Derrick Bird

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Person.png Derrick BirdRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Perpetrator of2010 Cumbria shootings
Serial killer

Since 2nd June 2010, the name "Derek Bird" will be remembered for the carnage he wrought in and around the town of Whitehaven, Cumbria on that day. [1]

Summary of events

Twelve people were shot dead and a further eleven wounded in a rampage that began in the early hours of Wednesday morning 2 June 2010, when Derek Bird killed his twin brother David Bird at his home in Lamplugh. His second victim was his solicitor Kevin Commons, killed on the driveway of his home in Yeat House Road, Frizington. There followed an extended rampage through Whitehaven, Egremont, Seascale, Drigg, and Eskdale with the police very much aware of the grave nature of events but unable to corner the gunman. Bird was eventually found dead from self-inflicted gunshot wounds by a police dog-handler in a wooded area close to the village of Boot at about 1:30 that afternoon. The episode counts among the worst mass killings in UK history.

Locations where people were killed

  • High Trees, Lamplugh - Gunman's twin bother shot in the early hours
  • Yeat House Road, Frizington - shots fired gunmans's solicitor Kevin Commons killed
  • Duke Street, Whitehaven - shots fired, Darren Rewcastle killed
  • Orgill, Haggard End, Egremont - shots fired Susan Hughes killed
  • Bridge End, Egremont - shots fired Kenneth Fishburn killed whilst riding bicycle
  • Town End Farm, Wilton - Shots fired, Jennifer and James Jackson killed
  • Near Carlton Wood - shots fired Issac Dixon killed
  • Gosforth - shots fired Garry Purdham killed
  • Drigg Road, Seascale - shots fired Michael Pike and Jane Robinson killed
  • Gosforth Road, Seascale - shots fired Jamie Clark killed
  • wooded area in Boot - Bird found shot dead.

Mainstream media coverage

CCM coverage of the events of 2 June was understandably massive - wall-to-wall while Bird remained at large even - until about two weeks afterward. There was plenty of analysis of why/how anyone could carry out seemingly random cold-blooded murders. Favorites were (and as at 6 September remain):

  • Thirteen years coping with a feeling of gnawing injustice at being denied any inheritance on the death of his parents by a £25,000 sum paid by them to his twin bother David.[2]
  • Serious problems with the Inland Revenue over unpaid tax from his extended period of self-employment [3]
  • A potpourri of amateur psychological 'problems' diagnosed by this and that family member or acquaintance [4]

.... then all went quiet. and has remained so, especially following stories that local people wanted " be left alone to come to terms....etc etc". [5]

As at 6 September 2010:

  • From representative MSM coverage, there has been no inquiry into Bird's life between his late teens and his employment at Sellafield in 1990
  • inquests are outstanding.
  • the results of the Cumbria Police internal inquiry are awaited and it is unclear whether or not there will be any other official inquiry.

The elephant in the Establishment living-room

It is likely that all of the problems Derek Bird was wrestling with - so copiously pored over in the press - had some bearing on what he did, but.... it seems there is one item of enormous potential significance which nobody is talking about - the public because they are unaware of it; Officialdom because it poses a whole raft of awkward and embarrassing questions for the Establishment:

It is that of Derek Bird's Military service in Northern Ireland from 1977 to 1989.

Distillation of a long article by Trowbridge Ford [6]

Apparently Bird acquired the nickname "Birdy" (a nickname reported in the press) after spotting wounded IRA member Francis Hughes hiding in woodland during a search that followed his escape from a firefight with British soldiers - the result of a stake-out. It is alleged that soon afterwards Bird received 'Special Observation Patrol' training and was involved in the operation that resulted in the death of Francis Bradley on 18 February 1986. [7] It is further alleged that there were/are a number of ex-army men among his victims and/or intended victims, who knew all about his army service and who ribbed him mercilessly about it and his other problems.

It appears that these multiple issues peaked with the announcement at the end of May 2010 by John Larkin, Northern Ireland's first Attorney General since direct rule, that there would be a new inquest into the Francis Bradley Assassination and that all the soldiers involved (which would include Bird) would this time be required to attend and give evidence. [8] [9]

  • See Also Madden and Finucane press release dated 9 July 2010 [10]

However, more than three months after that announcement and the subsequent Cumbria rampage by Derek Bird, there has been no follow-up by Northern Ireland's Chief Coroner John Lecky.

The silence is deafening.

Wikispooks comment

It is clear that, if the Trowbridge Ford allegations are true, then they have very considerable bearing on what happened in Cumbria on 2 June 2010. They pose a whole raft of questions which the authorities would clearly prefer not to have to answer. The problem is that to date (September 2010), nobody appears to be asking them.

Representative CCM Coverage


An event carried out

2010 Cumbria shootingsCopeland
United Kingdom


Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Why damaged covert operator Derek Bird finally went on the rampage in Cumbriaarticle6 September 2010Trowbridge Ford


  1. Cumbria gunman Derrick Bird kills at least 12 in rampage Timesonline 2 June 2010
  2. The deadly hate that festered for 13 years: Gun killer held grudge against twin for 'robbing' him of his £25,000 inheritance - Daily Mail 5 June 2010
  3. Cumbria shootings: Derrick Bird, his twin and the £60,000 tax inquiry - Telegraph 3-June 2010
  4. Cumbria shootings are not just 'inexplicable' - The Guardian 5 June 2010
  5. Cumbria tries to begin the healing process Independent 6 June 2010. Church leaders, the Queen, police and ministers all focus on the aftermath of Derrick Bird's rampage - Authors Jane Merrick and Mike Glover
  6. Document:Why damaged covert operator Derek Bird finally went on the rampage in Cumbria - Trowbridge Ford Article
  7. Francis Bradley shooting - Relatives for Justice web site
  8. Larkin orders inquest into Bradley death - BBC Norther Ireland 28 May 2010
  9. New probe ordered into SAS killing - Belfast Telegraph 28 May 2010
  10. Madden and Finucane press release - 9 July 2010- Madden & Finucane Solicitors brought successful judicial review challenges on behalf of the families of both men (and also the family of Francis Bradley, shot dead near Toome on 18 February 1986) in 2007 in which it became known that the RUC withheld significant documents from the Coroner conducting the Inquests, in clear breach of its statutory obligations to provide the Coroner with all written documents in their possession. The withheld documents included potentially crucial eye witness accounts, intelligence reports, army log sheets and in the case of Danny Doherty, details of the Royal Military Police investigations.