Inside the incel cult after ‘virgin’ Jake Davison murders 5 in Plymouth shooting
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When Plymouth murderer Jake Davison killed five people and then himself in the UK's worst mass shooting for 10 years, the entire nation was left in a state of shock.
But Davison's cruel attack, which included the murders of his mum and a 3-year-old toddler on the street, was just the end of the dark road Jake is feared to have been heading on for years.
The 22-year-old had shared a lot of beliefs of the so-called incel (involuntary celibate) movement and claimed that he was a virgin with no social skills and no hope of getting a girlfriend.
That resignation made Jake incredibly lonely, like thousands of his fellow incels – and ready to lash out.
His warped ideas about human contact don't excuse Davison's heinous crimes yesterday.
But they do go some way to explain just why he took his revenge in the way he did – and how we might be able to prevent such attacks repeating themselves.
Made up of lonesome young men who feel they are being oppressed by women due to a perceived lack of sexual interest, the incel cult has inspired a number of fatal mass shootings and massacres.
When Danyal Hussein murdered two sisters in Wembley Park in June last year, investigators found his web history littered with references to the movement.
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The same was true of Tres Genco, a young man arrested for plotting a mass shooting event.
And it was the case for Alex Minassian, who mowed down 26 people with his van in Toronto three years ago, killing 10.
In all, 44 deaths have been traced to incel killers since 2014.
Yesterday's events bring that number to 50.
It all began when Elliot Rodger, 22, killed two university students and four men on a California college campus, also before turning the gun on himself.
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In a twisted 137-page 'manifesto' he left behind, Rodger wrote of his fury he had "never even kissed a girl", and said he targeted the university's Alpha Phi sorority because the girls were the sort he "always desired but was never able to have".
Jake Davison made similar points in his eerie YouTube vlogs before committing yesterday's heinous crime.
The killer complained he was an "ugly virgin" and that anyone else who had lived his life "wouldn't have lasted this long".
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And he allied himself with other incel killers by saying he was a "Terminator".
Yet that's not to mention the would-be incel murders who didn't manage to kill.
Last March Middlesborough 22-year-old Anwar Said Driouich was jailed after compiling bomb-making chemicals in a murder plot.
In a Facebook message sent to a friend, Anwar had written of his own incel beliefs.
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He wrote: "It's f****** humiliating I have no hope with girls man I might as well be a ghost to them its pathetic.
"It feels like there is hardly any point trying now… I want to massacre this place man."
And just a few months ago Cambridge graduate Oliver Bel was jailed after buying a copy of a bomb-making manual on Amazon, vowing to "go ER".
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Incel beliefs tie all these men together.
First invented in the 1990s as a well-meaning university experiment for lonely hearts of all sexes to hang out, the term was soon co-opted by men with murderous attitudes.
Not all are associated with the extremist alt-right, but many are.
Social media posts from 2018 suggest Davison was a fan of Donald Trump and the UK's Libertarian party, The Guardian reported.
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He also wrote a foreshadowing message on Reddit last month about the feelings of mass shooters.
Davison wrote: "Mass shootings are new phenomena that cannot be directly blamed on guns."
YouTube swiftly took down Davison's videos after he was identified as the killer, as part of safety policies to stop copycat attacks.
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