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Tuesday, March 5

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kate / March 18, 2007 10:36 PM

No, just the rare gun fire. I live in Logan.

I used to live in Humboldt. There was some serious gang activity and nightly ka-pows of guns. However, all the encounters I had with the thugs were very pleasant. They always said hello to me and asked me how my day was going... nice fellas. Kind of miss our exchanges.

dave / March 18, 2007 11:01 PM

I live in Hyde Park, so the Black P Stone Nation is still around, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of activity in the neighborhood. There's definitely organized dealing, but I can only think of a couple gang related "incidents" in the few years I've lived here.

avantchicago / March 18, 2007 11:24 PM

I think this question is really worded poorly b/c i doubt most readers really know who is in a gang or not. How can you tell? The media makes all minority crime a gang issue and of course every black/hispanic dude dressed like a hip-hopper is seen that way. But if I have gangs in the Hood they never cause a ruckus. I'm more worried about the gangs in those high rise offices in the Loop!

Shylo / March 18, 2007 11:38 PM

as a member of a high-rise office gang, i applaud your caution. because i will straight f your s up, you know? and i'd take your money and blow it on a veggie bomb at hannah's bretzel.

Craig / March 19, 2007 1:48 AM

The Sharks and the Jets are heating up pretty big time here. Not a lot of gun shots, but those fuckers sing in the streets all night long.

peta / March 19, 2007 8:09 AM

The Regular Democrats are all over my ward.

jennifer / March 19, 2007 8:45 AM

I see a fair amount of gang graffiti around Ukrainian Village, but I'm not sure what tags are associated with which gangs. There were two buildings across the street from mine which were involved in quite a bit of dealing, but one building was sold and turned condo, and the other one has been vacant for about a year.

Sue / March 19, 2007 9:15 AM

Well here in Winnetka, the
Polo 's vs. the Versace's has been pretty brutal. Although, don't mess with Donna Karan, she'll take you out, dawg!

Seriously though, we do have our fair shar of gang issues in the high school's in the burbs as well. Some more than others, but the definitely the usual, drugs and alcohol!

spence / March 19, 2007 9:19 AM

The largest gang in my hood is definitely the buttercream gang. I see them picking up trash along the gutters on Saturdays and helping old ladies carry groceries from time to time. Menaces to society says I.

Stephen / March 19, 2007 9:22 AM

Like Jennifer, I'm in the Ukrainian Village (Wood & Augusta) and see plenty of gang graffiti. The only graffiti I recognize are the six-pointed star and pronged symbols for Gangster Disciples and Latin Disciples, of which there are a few scratched into our sidewalks and tagged on mailboxes/empty buildings.

Rumor has it that there is quite a bit of gang activity at the local high schools (Wells and Clemente). Since I'm at work during the day I don't really see who is coming/going from those buildings.

There are a few sketchy looking dudes around but I wouldn't know enough to know if they were independently sketchy, or gang-sketchy.

Dragonslayer / March 19, 2007 9:28 AM

I grew up in the Roseland/West Pullman area in the 70s and 80s. In the 80s, when I was a teen, gangs flourished out there and were openly at war with each other as the neighborhood descended into poverty and drugs. I mention this because that violent time in my life is the barometer by which I measure gang activity. Even when I lived in Wicker Park in the late 90s, gangbangers were readily identifiable on the street, but, since I never had to dodge bullets while running into the house, I didn't consider the activity level very high.

I just moved from the 47th and Indiana area (southern tip of Bronzeville?) and though I'm certain the gangs were present and active, I saw little evidence and it had no effect on my daily life.

Now, I live in Streeterville and the only gang presence I see are gangbangers doing a little R&R at Navy Pier. Thug Life ain't easy.

vit / March 19, 2007 9:32 AM

I live in the East Village/Ukrainian Village area, and I see the occasional tags that I know are gang related (e.g. pitchforks, crowns etc), but I don't see much in the way of activity as the neighborhood is pretty gentrified. I used to live in Roger's Park (along Clark street) in the early 90's, holy crap, now that place back then had a lot of gang activity, I don't miss it.

I also grew up in the south burbs and had a couple of friends put in the hospital by gangs when I was a teenager. They suck.

Don Knotts / March 19, 2007 10:17 AM

Apple Dumpling Gang all up in my shit.

jen / March 19, 2007 10:20 AM

no gangs in logan? um, i don't think so. there certainly are in west logan.
maybe i just assume because of the regularity of cops (marked and unmarked) driving down my streets and alleys now that spring is starting that there are gangs in my neighborhood.


the thugs on my street always seem nice enough, too; but i'm also on a pretty family/bungalow filled street.

Andrew / March 19, 2007 10:37 AM

I live about five blocks from Emerson Park, where those people got beat up for trying to break up a gang fight last week. But that's the first serious violence I've heard of nearby.

According to this gang map, we're in Almighty Black P- Stones territory. Watch for the kids in black and red.

Blagg the Axman / March 19, 2007 10:39 AM

Gangs of rogues and bandits always have been active in the realm, although in the days of King Mandrake their misdeeds were kept mostly in check and prosecuted in lawful courts. Now, with Kayne’s dark tide risen over the land, it is a brave or foolhardy townsperson indeed who goes a-walking alone and unarmed after sundown. Goblins, gnomes and other creatures of ill repute rove the countryside in ever-growing numbers, and Kayne’s minions take action only when necessary—in other words, when the thieves’ crimes threaten the Dark Lord’s own plunderous machinations.

I have not yet taken enough blows to the skull to have forgotten a time when townspeople and deputies alike would band together in pursuit of knaves who’d robbed or otherwise abused a local. But in these cold days, the sight of a corpse, bludgeoned and broken in a ditch, hardly calls for a second glance.

Graham / March 19, 2007 10:40 AM

I have mos def been hearing fewer gunshots in my Southside neighborhood since the FUBUs ran the Hilfigers off their turf and called a truce with the Pelle Pelle Posse. Natch, I still see a lot of associated "colors" around, which indicates that these two gangs *still* have a strong foothold around my 'hood.

However, I know for a fact that there's still some hella cross-street beef simmering between the old skool Marxists and the Straussian Free Marketeers over the corner at 57 & University in Hyde Park.

peaches / March 19, 2007 10:43 AM

Craig beat me to it.

Witty response foiled, I'll be for real. I've heard rumblings about gang activity in my neighborhood (Albany Park). Save for the random grafitti, I haven't really felt anything of the sort in my 1 1/2 years in the neighborhood.

Peter / March 19, 2007 10:49 AM

I escaped from Algonquin a while back. It seemed kind of trendy for the cool kids there to say that they were in the Gangster Disciples...or "GDs" for the truly hip. Algonquin's proximity to Elgin, Carpentersville, and Aurora (Latin Kings), makes it a destination for drug enthusiasts of all sorts. (They do not call it McHeroin-CoKane Counties for nothing.) The community has dealt with the "gang problem" by sticking their collective heads up their respective asses, thus rendering the problem out of sight...out of mind.

Graham / March 19, 2007 10:58 AM


I can report that the beef between the LaRouchians and the Fruit Of The Nation over the intersection of 53rd and Harper has been squashed. Both groups have been displaced by a bunch of dreadlocked dudes selling incense. Local authorities claim that this new gang is harmless, but I suspect that it's a front opertation for some seriously shady shit. Possibly involving scented body oils.

Jill / March 19, 2007 11:36 AM

For a while I was living in an area of Lake View that the Trixies were invading. I think they've lost some of their power since their leaders got married. I'm more worried about the Louis Vuittonians now. If you got smacked with one of their purses, you'd be down for the count.

Graham / March 19, 2007 11:42 AM

I gotta admit: This is the best question in some time!

Sigh. Scaring white folks is just too damn easy, sometimes. Like fish in a barrel.

spook / March 19, 2007 11:58 AM

Nobody thugs harder or longer than Old Dick Cheny, he steady running the Haliburton Nation International Corporation!

Better recognize! Cause he don't just let the young uns do the dirty work, he puts in work himself with his own shot gun!

Warmonger / March 19, 2007 12:09 PM

There's this gang of white guys - "God's Gang" or some such thing, since they seem to use crosses as their symbol - that dresses in suits and ties and shakes everyone down in my 'hood for money for their gang warfare. Wait, I remember now - it's called "the US government," and I think the gang also refers to itself as "Republicans."

leah / March 19, 2007 12:29 PM

Apparently the Maniac Campbell Boys run on my block. You will recognize them by their symbol of a maniac monk.

You know how monks can be so maniac, y'all.

me / March 19, 2007 12:40 PM

Chi-Town Mafia Skinheads are fairly represented in the Ukrainain Village. They are quite possibly the meanest people I've ever come across, hence my anonimity.

p / March 19, 2007 1:28 PM

hey graham- who are these "white folks" who scare so easy, the Popes? Because threatening to put them in a barrel and shoot them might anger some caucasian gentlemen in the west lawn community. Wait a minute...i just consulted andrew's gang map and it turns out they are in fact, People. My bad.

But if you're referring to the topic of gangs getting caucasians shook, i would applaud you and suggest everyone take a look at your blog to find the path towards a more appropriate level of comfortability with gun-poppin' realness with you and your culture vulture boy Aaron LaCrate- STRAIGHT OUTTA BODYMORE, MURDERLAND!!!! FUCK YEAH BANGBANG!! And take your suggestion to go to his set. Do not be alarmed by the army of causcasians in attendance with crisp newera caps broke off to the side (don't worry they're not flagging it's just for the look) and various streetwear brands featuring gunz and 'mo gunz (again, don't worry they're being ironic). Oh and i won't even mention the bandannas. FISH IN A BIZZARREL. BANGBANG!!

Or- if you are in fact Stedmon Graham you can say whatever you please sir, and please disregard any of my saltiness.

fluffy / March 19, 2007 1:29 PM

When I lived in Pilsen, I heard shots all the time, and it's always some poor innocent kid at the wrong place and at the wrong time who would get shot in the crossfire. At least two of them were killed within a block from my house.

The Disciples, the Latin Kings, and I can't remember all the others- the stupid thing is- they're all really young- about 14 years old. Even the chicks are scary-tough looking. Just don't look at them the wrong way, or walk on their side of the street, or be gay cause they will fuck with you. They're young, tough, and have nothing to lose. They still couldn't keep the yuppies out though...

Besides Humboldt Park, the only other place I've seen gangs hanging out is in Edgewater. That was about 6 years ago, though, so I don't know if they're still there.

I'm in UKie Village now and don't see anything but a few tags here and there. Last week I saw someone get her purse snatched right outside my window (close to Wood/Augusta) It was a well lit area. Around 9:30pm. The girl screamed her head off, but I think the guy got away. It wasn't gang-related, though.

I'm trying to decide where to move next.

jj / March 19, 2007 1:33 PM

Wow, how lucky that most of us can affford to be witty and ironic about gangs in our neighborhoods. Somehow I'm finding it a little hard to laugh though, since I'm one of those kids who had to stay inside during the summers and wasn't allowed to go to the park across the street because of various gangs warring in my Grandpa's neighborhood in the 80s.... learning to hit the floor when dad heard "firecrackers" outside... men in ski-masks coming to the door... having to roller skate in the basement because outside was too dangerous... seeing the teenagers with guns poking out of their car windows drive by... hearing the ice cream truck outside but knowing you can't go get any... those memories are just SO HILARIOUS.

I was lucky - other than the last few years of his life when we took care of Grandpa full time, I spent most of my childhood at my parents house in a very good neighborhood, but there are a lot of other kids who are living in gang-infested neighborhoods right now who I can't forget, and no one else should either.

fluffy / March 19, 2007 1:34 PM

and you recognize them by the colors they wear, but mostly by their haircuts. Really, some have that hideous rat-tail thing, others have mullets.... very gang has its signature ridiculous haircut-that's how you know.

kleinstadt / March 19, 2007 1:48 PM

My garage got tagged by the Latin Kings this summer (Logan Square, Armitage and Kedzie).

Other than that, I don't see/hear anything.

There was apparently some dealer camped out in the playground up the street from me this summer.

Plus, my movers/electrician/anyone else who visits my place invariably says, "Wow, this is a bad neighborhood, you know that?"


leah / March 19, 2007 1:51 PM

Gangs are not awesome, I agree, jj.

However after spending a good amount of time regularly looking at:

and seeing 6 time (the reported) crimes at Clark & Diversey than my neighborhood in Humbolt, I kind of shrug my shoulders.

I've said it a million times, I know more people who've been mugged or stolen from in Lincoln Park or Lakeview than any of the non-LP, LV neighborhoods I & my friends live in.

The thugs thug where the money is perceived to be.

I think.

The rest is more thug-on-thug than thug-on-nerd.

Graham / March 19, 2007 1:56 PM

Admittedly there are parts of town were gang activity is a problem. But it's often hard to gauge just how extensive said problem is when random acts of crime are misattributed to "gang" activity -- which is frequently is. Public perception of the prevelance of violent crime is often out of step with reality...usually thanks to media coverage. Of course, when you live in a neighborhood where it _is_ a big problem, your perspective is going to favor that of a worst-case scenario.

And having recently lived in Baltimore, myself, Chicago's gang problem is not that bad by comparison. Many other cities have it _far_ worse. Same goes for the rodents-per-resident ratio.

fluffy / March 19, 2007 2:04 PM

they are being witty and ironic because they haven't been personally touched by gang violence like you have. I'm glad that they haven't, but I'm sorry that you have.
Don' t take it personally.

Suz / March 19, 2007 2:11 PM

According to the map, the Almighty Latin Kings are in my neighbourhood. I see tags for the Gangster Disciples around but I have no idea if they are authentic.

I used to live in Edgewater and saw a whole lot of dealing(sometimes heard gun shots) but have no idea if you could connect that to a specific gang.

Sabrosa / March 19, 2007 2:52 PM

Satan's Disciples in Humboldt park. Mind your own business and nobody bothers you here. Unfortunately, that means no "neighborhood" feel to this area. Lots of cars alarms at wee hours of the morning. Lots of drug dealing on these corners, but rarely any gun shots.

skafiend / March 19, 2007 3:03 PM

Kind of a silly question. Does it really matter what they are called? I live in Edgewater, and it doesn't matter if the "street thugs" are affiliated with an organized gang or not. They could call themselves the Mighty Pink Hello Kitty Mob and would it make a difference? and what does "gang activity" mean? Shooting? Drug dealing on the street corner? Hanging out in front of the liquor store? You don't have to be in a gang to do that stuff. if a bunch of kids are hangoing out out on a street corner in Wilmette, are they a gang? Why not? How about asking if there is a lot of CRIMINAL activity in your neighborhood?

ken / March 19, 2007 3:27 PM

Now that I'm out in the sticks (the really far nw burbs) there is not so much "gang" activity in the traditional city sense.
The mexican immigrants have banded together and have formed a make-shift "gang" in the 'hood that they dominate, but for the most part it's a toss -up between the original bad boy clubs - The Outlaws and the Hells Angels.

Shylo / March 19, 2007 3:46 PM

That's a good point, skafiend, about criminal activity vs. gang activity. Although I'm sure that gangs can be violent, you can and do have violence without gangs. Because the dickweeds that smash random car windows in my neighborhood, Albany Park, might be in a gang or they might not, but whichever's the case won't keep my shagginwagon from getting smashed.

skafiend / March 19, 2007 4:06 PM


LOL... shagginwagon...

But, yeah, asking if there's a lot of "gang activity" is kinda hazy, conjuring up images of a bunch of guys walking down the street in matching jackets while a Leonard Bernstein score plays in the background. There's very little overt signs of organized gang activity. Other than the spraying of a symbol on a building or the wiggling of a specified set of fingers, there's very acts I can think of that one can point to and say, "Yup, that's a gang."

kt / March 19, 2007 4:14 PM

likewise in the UK village and i've found that the blue wall of the 24 hr laundromat at western & thomas to be pretty much a community bulletin board letting you know which gangs are active in the neighborhood.

spook / March 19, 2007 4:43 PM

It’s called tragicomic. You laugh to keep from crying. I grew up on the deep south side of Chicago. I aint talking Hyde Park, I’m talking. “The Low End” as oppose to the "Wild Hundreds".

I saw gang banging in grammar school- graduating with kids totting golf clubs and bats to fend off rivals gangs. In my senior year of high school a mentally underdeveloped Latin Eagle pulled a gun on some friends and I, over some silliness while walking to school, and had the nerve to actually bring the gun to school that morning! Yes I felt sorry for the kid, although he deserved to be off the streets. But the kid was mentally delayed and had a crack head mother with a bunch of other brothers and sisters.

But don’t break out the violins for me, I had a great childhood! Sure I had some obstacles, that’s life, but I was lucky to have great support and that’s what matters.

Now if some one I knew got killed or hurt badly by a gang banger, I’d want the animal put six feet deep under the jail, With that being said, I’d be a fool if I thought kids “choose” to join a gang, be killers, crack dealers, etc. In other words, no child wakes up and says “ I know I could be a fireman, police, Indian chief, but I’d rather be a Black Gangster Disciple! Our society provides for kids tragically uneven. What you see on the streets is a result of the tragic and gross inequality of our society. If WE don’t start being honest and dealing with it, it’s just gonna get worse, and of course we know “some body” profits from the revolving door of prison incarceration right? Perhaps that’s why it’s not “fixed”?

Now I know what’s the next from yall……. the stories about how “some body” pulled them selves up by their boot straps- all by themselves- so those gang bangers just wanna be thugs, just wanna be crack heads, killers, etc, etc” Yea I heard it all before so save it for Rush Limbaugh.

Now if you were gonna ask me what the coolest sounding street gang name I ever heard of, I’d say the Four Corner Hustlers, Conservative Vice Lords or Insane Unknowns!

anon / March 19, 2007 4:56 PM

Spook, the low end is Taylor Homes and Stateway Gardens. are you sure you grew up in Stateway?

Thurston / March 19, 2007 5:04 PM

I am living in Brazil at the moment, and I have been surprised to see how much of favela crimial culture is a direct imitation of the images of gangs from US movies and TV. The dressing alike, silly haircuts... nothing like getting robbed on the beach by ten shoeless 14 year-olds with dyed blonde hair and Raiders tank tops.

Each favela has a gang or two or three, and when one encroaches on the other's blow-selling territory (within the favela or on the beaches), they break out the uzis and a half dozen people die. The gangs are all headed by successful drug dealers. They also provide some social services within the favela, setting up clinics and running an extra-governmental judicial system.

TKO / March 19, 2007 5:17 PM

I followed the link and found my neighborhood has the Spanish Gangster Disciples. It said they wear light blue and black. I don't recall seeing lots of people in light blue and black. I'll probably notice now.

There seems to be a ton of drug dealing. It might be gang related. Might not. It also seems to be multicultural drug dealing as several ethnicities have been represented by the characters I've seen on the street corners.

I consider my neighborhood (Albany Park) shady but have never felt threatened.

maardvark / March 19, 2007 6:01 PM

That gang map is, to a certain extent, a little silly: it seems like any "gang" that wants to can claim certain territory, even if they don't actually work it. (It looks like they get their information from the gangs themselves.) Example: there's a gang hanging out in front of the wine bars in Roscoe Village? Seriously?

Leelah / March 19, 2007 6:12 PM

I think my school is in Black Disciples territory. It's not on the map (Gangsta Disciples is), but that's what I heard.

fluffy / March 19, 2007 6:15 PM


Not a silly question. I'd rather know what they're called so I can properly identify them to the authorities after they kill someone. There are gang initiations and it helps to know what they are so you can watch your ass.

I mean, if you're in a bad neighborhood, you may as well be informed. If you live in a safer neighborhood then, that's great. But not everyone does.

I'm NOT talking getting your windshield wiper torn off (like my car) or seeing a couple of tags here and there, stuff like that. I would call that 'general criminal activity' - even selling weed or crack (which I've witnessed in Lincoln Park).

What I'm talking about is getting caught in the crossfire between two rival gangs and seeing a little boy get shot and killed. The gangs want to kill each other, so it's good to know what they look like, the types of cars they drive, and where not to be.

dave / March 19, 2007 7:30 PM

If you're interested in learning more about the history of gangs in Chicago, you should definitely check out Thrasher's The Gang: A Study of 1,313 Gangs in Chicago, published by the U of C Press, 1927. There are a ton of other interesting Chicago School books that deal with gangs and criminality from that time that are worth checking out.

Of course, there are a lot of other fascinating books that have been published since then, but it's an interesting historical document, and a nice baseline to begin working through the Chicago gang literature. I'm not suggesting that reading is the best way to learn about gangs, but it's certainly the easiest.

Oh, and the Encyclopedia of Chicago's gang entry provides a brief historical overview.

spook / March 19, 2007 9:57 PM

This is the last time I'll debate with an "anon". I didn't grow up in StateWay or any housing project. The “low end” is not two separate projects. It’s "considered” a group of blocks, around 63 and Stony Island, 69th and East End in that general area, taking in a small part of Englewood. How far it extends I'm not sure. I'm pretty sure its not Robert Taylor on 35th street, which is called "The Hole"
But back to the real conversation with people who choose to provide some sort of identifying information, instead of tossing lobs from the dark. Chicago has a history of those on the outside of “power” forming gangs for economic power, protection and identity/belonging. Look no further than the gang Daley's father belonged too, the Humburgs. They started the Chicago Race Riots of 1918. The thing is every gang transitions from street crime to politics, then going “legitimate”. The interesting thing about Black and Hispanic Gangs, is that they are “allowed” to keep certain neighborhoods destabilized as long as the crime stays between themselves and the few innocent poor people that get trapped by drive by shooting, etc. What’s interesting is that the moment they get really political not as pawns but as organizations, the government cracks down on them hard, for instance the El Rukins aka Black Stone Rangers, Latin Kings and of course The Disciples when they formed 21st Century Vote. ten years ago, they all got arrested.
Interesting topic yall

Reenie / March 19, 2007 10:32 PM

I live in Back of the Yards. I bet half the people reading this don't know where that is. Three people have had their heads blown off in the last two years within two blocks of my house. The biggest drug bust in the city last year was within half a mile. Not all of the shooting was gang-related, but the drug bust and one of the murders was.

There are many beautiful young kids here. Some of them play soccer in my back yard. Some of them I'm worried about already.

One December Friday afternoon the young kids were playing soccer and I was on the front stoop when one gang of teenagers ran down the street, chased by another. A few seemed to have broomsticks or two-by-fours in hand. A boy stood in the middle of the intersection hollering, "Death to the Disciples! Death to the Disciples!"
This gang stuff ain't no joke. We have GDs, LaRaza, Latin Souls and Latin Saints all up very close against each other here. Reminds me of the old days in Uptown when the Vice Lords, GDs and Latin Kings' lines all crossed each other just east of the Aragon Ballroom.

Steve / March 20, 2007 1:21 AM

Let's see...when I first moved into the city, it was all about the MALK. And my uncle the cop kept insisting that the kids from nearby Lakeview High were going to bust into my place over lunch hour, but that never happened.

And apparently it was the GDs doing the open drug deals near my wife's last place up by the Granville stop b4 we cohabbed.

My last city hood appears to have been in Adidas Boys turf, according to the interactive map.

But all I really know is that 81 days a year, the Baseball Furies took over Irving Park Road, slowly creeping by in their hoopties, hornin' all the while. They always seemed so happy while heading east, and so sad as they went west a few hours later.

anon / March 20, 2007 7:49 AM

First of all poser it's the Lower End, not low end. And it's the state street projects.

Put down the comic books or move back to baltimore,
dumb ass.

amyc / March 20, 2007 10:20 AM

there's a gang hanging out in front of the wine bars in Roscoe Village? Seriously?

According the map, Victory's Banner is an outpost of the Almighty Latin Kings. I knew those hippies were up to something!

noneofyourbizness / March 20, 2007 10:40 AM

I am fortunate enough to live in a neighborhood with very little gang activity. I don't care which gangs are which. I consider them all equally worthy of contempt. Scaring white folks? Graham, please. Most victims of gang crime are the same race as the gang members (not to mention those who glorify gang culture in music).

skafiend / March 20, 2007 10:59 AM

Not a silly question. I'd rather know what they're called so I can properly identify them to the authorities after they kill someone.

And how exactly will you describe them? "Yeah, they were wearing baggy pants and big white t-shirts." Um, ok, got it. thanks. Can't have them arresting a GD when we know it was a BPSN.

As a potential witness, I don't think it makes a difference what their specific individual gang affiliation is. If you want to properly identify them, a physical description is more helpful that "I think he was a Latin King... or wait, was he a Saint?" Besides, how can you be sure who's who? This isn't Fonzie and the boys with matching jackets with patches. so you tell the cop you think the guy was a GD... how does that manifest itself as help? Is the cop going to arrest only GDs?


What I'm talking about is getting caught in the crossfire between two rival gangs

Been there, done that. The most recent time was a few years ago walking with a then-girlfriend in Rogers park. A guy was walking toward us when another guy jumped out of the bushes and took a shot at his back, and in turn, directly at us. I pulled her down and we hit the ground, did the tuck-and-roll over to the back of a parked car, then sprinted around the corner.

Then there was the occasional shooting I heard when he lived in Robert Taylor, 4331 S. Federal, apt. 818. But it was Black Stone Rangers then...

, so it's good to know what they look like, the types of cars they drive, and where not to be.

The type of cars they drive? What kind of cars to GDs drive? Prius?

Yet another Anon / March 20, 2007 12:18 PM


WTF is the difference between "anon" and some of the other names that people post with?

Unless "spook" is on your birth certificate, you are a complete hypocrite.

Sounds like you got all up on that "anon" issue b/c you got called out on your b/s, maybe?

Deep South Side?
Burn it!!!

Emerson Dameron / March 20, 2007 12:29 PM

I live in Humboldt, one block west of Western. Every available surface is tagged, but from my observations, it's a lot quieter than Ukie Village, Pilsen or Edgewater were when I lived in them. I haven't witnessed anything worse than dope-dealing, which I don't consider any of my business. Things seem a lot rougher a few blocks west.

Gang "culture" is simultaneously so depressing and surreal, I don't see how you can't laugh about it. It's a lot like corporate "culture."

spook / March 20, 2007 2:01 PM


It seems like “Ceasefire” has made a short term difference in gang shootings

The thing about Humboldt park gangs, like the Latin Kings, Southside gangs like the Disciples and Westside gangs like the Vice Lords is that they tend to just be all about the drug trade. They don’t care about other gangs and will even work with them to make more money. They only fight over territory. Actually younger members get “violated” by older members for fighting with other gangs "over nothing" because the less police exposure the better. I guarantee that half the block parties, youth baseball teams, etc in Humboldt Park and the southside are sponsored by street gangs as part of on going “public relations” campaigns.

Gangs in Pilsen, Little Village and Edgewater are less about drug sales, but more about reputation, which means they fight at the drop of a pen

Also a lot of aldercreatures pay gangs to intimidate the supporters of their opponents during campaigns. It’s amazing how many gang members Aldercreature Dick Mell is sending to Logan Square in support of Vilma Colon over Alderman Rey Colon for the run off. And don’t forget how letter head from the CPD Police Chief ended up in the home of a gang leader dating former Aldercreature Arenda Troutman.

It’s interesting that we are having this conversation as it gets warmer out.

Kilovolt / March 20, 2007 2:14 PM

Except for a few kids on skateboards hanging out in front of the family-oriented movie theater, downtown Arlington Heights appears to be gang-free. I can't speak for the outlying neighborhoods, though... :-)

a-non / March 20, 2007 2:54 PM

In the area of Albany Park I'm in, there's the Familia Stones (according to that map) and Latin Kings. I see plenty of tags around, plenty of suspected drug deals, and groups of kids that aren't playing, but hangin'. Also, a 13-year old was beaten to death on Lawrence a few weeks ago.

And to Shylo: the smashed car windows in the 'hood aren't gang-related. It's a bored kid with a spark plug, as I found out at a CAPS meeting last summer. (I also learned that if you ever need to smash a car window, just tap it with a spark plug.)

coconuts / March 20, 2007 3:06 PM

An interesting take on gangs about 15 years ago in Logan Square/Humboldt is "My Bloody Life" which is written by a pseudonym, but a real gangbanger. It's kind of a hodgepodge of different activities, but written as one person's story.

spook / March 20, 2007 3:27 PM


don't get too comfortable. With the gentrification of inner city communities includingthe relocation of tens of thousand of CHA residents with no replacement housing and the affordable housing crisis in Chicago numerous gangs are locating to western suburban communities. its becoming a big problem.

Hardest hit are the southern ones. Try googling Harvey where the gangs are so tied to the mayor and the police chief that State and County law officials had to take over

anon / March 20, 2007 3:44 PM

Anxiously awaiting the next thread so spook can boast about being from Harvey next, maybe Markham if we're lucky. Straight outta Dixie Mall YO!

spook / March 20, 2007 5:12 PM

No “anon” you simply want my attention! You wanna bask in my glow, all up in my flava. You’re just too afraid to admit it. All intimidated and what not, hence the “anon”.
Like young kids with Tupac, you wanna be me, but that’s o.k.

I’m not from Markem, but it just so happens, your hero Spook’s got a little Markem bed time story for ya! It includes thugs and gangs!

See back in the day, there use to be a roller rink in Markem. I think it was called “The Screaming Wheels” or maybe it was the original, “Loop” or was that the one on 95th and Stony Island? I know there is a Loop rink on the north side, but believe me, it aint the first.

Any way your Spook was known then, a legend on wheels at both rinks, feel me?
My Moms use to drop me off and then pick me up every Saturday afternoon.

I was too cool to be a skate guard, son. Yea picture your Spook on skates. That’s him gracefully busting out the Big Wheel, no sweat! Yea, picture me, doing the Crazy Leggs, First going forward looking all cool, unconcerned, and of course not breaking a sweat. Then I’m up, leaping in the air, landing backwards, and like a total skate demon, I’m doing the Crazy Leggs backwards to the latest disco beat, word! And I’m not gonna even get into my tricked out black roller skates, the fat red laces, the green fur on the tongue, the orange glow sticks attached on the bottom but above the fat rubber red wheels, yo!

Well one day, these thugs were peep’n my flow, all mad that your Spook was
straight up cold, Rock, Skate, Bounce! Yea they were hate’n hard on my young pre teen person, just like you “anon” but instead of hiding behind “anon”- the height of cowardness on the internet- they rolled up on me three deep as I was coming out the washroom during the “couple skate” song. See I was to shy to ask any of the girls that were dying for me to ask them to skate during couple skate! So they came up on me fast, asking me “what you ridding” telling me to “represent!” In other words they were asking me what gang I was in. They knew I was a neutron (i.e. neutral) cause I was by myself and not wearing any gang colors. Then the small dude accused me of talking to his women, (he reminded me of you anon- small-) and he began backing me into the washroom. Remember its three of them-not on skates- against just one of me, on skates. I was terrified! Then this girl, who was in my third grade class named Hilare, came to my rescue! She was “fione”,and I had a crush her. But like young kids who have a crushes others (just like you anon, have a crush on me), I didn’t know how to just come right out and tell her how I felt. See instead, before I had made fun of in class. But still she saved my butt. She walked up to those thugs and told them to leave me alone. She said that I was deaf, that I couldn’t hear or speak. They got embarrassed and just left me alone. I never thanked Hilar becomes I was too embarrassed. She was my secrete skate princess!

fluffy / March 20, 2007 5:16 PM

Who's in a gang? If you pay attention, if you ask around, if you go to neighborhood meetings, read the paper, you know.

Im not going to argue here. I'm just sharing my tid-bits of knowledge. Take them for what they're worth or don't. It doesn't matter to me.

skafiend / March 20, 2007 5:34 PM

Who's in a gang? If you pay attention, if you ask around, if you go to neighborhood meetings, read the paper, you know.

Yeah, but I don't think it's so cut and dried. There's no roster, no list. And as far as "asking around", I seriously doubt if you or anyone else is going to go around asking strangers if that guy or that guy or that guy is in a gang. It's a good way to get capped. And there are a lot of kids who DRESS like bangers (baggy jeans, the hoodie pulled up high, etc.) who really aren't.

Bottom line, err on the side of caution. Just assume that those guys who hang out on that same corner or have taken control of that section of the park are affiliated with SOME gang, doesn't matter which. It isn't like one is safer than the other.

And I attend the community beat meetings in the church at Bryn Mawr and Sheridan. And never once has the issue of what the names of the gangs are come up. That's not the issue. It's curtailing the criminal activity that's the issue. They can shout GD all day long if they want...

I admire your concern, for sure...

Another Anon / March 20, 2007 5:54 PM

You said, "“anon”- the height of cowardness on the internet".

Spook...are you naive enough to think everybody is using their "real name" when they post?

What is the difference between hiding behind "anon" and hiding behind the name "spook"?

anon / March 20, 2007 6:30 PM

Anon is my name, it's french asshole.
And it's Markham, not Markem. You know Markham don'tyou? It's where all the wanna be gang bangers get "spooked" and then shit themselves when the judge tells them they are getting 364 days of tossing salads on 26th st. Spook do you toss a lot of salad?

Yet Another Anon / March 20, 2007 6:36 PM

Spook should move to Markham.

Chris / March 20, 2007 7:02 PM

Tossing salad, one of my favorite subjects. Come and toss my salad spook!

spook / March 20, 2007 7:05 PM

Then there was my Break'n Crew, back in my break dancing days. Ya see, those were Gangs! Yea Spook was all up in it......but that's another story, dear reader!

spook / March 21, 2007 9:02 AM

talk about randomness,
On the way up to the office,
I saw a women on the elevator this morning, on her collar was a card that had her name along with" Candadite for the Mayor of Markam"! How random is that!

I didn't tell her that Markam was all up in Gapers Block

anon / March 21, 2007 9:19 AM

"candidate for the Mayor of Markham" would make a great hipster t-shirt.

Mikey / March 21, 2007 9:59 AM

During the late 80's, there were several Simon City Royals at my high school (as well as Gaylords--the two "bad-ass" white gangs of the Northwest side)...

I recently found out on Wikipedia that in the early 70's, Simon City joined forces with the Royals (whose turf apparently centered around the intersection of Paulina & Cornelia where I just recently moved from)...

Interesing how neighborhoods change...

stranger / March 21, 2007 10:13 AM

Spook has replaced Marilynn

skafiend / March 21, 2007 10:58 AM

I sense the rise of the first drive-by blogging....

skafiend / March 21, 2007 11:01 AM

During the late 80's, there were several Simon City Royals at my high school (as well as Gaylords--the two "bad-ass" white gangs of the Northwest side)...

Two observations:
First, when I first began seeing the Simon City Royals tags on buildings, I thought they were fans of The Score sports radio (SCR).

Second, I probably wouldn't initially be afraid of a gang called the Gay-lords..

Howver, definited points were earned by the Insane Unknowns. Great f*cking gang name! Even if it did evoke images of a crazed mathmatician.

dave / March 21, 2007 12:12 PM

The Gaylords have long been among my favorite gang names. A friend of mine and I often joke about starting up a South Side set.

Lulu / May 19, 2007 6:57 PM

"there's a gang hanging out in front of the wine bars in Roscoe Village? Seriously?"

There are still a lot of gangs kids running in Roscoe Village and Wrigleyville. Talk to the teachers at Lane or Lake View and ask them about the gang activity at their schools; fights, tagging, weapons, are all pretty common.

Raheem / May 21, 2007 9:31 PM

As a kid growing up in the Chatham neighborhood in the 60's and early 70's my rememberances of gang culture is much different from present day antics of mainly drug dealing and shooting at folks on a crowded bus. Jeff Fort and his rolling stones ran thangs pretty much from woodlawn out to tuley park after he got his big red machine up and running. French type red tams were the only tip off to who was about to throw you a beat down. My neighborhood had a few good men holding their own by the name of the egyptian lords and babylonian pimps but when the Stones rolled thru all them cats had to go in and eat dinner or something. But a gangfight was usually fist to fist with maybe a knife making an appearance.

derrek / May 28, 2007 6:51 PM

yes i live near by a gang known as the LATIN EAGLES by armitage n kostner. i see the cops arresting them all the time but they come out the next day and start causing hell , and they shoot around here everyday man these guys are very crazy but they give everybody in the nieghborhood respect

derrek / May 28, 2007 6:51 PM

yes i live near by a gang known as the LATIN EAGLES by armitage n kostner. i see the cops arresting them all the time but they come out the next day and start causing hell , and they shoot around here everyday man these guys are very crazy but they give everybody in the nieghborhood respect

derrek / May 28, 2007 6:51 PM

yes i live near by a gang known as the LATIN EAGLES by armitage n kostner. i see the cops arresting them all the time but they come out the next day and start causing hell , and they shoot around here everyday man these guys are very crazy but they give everybody in the nieghborhood respect

D-Mack / June 8, 2007 1:32 PM

If any of you think your neighborhood is "gang free" you are mistaken. I joined with the Simon City Royals in Aurora after being shot by some Latin Kings. I was only 14 and exiting the roller rink on Rt 30. I was hit in the left shin. This was in 1984 and from then on I regularly carried a pistol everywhere I went. I didn't have much of a choice at the time...

mike scott / June 19, 2007 11:18 AM

The Almighty Gaylords are from the early 1940s. They formed the gang to combat Latino streetgangs destroying there neighborhood selling drugs.The book lords of lawndale was written by a police informant who claimmed he was a Lawndale Gaylord.The real Gaylords banned him and his web site from there organization in 2007.There is another Gaylord web site on the net.This web site is not listed nor will it ever be.The Gaylords were a Greaser Gang back in the early 1970s.The Gaylords are now residing on the northwest side in huge numbers.They are all grown men with families and jobs.The Gaylords are no longer actively excepting the web site. The Greylords are a new organization against streetgangs and there life style.The Gaylords don't except these want to be Gaylords as real members.

TWINCITYBLOOD360 / June 20, 2007 7:57 AM

When it comes to these "YOUNG-GUNS" up in this shit here, alot of them are really just wanna-be-rankstarz with no real CONSTITUTIONS & ARTICLES! When it comes to putting in work, now-a-days, that work is on some legitimate level of the ORGANIZTION as a whole. Not going out and kapping a body, or busting heads, that type of shit if it's warranted in your group of individuals, says all there is to know about your group. WE ARE THE ORIGINAL 21-BRICKS. We are the "gods" mentioned of old. We don't get involved with new-liners, unless they can cypha supreme math & the mathematics that go with our MODERN-IMAGE. Bloods & Crips Disciples, Folks & People Nations and Lords, the Gods & Earths, or any of the ELDER ORIGINAL orders, who out of RESPECT I shall not bring forth, SOME OF US HOLD OURSELVES TO VERY HIGH PRINCIPLES. Something that is truly liking amongst the young-want-a-bees. And this is not a DISS TO THE YOUNG, because they all look up to a STAR IN THE HOOD OF BIRTH. So the best format is to get this shit under ONE BANNER of BLACK & LATIN PRIDE.


SG / July 13, 2007 1:53 PM

The comment by the person posing as "mike scott" is bogus. The person who wrote it is a bit delusional.

The author of the book "Lords of Lwandale" was indeed an L/A, and later on a K/P GL, and is currently a member of the GrayLords S.C.

Nice try, Demon, but just cause you say it don't make it so.

Doesnt Matter / July 19, 2007 11:39 PM

Born and raised in the city of Los Angeles (early 60's to present). Nuff said.

ricky / August 21, 2007 6:18 PM

what area of edgewater did you use to live in?

Kathy / February 2, 2008 2:51 PM

at our school we have a lot of gang activity. we have the claimers and the real bangers. the people who claim are the ones who get jumped most often.It depends on what gang you wanna be in. Some are easy to get jumped into and others a harder.The gangs in Federal Way aren't that bad.If any of the kids here ran into a real Blood, Crip,or Folk from LA they would get there asses beat!

lifeisworthliving / February 15, 2008 8:45 AM

I have a boyfriend who is a GD. I understand what hes doing is bad. I got him out of all the drugs and because of his love for me he is trying to also get out of the gang. He told me recently that since he is trying to get out he has people looking for him trying to kill him. He said however that even if he does get out he is a "soilder" for life. He has told me many sad stories about his life in the gang. Once you are in a gang no matter what you try to d othere is no way out but death.

Victory / March 30, 2008 4:51 PM

"Once in a gang no matter what you try to do there is no way out but death."

^^That is simply not true lifeisworthliving.

We have many tens of thousands of ex-gangbangers in our organization from gangs all over the world some of which were the most bitterest enemies and I assure you we get along just fine living and working together toward a positive walk.

You both should check us out and maybe come in for some pastorial counseling. Are you ready for a new life?

Chicago / September 9, 2008 6:41 AM

i use to live in the wrigleyville area by where the cubs play. it was always controlled by latin eagles if you go more to the lake you can see the sgd and gd, go more by montrose you see the latin kings and vicelords,black stones, go west of irving park you can see more eagles on kenmore and on ashland its crazy every area is run over by theses gangs.

D / December 19, 2008 2:51 PM

All you gang bangers are losers.

dan / November 18, 2010 6:00 PM

I lived in cicero in the 80`s and was in a gang the 12th st players. too many gangs in this town to list. two-six, two-two boys, satan disciples, knoble knights, la raza, about 10 more to list

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