For years, Chris “Lil’ Devil” Klein has offered his tattooing talent for free to gang members who regret emblazoning their bodies with swastikas, tagger symbols and gang names in ornate old- English lettering.
A lot of Klein’s referrals come from Denver cops who have gotten tattoos at his shop. They tell him about convicts who want to escape gangs.
It can be a dangerous transition.
Several years ago, a hit was put out on the life of a friend of Klein’s who had moved from California to Colorado to escape gangs.
Gang members spread descriptions of the man’s tattoos around, much like police sending a description to catch a fugitive. His tattoos identified him better than a photograph.
Klein’s friend had his forearm tattoo of a large brick wall with an X over it replaced with an African design.
Klein has turned gang symbols or drawings of AK-47s into beautiful señoritas in sedate country scenes.
He is particularly proud of turning one former white supremacist’s swastika-covered back into a Japanese-themed lake scene with a colorful koi fish splashing out of the water.