What's Up With Amy Bishop's Husband?

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Feb. 22 2010 11:52 AM

What's Up With Amy Bishop's Husband?

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Since we spend so much time scrutinizing the wives of famous (and infamous) people I have to ask: What is up with the husband of Amy Bishop, the Alabama professor/shooter? James Anderson was clearly her partner and co-conspirator in all things. In this picture of them together , he sits shoulder- to-shoulder with her, smiling ambivalently, holding half of her Petri dish invention. What’s still unclear is what model of husband-conspirator he represents. Was he more the tragic, clueless ennabler (the husband of child-drowner Andrea Yates left her alone against doctor’s orders and encouraged her to have more children for religious reasons). Or was he more in the Bonnie and Clyde mode, thrilling to her insane adventures?

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What we know so far puts Anderson, a computer engineer, somewhere in between-a loyal partner who mirrored her rage and delusions. He was already dating Bishop when she shot her brother. He was questioned with her in the 1993 attempted mail bombing, and he lied to the New York Times about having gotten a letter that cleared their names. If he wasn't with her at the IHOP the day she punched a woman who took the last booster seat, he has surely seen similar things before. In a recent ABC interview , he presented her latest shooting as a sane response to the secretive world of academic tenure, which he called on the media to investigate. "Only someone who's been intimately involved in that fight understands," he said. "It's a tough, long, hard battle." One can only imagine what he's telling thier four children. Now there’s a companionate marriage gone totally off the rails.

Hanna Rosin is the founder of DoubleX and a writer for the Atlantic. She is also the author of The End of Men. Follow her on Twitter.