As she works on the tattoos, she'll ask about the people they lost.
‘‘They think they’re lucky because I'm willing to do it for free. I think I'm lucky because they let me,’’ she said.
Others who have been photographed include a couple who lost their daughter and are pictured together with the husband’s upper arm bared to show a tattoo of their daughter’s face; a fire survivor whose friend died in the blaze not long after they interviewed Russell for their college radio station; members of a family who got flying pig tattoos to remember their sister and daughter, who loved flying pigs; a woman who was severely burned in the blaze whose phoenix tattoo represents her journey after the fire and her teenaged son, who honored his mother with his own tattoos.
There is still a deep bitterness in Rhode Island about the fire and its aftermath. Many of those affected believe justice was never served, that those responsible got off easy or were never prosecuted at all. Three men were charged. The band’s tour manager pleaded guilty to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter and served less than two years in prison. The brothers who owned the club pleaded no contest to the same charges. One served less than three years in prison; the other served no time.
For some, the project has been a positive outlet and a way to finally talk about the fire. McLaughlin has, for the first time, talked about it with coworkers. A man who lost his sister said participating has finally allowed him to discuss it. A woman who lost her daughter said that, for the first time since the fire, she’s looking forward to February.
Station Ink: http://www.stationink.com