He Posed as a Neo-Nazi and Caught the London Nail Bomber

NetflixNazis are the absolute worst, and for yet another reminder of that age-old fact, there’s Nail Bomber: Manhunt, Netflix’s non-fiction revisitation of the 1999 London bombings that left three people dead and nearly 150 injured. Carried out by a neo-Nazi named David Copeland whose motivation was “to cause a racial war in this country,” the three attacks against England’s Black and gay communities terrorized the country and, for a time, baffled police. While director Daniel Vernon’s documentary (premiering May 26) doesn’t dig deeply enough into its tale—preferring instead to reside on the suspenseful surface throughout—it serves as a chilling warning that multicultural societies remain at risk from white-nationalist outfits that view homogeny as the only true path forward, and Hitler as their guiding light.Nail Bomber: Manhunt is a straightforward chronological retelling of this notorious period in London’s history, employing archival footage and interviews with survivors and investigators to lay out the specifics of its saga. Of particular note is the participation of “Arthur,” a man who speaks to director Vernon while wearing a hoodie, his face concealed in shadow in order to keep his true identity a secret. As a young anti-fascist, Arthur joined the intelligence-gathering wing of Searchlight, an anti-fascist magazine whose mission was to infiltrate and monitor fascist groups. Going undercover as a hatemonger was a harrowing assignment for Arthur—as well as a thrilling one, with the covert operative admitting, “I like being a spy. It’s a buzz.”The ‘Woke’ White Lesbian Couple That Secretly Abused Their 6 Adopted Black KidsArthur’s main target was the British National Party (BNP), a far-right political group led by John Tyndall, who in archival footage is seen spewing anti-immigrant, pro-white ugliness to legions of uniformly Caucasian admirers (as one person puts it, Tyndall was “a magnet for misfits, lunatics, and losers”). Those followers, Arthur and others explain, were typically working-class intolerant men who’d attend BNP meetings held at pubs, where literature about the Nazis and making bombs, as well as hit lists about preferred targets, were freely disseminated. The idea was to rile up the Nazi faithful, get them drunk, and give them ideas about who to strike out against—and strike out they did, often leaving these gatherings and promptly assaulting innocent pedestrians.It was in this milieu that Copeland found a home, although despite the young man once appearing in a photo alongside Tyndall, police initially had no clue who Copeland was, much less that he was the fiend behind the bombings. When the first device went off in a crowded market street in Brixton, south London, on Saturday, April 17, 1999, it came without warning. It was a miracle that no one was fatally hurt, and Vernon’s documentary benefits from firsthand accounts of the moments directly before and after the blast. Two men recount how, after finding the bomb, they watched as a drug addict literally removed the explosive from the bag and then ran off with the bag—an absurd and unreal sight that, to this day, leaves them astonished.Two more detonations swiftly followed: on Saturday, April 24, on Brick Lane in London’s East End, and on Friday, April 30, at The Admiral Duncan pub (a prominent gay venue) on Old Compton Street in Soho, central London. In each case, the bomb was designed for maximum carnage, its hundreds of nails intended to maim and kill. Though police were apparently slow to concede that the first two attacks were racially motivated—or that the killer had an interest in slaughtering minorities—the investigation soon turned on CCTV footage from the bombings and the surrounding areas, which revealed a young white male in a white baseball cap carrying around suspicious shoulder bags. Flyers and posters were plastered across London and broadcast on the news and in the papers, and once that happened, Nail Bomber: Manhunt turns its attention back to Arthur, who took one look at the photographs and realized that he potentially knew the perpetrator: a man known to him as “Dave from Barking.”Arthur is the most fascinating figure in Nail Bomber: Manhunt, confessing that the longer he stayed undercover with his white-nationalist BNP brothers, the more he became indoctrinated by their repugnant ideology, to the point that he “doubted the Holocaust happened.” Arthur’s candidness speaks directly and scarily to the way in which immersion in bubble-like environments—in person, and online—can result in brainwashing, and the selflessness of his sacrifice is hammered home during the film’s coda. Nonetheless, director Vernon misses an opportunity by not spending more time with Arthur—a decision undoubtedly guided by the need to protect him from his dangerous Nazi cohorts (who still believe he’s one of them) but deprives the proceedings of greater insight into his work.Nail Bomber: Manhunt’s superficiality extends to its refusal to both properly ID any of its on-camera speakers, and to tell us anything substantial about Copeland, whose path to terrorist neo-Nazism (and “to spread fear, resentment, and hatred”) is left wholly unremarked-upon. Even hints about Copeland’s homosexuality—which might have compelled him to carry out the Soho attack—are consigned to a brief audio clip of him angrily asserting his heterosexuality to the cops. Like the role that author Bernard O’Mahoney played in tricking Copeland to admit that he was fit to stand trial (through love letters in which O’Mahoney posed as a doting Aryan woman who admired the bombings), Copeland’s sexuality and general backstory are two of the many ripe-for-exploration threads that wind up sidelined by director Vernon, who prizes concision and propulsion (the entire affair runs a fleet 72 minutes) over depth.Images of inner audio-tape mechanisms and kaleidoscopic CT scans are the sole formal flourishes utilized by Nail Bomber: Manhunt, which otherwise tackles its chosen subject with taut efficiency and restraint (aided by Andrew Phillips’ nerve-wracking score). The lesson it forwards is a familiar one about white-nationalist fury (and its attractiveness to certain segments of the population), and the difficulty of thwarting lone-wolf terrorists. But in an age of increased neo-Nazi hate and minority-targeting crime, its timely resonance is impossible to miss.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

Liz Cheney has no issue with restrictive voting laws stemming from Trump's false claims of election fraud

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) doesn't see a connection between former President Donald Trump falsely claiming the 2020 presidential election was rigged and GOP legislators across the United States passing restrictive voting laws. Earlier this month, Cheney was ousted from her Republican leadership position after repeatedly criticizing Trump and his claims, saying he was hurting democracy. During an interview with Axios on HBO that aired Sunday, her assertion that there is no link between Trump and the voting laws was met with pushback from journalist Jonathan Swan, who reminded Cheney that last month, Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R) said Rudy Giuliani's false allegations of election fraud motivated lawmakers in his state to pass a law that makes it harder for voters to request and drop off absentee ballots and limits ballot drop boxes. "I think everybody should want a situation and a system where people who ought to be able to vote and have the right to vote can vote, and people who don't shouldn't," Cheney responded. Swan interjected, asking Cheney what problems Georgia, Texas, and Florida are trying to solve, since there hasn't been any evidence of widespread voter fraud. Each state is different with its own laws, Cheney said, and "what we can agree on is that what is happening right now is really dangerous." Cheney told Swan she will think about "sitting on the inaugural platform in January of 2001, watching Al Gore. ... I'm sure he didn't think he had lost. We had fought this politically very, very intense battle. And he conceded. He did the right thing for this nation. That is one of the one of the big differences between that and what we're dealing with now and the danger of Donald Trump today." More stories from theweek.com5 riotously funny cartoons about GOP resistance to the January 6 Commission21 runners killed after sudden, dramatic weather change during mountain race in ChinaBoycotting the 2022 Olympics

Blinken: Israelis, Palestinians must have 'equal measures' of 'security, peace, and dignity'

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday told ABC News it was "critical" that Israel and Hamas agree to a cease-fire, and now that it is in place, the United States can "make a pivot to building something more positive" in Gaza. The cease-fire went into effect on Friday, after 11 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas. More than 240 people were killed in Gaza and a dozen more in Israel, with dozens of children among the victims. Israeli airstrikes leveled buildings across Gaza and already-stressed health facilities are still struggling to care for the injured. Blinken said the Biden administration wants a two-state solution and the first step in getting there is to deal with "the grave humanitarian situation in Gaza. Then reconstruction, rebuilding what's been lost. And critically, engaging both sides in trying to start to make real improvements in the lives of people so that Israelis and Palestinians can live with equal measures of security, of peace, and dignity." It's "vitally important" that Palestinians "feel hope and have opportunity and can live in security just as it is for Israelis, and there should be equal measures," Blinken added. The militant group Hamas holds power in Gaza, and has brought "nothing but ruin to the Palestinian people," he said. In order to fund Gaza's rebuilding efforts without getting any money to Hamas, Blinken said the Biden administration will rely on "trusted, independent parties that can help do the reconstruction and the development, not some quasi-government authority." More stories from theweek.com5 riotously funny cartoons about GOP resistance to the January 6 Commission21 runners killed after sudden, dramatic weather change during mountain race in ChinaBoycotting the 2022 Olympics

Dad of 4-Year-Old Slain in Dallas Apologizes for Leaving Kids

via Trevor GernonThe father of the 4-year-old boy kidnapped from his bed and dumped dead on a Dallas street says he will never forgive himself for leaving his son and his twin brother with a friend while he skipped town under a cloud of legal problems.Trevor Gernon released a recorded statement on his sister’s YouTube account both apologizing for not taking care of his son Cash and asking the public not to be too hard on him.Gernon said that when he moved to Dallas, he moved in with an old friend, Monica Sherrod, and when he moved back to Houston “after an unsuccessful job hunt amongst other things” he decided they would be better off with her.“I felt it was in the best interest to not disrupt their routine,” he said of Cash and his brother, Carter, who was not harmed and is now with his mother.“They were comfortable and they were around other kids, and it appeared Monica was a trustworthy person. This choice I made with best of intentions has resulted in a most horrific outcome.”On May 15, an intruder was caught on a baby monitor camera sneaking into Cash and Carter’s bedroom at Sherrod’s home and lifting the still-sleeping boy from his bed.Two hours later, a passerby found the child’s body tossed on the street. Police said he had been stabbed.Darriynn Brown, 18, who has some nebulous ties to Sherrod’s family, was charged with kidnapping and burglary but police are waiting for the results of forensic tests to make a decision on murder charges. Investigators have not released a motive, and Brown’s mother has said she believes her son is being framed.Sherrod told reporters that Gernon left town after being ordered by a court into rehab. CrimeOnline obtained court records showing several outstanding charges against Gernon in Harris County.Gernon referenced his legal issues, saying in the recording, “I have to fear for my freedom as it is the goal of some to see me go to jail rather than grieve my little boy.” He did not disclose his location or legal status.Crying at times, he did take responsibility for failing to protect the twins.“I have paid the most ultimate and painful price for my poor judgment and I have to live with this devastation every single day,” he said.“I will never forgive myself. If I could, I would go back and do everything different. This is a nightmare that doesn’t go away once I open my eyes in the morning. We just don’t understand how this could happen to such a bright and cheerful kid.”Addressing the boys’ mother, Melinda Seagroves, he added, “I am so sorry that I failed to keep him safe. That is my job as his dad and I was not able to do that and I’m sorry.”As the Daily Beast reported, Gernon has racked up a string of arrests over the years, serving 68 days in county lockup for a 2018 assault on his father during an argument over a credit-card bill.The Strange New Turn in the Case of 4-Year-Old Cash GernonFollowing his indictment on felony drug possession charges last November, he failed to appear for a March 29, 2021, hearing and thus forfeited a $10,000 bond payment. There is now an open warrant out for his arrest.Johnny Flanagan, whose son gave Gernon a job at his shop until they had a falling-out, told The Daily Beast: “He’s one of these guys that kind of goes whichever way the wind blows, you know, and he'll do good for several months and then do bad for several months and you know, just up and disappear.”In the recording, Gernon pleaded for mercy in the court of public opinion.“I’m barely getting through a day that doesn’t take me to a dark place,” he said. “I hope you could understand how fragile we all are and how quickly things can turn upside down…“I would hope that we can all cooperate and band together to make sure Cash can get the justice he deserves.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

The Strange New Turn in the Case of 4-Year-Old Cash Gernon

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos by Dallas County Police DepartmentDALLAS—After the kidnapping and killing of 4-year-old Cash Gernon in Dallas last week, neighbor Jose Alvarado checked his security cameras for any footage that might help investigators.What he found sent a chill up his spine.The video is from 10 weeks before little Cash was left dead of stab wounds on the ground. But it shows the teenager charged with abducting him, Darriynn Brown, skulking down the street, opening Alvarado’s backyard gate and peering in before quickly walking away.“It’s really scary,” Alvarado told The Daily Beast. “I have two kids, one girl and one boy, and they play basketball in the backyard.”Alvarado’s house shares a back alley with the home of Monica Sherrod, 35, who was taking care of Cash and his twin, Carter. She has said she was dating the twins’ father, Trevor Gernon, a 31-year-old construction worker, until he reportedly left town in March when a court ordered him to report to rehab.That left Sherrod to care for the boys for the next two months—unbeknownst to their mother, Melinda Seagroves, who lives in Houston.Early on the morning of May 15, a young man crept into the twins’ bedroom, lifted a still-sleeping Cash out of the toddler bed he shared with Carter, and walked out—a chilling scene captured in grainy black and white by a baby monitor.The footage, obtained by the Daily Mail, shows the intruder returning about two hours later, hovering over the bed where Carter remained in slumber, before abruptly leaving as though he was startled by something.By then, Cash was already dead.Antwainese Square, a Dallas teacher who lives in the area, was out for her morning walk around 6:45 a.m. when she saw a clump of hair on the ground she thought belonged to a dog.“I was on the phone with my mom,” Square told The Daily Beast. “As I got closer, I could see an arm and a foot and I just began crying, saying, ‘Mom, I think I'm coming up on a body.’ And I started, ‘Mommy, it’s a child! It’s a child!’ And the baby had blood all over his face. At that point, my mom told me to get off the phone with her and immediately call 911… The baby had ants all over the bottom of his feet. So I pretty much knew that he was gone.”Square said she remembers “being in denial,” and hoped Cash was actually just sleeping even though he was obviously dead. “I was just trying to put together all possible stories; there was no way in my mind that I would think somebody would do that to a kid,” she said, adding that she stayed with Cash’s body until police and paramedics arrived so no one would run over him.“One couple that was leaving out of their garage, I had to stop them to let them know that this baby was on the ground,” Square said.More than three hours later, Sherrod reported Cash missing. “The day that he was missing, I got up late and thought it was weird,” Sherrod would later tell the Daily Mail. “I was like, ‘It's 10 o'clock already, you guys.’ So I figured Cash was still in bed.” Cash Gernon was abducted out of his bed on May 15. Handout Later that day, police arrested Brown, 18, who lives with his parents about a half-mile from where Cash’s body was found, according to court documents. He was charged with kidnapping and burglary, but not murder because police said they are waiting for the result of forensic tests.Held in lieu of $1.5 million bail, Brown could not be reached for comment and does not have a lawyer listed in court records. His mother, Mimi, has told reporters that she believes her son is being framed.A tangled web of relationships, criminal records, and an unknown motive hangs over the case.Sherrod, the mother of several children, has a criminal record that includes assault and DWI. Trevor Gernon, who has an extensive rap sheet, appears to have vanished; a phone number listed under his name was disconnected. Darriynn Brown, meanwhile, is reportedly a friend of one of Sherrod’s children and had been seen playing with children in Sherrod’s care.Sherrod initially characterized any relationship she or her kids had with Brown, who attended the same high school as at least one of the boys living in her house, as minimal. She later told a reporter that Brown had visited her home two days before Cash’s murder, but she was out grocery shopping at the time.According to multiple neighbors, Brown was definitely not an unfamiliar face around the neighborhood. One told The Daily Beast the teen regularly played football and basketball with some of the kids who lived with Sherrod. Others said they had spotted Brown on their Ring security cameras hanging out in the area.Little information has emerged about Seagroves, who now has custody of Carter. Seagroves did not respond to multiple interview requests, but her mother, Connie Ward, told The Daily Beast this week: “We are not ready to give any kind of statement. My family is broken. It has been a nightmare listening and watching the news about our baby and stories being reported that are false.”Seagroves does not appear to have had any brushes with the law, but court records show both Sherrod and Gernon have records that include arrests for assaulting their own parents.In 2013, Sherrod pleaded guilty to attacking her mother, Lezlee Pinkerton. According to a criminal affidavit signed by Officer Glenn Burkheimer-Lubeck of the Harris County Constable’s Office, Sherrod “intentionally struck” Pinkerton in the head and chest with her hand and pulled her to the ground, then “cause[d] bodily injury” to Pinkerton “by stomping on [Pinkerton’s] toes with her feet.”“Complainant reports that she believes her toes are broken,” the affidavit says. Sherrod was sentenced to two years of community supervision, participation in a domestic violence treatment program, a $100 donation to a family violence center, and a $200 fine.In 2018, Gernon was arrested by deputies from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office for assaulting his father, Roger Gernon, during a dispute over a credit card bill, Texas court records show. When Roger Gernon told his son that he was going to call the police, Trevor grabbed the phone away, bloodied his dad’s arm with his fingernails, and elbowed him in the chest. Charged with misdemeanor assault and interference with an emergency telephone call, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 68 days in county jail.In addition to the assault of family members, both Sherrod and Gernon have a history of theft, fraud, and drug possession.Sherrod’s most recent arrest was for DWI; she has also pleaded guilty to identity fraud charges, meth possession, driving without a license, and misdemeanor theft.Gernon’s most recent arrest was for the possession of narcotics in 2020. He was previously charged for possession of methamphetamine in 2016. His rap sheet includes a range of other crimes.Neal Flanagan, who co-owns a corrosion-proofing business, told The Daily Beast he met Gernon in high school, then reconnected in 2016. He gave Gernon a bit of work because he was struggling. Then things went sideways.“My ex-wife and I were married at the time,” said Flanagan. “We had started having issues. She separated from me in January 2017. That’s when Trevor and her started seeing each other.”“I never did see him after,” said Flanagan. “A couple years later, he messaged me on Facebook. Like, ‘Hey buddy. How you been?’ Like nothing ever happened."When he was sober, Gernon “was as good as you could ask for,” Neal’s father, Johnny Flanagan, said. But he added that he wasn’t surprised Gernon took off without his boys.“He's one of these guys that kind of goes whichever way the wind blows, you know, and he'll do good for several months and then do bad for several months and you know, just up and disappear,” Flanagan said.Gernon’s whereabouts are unknown. Following his indictment on felony drug possession charges last November, he failed to appear for a March 29, 2021, hearing and thus forfeited a $10,000 bond payment. There is now an open warrant out for his arrest.None of the various defense lawyers who represented Sherrod or Gernon in court agreed to speak, citing attorney-client privilege.Cash’s death has raised many questions about those responsible for him. But in the neighborhood where he spent his last months, the overriding mystery is why would someone kill a defenseless child and leave him on the street like trash. Steven Monacelli The solidly working-class Mountain Creek section of Dallas is a quiet place, bordered on one side by the 600-acre Cedar Ridge nature preserve. Houses are in decent shape, and yards are clean. On the street where Cash’s body was found, locals have been stopping at a shrine to leave toys, flowers, and other mementos.The woman who found Cash’s body, meanwhile, has been struggling with her emotions since that morning.“It's been difficult. It really has been difficult,” Square told The Daily Beast.“I have a 3-year-old and as we're dealing with this and processing this, I'm learning that I have little triggers. If I see a little boy, 4, 3, 5, I will burst out crying. It’s just a trigger for me. My own daughter is like a trigger. Sometimes she'll say something and I'll cry.“Because even though I didn't know that baby, he was just robbed of his life. So, it's been really hard. It's been really hard to just process this. And no matter how much you try to move on, you can't unsee what you saw.”Rohrlich reported from New York and Monacelli from DallasRead more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.