Ever since the 1870s Chicago has had complex organized crime syndicates. In the 1870s till the 1920s mobsters would deal in illegal gambling groups or in prostitution mainly. In the year 1919 congress passed the 18th amendment to outlaw the manufacturing, sale, possession, and consumption of alcohol that was to take effect in 1920. Once 1920 came around, all alcohol was banned as promised. The banning of alcohol was brought about to halt many illegal and immoral activities that people tended to engage in while under the influence. Our government thought they were doing society good, but instead a horrid opposite effect occurred that ended up shaking the whole nation, and it all started right here in Chicago and the Chicago land suburbs.
If you watch the movie Gangs of New York you will see that gangs were in other cities besides Chicago for many years and many were organized. Like Chicago, New York had a lot of underground gambling rings and prostitution rings as the movie Gangs of New York portrays. The movie is based on historical documents and real gangs. Chicago had very similar gang structures in the later 19th century and very early 20th century. Both cities had massive amounts of immigrants of Italian and Irish decent that organized to get by and deal with their poverty. In the year 1920, Chicago was the first city to create a high powered organized crime syndicate that other cities would later mock.
The ban of alcohol was devastating on people in the United States. Alcohol has been a long time consumed and cherished tradition for many years all over the world by many different cultures. Now the government was saying no more drinking and people were not happy at all. Honest and law-abiding people were upset and found themselves breaking the law by entering speakeasies and consuming alcohol. Organized crime saw massive profits from this amendment because now they could sell to anyone, as opposed to before they could only sell prostitutes and gambling to those with special interests. Many more people love booze then they do hookers or gambling. An old Italian syndicate that originated in Italy long before 1920 got together here in Chicago and quickly put together a diverse plan to get the streets flooded with booze and make massive profits from it. The very quickly put together a complex crime family with rules, structure, and laws all based upon the old syndicate from Italy. Soon Chicago was booming with organized crime and it spread very fast to mainly east coast cities suck as New York or Jersey City or Boston. The family was very large and a complex Mafiosis was set up here in Chicago.
Bloody gang wars soon erupted through the streets of Chicago in the 1920s and early 30s during prohibition. Lots of money and fast money was being made and still needed to be made and it caused these mafia groups to shoot it out in the streets. Turf became very important for these Chicago gangsters because once you had the turf, the more money and power you had.
By 1933 congress realized they made a big mistake by passing the 18th Amendment. People were behaving much worse since the banning of liquor and brutal gang wars waged on the streets that cost many lives. Public officials soon fell into corruption as they saw how much money was to be made from this law. The booze that was being sold was risky to human health and many people got sick. Congress immediately passed the 21st Amendment that allowed the sale, consumption, manufacturing, and possession of alcohol. One main goal of passing this Amendment was to take away profits of organized crime; however, the foundation had already been laid out for the mafiosis to continue to function and grow. The mafias could find other ways of making money that was considered legal and illegal. The Italian Mafiosis was used as a model for later gangs to take after.
In the 1950s, Chicago experienced a massive migration of African Americans that were moving from the southern states to residences in Chicago mainly to look for work. Back in the 1950s Chicago had many blue collar jobs to offer that paid a decent amount of money for the times. During the 1950s, blacks that came to Chicago lived in white neighborhoods. Because of this, young blacks experienced racist attacks by whites; many times it was a constant battle just to walk across town. In the mean time on the northwest side of Chicago, mainly in Lincoln Park and Humboldt Park, Puerto Rican immigration began to flood in, in the year 1952. Massive amounts of Puerto Ricans that moved into Chicago in the mid 1940s were now moving north to Lincoln Park and Humboldt Park. The north and west sides were also mainly populated by whites and young Latino youths had to battle racist whites. Now let us not make the white people out to be complete monsters, there was some reverse discrimination too, young white youths would be messed with by large groups of Latino or Black youths.
The massive gangbanging started in 1952 in Chicago. This was a year of massive migration into the city which led to the need to defend one’s neighborhood against trespassers. By 1952 Chicago was flooded with small time clubs that got together and broke some heads. Some of our present gangs were founded in the year 1952 such as the Simon City Royals, C-Notes, and Spanish Cobras. Others were clubs that already existed that began to gangbang in 1952 like the Gaylords that were founded in the mid-late 40s. In the 1950s the gangs were not heavily organized and there were thousands of small clubs everywhere. They were not money making giants back then, instead they simply fought with their fists and various bludgeoning objects. The first gangs to truly organize on the streets and the correctional facility was the Vice Lords. The Vice Lords formed and organized in the correctional facilities in 1957 and on the streets in 1958. The Vice Lords developed a systematic way of doing thing and absolved several west side street gangs through brute force; however, they were not a corporate style money making machine because they were still poor as ever and made money off of petty theft. As the early 1960s came around, more gangs were forming as more migration continued. Mexican migration began in the late 1950s in the Pilsen neighborhood that started such gangs as the Latin Counts (Known then as Sons of Mexico City) and Ambrose (also under another name but then). By the early 1960s there was a massive variety of small time petty gangs that were just itching to escape from their poverty stricken situations. Massive poverty was mainly found among black and Latino gangs.
By the 1965 and 1966 some gangs began to organize into an early mafiosis. These gangs were the Latin Kings, Black Disciple alliance, and the Black P Stone alliance. The Disciple alliance and Black P Stone alliance absolved several street gangs then later determined ways to extract money through charity. Soon other gangs like the Latin Kings caught on and discovered that the worse they behaved, the more government and others felt sorry for them and handed them money. By 1967 the Gangster nation was formed by Larry Hoover which was an alliance that opposed the Disciples and the Stones. Soon Hoover was collecting checks from the government. Jeff Fort and the Black Stones were collecting several thousands of dollars from the government. Latin Kings, Black Disciple alliance Conservative Vice Lord incorporated, Spanish Cobras, Simon City Royals, and to a similar extent the Gaylords were receiving charity from all angles mostly the federal government. The Gaylords opened up community clean up programs that helped them to carry on. One of The main things that was helping the Gaylords stay successful was that several members had become Chicago Police officers as early as the 1950s.
Federal monies were pouring into these Chicago gangs because they knew how to organize based upon a demand. The late 60s were a time when government wanted to look good by helping the disadvantaged minorities in the ghettos. By the late 60s “white flight” had taken its toll and the neighborhoods that minorities had first moved into in the 50s were now all black or Latino. Because the blacks and Latinos were at a disadvantage financially and socially, the neighborhoods were not taken care of after the whites left. The city seemed to forget about these neighborhoods completely. Many blacks were sent to live in public housing facilities by the late 60s and sooner that were not taken care of. When the whites occupied them the buildings were attended to, but now without maintenance, the buildings became decrepit and deteriorating. This was more motivation to join a gang that was collecting from the government. Even though the government was giving the gangs these monies, it was not nearly enough to fight poverty in the neighborhood. When you take $25,000 and divide it among 2-3,000 gang members, it is not a lot of money. The gangs then had to create a way to take that government money and flip it into more money.
Top ranking gang leaders were taken to prison in the early 70s for mismanaging government funding within the BPSN. CVL INC was investigated for mismanaging funds as well, and the government claimed that CVL INC was mismanaging the monies even though no one was arrested and convicted of this offense from the CVL. By 1971 federal monies were cut off to the Chicago gangs, but it was too late, the foundation was already laid out. Those federal monies were still in the gang banger’s pockets, the money was turned into drugs and guns, mainly. Those drugs and guns were then sold to buy bigger quantity and then sold etc… making bigger and bigger profits. The mafiosis was now created within the street gangs in the early 70s. The mafiosis was even able to function in prison now. Before 1972 when a gang banger got locked up he was basically out of the gang until he was released but by 1972 the gangs infiltrated the prisons and became a complex mafia behind jail bars, just like the old Italian mafias. Within the prison systems, gang leaders could get together and discuss business deals and control gang activities on the streets. This was the beginning of the new mafiosis on the streets that was born in the 1970s.
As the later 1970s came around, coalitions were formed on the streets and in prison in order to protect gang interests. The Folk and People coalitions were created that somewhat made Chicago gangs into two gangs. The Folk and People was created to protect members of gangs in prison, and then it was spread to the streets to protect money making interests. In the Italian mafia, coalitions are often built between families to ease tensions in prison and on the streets; Folks and Peoples took after this concept.
Even though this new mafiosis was developing within the gangs, on the streets you would still see big massive brawls because the main goal of gangbanging was neighborhood protection. There was also a lot of friendship and loyalty between members of each gang. Back in the 70s and before bangers would fight till their knuckles bled for the love of the their friends on the block or sometimes kill if needed, but usually fighting hard was all that was needed to prove a point. The mafiosis element was in the larger gangs and used to generate enough monies to keep gang members paid a little bit, and provide them with guns if needed, but for the most part, bangers used their fists and mainly cared about the block instead of the money. The fighting also helped pave the way for drug profit, if one gang would beat down another gang, the territory would be stripped; therefore, the gang that won the fight would control the block and be able to do business in that area.
By the mid 1980s, the gangs in Chicago were making massive profits from drug sales, and fast money was adored much more. Massive gang fights were looked upon as time consuming methods of gaining turf, the newer method was to shoot up rival gang members in order to gain territory quicker. Folk and People was also needed to be more quickly identified in order to make business smoother so by 1983 or 1984 the six and five point start appeared on the streets, also hats began to be busted to the left or right. This obvious identification of Folk or People made it easier to identify friend and enemy.
By the late 1980s gangs were flooding very heavily into Chicago land suburbs. Before the late 80s the gangs were in some suburbs such as: Cicero, Aurora, Joliet, and Waukegan. By the early 80s they had spread their influence all throughout many Cook county suburbs. By the late 80s the gangs had reached other Chicago land counties such as Dupage or Will county. The Mafiosis was spreading into the burbs and even other states. In the suburbs, at first, the gangs were mocking the old style of gangbanging through massive group fights but by the early 90s they learned the way of the gun.
Crack sales were a new massive epidemic by 1987, as money was being able to be made a lot faster. Such a high demand for the drug and Cocaine in general caused increased violence as gangs fought to control the drug trade in certain neighborhoods. The higher ranking gang members were a part of the mafiosis that was behind the neighborhood scene within the gang that had the young shorties shoot at rivals or fight with fists for that drug spot. The late 80s was then full of shootings and massive brawls but the reason for fighting was beginning to change from the need to protect the block to the need to protect a drug spot.
By the early 1990s, the way of the gun was much more popular for gangbanging instead of massive brawls. Shooting began to outweigh brawling as the 90s progressed. The need to maximize profit also caused massive interalliance wars which broke down the Folk and People nations severely. As the 1990s progressed further there was even less brawls and more shooting, as gangs felt a need to maximize profit in a hurry. The leaders that were instructing the younger members were a part of the old school ways but did not teach the old school ways to the younger bangers. This was the invention of a new form of mafia that dealt with problems quick, quick execution and massive and sophisticated business deals.
A direct result of the Chicago gang mafiosis was a spreading of the influence to other cities. After the BPSN, BGDN, BDN, LKN, VLN and others were gaining success and organizing, gangs in other cities began to follow suit; however, their structure was not as complex as Chicago gang structure. Their was also an element of art within the Chicago gangs such as: massive and complex tags and murals, colors, gang cards, symbols, sayings, cultures, hair styles, clothing styles, gang sweaters etc… these were not used in other cities. Chicago has a lot of art and culture to it and the gangs have adapted to it, Chicago also has a long line of mafiosis that has been mocked by the street gangs in Chicago then eventually, other cities. During the early to mid 1980s Crips united with the Folk nation and the Bloods united with the People nation as a result, Bloods came to Chicago under the five while Crips arrived under Folks. BGDs and Black P Stones arrived in Florida and California and united under Blood and Crip. The Blood Stone Villains and the Black P Stones are very popular in these states to this day. The BGDs (now GDs) are popular all over the country. Latin Kings, Vice Lords, GDs, BPS, has spread into almost every state in the U.S. and into other countries. There have been reports of GDs and VLs in Canada and London! There are Latin Kings in Puerto Rico and Mexico. These are the signs of the new black and Latin Mafia. Crips suffered in Chicago when they arrived and faded within years. The Bloods were not successful either accept for an Asian group called the “Outlaw Bloods” (we are currently seeking history, pictures, and info on the OLB hit us up if you know at email@example.com). The Folk and People alliances are very successful all over the U.S. and all 50 states have gangs that are within the Folk or People nations. This has become a nationwide Mafiosis.
Several millions of dollars have been made within the worst projects and ghettos in the city of Chicago from gang organization. When the Robert Taylor buildings were still standing, the Gangsters Disciples generated over a million dollars a year in those buildings alone from drug sales! The gangs in Chicago have learned how to organize within impoverished neighborhoods to make money. The top ranking leaders of the gangs are usually older men and women that are usually in their mid 20s and older. The older members are more experienced within the gang and are given rank and respect because they know how to do business. In some gangs young members are used as pawns, or not even used at all by the gang. In the past years younger members were expected to fight every day and gain rep by fighting hard and gangbanging everyday. Many gang members in recent years can be a part of the gang without proving they are tuff or “down,” Some younger members will try to show they are “down” by randomly shooting someone which actually hurts the gang’s reputation. The Chicago gangs have struggled to take after the Italian mobs of the past and present, but it is not easy when several members want to do their own thing or try to prove they are crazy by killing innocent people or killing a rival gang member outside of orders. Many of the high ranking members that run the mafiosis underneath the gang are experienced bangers that had to fight with their fists in their younger years and grew into older years with some business sense.
Many members of African American street gangs have assimilated into the “Black Mafia” which is comprised of gang members from both Folk and People gangs; this shows incredible organized gang structure. Also many members of street gangs have been found within the Chicago Police department. The gangs in Chicago have been able to infiltrate the Police force. Recently their was a major drug bust that involved several Mickey Cobra gang members and one of those involved was a Chicago Police officer. This is not the first time this type of thing has happened, there have been incidents of GD, BD, Vice Lord, BPS, and Black Soul gang members that have infiltrated the CPD. This is all in more recent years, in the past white gangs such as Gaylords and Simon City Royals had infiltrated the CPD as far back as the early 1950s. There have been scandals of Gangster Disciples gang members infiltrating the military and stealing weapons. Gangs have become rampant in the military, in Iraq there have been gang graffiti on building and tanks of Chicago gangs. The mafiosis of Chicago gangs has become so complex that it has spread world wide.
WRITTEN BY ZOOK