Let’s See If You Can Picture This

There are times that a photo doesn’t just add to a story, it makes the story. This is this week’s most-suggested True story, from the 24 April 2011 issue:

Let’s See If You Can Picture This

Anthony Garcia, 25, a gang member in Pico Rivera, Calif., had an elaborate tattoo on his chest. It was so detailed that when a Los Angeles cop saw it, he took a photo of it for the department’s gang tattoo collection. Later, Sheriff’s Dept. homicide detective Kevin Lloyd was looking through photos in the collection and came across Garcia’s tat. He immediately realized it depicted a case he had been working on — one that had hit a dead end. The tattoo was the story of an unsolved murder in front of a Pico Rivera liquor store from 2004. He pulled up evidence photos from the case file, and began making correlations to the tattoo. The drawing had incredible detail, such as the Christmas lights on the store’s roof. “Think about it,” said Capt. Mike Parker. “He tattooed his confession on his chest. You have a degree of fate with this.” Indeed: Garcia was arrested for the shooting, and was recorded bragging about the murder with his cell mate, police say. His cell mate was an undercover detective. Garcia has allegedly given a full confession to police. (RC/Los Angeles Times) …By signing his chest.

The Photo

Courtesy of the Los Angeles Police Dept. Click to see a larger version:

Anthony Garcia Mug Shot

Sample Details From the Photo

  • The images of Mr. Peanut (left side and center) being shot down is the victim — in gang slang, a “peanut” is the derisive term for a rival gang member.
  • The victim’s body is falling in the direction it actually did when the “peanut” — John Juarez, 23 — was shot.
  • The helicopter in the upper right is shooting at the peanut, giving identity to the shooter: Garcia’s gang name is Chopper.
  • The gunman shown in the upper left under the title “The Rivera” (and the title across his neck, “Rivera Kills”), depicts Garcia’s gang: Rivera-13.

Even the streetlight depicts the real thing at the crime scene.

This case well outstrips the 2005 story of the burglar who tattooed a gun he stole onto his body — complete with the stolen gun’s actual serial number.

“You’ll have a long time to think about what you have done and how ridiculous it is,” Norwalk Superior Court Judge Thomas I. McKnew Jr. told Garcia at his May 2011 sentencing hearing. “It would appear from your attitude of non-remorse and your smirks…you have sociopathic tendencies,” he said. “You are a serious, serious danger to society. I don’t know what thought you’ve given to your future. You have no real future.” McKnew sentenced him to the maximum: 65 years to life in prison.

Since “Anthony Garcia” is a pretty common name, and none of the press reports I saw mentioned his middle name, I was not able to conclusively determine what prison he is housed in, nor what his potential release date is.

March 2012 Update

Garcia is back in the news. He’s still in jail, of course, but jailers have finally figured out that despite the huge publicity of this case, Garcia has been collecting unemployment benefits the entire time!

“It’s pretty appalling when you think about somebody sitting in jail collecting unemployment,” said Capt. Mike Parker, spokesman for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, who was also quoted in the original story.

It’s considered fraud: Garcia’s father, Juan Garcia, 47, and his girlfriends (um, yeah: plural) Sandra Jaimez, 45, and Cynthia Limas, 25, were arrested and charged with unemployment fraud. They allegedly cashed the jailed man’s $1,600-per-month checks; some portion of the money would be deposited into Garcia’s jail account — and the accounts of other members of the gang who are also in the jail.

The total payout before the scheme was discovered: more than $30,000. Garcia himself may be charged as an accomplice; that possibility is being investigated.

– – –

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43 Comments on “Let’s See If You Can Picture This

  1. If only all criminals were this considerate, the police would be saved quite a bit of time.

    I wonder how he’ll feel about this tattoo when (and if) he gets to 60.

    I think you’re right — it is questionable that he’ll get to 60. -rc

  2. With characters like this available in the gene pool, it does makes you wonder, where do all the criminal geniuses come from in the comic books and action movies?

    Why, the only place they can come from, Mike! Artists’ imaginations…. -rc

  3. It is possible that he will reach 60 years old, now that the State of California has accepted responsibility for getting him there. But then, due to overcrowding, they will probably have to release him in 6 months to make room for more celebrities.

    Right. And how long will he last on the street? Correct! Case closed. -rc

  4. And if our government would have stopped illegal immigration he, his parents, and possibly his grandparents would not even be in the country.

    This is the real cost of illegal immigration. Millions of undereducated (if at all) unskilled people who have nothing better to do than be in gangs. They will not be educated, they will for the most part never be able to pull their own weight…so we feed, cloth, and try to educate their kids and we get people like this as a result.

    Close the borders! Deport illegals!

    There is nothing in the reports I read to indicate Garcia is anything but a U.S. citizen. -rc

  5. Thus describes the “tattoo minute”, aka the time it takes between getting the tattoo and realizing you’ve made a horrible, horrible mistake….

    Although LAPD photos show details being added over the years! -rc

  6. The killing, by itself, is deplorable. The state of mind to brag about it and display it like a badge of honor is the most telling about the barbaric culture that roams our public streets.

  7. Even though we don’t know if this killer is an illegal alien, it is a fact that many crimes are committed by these aliens.

    There are too many crimes that could have been prevented had our immigration laws been enforced. MS-13 is just one gang that is known to “import” its members, our current lackadaisical approach to border security makes it very easy for them.

    That is certainly true. It is also a fact that many crimes are committed by Nth generation true-blooded American citizens. Which adds what, exactly, to the point? -rc

    • All those anti immigrant people need to remember that, unless they are 100% American Indian, they and their families are immigrants, or descendants of immigrants. Without exception.

      These people’s attitudes show just how stupid and hypocritical they are. Most of this ilk also claim to be Christian yet hate all non-whites while forgetting that Christ himself was a Palestinian Jew and therefore the same colour as all the Palestinians, other Arabs, Latin Americans, etc, that they hate and object to.
      Jesus said that God created everyone, without exception. That includes every one of the various colours of people that the white supremacists hate. It also means God created all the homosexuals and other types that these people hate.

      Jesus said you must love all God’s creations and that there is no place in heaven for those who hate which proves all that type of self proclaimed Christians are destined to rot in hell because they have spent their lives hating and saying that God was wrong, and they are too stupid to realize that. In many cases they use the old testament (the old Jewish bible) to support their hypocrisy, but Christ himself rejected many of the teachings in that document. For example they quote Leviticus to demand men have short hair when Jesus himself had long hair and are too stupid to recognize that. And they support the bankers even though bankers were the only group that Jesus personally attacked.

      The parable of the good Samaritan is all about ignoring race, colour and religion and helping those in need regardless of race, religion and creed, and yet the politicians who claim loudest to be Christian all reject Christ’s teachings by voting against any government support for those people and industries in need as a result of Covid.

      I have no sympathy for any of them but I am heartened by the knowledge they will reap in the afterlife what they have sown on earth.

  8. I’m sorry that someone is blaming this on illegal immigrants. There are many 2nd, 3rd, etc generation immigrants — whose parents or grandparents were illegal — who are contributing wonderfully to society. And there are plenty of legal citizens who are committing heinous crimes.

    However, if you deny education and healthcare to the children of illegal immigrants, then I imagine you will have more crime…you reap what you sow.

  9. My parents were poor. As soon as I was able to get work in the factory, I dropped out of school to help support my family. I spent my life working in that factory, and it supported me quite decently. After 45 years of service, I retired with a nice nest egg to carry me through, along with a company pension, not to mention Social Security. But the one thing I regretted was never finishing my education. So, at 62 years old, I went back to complete what I’d left unfinished; the diploma from high school.

    I failed. So now I’m left with no choice but to embark on a life of crime.

    It occurs to me that I’m hijacking this thread, but no, that’s been done already.

    Yes, but it is an example of the mentality behind so much of this. The guy’s name is Garcia, he looks Hispanic, therefore this is about illegal immigration, regardless of the fact that the Hispanics were in L.A. long before white folks. It is, if nothing else, thought-provoking — even if it’s not in the way that the poster intended. -rc

  10. One of my co-workers, with a Hispanic last name and a deep Hispanic heritage, grew up on his family’s property near Pueblo, Colorado. His grandmother still has a copy of the deed granting the property to her ancestors.

    The property was part of New Spain. And the deed was signed by the king of Spain

    I always enjoyed the lunchtime conversations when a new person at our table would start in with the “illegal immigrants” and “we were here first” stuff. Mark had a very friendly way of putting them in their place.

  11. Fascinating confession he has there. Maybe he can have his prisoner number added to the helicopter.

    The thing I think about is the fact the murder was from 2004, which means he was 17 or 18 at the time. And he was killing then, who knows what other violence he was involved with in those years. And violence leads to more violence.

    I’m glad he’s off the streets, but sadly the streets may not be that much safer there.

  12. “It is also a fact that many crimes are committed by Nth generation true-blooded American citizens. Which adds what, exactly, to the point?”

    Thanks for the comment. I usually ask people who complain the loudest about “illegal” aliens just where their ancestors came from, because here in Texas the Spanish and Hispanic people were here long before Stephen F Austin and his “300” came to, what was then, Mexico and asked to immigrate. We Anglos where the ones who illegally revolted and started a war. People seem to forget those messy little time lines when talking about aliens.

  13. RE “Even though we don’t know if this killer is an illegal alien, it is a fact that many crimes are committed by these aliens.”

    As most sources note, there are no separate statistics for legal and illegal immigrants. The trend is clear, though– immigrants– including illegal immigrants– are apparently no more likely to commit crimes than citizens:
    The Illegal Immigrant Crime Myth (Tampa Tribune)
    Fact-check: Illegal immigrants and crime (White Plains N.Y. Journal News)
    Reading, Ranting, And Arithmetic (Newsweek, particularly interesting for its suggestion that immigration helps reduce major crime)

    You’re not going to let mere facts get in the way of racist whining, are you? -rc

  14. It is not about the past immigrants, my family came from Germany and Prussia. They came through Ellis Island (the legal way), became citizens of this great country, (even greater yet after 2012). Why should we, as citizens have to bear the monetary blow from these illegal aliens that are flooding over the borders now?

  15. I am from another country where there is a “problem” with “illegal immigrants” (in our case, Indonesians, Burmese refugees, etc. rather than Mexicans.) We are also a country whose prosperity was built on the back of immigrants. (Our flag even resembles the American flag 🙂

    IMHO, there should not be any “illegal immigrants”. By this I don’t mean that people who are hardworking should not be allowed to move to a country where they can find good honest work.

    By this I mean that it is stupid to make hardworking people illegal! Hardworking people should just show their passports and be allowed in legally. If they commit crimes, fine, try them and jail them! But if they’re hardworking honest people, it is stupid to stop them! They will contribute positively to our country!

    That’s what our ancestors did when they immigrated here! Sure, there were those who committed crimes, and they got arrested and jailed (or executed…) But the vast majority of the unwashed masses yearning to be free, they were the people on whose backs the prosperity of your country and mine were built on!

    There was a time when it was acceptable to discriminate against people for their race — something for which they had no control over. We no longer find this acceptable.

    I hope to live to see the time when it is also no longer acceptable to discriminate against people for what country they were born in — also something for which they have no control over!

  16. RE “Why should we, as citizens have to bear the monetary blow from these illegal aliens that are flooding over the borders now?”

    The “monetary blow” from illegal immigration is grossly exaggerated:

    Illegal Immigrants are Paying a Lot More Taxes Than You Think (Reason Foundation/Knight-Ridder)
    What’s the economic impact of illegal immigration? Why target employers? (MSNBC Gut Check)
    Economic Impacts (The Affirmative Action and Diversity Project, Department of English, University of California, Santa Barbara)
    Immigration: The Demographic and Economic Facts 1. Summary of Important Facts about Immigration (Cato Institute)

    As long as conservatives try to reduce everything to cost (ignoring benefit) and employ fiscal fear in order to control people, this country will never get past the economic downturn.

  17. When my Grandfather O’Brien made it here through Ellis Island, he and the wife, Grandmother, faced seemingly endless persecution. It was routine to see ads for housemaids with the comment, “No Irish need apply.” The only job for men was cop, as it was a dangerous job at that time (and still is). All immigrants face persecution until the local culture melts into their own culture.

    Do the right thing and you are accepted. Do the wrong thing and people are screaming for you to be deported. It has always been the same. Be better than the complainers. My Grandparents were.

  18. Journalistic metamorphosis? From an example of human stupidity and self-incrimination to a discussion of social philosophy concerning the risk/benefit of unrestrained immigration?

    I’ve never objected to “hijacking” a topic as that’s what conversation is; occasionally following a tangent which also requires thought (the primary tenet of this forum). I just thought (!) I’d point out that’s what seems to have happened here.

    I don’t think anyone had any doubt. I let it go on because it’s interesting. -rc

  19. It’s interesting that a criminal with a Spanish last name is automatically assumed to be an illegal immigrant. I’m from Boston, a city with a significant number of illegal immigrants from Ireland. No one seems to care about “illegals” if they’re redheads named Kelly.

  20. Actually, Pico Rivera is its own city, a suburb about 35 miles southeast of LA. It’s not a “section of” LA like Chinatown or Little Tokyo.

    Hm, bad assumption on my part — I had thought it was an LAPD detective who pieced it together, but it was actually an L.A. Sheriff’s detective; the sheriff does law enforcement for the city. Thanks for the correction. -rc

  21. “Do the wrong thing and people are screaming for you to be deported.”

    I don’t think it is so much “do” the wrong thing as it is “be” the wrong thing, wrong race, wrong country, wrong religion or wrong culture on the bigot list du jour.

    For instance, I don’t read or hear about people complaining of Canadian ‘illegal’ aliens (though I may be wrong — I live a sheltered life as a non TV watcher) and they are all over the place. One of the engineers I work with is Canadian and the only way you would know is if she tells you where she comes from. But she/they are white Anglo Saxon and therefore don’t make the list.

    However, I have one more thought to throw into the pot. It was the remark about barbaric killing and tattooing to mark the event. If I am not anthropologically mistaken, that is something that the human race has been doing since time unremembered. Even here and now (where I live) a young man’s first hunting kill is marked by smearing his face with the blood and giving him the heart or liver to take a raw bite. We are not that far from our ancestors and our genetic fear of the unknown. It takes a huge amount of courage and leap of faith to overcome millennia of indoctrination. It is a mighty fearful, often painful and sometimes deadly gauntlet that we walk through to reach out to the unknown. Those who do so are heroes and make it easier for the rest of us to be able to lift the blinders.

  22. Waitaminute – the depiction of the streetlight was authentic? Did the tattoo guy (I won’t use the term “artist,” having seen the poor quality of the work) have a photo of the crime scene? Or did the killer actually remember and describe the streetlight?

    I imagine the entire scene was seared into the killer’s mind. But don’t forget: he lived in the area, and could go back to refresh details when he wanted. -rc

  23. Trisha in Texas: You are not mistaken about the length of time that the human species has been marking themselves and as you say, it continues in some form or fashion to this day. All these things are true and yet there is no reason to perform these acts except unbridled barbarism. Just because humans have done nasty things in the past is no excuse to continue to perform them. I believe that in order to have a civil society, human beings need to suppress those base urges and learn to rise above our base selves. If we as a race (the human race) do not find a way to perform this act, we are doomed.

    By the way, to all those that are speaking about us & them; did you know that there is only one race of humans? Our name is Homo Sapiens. Try to remember that, OK?

    I’m unclear: if we continue to “mark ourselves” that’s barbarism, and thus tattoo parlors doom us as a race? -rc

  24. To be fair to the “illeagl immigrant” brigade, they have a point — illegal immigration has been a problem for the US for hundreds of years. Just ask any Native American.

  25. Fry all of ’em NOW.

    They’re cockroaches and parasites.

    Absolutely nothing about my response has any racial content.

    Our society is full of people like this and until we’re ready to flush the handle, we’ll just see more of this type of activity.

    Liberal judges and the victim mentality will be our downfall.

    OK, so your comment isn’t racial. What is it? Who are “they,” and how do you identify “them” so you can “fry them” (after, of course, throwing out the Constitution)? Is anarchy really that much better than “liberal judges”? Who gets to decide? What if they decide that guys who live on islands off the Washington coast are even greater societal parasites (you need all that ferry service, and all), and decide to “fry” you? Without that Constitution, you don’t have much protection anymore, so I guess you’re gone. Still like anarchy? -rc

  26. To Don in Nevada: You are displaying your profound ignorance. California was a part of Mexico before we took it. The Hispanic people that were in California back then were not immigrants — illegal or otherwise. Many of the Hispanics that have come here since are legal immigrants. Your statement makes no sense whatsoever. I grew up in California and I can tell you that many Hispanics are United States citizens. The fact that some are not is beside the point. You remind me of the idiot I was seated next to for dinner once at Club Med in Mexico. He wanted to know why they hired “all these wetbacks.” I wanted to know why he was in Mexico.

  27. You can argue facts, studies, racist vitriol and political posturing all you want to. Immigration has used a universe full of electrons to spew forth the various comments of people on every side of the subject. For me it comes down to this: I will never condemn anyone for doing what I would do in the same situation. Born on the wrong side of an imaginary line and have to live a shitty life because of it? On the other side of that line people are more free, happier, their families are better fed and better housed. Me, I’m jumping across that line….

    There should be some sort of “Golden Rule” about that for people to follow. -rc

  28. So… back to the story. I was curious as to whose girlfriends were involved – Garcia’s or his father? I’m assuming Garcia’s. But it’s ambiguous from the age of the two women and to whom “his” is referring in the sentence: “Garcia’s father, Juan Garcia, 47, and his girlfriends (um, yeah: plural) Sandra Jaimez, 45, and Cynthia Limas, 25, were arrested and charged with unemployment fraud.”

    The way I read it, both women are the father’s girlfriends. Hard to say for sure, though. -rc

  29. To Howard, Oregon: I agree completely.

    To John Reston, Va: If they want to be criminals they can do that right where they are. They aren’t going to come to the United States to do it. Mexicans come to the U.S. to work. They work hard, too.

  30. This is insane — he’s been collecting unemployment for THREE YEARS and in the amount of $1600 a MONTH?? Here in Georgia you can only collect unemployment for 6 months, and you receive something like 2/3 of the average weekly wages over the past year — what on earth was this guy doing that he made that much? OK, maybe to normal people that doesn’t seem like much, but that’s more than my husband makes in a month — MUCH more — and we could live pretty comfortably on that right now. Plus, how did he manage to collect unemployment for that long while in jail? The times I’ve been in unemployment, I had to touch bases every week and be available to come in whenever they decided they wanted me to. This just boggles my mind!

    Due to the recession unemployment benefits have been extended, but yeah: that seems like a long time to me, too, especially the “check in now and then” part. That may be part of the fraud, though: someone may have checked in for him. -rc

  31. And this is exactly why I refuse to rise to the bait about illegals in a story in which the legality is not even the topic. It devolves into an argument that ALL illegals are good or that ALL illegals are bad. Since neither extreme is accurate, it’s ALL a waste of words, and nothing more than a diversion. Save it for discussions ABOUT legality, not individuals who may, or may not, be legal.

    And again, I’ve seen nothing that suggests that this man is anything but a U.S. citizen. -rc

  32. I read a quote once, attributed to Moran J Freeman, and even if that is incorrect, the sentiment still applies.

    Interviewer: How do you stop racism?

    MJF: Stop talking about it.

    Do you mean Morgan Freeman? Definitely thought-provoking. -rc

  33. I saw your comment “after, of course, throwing out the Constitution” and It unfortunately seems to be the goal of our government to do just that so Steve may get his wish — but I think that “gun” will be aimed at the wrong people.

    And just to comment on the illegal immigrant thing — as you said they assumed he was from illegal immigrants because he looks hispanic — but i was priveledged to hear a wonderful woman speak on immigration, Dr. Evelyn Hu-Dehart. She was able to enlighten many of us on a few facts, the most relevant one for this comment is that America signed an agreement with Mexico allowing Mexicans free entry into the United States at any time in exchange for Nevada, parts of California, and parts of Texas — there was no expiration for this agreement — but when the Mexican people came here and were successful and threatend those that felt they had a better right to our way of life, they were able to convince the American government to violate that agreement and institute a series of ridiculous rules based on our perception of the value of the nationality from which the immigrants are coming from. So let’s not make snap judgements because of the way someone looks or because of someone’s nationality. It is not only insulting to the target of your comment, it is insulting to yourself and to Americans who are decendants of immigrants themselves. AKA all of us.

  34. As a citizen of another country made great by immigration, I’m also appalled at the attitude of so many of my fellow citizens who are also descended from immigrants against modern-day immigrants.

    IMHO, there should be no such thing as “illegal immigrants”. All people who are willing to come here, work hard, and pay taxes, contributing to our economy, just like our ancestors did, should be welcomed.

    If there are criminal elements, they should be arrested and given a fair trial, just like criminal native-born citizens, instead of being used as an excuse to demonize other immigrants.

  35. I don’t care if he’s illegal or not. What I want to know is how a 17 or 18 year old gang member could document to our government that he earned enough in his lifetime to warrant $1,600 per month in unemployment!

    As noted in the story, Mr. Garcia was 25 as of April 2011. -rc

  36. Jamin, Dr. Evelyn Hu-Dehart is wrong. It’s an urban legend — and a rather convenient one for some points of view, isn’t it?

    What we wish laws were has nothing to do with what they actually are. One of those little side benefits of having representative government rather than government-by-fairy-godmother, doncha know.

    I wondered about that: it sounded way too forward thinking, “convenient”, and huge to be a big secret. -rc

  37. As far as I can ascertain from US history, wasn’t this country founded by illegal aliens? Many Mexicans are descended form Native Americans, so they were here first. I don’t say this to suggest that all the whites go back to Europe. I just want to say, Stop pointing fingers and learn to live together.

    But that would require thinking about the issues! -rc

  38. Another blog post lambasted one of Randy’s contributors with several posters accusing her of “assuming facts not in evidence” in her handling of a story. Everyone who jumped on the Illegal Immigration Bandwagon in this thread has done the same thing! As Randy pointed out repeatedly, there was NOTHING in the story to indicate that the accused was in the US illegally!

    I understand the frustration with a government that seems bound and determined to NOT enforce the southern borders but saying that ALL Hispanics are criminals is simply wrong. I know a number of people of all nationalities and hues and most of them are hard-working people trying to make a living while a few are of the criminal bent in all of them. Skin Color or nationality does not automatically determine one’s IQ or one’s predilection to a life of crime. Notice I did not use the term “race” because there is only 1 race and that is the HUMAN race!

    I think this person is someone who thought he had committed the perfect crime and even laid out the clues for the police to catch him in a fit of excess hubris. I am also wondering how he could have been drawing $1,600 per month in Unemployment Compensation, in jail or otherwise.

    Los Angeles County is a HUGE place in terms of land covered. The city does take up much of the county but by no means all of it and there are so many areas that were once cities but were annexed by LA that it is hard to keep it straight unless you happen to live there, so we can forgive you for not getting the fact that this happened in the County and not the city of Los Angeles.

  39. Ten years later, and the arguments haven’t changed.

    Brining to mind something Bill Bryson brought up even earlier — possibly another two decades before the above comments were posted, and I’m paraphrasing because I could never find the quote again: Immigration was a terrific idea for my ancestors but it has to stop NOW.

    Heh! aka “Thank god I got here …now slam the gate so we don’t have to deal with THOSE people!” -rc


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