File this one under, “Just how stupid can you be?”
A gang member was arrested on a minor charge and brought to the police station. As part of the routine booking, the tattoos of gang members are photographed – often these photos help lead to a conviction when a victim or witness remembers the tattoo, but either can’t remember facial features, or didn’t see them. An investigator was flipping through the tattoo photos when this one caught his eye, and triggered a memory of a still-open case from four years previous.
The open case involved a shooting at a liquor store. The victim, another gang member, was killed, but the shooter had never been identified. Until now.
The tattoo in question was a mural of the entire crime scene. It showed details of the crime that only a person present could have known: the direction that the victims body fell, the location of the shooter. The mural even showed the Christmas lights that were strung in the store on that day, and a light pole/sign post outside. Over the collarbone of the gangbanger was a picture of a helicopter, strafing the scene with bullets. The gangster’s “call name”? “Chopper”.
Police brought the ‘suspect’ (because, of course, he’s still a suspect until he’s found guilty in court) in and booked him into jail on suspicion of murder. His jail mate was an undercover police officer posing as another gang member, who started spouting off about murders he’d committed. This drew Anthony Garcia (the suspect) into the conversation, where he was soon telling all the details of his own shooting. Yeah, the one that was drawn all across his chest. And the police got it all on tape. And the jury convicted him of First Degree Murder.
So, if you’re going to commit a heinous crime? Go ahead and brag on it. Plaster it all across your chest. Nobody will be any wiser… you hope…