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Bertil Fox The Bodybuilder

Bodybuilder Bertil Fox

Bertil Fox is a British IFBB professional bodybuilder who was born on January 5, 1951 in Saint Kitts. St. Kitts, also known more formally as Saint Christopher Island, is an island in the West Indies and is in what used to be “pirate territory” as the west side of the island borders the Caribbean Sea, and the eastern coast faces the Atlantic Ocean. The island originally produced tobacco but in 1640, due to stiff competition from the colony of Virginia, it changed to sugar cane. Sugar cane cultivation created a labor demand which prompted importation of African slaves on a grand scale. Purchasing slave labor was outlawed in the British Empire by an Act of Parliament in 1807. An Act of Parliment abolished slavery itself shortly thereafter on the first of August, 1834, although formerly enslaved people’s emancipation was followed by four years apprenticeship so sugar cane planters didn’t lose their entire labor force.

Bertil Fox is among several British bodybuilder’s originally from the West Indies, including writer/Order of the British Empire awardee/pop singer Rick Wayne(born named Learie Carasco in St. Lucia and also emigrated to England) and Wilf Sylvester who grew up near Castries in St Lucia. One year old Bertil emigrated to London, England, with his family in 1952. He then moved to Northampton and didn’t return to St. Kitts for over 40 years. Northampton is in the very heart of England and is the county town of Northamptonshire in the East Midlands of England. Northamptonshire is home to some of the most beautiful countryside in England. To quote Bertil Fox, “I’m 100% British. I think, I act and talk like an Englishman, not like someone from the West Indies.”

A cousin urged Bertil to start bodybuilding and at 18 years of age he won his first contest, the 1969 NABBA Jr Mr. Britain. Fox started winning nearly every major non-IFBB bodybuilding contest including the 1976 AAU Mr. World, the amateur 1977 NABBA Mr. Universe and the professional NABBA Mr. Universe in 1978 and 1979. Bodybuilders would see Bertil Fox mainly in magazines that weren’t owned by Joe Weider as it was in Weider’s interest to only promote and feature bodybuilders who competed in the International Federation of Bodybuilders, which Joe and his brother Ben founded in 1946 in Montreal, Canada. The Weider organization was the big time, especially for Fox who was a train(subway) driver on the London Underground. The London Underground is not a cloak-and-dagger subversive group but is a public rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex. It’s also known as Underground or the Tube.

Joe Weider sponsored Fox’s move to Los Angeles in 1981. Fox started appearing in Muscle and Fitness(Muscle and Fitness had been called Muscle Builder and Power from 1953 until 1980)and competed in IFBB contests for the next 13 years. It was Bill Reynolds, Flex magazine’s(a Weider pubication) editor-in-chief at the beginning of Fox’s IFBB career, who gave Fox the nickname “Brutal Bertil” allegedly for his high-volume and extremely heavy training. 5’10”, some say 5′ 8″, 240 pound Bertil Fox has a 25 year bodybuilding competition record before retiring in 1995. His best competition professionally was a placing 5th at the 1983 IFBB Mr. Olympia.

Bertil Fox and Leyoca Browne

Bertil Fox Murder Conviction

Bertil Fox had retired from bodybuilding in 1995 at the age of 44. He had stated previously that he didn’t return to St. Kitts for over 40 year after moving to England with his parents at one year of age.  On September 30, 1997, in St. Kitts and Nevis, 20-year-old beauty queen Leyoca Browne, Fox’s former fiancée, and her mother, 36-year-old Violet Browne, were fatally shot by Fox who was then 46 years old. Fox was arrested and charged with the murders. After public outrage due to an initial trial ending in a hung jury(split five to four for acquittal), Fox was retried, found guilty on May 22, 1998, and sentenced to death by hanging. After British human rights lawyers appealed to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which is one of the highest courts in the United Kingdom, his sentence was changed to life in prison. St. Kitts has been affiliated with the Kingdom of Great Britain, now the United Kingdom, since 1783. As of this writing Fox is 65 years old and has spent almost two decades behind bars. (See update link at bottom of page)

Unexpected Connections: Robert Blake, Bertil Fox, and Their Shared Beginnings


In the annals of criminal justice, there are cases that capture the public’s imagination, intertwining the lives of individuals in unexpected ways. Two such tales revolve around actor Robert Blake and bodybuilder Bertil Fox. What makes their stories all the more intriguing is an early chapter that connects them before their separate journeys into infamy, in a photo shoot featured in Joe Weider’s Muscle and Fitness magazine. Although their careers were worlds apart, their narratives share striking similarities in the realms of high-profile legal trials and complex human stories.

Robert Blake: A Nightmarish Evening

On May 4, 2001, Robert Blake, the acclaimed actor known for his roles in “In Cold Blood” and “Baretta,” found himself embroiled in a chilling incident. That fateful evening, Blake took Bonny Lee Bakley out for dinner at Vitello’s Italian Restaurant in Studio City, California. However, the night took a dark turn when Bakley was fatally shot in the head while seated in Blake’s vehicle, parked discreetly on a side street near the restaurant.

Blake’s narrative is marked by his claim that he had left the restaurant to retrieve a pistol he had accidentally left behind. He steadfastly maintained that he was not present when the tragic shooting occurred. The pistol discovered in the restaurant did not match the murder weapon, adding layers of complexity to the case.

Legal Ordeal and Trial

Blake’s criminal trial for murder commenced on December 20, 2004, with the prosecution presenting its opening statements. The subsequent day brought forth the defense’s perspective. The prosecution argued that Blake intentionally murdered Bakley, alleging that he sought to free himself from a loveless marriage. In contrast, the defense countered that Blake was an innocent victim ensnared by circumstantial and fabricated evidence.

An intriguing facet of the trial included testimonies from Ronald McLarty and Gary Hambleton, who claimed that Blake had solicited them to carry out the murder of Bakley. The defense, in response, raised questions about McLarty’s mental health and Hambleton’s criminal history. A pivotal element in Blake’s defense was the lack of gunshot residue on his hands, further bolstering the argument that he was not the perpetrator.

One notable aspect of the trial was Robert Blake’s choice not to testify, a decision that added a layer of intrigue to the proceedings.

Acquittal and Public Opinion

The conclusion of the legal saga for Robert Blake arrived on March 16, 2005. In a stunning verdict, he was found not guilty of murder and cleared of one of the two counts of solicitation of murder. The other count, solicitation to commit murder, was dropped due to a deadlocked jury, with an 11-1 majority in favor of acquittal.

The verdict was met with a mix of emotions in the court of public opinion. While some believed that Blake was guilty, others contended that the evidence presented was insufficient to secure a conviction. The complexity of the case and the questions surrounding it persist to this day.

Bertil Fox: A Tragic Twist of Fate

In the world of bodybuilding, Bertil Fox carved a niche for himself as a prominent figure. Born on January 5, 1951, in Saint Kitts and Nevis, Fox’s career took an abrupt and tragic turn.

Before the fateful events that would shape his future, Bertil Fox shared a connection with Robert Blake in an unexpected manner. Both were featured in a photoshoot for Joe Weider’s Muscle and Fitness magazine, where they trained together in a gym, spotting and assisting each other in exercises. This early connection underscores the unpredictable twists that life can take.

On September 30, 1997, in Saint Kitts and Nevis, Bertil Fox was implicated in a heart-wrenching crime. Fox, aged 46 at the time, was accused of the fatal shooting of 20-year-old beauty queen Leyoca Browne and her 36-year-old mother, Violet Browne. Adding to the shock, Leyoca Browne had been previously engaged to Fox, making the incident even more tragic.

Legal Proceedings and Sentence

Bertil Fox’s legal journey was marked by a tumultuous trial that captured significant attention. In May 1998, he was convicted of the murders of Leyoca and her mother and initially sentenced to death by hanging. The weight of the crime and the ensuing legal battle cast a shadow over Fox’s reputation, once marked by his bodybuilding successes.

Remarkably, after an appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, Fox’s sentence was later changed to life in prison. His life, once characterized by triumphs in bodybuilding, had taken an irrevocable turn.

A Pardon and New Beginning

In an unexpected twist that mirrors the complexities of life itself, Bertil Fox was granted a pardon on August 4, 2022, by the Governor General of Saint Kitts and Nevis. After serving 25 years, Fox walked free and began life anew in the United Kingdom. His story is a reminder that life’s path can lead to surprising destinations, and the choices one makes can shape one’s legacy.


The parallel tales of Robert Blake and Bertil Fox, individuals from vastly different worlds, highlight the unpredictability of life’s journey. Their connection, however indirect, through the complex legal trials that dominated their lives and an early photo shoot, serves as a testament to the shared human experiences that transcend the boundaries of careers, backgrounds, and expectations.

Bertil Fox Competition Record

Mr Britain – NABBA, Junior, 1st
Mr Britain – NABBA, Junior, 1st
Mr Britain – NABBA, Junior, 1st
Mr Europe, Junior, 1st
Mr Britain – NABBA, Winner
Mr Europe, Medium, 1st
Mr Europe, Overall Winner
Mr Universe – NABBA, Medium, 2nd
Mr World – AAU, Winner
Mr World – AAU, Most Muscular, 1st
Mr World – AAU, Medium, 1st
Mr Universe – NABBA, Medium, 1st
Mr Universe – NABBA, Overall Winner
Universe – Pro – NABBA, Winner
Universe – Pro – NABBA, Winner
World Championships – WABBA, Professional, 2nd
Grand Prix Belgium – IFBB, 5th
Night of Champions – IFBB, 2nd
Olympia – IFBB, 8th
Grand Prix Sweden – IFBB, 4th
Grand Prix Switzerland – IFBB, 2nd
Olympia – IFBB, 5th
World Pro Championships – IFBB, 5th
Olympia – IFBB, 7th
Grand Prix Germany – IFBB, 9th
Night of Champions – IFBB, 7th
Olympia – IFBB, 12th
Arnold Classic – IFBB, 6th
Grand Prix Melbourne – IFBB, 6th
Olympia – IFBB, 11th
World Pro Championships – IFBB, 5th
Arnold Classic – IFBB, 16th
Pittsburgh Pro Invitational – IFBB, 9th
Ironman Pro Invitational – IFBB, 13th

About Yegor Khzokhlachev 807 Articles
Gorilla at Large

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