The suspect in the Wisconsin Sikh temple shootings has a tattoo linking him to the Hammerskin Nation, a racist skinhead group with a notable presence in Florida.
Wade Michael Page's tattoo features a cogwheel with "838" in it, Marilyn Mayo, co-director of the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism, said Tuesday. The numbers represent the eighth, third and eighth letters of the alphabet, or HCH, for Hail-Crossed Hammers. The group has a history of violence and hate crimes, she said.
"It's very spe cific to the Hammerskins," Mayo said.
According to the Hammerskin Nation website, the group has six official chapters in the United States and 11 internationally, but none in Florida. Mayo said, however, Hammerskins have held white-power concerts in the Orlando area, where there are "several dozens" of members.
In the last 10 years, those concerts have featured Page's band, Definite Hate, about six times.
Mayo said Page was also a member of another band, 13 Knots, and founded a third band, End Apathy, all producing the white-power music typical of members of the Hammerskin Nation.
Mayo said she's been asked whether the music could have influenced Page's actions Sunday. Her response: "A lot of the people who are attracted to this music already feel like violence is acceptable in society."
Skinheads use white-power music to socialize and meet new people who have similar beliefs, Mayo said.
December 2002: Hammerfest, originally scheduled for Daytona Beach, is held in Jacksonville due to a last-minute cancellation by the owner of the original venue.
March 2005: Hammerskins' annual St. Patty's Day Festival, held in the Ocala area.
March 2008: Hammerskins' annual St. Patty's Day Festival, held at the Outlaws Biker Gang Clubhouse in Pasco.
October 2009: Hammerfest held in the greater Orlando area.
March 2011: Hammerskins' annual St. Patty's Day Festival, held in central Florida.
October 2011: Hammerfest held in greater Orlando area.