It's hard to reconcile how Derrick Bird—a nice, quiet, pleasant man according to all who seemingly knew him—could take a hunting rifle and kill twelve people in Cumbria, over a period of several hours in which surely thoughts of sanity must have returned. I mean, if the red mist had descended, there surely must have been a point in that time during which he thought: "What am I doing?"
His early victims were targeted, the subjects of arguments and squabbles, people known to bird—his twin brother and the family solicitor, a fellow taxi driver. But then he went off shooting folk apparently at random.
Why on earth would anyone do that? I mean, okay I can understand someone 'losing it' perhaps and attacking those he feels he has a grievance against, but why then go after innocent people?
Some of the witness stories are quite harrowing. The fifteen-year-old girl who 'ducked' at the right moment and was then pursued by the killer but managed to escape. She felt the bullet pass her ponytail. There was the young family who had the gun pointed at them but whose terror somehow sent Bird on his way.
Now that's real horror.
The Ballad of Robinson Clyde - Alex's latest story *The Ballad of Robinson Clyde* is out now at Emerging Worlds. Its a lyrical kind of a story that put me in mind of J.G. Ballard.
3 days ago