Episode 248:

Congratulations, Smarty

The Survival Story of Kara Robinson Chamberlain


The University of Alabama in Huntsville Shooting


Episode 248: Congratulations, Smarty

In this week's episode, Karen and Georgia cover the survival story of Kara Robinson Chamberlain and the University of Alabama Huntsville shooting.

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The Survival Story of Kara Robinson Chamberlain

The Survival Story of Kara Robinson Chamberlain Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by chloe s. on Unsplash

Other Images:

Kara Robinson Chamberlain, young (via kararobinsonchamberlain.com)


"In June of 2002, I was 15 years old. My path in life was about to take a turn and I had no idea. 

I was kidnapped from my friend's front yard by a man I didn't know. A serial killer who would have made me another one of his victims.


While he was sleeping, I escaped my captor's restraints and went to law enforcement to tell them my story.

I later found out he had murdered at least three girls before me.

I survived to spread hope and encouragement to other survivors. To remind them that they are not alone and that they are stronger than what happened to them.

We are who we are because of what happened but we are not defined by it.

I currently use my traumatic experience as well as my years of work in law enforcement to speak to groups around the country. I tell my story, help to educate those who work with victims, and empower individuals to be the best version of themselves they can be, regardless of their past..."

— Source: Kara Robinson Chamberlain's Official Website 

The University of Alabama in Huntsville Shooting

The University of Alabama in Huntsville Shooting Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Other Images:

Sofia Silva, and Kristin & Kati Lisk (via NY Daily News)

Amy Bishop (via Murderpedia)

Victims of Amy Bishop’s attack: Gopi Podila, Adriel Johnson and Maria Ragland Davis. Luis Cruz-Vera and Joseph Leahy survived (via NYTimes)


Karen’s murder suggested by Nichole aka @mad__ethnic on Twitter


"Three people were killed and three others wounded in a shooting at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) in Huntsville, Alabama, on February 12, 2010. During the course of a routine meeting of the biology department attended by approximately 12 people, Amy Bishop, a biology professor at the university, stood up and began shooting those closest to her with a Ruger P95 handgun.

Bishop was charged with one count of capital murder and three counts of attempted murder. On September 11, 2012, Bishop pled guilty to the above charges after family members of victims petitioned the judge against use of the death penalty. The jury heard a condensed version of the evidence on September 24, 2012, as required by Alabama law. On September 24, 2012, Bishop was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In March 2009, Bishop was denied tenure at the university, making spring 2010 her last semester there, per university policy. Due to the attention Bishop attracted as a result of the shooting, previous violent incidents in which she had been involved or implicated were reevaluated. In 1986, she shot and killed her brother in Braintree, Massachusetts, in an incident officially ruled an accident. She was also questioned, along with her husband, after a 1993 pipe-bomb incident directed toward her lab supervisor.

The day of the shooting, Bishop taught her anatomy and neurosciences class. A student later stated Bishop "seemed perfectly normal" during the lecture. Bishop then attended a biology department faculty meeting on the third floor of the Shelby Center for Science and Technology. According to witnesses, 12 or 13 people attended the meeting, which was described as "an ordinary faculty meeting." Bishop's behavior was also described as "normal" just prior to the shooting.

She sat quietly at the meeting for 30 or 40 minutes, before pulling out a handgun just before 4:00 p.m. A witness said that Bishop "got up suddenly, took out a gun and started shooting at each one of us. She started with the one closest to her, and went down the row shooting her targets in the head." Another survivor said, "This wasn't random shooting around the room; this was execution style." Those who were shot were on one side of the oval table; the five on the other side dropped to the floor.

After Bishop had fired several rounds, Debra Moriarity, a biochemistry professor, said that Bishop pointed the gun at her and pulled the trigger, but heard only a "click", as her gun "either jammed or ran out of ammunition." She described Bishop as initially appearing "angry", then "perplexed". Joseph Ng, an associate professor, said Moriarity attempted to stop Bishop by approaching her and asking her to stop, and helped the other survivors push Bishop from the room and block the door. Ng said "Moriarity was probably the one that saved our lives. She was the one that initiated the rush..."

— Source: University of Alabama in Huntsville Shooting Wikipedia