Home Tiki torch Nazi from 2017 rally kills himself on day fentanyl smuggling case was to begin

Tiki torch Nazi from 2017 rally kills himself on day fentanyl smuggling case was to begin

Chris Graham
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(© Bram – stock.adobe.com)

One of the master race people with tiki torches ranting about Jews and immigrants on UVA’s Central Grounds in 2017 killed himself last month as he was about to stand trial on fentanyl smuggling charges.

Teddy Joseph Von Nukem, 35, had been scheduled to stand trial on Jan. 30 on charges stemming from a 2021 traffic stop in Arizona in which Customs and Border Protection agents discovered 15 kilograms of fentanyl pills hidden behind the seats and floor compartment of his 2019 Nissan Pathfinder.

His death was first reported by independent Charlottesville journalist Molly Conger.

According to investigators, Von Nukem – born Teddy Landrum, before legally changing his name in 2012 – admitted that he had been paid 4,000 Mexican pesos (around $215) to smuggle the pills into the country.

A warrant was issued for his arrest after he missed the first day of the trial, but as the warrant was being written, Von Nuke was already dead, after shooting himself behind a hay shed at his Missouri home.

Von Nukem wasn’t just one of the comically angry-looking white guys with torches at the “Jews will not replace us” rally in 2017; he was literally a face of that movement, with images of him in his black T-shirt going out on wire services the world over.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].