RIP Tom Leppard


I meant to post a little blurb on the SD tumblr back in June when I read that Tom Leppard had passed away but never got around to it. Luckily our friend George in the UK was kind enough to send over a clipping of Tom’s obituary which was a perfect reminder.

Tom- born Tom Woolridge in 1930- was a career soldier who transformed himself through tattooing into The Leopard Man of Skye. Living a solitary hermit’s life in a small hut without electricity Tom would kayak into town for groceries and supplies, begrudgingly appearing at tattoo conventions to make extra income. We have some photos of Tom in the SD archives that will eventually make it onto the site.

Rest in Peace, Tom.

Shawn Porter has spent the majority of his life in the modification world. As a body modification archivist and documentarian, he has one of the most extensive collections of documents relating to the early American body modification community in existence. He edited the SPC website from 1995 to 2005, co-founded ModCon, was the host of ModCons 3.5 and 4, and created and hosted The Scarwars Project from 2004-2007. In 2011 Shawn launched Occult Vibrations, a blog devoted to traditional American tattoos with a focus on the occult and esoteric. He currently resides in Philadelphia with his wife Julia and their creepy pets Mr. Bailey Papers and L. RonBenet Ramsey.


  1. when I hear of things like this, I often wonder if it was society that drives a man to such isolation because of his drive to make him / herself that different from those around them. RIP

  2. First generation. A contemporary of Omi. Kids today won’t know his name, as he didn’t seek the limelight; and would only be known of in books. (Books!) Ironically, he lived as a human creature in the wild, despite his having no particular affinity for leopards. Before there were supermodded trust fund kids; when it took serious balls to live in modern culture; albeit in seclusion. No internet–no “followers” to “like” his every bowel movement or new mod. RIP Tom ?

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