How neo-Nazis think: Photojournalist spends three years following skinheads’ lives (with photos)

Brett Gundlock launches documentary project to understand extremist ideologies of white supremacists

By Michele Jarvie, Calgary Herald September 10, 2012

Photo by Brett Gundlock/Boreal Collective Tyler Sturrup, lying on floor, and Rob Reitmeier, right, in a vicious fight.
Photo by Brett Gundlock/Boreal Collective Tyler Sturrup, lying on floor, and Rob Reitmeier, right, in a vicious fight.

It could have been any four Calgary men on the bus headed downtown. Except that three of the four were among the most dangerous skinheads in Canada. And that was a very unfortunate thing for the Asian teens who were now the centre of their attention.

Fuelled by alcohol, Rob, Tyler and Kevin, leaders of Western European Bloodline, a neo-Nazi group, began with taunts about the Asian kids’ language and race. That increased to more aggressive behaviour, until the skinheads were standing over the cowering group of terrified high schoolers, debating how far to take it.

As the bus pulled to a stop downtown, Rob called off his cohorts, as he was in violation of his probation. Being out at night and drinking would be a direct trip to jail if caught.

They all laughed and walked into the night, getting off on the shot of adrenalin.

That left the fourth man in the group to face up to what had just occurred.

“Seeing the fear, confusion and pain in the eyes of everyone on the bus was too much to bear. When those eyes swung towards me, I wanted to apologize and explain my involvement to the victims on that southbound bus,” says Brett Gundlock, a photojournalist who was with the skinheads that day and documented the movement for three years.

That was two years ago. Currently Tyler Sturrup and Rob Reitmeier are behind bars, awaiting trial on charges of second-degree murder related to the beating death of Mark Mariani in an alley in October 2010, eight months after the bus incident.

“These are the true believers, the warriors of a race war they believe is being waged against whites worldwide. Based on ideologies from a dark time in the history of humanity, skinheads feel they are on a path of righteousness. Penalized by society, they will only answer to God,” explains Gundlock.

“These were my friends for three years.”


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