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Charles Bishop and the circus of his death

Charles Bishop was an honor student and his friends described him as a "nice guy".

On January 5, 2002, the 15-year-old stole a small single engine plane and crashed it into the Bank of America building in Tampa, Florida. He left a suicide note in his pocket which was found immediately but wasn't made public until January 9, although details were given on January 6. When it first happened, all anyone knew was a teenager had stolen a plane and it crashed into the BoA building.


Instead of reporting the news as the story was known or giving as much of the story as was known at the time, the media did what it's best at and does what I loathe them for - - they invented, padded, slanted, spun, speculated, demonized and made things up to get the bigger Ghoul Factor-slash-rating out of it. They found talking heads and experts to muse and analyze. (I reached my point of tolerance for this type of 'reporting' during the 9-11 attack when so much was misreported, jumped on and never retracted and finally Jerry Springered all for the sake of ratings that it passed 'bad taste', went into 'irresponsible" and and then 'criminal'').

CNN called in 'experts' who didn't really care if they were getting it wrong or not but were happy to get their names on TV and fill in the hours until the truth was known. Why bother? I thought it was disgraceful, them ripping up a kid for sport.

"Expert Aviation analyst" Jim McKenna was on CNN, spewing this crap:

CNN: Do you see this crash as a copycat incident in the aftermath of the September 11 plane attacks on Washington and New York?

MCKENNA: I doubt it. You know, the Federal Aviation Administration was able to track this airplane. You know, it's a young pilot who had really just started his flight training. He was being pursued at the time by a Coast Guard helicopter, which would be a startling circumstance for any new pilot in an airplane. I bet that he probably hit that building because he just lost sense of where he was in the sky. You know, it's interesting to note that the airplane hit the side of the building. Where if you look at the World Trade Center attacks, those planes pretty much aimed for the center of the building. I would bet that this kid was trying to fly past the building and missed his mark.

The suicide note found in Charles' pocket said: "I have prepared this statement in regards to the acts I am about to commit. First of all, Osama bin Laden is absolutely justified in the terror he has caused on 9-11. He has brought a mighty nation to its knees! God blesses him and the others who helped make September 11th happen. The U.S. will have to face the consequences for its horrific actions against the Palestinian people and Iraqis by its allegiance with the monstrous Israelis--who want nothing short of world domination! You will pay--God help you--and I will make you pay! There will be more coming! Al Qaeda and other organizations have met with me several times to discuss the option of me joining. I didn't. This is an operation done by me only. I had no other help, although, I am acting on their behalf. Osama bin Laden is planning on blowing up the Super Bowl with an antiquated nuclear bomb left over from the 1967 Israeli-Syrian war."

Yet his mother said he had been as upset and horrified at the attack as the rest of us. Charles was apparently a troubled kid. And this is what bothered me..he WAS a kid - a minor. Yet CNN and the rest of them couldn't wait a few hours until they got to the body and found the truth before they had their 'experts' on to invent story and pick Charles' mind and motive. There also apparently is no such thing as "respect" anymore...and so the circus began.

Bishop's mother and grandmother responded to it all by filing a $70 million law suit against Roche Laboratories, who make the acne medicine Accutane. The drug is thought by some to have serious side effects. The label on the medicine does state that side effects can include "depression, psychosis and, rarely, suicidal ideation, suicide attempts and suicide. Discontinuation of Accutane therapy may be insufficient; further evaluation may be necessary". The New York Times reported that in 2002, doctors reported 94 suicides in the U.S. by Accutane users or recent users and another 257 who were hospitalized with extreme depression or attempted suicide.

Only one of the lawsuits filed against Roche has gone to trial so far; the woman lost the case. However, Roche was reprimanded by the Food and Drug Administration for failing to follow quality control procedures at facilities in New Jersey and Puerto Rico. They agreed to mail about 75,000 brochures to dermatologists and other doctors with information on how to recognize signs of depression and other psychiatric disorders in teenagers and young adults. This was all they were made to do. And of course, be able to say that their product had nothing to do with Charles' state of mind.

Charles' mom also said that she and Charles' father had attempted suicide together years earlier but it had "just been the result of drug and alcohol use when they were young". And of course, they had nothing to do with Charles' state of mind.


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