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Winnetka Murder Victim's Sister Turns Gun Control Activist

In the 22 years since Nancy Bishop Langert's murder, her sister Jennifer Jenkins-Bishop has become a passionate control advocate.

In 1990, Nancy Bishop Langert, who was three months pregnant, was shot to death along with her husband, Richard Langert, in  their Winnetka townhome. Twenty-two years later, her legacy continues to inspire others — demonstrated by the fact that she used her last few minutes of life to spell out one last message of love.

“She dragged herself to her husband and drew a heart and ‘U’ in her own blood,” Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, Nancy’s sister, explained at a New Trier Democrats panel on gun control held Sunday.

The Langerts had been shot with a .357 Magnum in the basement of their Winnetka home by David Biro, a New Trier High School senior, according to an April 9, 1992 Chicago Reader article. Biro, who was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, never gave a clear reason for why he killed the Langerts.

However, the Reader article states, Biro was “notorious within the police department,” and in the past had attempted to poison the milk in his family’s refrigerator, shot a 7 year old with a BB gun, set another child’s clothing on fire and fired a BB gun at a woman in a car, shattering her windows.

Bishop-Jenkins, a former high school teacher, has actively sought to end gun violence since her sister’s murder. She has served on the board of the Illinois Coalition Against the Death Penalty, as the state president for the Million Moms March/Brady Campaign and is a volunteer with the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.

“That event changed my life,” Bishop-Jenkins said about the murders. “That event helped me to understand that there are so many people that have suffered because of gun violence.”

Her dedication to preventing other families from having to experience what she went through, as well as the countless hours that she’s spent counseling families of murder victims, made her especially upset by the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) email sent out to get pro-gun advocates to attend the New Trier Democrat’s panel.

In the email, Bishop-Jenkins — as well as the other panelists — are described as “the people who don’t care if you or your family members are raped, robbed and murdered by violent criminals. They only care about one thing — disarming you.”

“There are no words,” Bishop-Jenkins said of the email, as she choked back her tears. “I’ve spent the last 22 years working every day with the victims of violent crime. This is a horrible thing to say.”

She continued, noting that the line in the email about wanting to disarm gun owners wasn’t true.

“Disarming you — that’s not true,” she said. “We do not support bans. We only support three things — uniformed background checks, no military-style assault weapons in the hands of citizens and regulating the traffic of guns.”

“You cannot address the problem of guns with more guns,” she continued. “We have to prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands. It’s not a threat to their interpretation of the second amendment. … They’re paranoid.”

The New Trier Democrats panel on gun control was delivered to a lively audience, made up largely of pro-gun advocates. You can read more about the event here and about the Illinois State Rifle Association's plan to pack the audience here and here.

anita straus January 23, 2013 at 09:36 PM
These lunatics who gun down and kill innocent people should be monitered by their mental health and the family members who know them..The NRA is a detrement to our country..The founders of this country and the 2nd ammendment has lived way past its original intent. This is not a wild west, but a cgun-crazed population of people who maim and kill without care.
Dan Cox January 24, 2013 at 02:52 AM
anita straus, The NRA, does not represent me. I am Represented by the Second Amendment Foundation and the Illinois State Rifle Association. I agree with you 100% about the Mentally Ill being monitored and secured. I do not understand, the Wild West comment though, can you help me, with that? Chicago had 506 Murders in 2012 and as many as 958 a year, back in the early 90's. No place west of the Mississippi, ever had that many murders in any city during the 1800's. Over 100,000 Gang Members are in Chicago, Illinois and the Court System does not know how to handle them, so they just send them back on the street, to commit more crime. CPD has a 25% solve Rate for Murders and that is the worst rate in over 20 years. That means 75% of the murders are not being solved and those killers are killing again and again and again.
Sully January 24, 2013 at 03:11 AM
No Dan. You are an immature, frightened little boy. Here's some reading material for you. http://www.startribune.com/local/west/187610601.html?refer=y
Dan Cox January 24, 2013 at 05:36 PM
Typical diversion tactic, change subject and go off topic. N.W. University Anti-Gun Debate Tactic, when you can not win the debate... change subject!
Dan Cox January 24, 2013 at 05:40 PM
Sully, still waiting on your response to SB2899... the Gun Confiscation Bill, brought by Il. Senate President John Cullerton on 1/6/13.

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