The Shmooze

Taxpayers Will Cover Cosmetics Bill for Skinhead's Murder Trial

By Michael Kaminer

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Do you like the makeup on John DiTullio’s face and neck? Hope so, because you may be paying for it. The skinhead, who goes on trial for murder today in Clearwater, Fla., will appear in court with special cosmetics covering his tattoos — including a swastika on his neck and green-tinted “scar” running from forehead to eyebrow — The New York Times reports.

Taxpayers will pick up the tab for the makeover after the court agreed with lawyer Bjorn Brunvand that the tattoos could prove “distracting or prejudicial” to jurors.

The Times reports this is Ditullio’s second trial for the murder; the first, “which also involved the services of a cosmetologist,” ended last year in a mistrial.

Chele – just Chele – the owner of the company performing the beauty treatments, will earn $125 a day; the process takes about 45 minutes, she told the Times. The cosmetologist asked the Times not to use her full name out of fear of reprisals; “we mostly do weddings,” she told the paper.

Another Florida makeup artist told a local ABC affiliate she would have simply refused the job. “As a citizen of the United States, I think I would have to say, ‘Wait a minute. He chose to do this. Why do you want to cover it up?” Clearwater-based Francee Weinfeld said. “If you’re so proud of who you are, what difference does it make?’”

DiTullio’s primping seems less extreme than Daniel Cowart’s; as the Forward reported in July, that 21-year-old white supremacist skinhead wanted his swastika tattoo surgically removed. Cowart didn’t get as lucky as DiTullio; U.S. Marshals refused his request.


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