/ Modified feb 15, 2023 8:21 a.m.

White nationalist dies before Tucson trial

Teddy von Nukem was one of the key faces of the 2017 Unite the Right march,

Tucson march sign hero Tucsonans protest the events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

A prominent white nationalist who took part in the infamous "Unite the Right" rally in 2017 apparently took his own life as he was scheduled to go on trial on a drug charge in a Tucson federal court.

Marchers chanted "You will not replace us" at a torchlit rally on a Virginia college campus in 2017. One of the best-known photographs from that night shows 30-year-old Teddy Joseph Von Nukem, wearing a plain black polo shirt and carrying a tiki torch at the head of the march.

Von Nukem was born Teddy Landrum in Phoenix and changed his name to Von Nukem after a videogame character. He was active in the alt-right movement. In 2021, von Nukem was arrested at the Lukeville port of entry, after customs agents said they found 33 pounds of fentanyl tablets in bags hidden in his SUV.

Von Nukem was scheduled to go on trial on drug possession and conspiracy charges in Tucson on January 30th. When he didn't show, the judge issued an arrest warrant. Less than an hour later von Nukem's wife called the court from their home in Missouri, saying there was an emergency.

Tuesday independent journalist Molly Conger reported on Twitter that von Nukem had died the same morning the Tucson trial was to begin. Later the Daily Beast website reported a death certificate showed the 35-year-old died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. An obituary posted by his hometown funeral home was taken down after the news surfaced Tuesday.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
AZPM is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona