Over 80 people attend funeral of Cumbrian killer

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The Independent Online

With funerals of the people he murdered completed, it was the turn, late yesterday afternoon amid secrecy and tight security, for Derrick Bird’s cremation service.

More than 80 people gathered at Distington Crematorium to remember the man who murdered 12 people, including his twin brother, David, and wounded several others in a killing spree that shocked a nation.

Mourners included relatives – though some, including his mother, stayed away – friends and at least one victimwho survived being shot by the cab driver during the rampage on June 2 that ended only when he killed himself.

The service was arranged in secrecy after the crematorium’s usual 4.30 closing time. It was held after those of the victims as a mark of respect to them. Brian Spencer read a statement on behalf of Bird’s sons, Graeme, 28, and Jamie, 16:

“We will never understand what was going on in his mind on Wednesday June 2nd, or why he injured and killed so many people. All we can say is we are utterly devastated by his actions. We are all truly saddened by the legacy of pain he has left behind. Our love, thoughts and sympathy are with all those suffering at this time.”

Among the relatives who stayed away were the family of the killer’s twin brother, including his daughters Rachel, Tracey, and Katie, who said in a statement: “We do not feel physically and emotionally strong enough to attend the funeral.”