Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Update: Woman Who Tried to Decapitate Husband With Electric Saw Sentenced

Update: On October 4, 2012, Renee Bishop-McKean was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the attempted decapitation of her husband with a saw.  The presiding judge, Superior Court Judge Eric Lucas, agreed with the prosecutor’s recommended sentence, saying that it was clear that she had made at attempt on her husbands life, but that he thought she suffered from a “mental disturbance” or “some kind of brain injury.”

CGI dramatization of the assault.

CGI dramatization of the assault.

Woman Who Tried to Decapitate Husband With Electric Saw Convicted

Renee Bishop-McKean, 44, of Everett, Washington, was convicted of first-degree assault and attempted murder by a jury of her peers on September 20, 2012. McKean had reportedly invited her husband, from whom she was separated, to stay over on October 14, 2011, and to sleep on a mattress that she had wrapped in plastic before covering with sheets. According to the victim’s testimony, he awake to the sound of the saw, and fought off his wife, getting non-life threatening cuts and scrapes in the process. At one point she also hit him in the head with a hatchet and a mallet. When police arrived, the couple was arguing.

Bishop-McKean has protested her innocence from the beginning, insisting that she did not attack her husband, but armed herself with the saw to fend off an intruder, who had probably entered through the bedroom window. The defense speculated that it was the intruder who attacked the husband. Prosecutors, who said that police found no evidence of an intruder, called this scenario the “Tinkerbell did this.” Prosecutors argued that Bishop-McKean had purchased the saw, hatchet, mallet and a large number of garbage bags shortly before the assault on her husband, and that that the bedroom window was locked. The defense also reportedly argued that the victim could have done it to himself and blamed his wife, but later acknowledged that this scenario was “right out of Alfred Hitchcock.”

It all three types of DNA were found on the saw: Bishop-McKean’s, the victims and DNA that prosecutors argued belonged to someone who handled the saw in the store before it was purchased.

Bishop-McKean is scheduled to be sentenced on October 4, and if convicted could get as many as 15 years in prison.

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