|Formerly known as||Saints 1960-1989|
|Colors||Black and baby blue (light blue)|
|Primary ethnicities||Latino (Mexican)|
|Symbols||Stick figure smoking a cigarette or blunt, halo with 3 rays|
|Founding neighborhood||Back Of The Yards section of New City neighborhood, 45th and Wood|
|Main neighborhood||Back Of The Yards section of New City neighborhood|
Photo from a 1980s Chicago Police manual
Back in the 1950s, the Back of The Yards neighborhood began to experience gang activity once again after most of it was quashed in the 1930s once the Polish migrants cleaned things up and demanded the Union Stock Yards to use cleaner practices. White greaser gangs started popping up all over the neighborhood and big brawls and murders were starting to happen again, the same could be said about the rest of the city.
In the year 1960, an individual named “Rabbi” started the Saints street gang at the intersection of 45th and Wood “De La Wood.” The idea of the name came from a “Saints” baseball team that used a stick figure wearing a halo and smoking a cigarette. Most of the gangs in the Back of The Yards were racist toward the Mexican and Puerto Rican youths but the Saints took them in right from the start as long as they were tough fighters even though the gang was mostly Polish. The Saints slugged it out with their arch rivals the Ravens from 47th and Honore who were another Polish gang.
Throughout the 1960s the Saints grew larger in size as they expanded their turf closer to Davis Square Park as they advanced down the block and took 45th and Paulina “Psycho Side.” The Saints soon set up all along the southern border of Davis Square Park on 45th Street at 45th and Honore, 45th and Marshfield, 45th and Hermitage “Heaven.” Eventually the Saints had control of 43rd to 47th and Bishop to Wood as they surrounded Davis Square Park.
Later in the 1960s, the Saints developed new enemies over by 55th Street (Garfield Blvd), the Gaylords and the Burger King Boys. Other than that, I do not have much more to talk about with the Saints in the 1960s, 1970s or even early in the 1980s except the fact that they grew in size to become the dominating gang in the Back of The Yards neighborhood as their new arch rival become the Latin Souls by the 1970s and both gang ran Back of The Yards.
When outside gangs moved into the area starting in the mid-1980s the Saints gunned at them and smashed on them making their existence in the Back of The Yards very hard to deal with. Gangs like Latin Kings, Two Six, La Raza, Latin Counts, Satan Disciples and various others came to the Back of The Yards and the Saints severely damaged their operations for years to come.
The Saints also went at it hard with Back of The Yards native gangs like Latin Souls and City Knights, and early pioneers like the Party Players. When the rivals arrived they were either claiming to be a part of the People Nation or the Folk Nation but the Saints did not buy into either side and refused to join either alliance, they had a renegade “anybody killer” attitude in a time when gangs found it necessary to ally up heavily. Even the Party Players were clicking up with Two Six and Latin Souls joined the Folk Nation with the help of Two Six, but the Saints said no way to all of them and stood their ground and fought all of them, sometimes more than one gang at a time. The Saints survived the brutal gang wars of the 1980s despite being heavily outnumbered and outgunned. The only ally the Saints made was the Insane Spanish Chancellors, another neutral gang but they operated in the Bridgeport neighborhood.
In the year 1989, the City Knights first started up which was another rival for the Saints to fight against, not only that the Party Players joined the People Nation and clicked up with the Latin Kings. The Saints finally gave in and joined the People Nation alliance and also clicked up with the Latin Kings even though they really did not like them, nevertheless, they now became the “Almighty Saints.” This relationship would only last 5 years, then in 1994 the Latin Kings shot up a member of the Saints and killed him and the Saints were more than willing to go to war. This war brought the Saints a little closer to the Latin Counts. Kings and Counts never really liked each other in most parts of the city but had to be allies in the 80s, Saints and Counts had that understanding. Both gangs also used to hang out with the Spanish Chancellors back in the day.
In the early and mid-1990s many small crews started up in the Back of The Yards that wanted to prove themselves as a down crew and were willing to fight anyone to achieve that title. These crews were the Latin Taste, Turbo Boys, Knight Riders, D Boys (actually formed in the early 1980s), Paulina Boys, Honore Boys and the Wood Boys. The Saints admired these new and upcoming crews and if they were down enough they would convince them to join, before you knew it the Saints absorbed the Latin Taste, Turbo Boys, Knight Riders, D Boys and Paulina Boys.
The Paulina Boys proved to be an excellent investment for the Saints as they proved to be down ass Saints too. The Paulina Boys’ faction ventured into the Brighton Park neighborhood and opened territory at 42nd Place and Albany. The Saints also opened up a few more satellite chapters in Gage Park on 38th Street between Wood and Honore. The Saints would also open one up at 63rd and Kostner in the West Lawn neighborhood. Another satellite location was in the Bridgeport neighborhood at Archer Ave and Lock. This new turf ended up bringing the Saints more trouble due to heavy police focus on them because they had a city wide reputation of being violent. There was also a brief internal conflict between the Paulina Boys and the rest of the gang, but that was ended after a very short time. The Paulinas were overzealous and wanted to expand further, but overall leadership saw that there was no potential in the satellite locations and shut them all down by the end of the 1990s.
The Saints have always been a major force to be reckoned with, although only a few hundred members deep, they had a reputation for going to war with anyone at any time. Their allies the Latin Counts are no longer within the vicinity of them and the Chancellors have gone extinct but the Saints have proven over time that they do not need allies. Another thing to add, the Saints were never called the “Latin Saints” at any point in time that is a law enforcement term used.
Please send in old school pics. 1960s or 1970s pics will be especially appreciated!
- Were the Saints indeed founded in 1960 or do they have some 1950s history, if so what year in the 50s did they start?
- Who were other early rivals besides the Ravens?
- What happened to Rabbi? What year was he out of power?
- What was the time line of leaders up to the year 2000?
- What year did Archer and Lock open? What year did it close and why?
- What year did 42nd and Albany open? What year it close and why?
- What year did 38th open? What year did it close and why?
- What year did 63rd and Kostner open? What year did close and why?
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