The gunman who killed six Sikhs at a Wisconsin gurdwara had adorned his body with tattoos that hid secret racist codes and symbols.
Wade Michael Page,41,left behind a startling trail of clues,detailing his descent into hate,in the tattoos that marked his body and in his music. Many of the tattoos on his arms and torso contained specific racist codes and hidden symbols that showed his allegiance to white supremacist beliefs and to a specific skinhead group,said Marilyn Mayo,Co-Director of the Anti-Defamation Leagues Centre on Extremism. The league maintains an online database of racist symbols.
Symbols are an important part of this culture, Mayo said. It allows others to know youre part of the skinhead movement and is used as a way of intimidation. It means youre a member,youre part of this club and have been initiated.
One tattoo on his arm had the number 838,which Mayo said indicates membership of the Hammerskins,a skinhead group accused of multiple violent crimes,including murder,since 1980s. The number 838 corresponds to the letters H,C,H,an acronym for the groups motto Hail the Crossed Hammers,a reference to the groups logo,ABC News reported.
Only a Hammerskins member would have this tattoo, Mayo said.
On the back of his hands,he had tattooed the letters W and P,which Mayo said is an acronym for White Power.
On his left shoulder was a Celtic cross. The Celtic cross is a symbol of white pride and is one of most popular symbols for neo-Nazis and white supremacists, Mayo said.