Over the previous couple weeks, we’ve covered the police account of the events leading up to Timothy McEnany’s arrest and subsequent charges in the murder of Katherine Bishop. And while painfully obvious already that the police account has a number of curious and alarming red flags, which point to a murder scene that was not properly investigated, and the possibility, in my opinion, that the real perpetrator was being protected by a corrupt police force, I felt the most important thing to do next, was to have the accused — Timothy McEnany — tell us what actually happened during that period of time.
While what is discussed with clergy is protected by the Clergy Privilege (pastoral confidentiality), I have Mr. McEnany’s permission to share this account with you, which is written in his own words:
Before I begin my account of what has happened to me, I think something I told Archbishop Salvato bears repeating.
I feel it is necessary to point out that I am not an eloquent writer, and hope my feeble attempt to relate things to you will be acceptable. Also, I feel that I need to warn you that I don’t think about the past, or what has happened to me much, if at all. Perhaps I should also point out that I do not think about the future. I believe it is a defense mechanism of mine to help me cope with living my daily life.
I will do my best to relate to you what has happened to me.
Perhaps first I should give you a little background on me, at the time these events occurred. I was twenty-six years old, married, with two children. I owned a chimney sweeping and repair business. I am not now, nor was I then, an angel or saint. I have made mistakes in life, and am not perfect. While I’ve made mistakes, I did not commit the crime that I have been convicted of.
My account of what happened
The day before I actually worked on Mrs. Bishop’s house, which would have been March 2, 1993, I was at her home to give her a free inspection of her chimney. Mrs. Bishop was a very nice lady, and very personable. After the inspection, I determined that her chimney could use a cleaning, and some minor repairs. We made an appointment for me to come back the next day. The exact time escapes me, but I believe it was in the afternoon, possibly around 3 PM.
On March 3, 1993, as my cousin, Andrew Reischman, who was working for me at the time, prepared to make our service call, we discovered that the work truck was having trouble holding a charge in the battery, causing us to get started a little later than planned.
We made several service calls before we arrived at Mrs. Bishop’s house that day, as I said, around 3 PM. I knocked on the door, and was greeted by Mrs. Bishop, with whom I exchanged some pleasantries and then Andrew and I got to work.
We swept the chimney clean and were also contracted to repair the crown of the chimney and install a new chimney cap. At some point, while I was repairing the crown, Andrew let me know Mrs. Bishop’s daughter was there, and wanted to talk to me.
I came down from the roof and spoke to Mrs. Seitz, who was Mrs. Bishop’s daughter. She asked exactly what we were doing, and I explained everything to her. I got the feeling that she was less-than-enthused that we were there working. However, she thanked me, and I resumed working.
Some time later, a man, whom I would later learn was Mrs. Seitz husband, hollered up from the yard, greeting me with a friendly hello. I had just finished, and was sending some tools down off the roof via a rope and bucket. I asked Mr. Seitz if he saw another worker down there, and he said he did not. He asked if he could be of any help, and I replied that if he could unhook the bucket from the rope, it would be of great help.
Shortly thereafter, I lowered the rest of the things down from the roof, and came down the ladder myself. I proceeded to have a nice conversation witgh Mr. Seitz, explaining the work I had done that day. He told me he worked in some sort of construction, and I asked him if he would like to go up on the roof to inspect our work before we took the ladder down. Mr. Seitz politely declined, so I grabbed my Polaroid camera (yes, the ancient Polaroid, as we didn’t have cellphone cameras back then!) and went back on the roof to take a photo of the work we had done, so he could have a look.
After showing Mr. Seitz the photo, he said something to the effect that it looked like I had done a good job. Andrew and I finished cleaning up, completed the paperwork, and received a check for payment for our services.
As I recall, we were waiting for the Seitz’s to back down the driveway before we could leave, Mrs. Bishop was kind enough to bring us a couple of cookies, or perhaps some fudge, which we gladly accepted and thanked her for. We then left for another job.
I believe we only had one more job that day, where we gave the customer a free inspection. After that service call, our workday was done.
On the way home, we decided to stop off for a couple of beers at a bar, and maybe shoot some pool. You would think that after a long day, especially after having had trouble with the truck, I would want to go straight home, but this was not the case. As I told you, I was no angel, but I now consider this to be one of the worst mistakes of my life (and I’ve made my share of mistakes!).
The first bar we stopped at had a large sign posted that it did not serve anyone under the age of 21, and that prosecution would be forthcoming. Andrew was not quite 21, so we decided to go home. On the way home, we passed a bar called Shane’s Flight Deck and decided to stop there. Neither of us had ever been there before.
We were served without a problem, staying for a couple rounds of beers, talking with some of the people at the bar, before heading into the game room. We played some video games, air hockey and shot some pool, both against each other, and against other patrons in the bar. Stopping for “a couple of beers” turned into an all night affair, and we left the bar at approximately 1 AM.
March 5th, 1993
Two days later, on March 5, 1993, two state troopers came to my home and asked me to accompany them to the local State Police barracks in Elizabethville, PA. I asked what it was about, and they wouldn’t tell me anything other than the fact that they wanted to ask me some questions. It made me nervous, not knowing what it was about, but I agreed and went with them.
We arrived at the State Police barracks after a short drive, and upon arriving, the troopers began asking me where I was and what I was doing on March 3rd. I responded to the best of my ability. My concern was that this was about someone complaining about the work I did on their home. I’d never had any complaints about my work before, but having worked in the service industry, I knew that even when everything was perfect, people could still complain. Still, I couldn’t imagine why else they were asking me these questions.
Then the troopers began to specifically ask me about the job I did at Mrs. Bishop’s home. It was at that point that they told me Mrs. Bishop had died. I was shocked. And although I hate to admit it, was a little relieved that it wasn’t about someone complaining about my work. In my mind, that meant I wasn’t the focus of the problem. If I had only known what was going to happen, I wouldn’t have felt any relief whatsoever.
The troopers wanted to know if I’d seen anything suspicious, or out of the ordinary. I told them what I could about that day, and that nothing seemed out of the ordinary in any way, and that I was sorry I couldn’t be of more help.
The troopers thanked me for my time, and asked me to call them if I could think of anything more. They said they might contact me again to give a formal statement. I asked what that entailed and they said it would be a written or taped account of what I just told them. I said that would be fine, and they drove me home.
As off-putting as the situation was at times, I didn’t feel like the police were accusing me of anything to do with the crime, so I spent some more time thinking to try to be sure there was nothing out of the ordinary that day. I couldn’t think of anything, and more or less gave it no more thought.
End of part one — in our next segment, we’ll pick up two days later, on March 7th, when Mr. McEnany is visited again by the state troopers.