Derrick Bird: What motivated the Cumbria gunman?

There’s an article in today’s Guardian about Derrick Bird’s motivation.

Police conceded last night that they might never know exactly what made Derrick Bird – a seemingly sociable, outgoing man who had just become a grandfather – shoot dead his twin brother and 11 other people, many seemingly at random, in a succession of towns and villages around west Cumbria.

Speaking to reporters late last night, Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde from Cumbria police said his force would have to painstakingly piece together all the details of Bird’s life.

“That involves understanding what he has been through, his family circumstances, a whole range of things before we can make judgments,” he said. “And it may well be that we never actually find that out. But hopefully by speaking to people, looking at his history we will be able to figure out what caused this.”

The first thing I wonder, as I do whenever I hear about stories like this, is, was Derrick Bird being treated with an SSRI/SNRI such as Seroxat?

I don’t know the answer, but we have the right to ask the question and the louder Glaxo shouts about Seroxat having “no proven link to violence”, the more I want to know the truth.

As Peter Breggin wrote in an article about the Virgina Tech masssacre; “For the past fifteen years or more, I’ve been writing about the capacity of psychiatric drugs to cause mayhem, murder and suicide. In early 2005 the FDA finally issued a warning that antidepressants cause both suicidality and violence. For example, the FDA’s mandated warning label for antidepressants states that these drugs produce “anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, and mania.”

Note the reference to “irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity” in the label or package insert for antidepressants. That’s a formula for violence. Note the mention of akathisia, another source of both violence and suicide. And finally, note the reference to mania, yet another drug-induced syndrome associated with violence and suicide.”

More background here and here and also at SSRI Stories.

8 Responses to “Derrick Bird: What motivated the Cumbria gunman?”

  1. squirrel Says:

    Anyone who has experience of being on these drugs would ask the same question, but why are the powers that be not asking or joining up the dots.Maybe Its best to keep their heads down and pretend it does not exist.

  2. Lachlan Says:

    To be honest, when I heard about it, I thought exactly the same thing. “I wonder if he was on Seroxat”. I took it for 5 days in 1995 and I’m surprised I survived it.

  3. Matthew Holford Says:

    “…That involves understanding what he has been through… before we can make judgments…”

    LOL. What’s the point? In order to avoid something similar happening in the future?

    I’ll tell you why he did what he did: it was because it was the only option that he believed he had. After all, who would choose to murder 12 people, if they had a more attractive option available?


  4. Mark Foreman Says:

    What evidence exists to suggest that Mr Bird was taking Seroxat or any other drug. I am sure that his medical state will be discussed by a UK court in due course. I recall in the case of the Hungerford killer they did test his remains for drugs.

    It will be better if we wait for the evidence.

    • admin Says:

      So far no one has asked the question – surely we must at least eliminate the possibility – that’s all I’m asking.

      The problem is I’m not sure “… that his medical state will be discussed by a UK court in due course…”

  5. Brendan M Says:

    The most glaringly obvious clue indicating the probaility that psychiatric (mind altering) drugs such as Seroxat may have been involved relates to the evident fact that Derrick Bird both carefully targeted victims and killed at random.

    What is needed is the public interest is full disclousure of all relevant facts whatever they might turn out to be.

    • admin Says:

      I doubt we’ll ever get full disclosure – but according to the Daily Telegraph, the Police have said Bird was NOT on any medication… I presume that’s according to his doctor. Of course in the age of the internet he could have been buying online and self medicating.

      I would have thought enough time has passed for toxicology reports to be available.

  6. Matthew Holford Says:

    admin wrote:
    “…the Police have said Bird was NOT on any medication…”

    Sorry, but I waste absolutely no opportunity to mention MK-ULTRA… I read some of the files that Bill Clinton was kind enough to release into the public domain, twenty-odd years ago. Apparently, local law enforcement and “friendly” quacks were used extensively, in order to cover up any “unfortunate incidents”.

    Please don’t for one minute imagine that I think Bird was the victim of some kind of bizarre, covert mind-altering drugs experiment, a la MK-ULTRA, because there’s no evidence that such a thing happened (and even if he was, there still wouldn’t be any evidence!). I just like to take potshots at Eli and the CIA!


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