Prosecutors in Aaron Hernandez's murder case are looking into whether the former football player's tattoos contain clues to his alleged murders.
Investigators are hoping to speak with any tattoo artists who inked "specific tattoos on [Hernandez's] right forearm" between February 2012 and June 2013 -- the period of time covering the three killings.
What clues could investigators hope to find in Hernandez's tattoos?
Tattoos May Memorialize Murders
It's a bit of a mystery why investigators would believe the former Patriots player's tattoos would be evidence in his murder case, but the authorities are playing this one pretty close to the vest. A spokesman for the Suffolk County DA's office told USA Today that they don't want to bias any statements of potential witnesses, so they aren't "being specific in which tattoo we're looking at."
They have also asked anyone with information about these tattoos during the relevant time period to contact Boston Police.
TMZ has its own theories about the tattoos, guessing that police believe Hernandez got the new tattoos "to memorialize his role in the shooting." If true, he wouldn't be the first to do this; some criminals even have the gall to ink entire murder scenes on their chests.
Hernandez has actually spoken about his tattoos before, one of which affirms taking his life into his own hands. TMZ notes that it looks like he had stars added between February 2012 and June 2013.
Can Hernandez Hide His Tats in Court?
With the police sniffing around to find information about Hernandez's tats, it seems like a smart move to try to cover them up for trial. Hernandez's lawyer can arrange for his client to appear in court in street clothes rather than an orange jumpsuit, which may effectively cover up the tattoos on his arms.
Courts have allowed defendants with potentially prejudicial neck tattoos to cover them with clothing (i.e., a nice turtleneck), but not when the tattoos are evidence in the prosecution's case.
Boston police are still investigating, but if Hernandez's tattoos become part of the state's case, he may have to reveal them while on the stand.
- Investigators seeking tattoo artists used by Aaron Hernandez for info on murders (Yahoo! Sports)
- Aaron Hernandez Indicted in Double Murder From 2012 (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)
- Aaron Hernandez Indicted for 1st Degree Murder (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)
- Patriots' Aaron Hernandez Sued as Homicide Investigation Continues (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)