Meet The Man Behind The Mug: Jesse Thornhill

Friday, July 23rd 2010, 2:50 pm
By: News On 6

By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- His mug shot made him famous around the world, but who is Jesse Thornhill?

The 28-year-old's July arrest for trying to run over his landlord in Tulsa got everyone's attention because of his unique body art.

His mug shot even made its way to the site of celebrity blogger Perez Hilton. had 184,000 story hits... and counting.

7/22/2010  Related Story: 'Horned' Tulsa Man Charged With Felony Assault 

"I don't really know what to think of it. Like a lot of things in this life, it's a little bit ridiculous because there really isn't much story to it at all. My face is the story," said Jesse Thornhill.

Thornhill, born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was thrust into the spotlight.

"I felt like I had to give it some kind of meaning, have some semblance - and it really doesn't," Thornhill said. "It's just what I do."

His image started with a tongue piercing, and progressed to more piercings, tattoos, scarring, branding and implants.

Tara Vreeland, The News On 6: Do you call them horns?

Jesse Thornhill: I guess. I don't really think about them too much. They are just there.

After 10 years of work, he says the Trojan Helm brand on his head is what hurt the most.

"Exactly like being burned and electrocuted. It's like an ebb and flow. The longer you sit, you get pushed into pre-shock. So you take a little break, you come back," said Thornhill.

The unique body modifications have cost him upwards of $30,000. Thornhill says it's solely about self expression.

"I'm a bit of an oddball, I'll give you that," Thornhill said. "But I wouldn't say that I'm any different than anybody else is. I'm just pretty comfortable with myself."

How does he deal with the attention?

"Since I choose to look this way, I try to be pretty patient about it."

Thornhill works in construction and is studying biology and horticulture. He says he may pursue plant genetics, a job that won't be affected by his appearance.

'Horned' Tulsa Man Displays Body Art

"I think the moral of the story will present itself further in my life to be honest. What all of this teaches me, what happens if I'm 60-years-old or 40 and I regret all of this? What will I have learned? What I've learned so far is I don't like being told what to do, within reason, as far as what I can look like in this society and still make it," said Thornhill. "I wish the world was more of an open minded place and it has gotten a bit better."

As far as the incident involving his landlord, Thornhill says he did not try to run her over. In fact, he says they've actually been friends for 23 years. Thornhill says it was all a big misunderstanding that will be sorted out in court on August 2nd.