The bizarre tale of a woman’s body found in a New Hampshire farmhouse and the search to understand what led to her death is an intriguing premise. Not a murder, not a suicide, the passing of Linda Bishop was a result of, remarkably, both her incredible optimism and then her crippling fear of the outside world, brought on by her delusions.
Offering unbelievable insight into the mind of Bishop in her final days, a pair of notebooks left in the farmhouse detail her thoughts as she examines the world through its windows. Directors Todd and Jedd Wider weave together shots of the home’s interior and exteriors with interviews with friends and family as they tell the story of Linda Bishop — her early life and her final days.
Her tragic story is made all the more so after we learn about how full of life Linda was and what a good mother she tried to be. Her mental health issues, however, would take charge of Linda’s mind, and she walked away from her responsibilities to her family and to herself.
God Knows Where I Am is ultimately a story of how a life can be destroyed by a psychiatric disability and the reverberating effects that it can have on those close to the victim. Perhaps more importantly, the film puts a face on just one of the many, many forgotten souls like Bishop who, whether due to a mental health issue or simply poor circumstances, end up lost.
God Knows Where I Am gets bonus points for the beautiful and haunting scenery that serves as the backdrop of this sad tale. Beautifully shot by Gerardo Puglia, God Knows Where I Am features emotional interviews with those most familiar with Bishop, her mental illness and the farmhouse where she was found. Lori Singer (Footloose) serves as the voice of Linda Bishop, reading her journal entries in various somber, matter-of-fact and optimistic tones, depending on Bishop’s state of mind.
It is that state of mind that remains one of the most mysterious aspects of the case of Linda Bishop. Without giving too much away, there are so many questions to her motivations, irrational fears and inexplicable beliefs that audiences may struggle with, and there are frustrating emotions that result when you learn about how intelligent Bishop was, especially with respect to the natural world around her.
There are similarities to Dreams of a Life – the 2011 film about Joyce Vincent, who was found three years after she passed and no one noticed – to Bishop’s story. The circumstances and causes of their deaths, only five years apart, are different, but the sad truth is that both women died alone and were remembered so.
Overall, the story of Linda Bishop is well told, but even at 97 minutes, the film begins to feel long. If you’re a fan of true crime and murder mysteries, there are some aspects to this movie that may be of interest, but it drags at times to be sure. The story also becomes rather repetitive and could likely have been done in half the time.