In May, Texas police responding to a traffic accident came upon a dying 59-year-old man behind the wheel of a pickup truck. Heavily tattooed, and carrying several contradictory identification cards, the driver had apparently swerved into a concrete barrier for some unknown reason; he died later that night, just as authorities realized who he was: Frank Roch, allegedly the "top general" of the "largest faction of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas."
Roch—alias "Pancho"—had been out of prison since 2009, but, as "chairman" of the larger of the Aryan Brotherhood's two Texas branches, he was still suspected of commanding some 1,500 members of the infamous prison gang. He struck, as you might expect, an intimidating figure:
His shirt covers the maze of elaborate tattoos inked over his entire torso and arms.
The tattoos form a road map of his life and offer possible clues to his death.
Across his chest was the world "loyalty," according to a photo taken while he was in custody.
In the middle of his torso was a tattoo of the gang's shield, including a swastika, and a star denoting his rank of general and chairman.
On his arm, where members are known to have tattoos of vices, is what looks like a hypodermic needle.
Roch's death, still an open case (the medical examiners haven't ruled on its cause), has "created a major disturbance in this gang," according to a law enforcement official who spoke with the Houston Chronicle. His funeral was held last week, and his remains cremated.