Artists analyze arson suspect’s tattoo

| February 14, 2010

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) – Tattoo artists analyze an interesting set of tattoos said to be on two of the men of interest identified by arson investigators.

They are the tattoos of suspects in the East Texas church fires. Body artists contend tattoos do say something about those who wear them, and tattoo artists say most have significant meaning.

"I do tattoos that are significant to people in their lifestyle," says Longview tattoo artist Red Russell.

"Everybody's going to express themselves with their tattoo," said Tyler tattoo artist Marcello Rosales,"Sometimes it's negative, a lot of times its positive."

A tattoo of an upside-down cross with flames lies inked on one of the arson suspects. When we showed it to tattoo artists, they immediately recognized it saying it has anti-Christian sentiment, and something even darker.

"I've seen that on many times before, most of the time its referring to devil worshipping or demonic religion." says Russell.

Cross symbol tattoos are quiet common and usually indicate Christianity, however when the cross is turned upside down it has a totally different meaning.

"I worked in the prison system," said former prison correctional officer Jeremy Shaw, "I've seen it in their tattoos they have in there, [it] tells me it's anti-Christian, demonic, pagan."

"Having something negative showing that open is a statement of somebody trying to get attention." says Rosales.

But not all tattoos should be taken so seriously.

"It could actually symbolize their beliefs or like I say it could simply be a fashion statement," says Mitchell Roach of Tattoos By Pattie. "They might get dark symbols that actually reflect no more than their taste in music."

To pass on any information on the identity or location of any of the men, ATF asks you to call any of their hotlines at 888-atf-fire, or 903-675-0061, or 903-675-0062.

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Category: Church Security