Police today confirmed that Cumbria gun killer Derrick Bird in fact selected his victims "with care". Bird, who is said to be resting this weekend after a draining day on Wednesday, apparently sent out a questionnaire to prospective victims the week before the killings.
Police have refused to reveal the exact format of the document but one source within the enquiry described it as a "cereal-packet" type quiz, with 10 questions and an: "I don't want to be shot next week because..." tie-breaker at the end.
Those scoring less than 6/10 were added to the hit-list along with others against whom Bird held a grudge.
Two other locals on the target list, Marjorie Rawlinson and James Dipper were on holiday at the time of the killings and have expressed themselces: "lucky to be alive". Rawlinson was apparently targeted because in 1997 she had failed to pass Bird a salt cellar in a local tearoom, while Dipper had allegedly caused some drip marks on Bird's left shoe during a wonky urination at a local WC in 2002.
Meanwhile PM David Cameron, visiting the area today cautioned:
"We must avoid kneejerk reactions by the public. After all we haven't heard Mr Bird's side of the story yet."