In 2001, Winona Ryder was on top of the world. She’d been nominated for two Oscars. She’d guest starred in an episode of Friends. She was famous and wealthy. But in December of that year, she was caught shoplifting at Saks Fifth Avenue. People were stunned… but come on. A famous actress would surely get a plea deal, right? Not this time. And now for a note about our process. For each episode, Kristin reads a bunch of articles, then spits them back out in her very limited vocabulary. Brandi copies a...

It was a seemingly normal day at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. The biology department was holding their weekly meeting. Biology professor Amy Bishop was unusually quiet that day, but her coworkers didn’t seem to mind. She tended to dominate their meetings. Perhaps being denied tenure had made her less enthusiastic? Roughly 50 minutes into the meeting, Amy suddenly stood. She pulled out a gun and began firing. 

Then, Kristin tells us about Winona Ryder’s shoplifting trial. In 2001, Winona Ryder was on top of the world. She’d been nominated for two Oscars. She’d guest starred in an episode of Friends. She was famous and wealthy. But in December of that year, she was caught shoplifting at Saks Fifth Avenue. People were stunned… but come on. A famous actress would surely get a plea deal, right? Not this time.

And now for a note about our process. For each episode, Kristin reads a bunch of articles, then spits them back out in her very limited vocabulary. Brandi copies and pastes from the best sources on the web. And sometimes Wikipedia. (No shade, Wikipedia. We love you.) We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the real experts who covered these cases.

In this episode, Kristin pulled from:
“Show Trial” by Duncan Campbell for the Guardian
“Winona Ryder Shoplifting Trial” archive on CourtTV.com
“Lawyer: Ryder’s arrest a ‘misunderstanding,” CNN.com
“Actress Winona Ryder arrested,” BBC News
“Winona Ryder convicted of theft, likely to get probation” by Matt Bean, Court TV
“Winona Ryder Goes on Trial,” Associated Press

In this episode, Brandi pulled from:
“A Loaded Gun” by Patrick Radden Keefe, The New Yorker
“Amy Bishop” murderpedia.org
‘Lawsuits against Amy Bishop over 2010 UAH shooting rampage have been settled” by Brian Lawson, AL.com