This one is making the rounds on the Internet currently and I'm having trouble finding any reliable source. Most people seem to be citing the following unsourced tumblr post

Tattoo artist Ryan Fitzgerald from Dayton, OH was hit with a $100,000 lawsuit last week by his ex-girlfriend Rossie Brovent. She claims that her boyfriend was supposed to tattoo a scene from Narnia on her back but instead tattooed an image of a pile of excrement with flies buzzing around it.

I've found one post that uses that image from as early as 2009-12-16 (not that it shows much of anything, but might be helpful), the image is also all over image blogspam since that date.

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    Ah.... thought the question was about physically inserting actual excrement into the skin, not the image of a turd. Jan 14 '19 at 15:08

If this story had happened in the past five years, it is reasonable to expect the story would have made the local papers.

The major daily in Dayton, Ohio is the Dayton Daily News.

The searchable archive of the Dayton Daily News goes back at least five years.

Searching the site for tattoo fitzgerald returns a number of unrelated results, but, crucially, demonstrates the archive search function works.

Searching the site for [tattoo Brovent] reveals nothing ("Brovent" being the unusual surname of the woman involved.)

Absence of evidence - where evidence is expected - is evidence of absence.

I conclude this story did not occur in the last five years, with the names given, in the location given.

Edited to Add:

Via Snopes, the Daily Mail reports there are no corroborating court documents, while the Smoking Gun adds there are no people with those names in the Nexis database, and no registered tattoo artists by that name.

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    Absence of evidence - where evidence is expected - is evidence of absence. Couldn't have said it better! Nov 30 '11 at 2:51
  • I suspect this tattoo was mostly likely the result of a cry for attention, intoxication, or a prank that occurred in a college dorm (the "revenge" twist could be the media just making stuff up again). Other people have chosen some very questionable tattoos, such as the infamous "cat bum tattoo" (visit images.google.com/images?q=cat+bum+tattoo to see some pictures of this, and similar, tattoos), so it's also possible she specifically chose this tattoo. Nov 30 '11 at 17:36
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    Also, there is no proof that this image is actually a permanent tattoo. This can be some sort of temporary tattoo, created just for this photo - like it's done with Corset Piercings nowadays, where you remove then when you're done playing.
    – T. Sar
    Feb 13 '15 at 10:14

The Smoking Gun suggests that this is a piece of fake news which originates with the following image.

As seen above, the photo appears legitimate. In fact, it first surfaced online about 18 months ago as part of a “Worst Tattoo of the Day” post on the blog I Am Bored.


A review of court indices, of course, shows no such civil complaint has ever been filed (either in federal or state court) by “Brovent.” James Druber, administrator of the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court (where Dayton residents file their six-figure complaints), said that he had heard nothing about the purported tattoo lawsuit.

Additionally, a review of the Nexis database turns up no “Rossie Brovent,” or, in fact, anyone with that surname. And a search for “Ryan Fitzjerald” (with or without the middle initial “L”) turns up nobody with that name.

(source: turner.com)

Here is the original post.

However, looking at the EXIF data you can see the image has been manipulated in Photoshop.

Creator Tool  Adobe Photoshop CS4 Windows
Create Date   2010:06:19 09:17:31-07:00

So, using the power of Google I was lead to a French blog post that pointed me to UgliestTattoos.com:

Via Ugliest Tattoos, le 16 décembre 2009.

Finally, the page was down, but I was able to retrieve a copy via the magnificient Wayback Machine. The page was cached on January 14th 2010, thus pretty much timestamping the image to the end of 2009.

The following is the (presumably) original image. Note the ugly writings at the bottom, which have been removed in later copies.

original poop tattoo

UgliestTattoos.com says it was uploaded directly to the site.

Submitted by: nasza-klasa via Submission Page

  • Sorry, I know this doesn't add that much to what you already said in your question...
    – Sklivvz
    Nov 29 '11 at 21:16
  • "...you can see the image has been manipulated in Photoshop" doesn't explain how it was (or wasn't) manipulated. It is common for people to use a tool, such as Photoshop, to make minor enhancements as well as major enhancements -- with some of my photos I use Photoshop to fix brightness/contrast and occasionally also adjust colours or even sharpen the image as needed. (I consider these to be minor enhancements; a major enhancement would be to add or remove a tattoo, cover up unwanted marks, remove someone/something from the background, etc.). Nov 30 '11 at 17:41
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    @ran a watermark was added, plus possibly some clean up. You can see the watermark if you click on tha EXIF data link.
    – Sklivvz
    Nov 30 '11 at 18:11

This story seem to be false as it states:

Tattoo artist Ryan Fitzgerald from Dayton, OH was hit with a $100,000 lawsuit last week by his ex-girlfriend Rossie Brovent.

which would make it the week prior to November 26, 2011 where as the image in the article that is turning up on a tineye search as early as 2009 (http://www.tineye.com/search/a24ae0108904d0902882c9fab058219ce005df4c/).

  • That just shows the undated story has been circulating for a while, not whether the story is a legend versus a myth.
    – Oddthinking
    Nov 29 '11 at 17:46
  • @Oddthinking That is true. It's certainly possible that the tumblr post is citing something that's even earlier. None of my attempts at finding another earlier source hasn't turned up anything. It doesn't actually show that the story in itself has been circulating though, just that the picture has, posts using the picture prior to the tumblr post seem unrelated as far as I can tell. None of the sites using the images previously seem to shine a light on it's origin.
    – Kit Sunde
    Nov 29 '11 at 18:20
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    @KitSunde It certainly proves that that iteration of the story is either fabricated or heavily mistaken, however, as I mentioned in my comment up above. It's a black mark against it being anything but an urban legend. Nov 29 '11 at 19:48

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