What Variations of the "Teardrop" Jailhouse Tat Mean

Photo of "English Shaun" from an
over-the-top newspaper story.
From Jon's Jail Journal -- Prison Tattoos: What Teardrop Means In Jail: See video below in which Shaun Attwood explains what the teardrop tattoo means, as well as different variations of it....

English Shaun, who was featured on a NatGeo program, spent six years in one of America’s toughest jails—run by Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County. (I incorrectly reported in a previous story that he had served a "few" years; it was more than a few.)

This blog features a few stories about "English Shaun," a good friend. One of my personal favorites is about an old-school mobster with whom Shaun had done prison time. Shaun is an author and he recently released a new version of his book "Hard Time: Life with Sheriff Joe Arpaio in America's Toughest Jail ."

The 2nd Edition of the book is free via whichever link is appropriate:
UKKindleUSAKindleiTunes, KoboSmashwords, (download to any computer, phone or device).

I previously ran a detailed except from Shaun's book regarding how he brushed up against the crew of Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, who was out in the Midwest starting life over. Shaun had first acquired protection from The Mexican Mafia...

Also check out this over-the-top article about Shaun that painted him as this evil psychotic Charles Manson-type guru. Though crap, it helped Shaun while in prison by making him seem more powerful than he was. However, it also made the prison guards think he had a secret stash of millions buried somewhere.

Evil Empire | Phoenix New Times:

"Investigators say he was bigger than Sammy the Bull. His minions say he ruled the drug trade in the Valley's rave scene. Now, authorities have "English Shaun," the man they claim reigned over a nighttime empire of ecstasy, meth, violence and excess.

Ethan, Will and others who were there still talk about the scene that night. Two girls — a stripper and her friend — walked arm in arm through the living room of a villa at an East Valley resort hotel. Braless in matching bright halter tops, the girls wove their way through the crowd, sharing balance among their four feet. They wore naive, synthetic grins, eyes lolling about the room. Near the kitchen, their gazes landed on a six-foot-tall bald man. He was, Ethan recalls, crushing and chopping pills, spilling the granules into a pile of powder on the smooth glass of a picture frame that had been taken off the wall.

The tall guy, 30 years old but younger-looking than that, was the host of the party: English Shaun.

It was the fall of 1998, days after Halloween. Afternoon sun poured into the villa, which was rife with the smell of cigarette smoke and chemical sweat. Hunched over the picture frame, English Shaun and Ethan — who ran drugs for Shaun back then — combined powdered ecstasy, Xanax and ketamine into a large pile. "Zek lines," Ethan calls them. After enough mixing, the two aimed rolled-up hundred-dollar bills into the middle of the pile and snorted. Moments later they both slumped on the couch, eyes slightly open but quite literally unconscious.".... READ REST


  1. In the southern US they have 2 basic meanings: a filled in tear means you killed someone and an empty tear (outline only) represents 10 years of prison time.

    I have never heard of the rape stuff he talked about but I'm not familiar with the west coast either.

  2. I did 9 years in Florence prison and that rape tear drop is false its meant for murder I'm not sure what prison he did time at but that is false and if he did time in tent city that was easy time ATLEAST you get work release and Ed long time reader first time poster keep up the good work if like to say thank you from Arizona for keeping me and everyone else up to date on CosaNostra you are a hell of a journalist much respect for you

  3. He was in tent city but then he was sentenced and did his bit in prison... not sure where either... And I'm the last guy to know anything about prison tats. Could Shaun be talking about a regional thing? In any event, thanks, Richie -- I appreciate that...glad to have you aboard. ... Any ex-cons out there know what Shaun says?

  4. Never heard of a rape tear drop ever

  5. jersey... filled in means u got a body .... empty for death of a friend


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