skip navigation


Abstract Database

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also see the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 213238 Find in a Library
Title: Murder Ink: If You Know How To Read Them, Gang Tattoos Can Tell You the History of a Suspect
Journal: Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine  Volume:30  Issue:2  Dated:February 2006  Pages:30-32,34,26,38,42
Author(s): Richard Valdemar
Date Published: February 2006
Page Count: 7
Document: DOC
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the general meanings that gang-related tattoos hold for their bearers, followed by descriptions of the design and color of tattoos borne by members of specific gangs.
Abstract: American and European street gangs have traditionally used tattoos to intimidate those who view them, show gang affiliation, and indicate rank. They can indicate who a gang member is, what he believes, what he has done, where he has been, where he was imprisoned and for how many years, as well as the number of people he has killed. The more police investigators know about the tattoos of particular gangs, the more information they can gain from specific tattoos of gang members under investigation or in custody. This article provides information on the tattoos of the following American Black gangs: the Black Guerilla Family; The Bloods; The Crips; The Kumi Nation, 415; and The Black Gangster Disciples. Information is also provided on the tattoos of the following Hispanic gangs: The Mexican Mafia and The Nuestra Familia. Tattoos of the following White gangs are described as well: The Aryan Brotherhood and the Nazi Low Riders. Some general techniques used by gang members to disguise the meanings of their tattoos are also briefly described.
Main Term(s): Gangs
Index Term(s): Investigative techniques; Juvenile gang behavior patterns; Police specialized training; Tattoos
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.