In the wake of the Toronto van murders, Jack Peterson was the most prominent defender of the anti-feminist ‘incels’ – until the community turned on him

When news broke in April that a rental van had plowed through throngs of pedestrians in Toronto, killing 10 people, Jack Peterson never imagined that it would have anything to do with him.

The 19-year-old Chicago native was single, a college dropout and a self-identified incel. Short for “involuntary celibate”, the term was originally coined for a website support forum for singles. It has since been claimed by an online community of men largely organized around misogyny, with discussions such as how to punish women for not having sex with them.

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