Killer Nailed by Tattoo Murder 'Confession'

LA gangster tattooed crime scene on his chest
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2011 2:45 AM CDT
This photo of Garcia, taken after he was arrested for driving on a suspended license in 2008, led to his murder conviction.   (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)

(Newser) – Los Angeles gangster Anthony Garcia would have gotten away with a 2004 murder outside a liquor store if it wasn't for one slip-up: He tattooed a detailed mural of the crime scene across his chest. By chance, a detective who worked on the case saw the tattoo when flipping through photos of gang members years later, and launched an investigation that has led to a first-degree murder conviction for the 22-year-old killer, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The tattoo—under the banner "Rivera Kills," in reference to the Rivera-13 gang—had accurate details of the Pico Rivera murder scene, including Christmas lights, a street lamp, and even the direction the victim's body fell. Garcia—whose gang nickname is "Chopper"—even added a helicopter firing bullets at the victim. "He tattooed his confession on his chest. You have a degree of fate with this," a police captain says. "The detective who spotted it had been a Pico sergeant who went on to become a homicide sergeant. I never worked the Pico station. I never would have recognized that Pico liquor store."

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