Netflix has dropped a trailer for its upcoming documentary Nail bomber: Manhunt following the series of nail bombings in London twenty years ago. The bombings were committed by far-right terrorist David Copeland, who became known as the nail bomber. Copeland targeted ethnic minorities and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
The nail bombings occurred over three successive weekends between April 17 – 30, killing three people and injuring over a hundred, many severely. The bombs were detonated in Brixton, an area with a large black community, then in Brick Lane, which had a large Bengali community and lastly, at the Admiral Duncan pub in Soho, an LGBTQ+ bar.
The last explosion, detonated in a crowded gay bar, contained 1,500 nails and killed three friends; Andrea Dykes, 27, who was pregnant, John Light, 32, and Nik Moore, 31, from Essex. Copeland, 22 at the time, was arrested in his home after the Admiral Duncan bomb, where police found Nazi flags on his wall.
The documentary explores how Copeland was caught, speaking to law enforcement officials, community leaders, journalists and an undercover informant in the far-right who was crucial for authorities in finding the nail bomber. This informant spent a decade gathering intelligence in neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups and shines a light on the extent of these groups’ hatred.
When questioned by the police, Copeland revealed he would have continued targeting other minority communities had he not been caught. He allegedly told police it was his intention to start a race war and see a rise in white people voting for the British National Party, of which he was a member. He revealed he was a Nazi, who believed in a white ‘master race’.
Copeland also allegedly told police he hated homosexuals and that although his other two targets, in Brixton and Brick Lane, were racial, the attack on the Admiral Duncan was “personal”. According to the prosecution in Copeland’s case, “he regarded gay men as perverted degenerates who were no use to society and should be put to death”.
Copeland also threatened to assassinate Geri Halliwell during a live performance at the 2000 BRIT Awards because of her friendship with George Michael. Halliwell says the police intercepted his plan to shoot her on stage. She told The Sun, “he hated me for camping it up, for loving the gays and for being friends with George”. Halliwell said she was advised by police not to go through with the performance but decided she was “not going to be bullied”.
Nail bomber: Manhunt, directed by Daniel Vernon, will be available to stream from May 26 and includes interview records of Copeland and investigators as well as footage of the devastation caused by the bombs.
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