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When neo-Nazi Curtis Allgier allegedly shot and killed a corrections officer who was transporting Allgier to a hospital in Salt Lake City June 25, media accounts of the murder invariably focused on the 27-year-old skinhead’s most recent mug shot, showing Allgier’s totally tattoo-covered face. As his wife put it, Allgier had the “courage to put his beliefs on his entire body.”
Here’s an explanation of the meaning behind some the arcane symbols inked on the alleged cop-killer’s visage:
Crucified Skinhead (right cheek) –– The image of a skinhead on a cross symbolizes the persecution of working-class skinheads by the upper class.
Three Intersecting Triangles (right jaw) –– This symbol is known as a valknut or volknut. Among non-racist pagans, it’s a sign of the afterlife and a binding of the soul to Odin, chief among the Norse gods. Among racist pagans, it signifies “that one is ready to be taken into the ranks of Odin’s chosen warriors.”
5150 (under the right eye) –– A likely reference to the California statute that allows people to be involuntarily committed to a mental hospital if they are deemed to be a danger to themselves or others, according to Mark Pitcavage of the Anti-Defamation League.
Hatebreed (upper lip) –– Hatebreed is a hardcore punk band popular among racist skinheads.
Iron Crosses (forehead temples) –– A German military decoration dating to the early 19th century that was made famous by the Nazis.
SS Lightning Bolts (jawbones) –– A symbol of the Schutzstaffel (“Protective Squadron”), or SS, the Nazi police force that administered the death camps and staffed the mobile killing units known as Einsatzgruppen. After the war, the entire SS was declared a criminal organization by the Nuremburg judges.
Blood, Honor, and Loyalty (collarbone) –– A phrase used heavily by racist skinheads and other neo-Nazis in rock lyrics, clothing and tattoos.