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Picture emerges of teen suicide pilot (Alexander Felos and the Tampa teen suicide pilot)
St. Petersburg Times ^ | January 8, 2002 | Curtis Krueger, Katherine Gazella, Ed Quico

Posted on 04/05/2005 9:15:39 AM PDT by alwaysaskingquestions

Picture Emerges of Teen Suicide Pilot

CHARLES BISHOP: To some, he was a smart, humorous student, which makes his suicide flight all the more incomprehensible.

By CURTIS KRUEGER, KATHERINE GAZELLA and ED QUIOCO © St. Petersburg Times published January 8, 2002 -----------

Charles Bishop was a teacher's dream. He read Shakespeare in class, pulled together a middle school literary magazine and enjoyed a good game of flag football.

Friends and family members who knew him best described Charles as a patriot.

The teen who flew an airplane into the Bank of America building, carrying a note sympathizing with Osama bin Laden, was the same gangly fellow who sang My Country 'Tis of Thee louder than anyone.

"He was proud to be an American, let me tell you," said Dale Porter, his former headmaster at Dunedin Academy middle school.

His family issued a statement, their first since the Saturday crash:

"Charles and his family have always fully supported our United States war on terrorism and Osama bin Laden. We do not understand how or why this incident happened."

Bishop's classmates at East Lake High School returned to school Monday from winter break, trying to fathom what led a quiet honors student to commandeer an airplane and crash it in a way that evoked memories of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Many classmates and neighbors said they did not know Charles, that he was too new to his neighborhood and school, and too quiet to have forged many friendships.

Originally named Charles Bishara, he was born in February 1986 to Charles and Julia, who were 20 and 18, respectively. The two married in Wilmington, Mass., one month later.

Five months afterward, Julia Bishara filed for divorce, saying her husband struck her in the mouth and "had acted in a cruel and abusive fashion" on other occasions. Her husband's address at the time was listed as "Eastern Middlesex Recovery House."

From that point, Charles and his mother lived a mobile life, moving to the Massachusetts towns of Reading, Winchester, Hingham and Norwell. They also lived in Atlanta, Pinellas sheriff's officials say, and later in different locations in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. Friends said that he sometimes lived with his grandmother, Karen Johnson, and that they were close.

Investigators have been unable to find the boy's father, Charles Bishara. A grandfather, Robert Bishara, lives in the Boston area. He said he has lost contact with the family.

"I'm going to be honest with you: I don't know anymore about what happened than you do," Robert Bishara said. "I don't want to say anything that might be wrong."

At some point before 1992, Julia Bishara began using the name Bishop. Her son did, too.

In Tampa, he attended Benito Middle School in northeast Hillsborough County and Walker Middle School in northwest Hillsborough County. He also went to Dunedin Academy, a private middle school, before entering East Lake High School in northern Pinellas County this fall.

Neighbors and acquaintances said Bishop was quiet, not likely to speak unless spoken to. People at his apartment complex in the East Lake area knew him because they made small talk as he walked a white dog. But several who spoke to him regularly said they were unaware of one of his passions: flying lessons.

"The problem is no one knew him," said Jillian Bandes, 16, an East Lake High School junior. "He was anonymous. It's like he didn't even exist."

Some East Lake students described Bishop as a good, attentive student who sat in the front row of third-period journalism class. One said she remembers seeing Bishop sitting by himself in the library during lunch, surfing the Internet.

Yet he seemed angered by the Sept. 11 attacks, said Beverly Fujiki, 17, a classmate. "I just remember that he was upset that the whole thing happened," she said.

That's why she has a tough time believing what officials are saying about Bishop's suicide note.

"It just seems so out of character for him," said Fujiki, a senior. "It doesn't seem like him at all. He said he wanted to be in the Air Force. It was one of his dreams."

Some remembered him making off-the-wall jokes.

"Sometimes when I'd ask him where he was from, he'd make jokes about being from Afghanistan," said Geoffry Mackey, who for a time sat behind Bishop in class at Dunedin Academy last year. "Or he'd say, "I'm a Muslim.' Then he'd correct himself and say "No, I'm from Boston.' He didn't obsess with it."

Another former classmate at Dunedin Academy, Alexander Felos, also remembers that Bishop joked he was from Afghanistan. Of course, Felos said, he also joked that he was from Australia.

"He always used to joke around," Felos said.

But the jokes about Afghanistan came a year ago -- long before the events of Sept. 11.

His classmates and teachers painted a portrait of a teenager who might have been something of a loner but who was bright and well-mannered. He gave no hint of turmoil inside.

The contradiction left acquaintances wrestling for answers.

"Why would a student, who was so effervescent, suddenly commit suicide?" asked Walker Middle School teacher Sandra Sawyer, her eyes red from crying. "He was a very, very bright student."

Said Gabriella Terry, Bishop's journalism teacher at East Lake High: "I just didn't see this coming. The first thing I did was start pulling out papers . . . to see if there was something I missed. I didn't."

Five members of the Pinellas County Schools crisis team were at East Lake High School Monday. About 20 students talked to them, and many said they were friends of Bishop, said Carol Madura, a crisis counseling specialist.

"They were grieving because they're going to miss Charles," she said.

After classes on Monday, East Lake students met with dozens of reporters, some from newspapers as far away as the Yomiuri Shimbun in Japan. The floor of the school's media center was nearly covered by blue, red, yellow and green wires that fed into about a dozen television cameras during an afternoon press conference.

Everyone tried to make sense of the tragedy.

"We had absolutely no prior indication that this might occur," Bishop's family said in the prepared statement. They added:

"We will always remember Charles as a loving and giving person, a hard working and responsible honor roll student, and a boy who cares deeply about his country. We hope that something positive can come out of our tragic loss."

-- Times staff writers Robert Farley, Chuck Murphy, Julie Church, Melanie Ave, Melia Bowie and Alicia Caldwell contributed to this report, which also includes information from Associated Press and Boston Globe.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Florida; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: 1986; 198602; 2000; 200201; 20020105; 911; abuse; afghanistan; alexanderfelos; atlanta; australia; bankofamerica; boabuilding; charlesbishara; charlesbishop; dunedin; eastlake; felos; georgefelos; georgejamesfelos; gulfwar; iraq; journalism; juliabishara; juliabishop; muslim; nonterroristattack; obl; robertbishara; spouseabuse; suicide; suicidepilot; tampa; terrischiavo; wilmington
Alexander Felos is mentioned in the article as a classmate to Charles Bishop at Dunedin Academy. Does anyone know if this is the same Alexander Felos who is George Felos' son?
1 posted on 04/05/2005 9:15:39 AM PDT by alwaysaskingquestions
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To: alwaysaskingquestions

Please don't change the published title. Thank you.


2 posted on 04/05/2005 9:22:08 AM PDT by Sidebar Moderator
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To: alwaysaskingquestions
Originally named Charles Bishara...At some point before 1992, Julia Bishara began using the name Bishop. Her son did, too

All I needed to hear to figure out a motive... Bishara

3 posted on 04/05/2005 9:31:43 AM PDT by Bigturbowski
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To: Bigturbowski

He's actually 3/4 Italian, 1/4 Arab.

It's his grandfather who came to the Boston era early in the 20th century; at that time virtually all Arabs coming to the US at that time were Lebanese and Syrian Christians.

There isn't the slightest indication that Charles Bishop or anyone in his family has ever set foot in a mosque. What the family DID have was some affiliation with the Mafia.


4 posted on 04/05/2005 9:39:34 AM PDT by Strategerist
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To: alwaysaskingquestions

Felos....name that will be cursed forever.


5 posted on 04/05/2005 9:50:43 AM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion: The Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: alwaysaskingquestions
It is possible. George James Felos married Kimberly Andrasko on June 24, 1978 and he had a son Alexander James, no birth date given in a 1992-93 Who's Who. He must have gotten a divorce or his wife died, since in 2000 a Constance M. was listed as his wife.
6 posted on 04/05/2005 9:54:46 AM PDT by Dante3
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To: alwaysaskingquestions
Does anyone know if this is the same Alexander Felos who is George Felos' son?

Does it matter?

7 posted on 04/05/2005 9:55:06 AM PDT by mountaineer
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To: Velveeta; nw_arizona_granny; floriduh voter; sweetliberty

This is interesting


8 posted on 04/05/2005 10:01:20 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: alwaysaskingquestions

Felos?!!!


9 posted on 04/05/2005 10:03:32 AM PDT by Saundra Duffy (Rest in Peace, Theresa Marie SCHINDLER - IMPEACH JUDGE GREER!!!!!!!)
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To: EternalVigilance

I tidbit to keep in mind.


10 posted on 04/05/2005 10:03:36 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: mountaineer
Of course it matters - we need to tie everything bad that's happened in the state of Florida for the last fifteen years to...well, you know who. Get with the program.

:^)

11 posted on 04/05/2005 10:03:55 AM PDT by general_re ("Frantic orthodoxy is never rooted in faith, but in doubt." - Reinhold Niebuhr)
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To: Calpernia

Small world?


12 posted on 04/05/2005 10:14:50 AM PDT by Velveeta
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To: Velveeta

I found it noteworthy to keep in mind.


13 posted on 04/05/2005 10:20:41 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: general_re

Indeed!


14 posted on 04/05/2005 11:49:36 AM PDT by mountaineer
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To: alwaysaskingquestions

Thank you for finding this, good find.

I would not have thought of this as a connection.


15 posted on 04/05/2005 11:54:53 AM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (Airspeed, altitude, or brains. Two are required to successfully complete a flight.)
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To: nw_arizona_granny
I would not have thought of this as a connection.

Maybe because there isn't one.

16 posted on 04/05/2005 12:05:04 PM PDT by mountaineer
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To: alwaysaskingquestions

One and the same. Yes. This is Felos' son.


17 posted on 04/05/2005 2:10:22 PM PDT by Ohioan from Florida (The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.- Edmund Burke)
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To: Ohioan from Florida

This article doesn't mentioned it but another article from the St. Pete Times said that Charles Bishop's mother, Julia Bishop was represented by attorney, Pam Campbell. Do you know if this is the same Pam Campbell who represented the Schindlers at the initial hearing?


18 posted on 04/05/2005 5:34:20 PM PDT by alwaysaskingquestions
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To: alwaysaskingquestions

I would lay odds that it is. What are the chances that there is more than one Pam Campbell practicing law in the same area? I would say very small.


19 posted on 04/05/2005 8:11:38 PM PDT by Ohioan from Florida (The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.- Edmund Burke)
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To: Calpernia

I wonder if little Alex told the suicide pilot how great death is.


20 posted on 04/07/2005 4:58:54 PM PDT by floriduh voter (www.theempirejournal.com Demand the Impeachment of Judge Greer...No More!!!!)
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To: floriduh voter

make sure you see this part

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1377819/posts?page=18#18

Bump

Last time that freeper posted it, it was the last post and everyone missed it.


21 posted on 04/07/2005 6:33:11 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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