The British Exit (or “Brexit,” as it’s been dubbed) was a 2016 referendum in which British citizens voted to exit the European Union. Far-right radicals feared that immigrants were taking their country away from them and that the United Kingdom would lose its place in the world. Brexit ultimately resulted in 52 percent of the country voting to leave the union.
Thomas Mair, 53, was one of those far-right extremists who supported the European Union taking the isolationist approach. Just one week before U.K. citizens voted on Brexit, he did something completely horrific. But when the police went into his home, they found his crime was only the tip of a much larger—a more horrifying—iceberg…
On June 23, 2016, tensions in the United Kingdom were at an all time high. The Brexit vote was just one week away, and the country was divided. Things were on the verge of getting ugly if something didn’t change soon.
Half of the nation wanted to leave the European Union and the other half was desperate to stay connected to the rest of Europe. Conservative isolationists were terrified that immigrants were taking over the nation.
However, liberal members of the government and the public disagreed. Eager to keep their country connected to the world, British Labour Member of Parliament Jo Cox was one of those who staunchly opposed Brexit.
She was vocal in her beliefs, and for better or worse, people paid attention to what she had to say. Cox wasn’t just a politician; she was a good person, too. She was a passionate, open-hearted, inclusive, and generous woman, according to her friends—and it was unfortunate.
Why was her good nature and ability to reach people unfortunate? Because one of the people who heard Cox’s message was Thomas Mair. Not only was Mair serious about agreeing with Brexit, but he was also willing to do anything to make sure that it happened.
An out and proud Nazi and white supremacist, Mair felt he had to silence Cox and send a message. Usually, when two people disagree politically, it ends in a heated debate—but Mair wanted more.
Mair planned for months, coming up with a scheme to silence Cox and get the entire country’s attention, and that’s exactly what happened. During a campaign event, he shot and stabbed her to death in front of a crowd. He was tracked down and apprehended relatively quickly.
To make matters even more horrific, Mair did not just murder Cox. He did it while yelling, “This is for Britain,” “keep Britain independent,” and “Britain first,” making his motive crystal clear.
After police captured Mair after he murdered Cox, they began investigating his home to search for evidence. What they uncovered proved that he was even more deeply deranged than they thought…
Mair’s neighbors described him as a shy and unassuming man who rarely entertained any guests. In truth, he was plotting to murder a member of the British parliament from the comfort and seclusion of his two-bedroom apartment.
His bookshelves were lined with Nazi writings and publications in support of racial hygiene. Some of the titles included March Of The Titans: A History Of The White Race and Death and Deliverance.
Mair’s bookshelves might have been disturbing, but the upsetting discoveries didn’t stop there. When authorities searched his computer, they found he’d been conducting disturbing searches over a long period of time.
He’d spent a lot of time preparing a dossier on Cox and did immense research on other British politicians who were the focus of his hatred. He frequently visited far-right websites about hate groups like the SS and the Ku Klux Klan.
Mair also searched for information on Ian Gow, the last member of parliament to be assassinated. When interviewed by authorities later, he admitted that he was hoping to learn from that crime when the time came for him to kill Cox.
Authorities found that Mair’s cabinets were practically empty. They noted that he only had two cans of baked beans and a bottle of ketchup. He may have been a terrifying criminal, but he was also just a sad, pathetic, and lonely man.
Mair was also a subscriber to multiple controversial far-right publications including The Journal of a South African White Supremacist Political Party and The National Vanguard; they were known publications dedicated to spreading a message of hate.
Mair kept newspaper articles about Norwegian terrorist and mass murderer Anders Breivik, too, whom authorities believe he idolized. He kept the clippings from the papers about Breivik in a makeshift shrine near his bed.
When his case made it trial, the judge didn’t take Mair’s crimes lightly. He sentenced Mair to a lifetime in prison, not just for murder, but for murder with the intent to further the cause of white supremacy in England.
At the time of his sentencing, Mair asked the judge if he might have an opportunity to make a statement. The judge shut him down, saying that he made his statement the day he took Cox’s life.
It’s truly terrifying that people like Thomas Mair agree with the hateful publications they read—especially enough to act on it and take another person’s life. What a disturbing look into this man’s mind.
Thank goodness this man was apprehended and subjected to the harshest measures that the law allows. It’s always reassuring to see hatred like this stopped in its tracks.
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