People Call Me When They Think Someone is Poisoning Them

It Happened to LIsa Bishop. Could It Happen to You?

Joni E. Johnston, Psy. D.
7 min readJan 26, 2022
copyright free, courtesy of Wayne County Sheriff’s Office

We never really know what goes on behind closed doors, do we? Even on a sleepy little street like East Wallace Road in Franklin Township, a small Indiana community just sixty-five miles east of downtown Indianapolis. While hundreds of families were taking their Christmas decorations down and bracing for the January cold, in one everyday household, a murder plot was afoot.

The perpetrator, Alfred Ruf, was approaching seventy; the victim well into middle-age. The call came at 9:46 a.m. on a Monday, not in the middle of a raucous Saturday night. The perpetrator was a man nudging seventy; his victim solidly into middle-age. This was a most unlikely crime scene.

Poisoned Affection

According to Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, on January 3, 2021, fifty-one-year-old Lisa Bishop was the one to call police. This wasn’t the first time she’d contacted law enforcement, but it might have been the first time they believed her.

She’d suspected foul play before. She’d been in the hospital at least six times over the previous year with a variety of symptoms, all of which mystified her doctors. She’d even told police that she thought someone was drugging her. But…



Joni E. Johnston, Psy. D.

Forensic psychologist/private investigator//author of serial killer book. Passionate about victim’s rights, the psychology of true crime, and criminal justice.