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CHICAGO (CBS) — From imagery in his music videos to his face tattoos, accused Highland Park July 4th parade killer Robert “Bobby” Crimo III apparently had an affinity for the number 47.
As CBS 2 Investigator Dorothy Tucker reported Wednesday, Lake County investigators say they are looking into possible connection between the numbers and Crimo’s musical interests.
The 21-year-old suspect has a number of tattoos on his face, but the one displaying the number 47 stands out. It is a number he chose to place right beside eye.
The number 47 also appears other places – including the suspect’s car. There, it is big and bold, covering the top of passenger side door from the window to the floor.
So why the number 47, and what does it mean? Prosecutors indicated they put that question to the killer.
“His motivation isn’t necessarily clear. I don’t want to go specifically into what he told investigators,” said Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli. “However, he had some type of affinity towards the number 4 and 7 – and inverse was 7 and 4.”
The inverse of 7 and 4 is what stood out for former FBI and CIA expert Javed Ali.
“4-7 could be 7-4, equaling July 4th – the known date of his planned attack, which actually happened,” Ali said.
The number was also found in the graphic and sometimes disturbing music videos that the shooter produced.
“It apparently comes from the music he’s interested in,” Covelli said.
But Ali says the numbers are not connected to hate groups.
“So the number 47 does not overtly connect to known symbols or artifacts in the white supremacy or neo-Nazi movement and world,” Ali said. “That doesn’t mean that they have meanings in other issues or disciplines, but at least when it comes to terrorism, there’s nothing that overtly stood out to me.”
However, Ali adds, prosecutors are just beginning their investigation – and the killer has a lot of material they must now study.
Experts tell us the shooter was actually off social media for about six months. Why and what he was doing during that time is also something at which investigators will be looking.
Crimo was ordered held without bail at his first court appearance on Wednesday, where prosecutors revealed he fired more than 80 rounds during the attack. A total of seven people were killed in the massacre, and at least 38 people were wounded.