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Bertil Fox The Bodybuilder

Bertil Fox
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 former 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 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”, 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.

Leyoca Browne Bertil Fox
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.

Bertil Fox Competition Record

1969
Mr Britain – NABBA, Junior, 1st
1970
Mr Britain – NABBA, Junior, 1st
1971
Mr Britain – NABBA, Junior, 1st
Mr Europe, Junior, 1st
1976
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
1977
Mr Universe – NABBA, Medium, 1st
Mr Universe – NABBA, Overall Winner
1978
Universe – Pro – NABBA, Winner
1979
Universe – Pro – NABBA, Winner
1980
World Championships – WABBA, Professional, 2nd
1981
Grand Prix Belgium – IFBB, 5th
1982
Night of Champions – IFBB, 2nd
Olympia – IFBB, 8th
1983
Grand Prix Sweden – IFBB, 4th
Grand Prix Switzerland – IFBB, 2nd
Olympia – IFBB, 5th
1984
World Pro Championships – IFBB, 5th
1986
Olympia – IFBB, 7th
1987
Grand Prix Germany – IFBB, 9th
Night of Champions – IFBB, 7th
Olympia – IFBB, 12th
1989
Arnold Classic – IFBB, 6th
Grand Prix Melbourne – IFBB, 6th
Olympia – IFBB, 11th
World Pro Championships – IFBB, 5th
1992
Arnold Classic – IFBB, 16th
Pittsburgh Pro Invitational – IFBB, 9th
1994
Ironman Pro Invitational – IFBB, 13th

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