Historical Hysterics: Did You Hear About the Doctor Who Robbed a Bank?

It was just over 10 years ago in a federal court when a lab coat loon who lived in Montana confessed that well, yeah, he really did rob that bank in Rexburg Idaho. But they had it all wrong about the homicide of his elderly patient. It wasn’t like he actually . . . you know . . . murdered her.

James DriscollIt seems that Doctor James Bischoff was arrested – that is, the first time – for injecting an elderly woman, Kathryn Dvarishkis, who was under his care at Madison Valley Hospital in Ennis, Montana, with narcotics to speed up her death. She was very ill and he was doing her a favor. That little pickle, which occurred back in the year 2000, was considered a major boo-boo by law enforcement.

Then, before the trial for the lady’s death was even over, and while he was out on bail, the daffy doc decided it would be a good idea to hold up the U.S. Bank branch in Rexburg. So he drove across state lines and did just that. That happened on March 16, 2005, when the doc walked into the bank armed with two handguns and wearing ski goggles and demanded serious cash.

A dorky physician in a bank with ski goggles and a gun in each fist. Now there’s a visual.

But it took a while before they figured out who the robber-doc really was. And during that time his trial continued – not only for the killing of his 85-year-old patient, but for illegally possessing and using the drugs in question. Eventually, in September, 2005, Bischoff confessed to the lesser crime of Negligent Homicide and 2 felony drug charges. The drug charges involved him fraudulently obtaining thousands of doses of prescription amphetamines for himself by using other people’s names.

Quite the patient care professional.

In the end, bad-boy Bischoff was sentenced in September, 2005 by District Judge Brent Moss, to a term of 5-20 years in prison for robbing a bank in Idaho, and 2 years for killing his patient.

Let’s say that again slowly. The prosecution recommended the death penalty for deliberately killing his patient. He got 2 years for killing a patient. Go figure.

At the sentencing when he was allowed to speak, Bischoff apologized for robbing the bank.


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