|Formerly known as||Royal Family 1972-?, Black Gangsters 1981-present in prison, and Tre Ls, Breeds 1992-present|
|Colors||Black and blue 1978-1992 and Black and grey 1992-present|
|Primary ethnicities||African American|
|Symbols||Three Ls (LLL), box with a circle in it, pitchfork 1978-1992|
|Affiliation||Folks Black Gangsters 1981-present, New Breed Independent|
|Founder||George "Booney Black" Davis, Roger "Cochise" Collins, Julius Davis, Maurice "King Baldy" Jackson|
|Founding neighborhood||University Village section of Near West Side neighborhood, ABLA Housing Projects, Illinois prison system|
|Main neighborhood||Various south side and west side of Chicago neighborhoods|
Chicago Tribune 1981
Chicago Tribune 1981 Murray Hooper and William Bracy
Chicago Tribune 1981 Roger “Cochise” Collins
Chicago Tribune Roger “Cochise” Collins 1974
The history of the Black Gangster/New Breeds/Triple Ls has been on the internet on various websites for many years and most of it is all the same that the gang was formed in approximately 1978 by George “Boonie Black” Davis while he was incarcerated because he was angry with the BGDN. I myself have been guilty of publishing nearly the same story because I have been ill informed too, now I think I have the real story of how this organization came together and developed over the later 20th century and it is quite a story.
The story begins in the year 1972 in Statesville Maximum Security prison in Crest Hill Illinois. An inmate by the name of Julius Davis joined in with a semi-religious group called the “Cosmos” which happened to be a group of Chicago gang members from the west side of Chicago. I do not know what gang Julius Davis was a member of but he organized the men to create their own crime syndicate that would become the “Royal Family” (Chicago Tribune Page 10, October 7, 1979). Members of this group were in street gangs like Black Gangster Disciples and Vice Lords and they were some of the most hardcore gang members of these gangs that set aside their rivalry to be a part of the Royal Family. One of the prominent members was a founder of the Vice Lords Maurice “King Baldy” Jackson that was one of the original Conservative Vice Lord members. The men that joined the Royal Family were scheduled to be released from prison in 1972 and they planned and coming together once released and going on a crime spree and letting nothing get in their way.
In April of 1972 the Royal Family gang members were released from prison including the 24 year old leader Julius Davis. Davis made the first move for the Royal Family as he targeted the Talley-Ho Restaurant at 1513 Chicago Avenue in the suburb of Evanston. Davis had worked there for only one week in June of 1972 until he was fired, now the following week on June 16, 1972, Davis, Teddie Candler and one other burst into the restaurant as it closed wildly wielding kitchen knives demanding money from patrons and the restaurant owner. The three men tied up two patrons while they escorted the owner, Assistant Manager and the Assistant Manager’s relative into the office to open the safe, when there was some refusal to open the safe the men reacted violently and stabbed the owner in the chest and three times in the back, then they stabbed the Assistant Manager twice in the back killing them both. Candler and Davis did not wear masks or gloves and made off with $300, police very easily tracked down Candler and arrested him (Chicago Tribune Page 6, June 18, 1972).
Police went searching for Julius Davis because they had a positive identification from witnesses, this angered the rest of the Royal Family because Davis was reckless and did not use a mask or gloves, and the robbery was very sloppy. The Royal Family then made the decision to eliminate their leader/founder and managed to hunt him down before police could find him. On June 19, 1972 police found the burned body of Julius Davis as he had also been shot seven times and left at 3748 South Wabash (37th Place and Wabash) in the Grand Boulevard neighborhood of Chicago (Chicago Tribune page 5, June 20, 1972). At the time police did not know that Davis was killed by his own gang, but later on they would find out all about the Royal Family and the motive for the murder. The rampage of the Royal Family had just begun.
Now that Davis was eliminated, Roger “Cochise” Collins took over as the new leader of the Royal Family. Cochise would gain much more respect and was considered the “Godfather” of the organization and presided over the “Council of War.” Collins wanted his organization to function more like a syndicate with the distribution of drugs, murder for hire, robbery and intimidation and elimination of witnesses (Chicago Tribune Page 10, October 7, 1979). Collins connected with the Chicago Outfit back in 1971 when he was in prison with Robert “Fat Man” Cruz and Royal Family member Murray Hooper. Cruz was an excellent connection because he was the cousin of Harry Aleman who was the Chicago Outfits’ Chief Hitman and Cruz was also the nephew of Joseph “Joe Nagall” Ferriola the Chief Enforcer of the Chicago Outfit (Chicago Tribune page 5, September 6, 1981). This connection would bring the Royal Family murder for hire contracts to kill for the Chicago Outfit and later would connect the Royal Family to the Outfit for narcotics trafficking.
The Royal Family had no tolerance for witnesses and dealt with them in a brutal way, the first example of this was in May of 1972 right before the Tally-Ho heist. On May 17, 1972 three Royal Family members held up a tavern in the Auburb Gresham neighborhood at 505 West 79th Street (79th and Normal). The next day the Royal Family felt that the bartender Joseph Murphy might be able to identify them so five members of the gang went into the tavern on May 19th and lit up Murphy in a hail of gun fire as the bartender was brutally shot 10 times, Anthony Holmes one of the members was charged with the murder (Chicago Tribune Page 1, August 24, 1974).
On June 14th 1972, right before the Tally-Ho hold up, Roger Collins and Richard Black robbed two customers and three employees at the Morseview Drug Store at 1448 W. Morse Avenue (Greenview and Morse) in the Rogers Park neighborhood, the men made off with $939 but police soon chased them down to Lake Shore Drive where they crashed their car during a high speed chase. Black and Collins were now in court for this case for months, then on September 13, 1972 a man visited witness Sidney Frankfort and said he was Collins and Blacks’ lawyer tried to convince Frankfort not to testify and showed pictures of Frankfort and other employees, the incident was chilling but Frankfort still wanted to testify. On October 29, 1972 men burst into the drug store and kidnapped Frankfort and his cashier Mrs. Ann Barton. The two were stuffed into a truck and driven to 57th and La Salle in the Washington Park neighborhood, then the two were shot and killed, then the car was set on fire (Chicago Tribune Page 1, August 24, 1974).
The Royal Family did not appreciate witnesses to their drug trafficking activities. The Royal Family had even established connections within the Chicago Police Department by 1972. Maurice King Baldy Jackson had come across information that Harold Bush was informing police of the Royal Family’s drug trafficking operations. Jackson and police officer Chester Thomas kidnapped Harold Bush from the intersection of 14th and Western Ave and drove him to 130th and Indiana onto a secluded dirt road in the Riverdale neighborhood, the men shot Bush in the neck and left him, but Bush survived and implicated the two. Both Jackson and Thomas were arrested for attempted murder, and Officer Thomas was being implicated in an August 19, 1972 triple murder where a witness saw Thomas’ license plates pull away from the scene of the crime at 1646 S. Pulaski (18th Place and Pulaski) in the North Lawndale neighborhood (Chicago Tribune page 8, October 18, 1972).
Maurice Jackson was implicated in another Royal Family murder in October of 1973 after police arrested Royal Family members Marvin Duncan and Fred Weaver and they found the wallet and identification of Darnell Carr who had just been bound, gagged and brutally beaten to death at 9147 S. Ashland Ave (92nd and Ashland) in the Burnside neighborhood. Weaver told police Maurice Jackson ordered this murder (Chicago Tribune Page 1, August 24, 1974).
The gang would continue their rampage, on July 5, 1973 Walter Wilbon, Leroy Williams and Jeffery Bowen robbed Judy’s Lounge at 2852 East 87th Street in the South Chicago neighborhood, when Officer Randall officer came to the scene the men shot him and they fled. The Officer survived and all three Royal Family members were convicted (Chicago Tribune Page 1, August 24, 1974).
In 1974, Royal Family gang member John Myles went on a major armed robbery spree as he was arrested for 10 or more armed robberies, one that resulted in him shooting a store clerk in the back (Chicago Tribune page 10, October 26, 1974).
The Royal Family was robbing and killing all across the country and had major drug operations on the south side and west side, as they were implicated in as many as 30 murders across the country between 1972 and 1974. Anyone that was a State’s witness would either be intimidated or killed. One such incident was an undertaker that was present during one of the Royal Family’s armed robberies and wanted to cooperate as a witness. The witness was in fear for his life and police offered protection by having police guards present at his funeral home. One night, the Royal Family dug up one of the bodies from the nearby grave and threw it through the window of the funeral parlor office to intimidate the witness after midnight that night (Chicago Tribune Page 1, August 24, 1974). This was a show of power and intimidation.
By the summer of 1974, police cracked down hard on the Royal Family and made 13 arrests of members of the gang. The police had implicated that Roger Cochise Collins was the leader of the gang and the gang had drug operations in Chicago and Gary Indiana (Chicago Tribune Page 1, August 24, 1974). Members of the gang were brought up on trial for various crimes but sentences that were handed down were extremely light as members only got a few years a piece; however, police were able to boast that they dissolved the gang’s operations as they stated in the August 24, 1974 Tribune article.
In the year 1978 as the Folk Nation was forming in the prison system, put together by Larry Hoover, there was no rebellion at that time by George Davis, in fact, George Davis was not the leader of the Royal Family, Cochise was still in charge. George Davis may have had joint membership in the Royal Family and Black Gangster Disciples or maybe he was just part of the Royal Family or in neither gang.
In 1977 through 1979 many Royal Family members were being released from prison for their part in the 1972-1974 crime spree. Members of the gang went back to work by March of 1979 that started with the murder of Donald Curtis the owner of the Blinking Cat Lounge located at 87th and Peoria in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood as they robbed the bar and gunned down the owner with semi-automatic weapons on March 31, 1979 (Chicago Tribune Page 10, October 7, 1979).
On May 7, 1979 the gang stormed Metropolitan Insurance Company in the Auburb-Gresham neighborhood located at 9046 S. Ashland Ave (91st and Ashland) where they robbed the place at gunpoint and they fired several bullets near witnesses to scare them, they made off with $19,000 (Chicago Tribune Page 10, October 7, 1979).
On August 7, 1979, also in the Auburb-Gresham neighborhood, the gang hit Concord Gas Station located at 440 West 87th Street (87th and Eggleston), police arrested the men and found a cache of weapons that included a shotgun and a semi-automatic carbine (Chicago Tribune Page 10, October 7, 1979).
On August 27, 1979 Roger Cochise Collins was released from prison and immediately went to work putting the Royal Family back to together as he reunited with paroled gang members. Once Cochise was out of prison he was immediately given a murder for hire contract. The ex-husband of Catherine Tines hired Collins, Maurice Powell and the nephew of Collins to kill Catherine Tines because they were having a property dispute. Maurice Powell was the ring leader of the robberies early in the year while Collins was still in prison, and now Collins was back in charge and him and Powell now carried out this contract. Police were frustrated that the Royal Family was back at it again and were even more furious all these men received parole (Chicago Tribune Page 10, October 7, 1979).
By December of 1979, Roger Collins had set up a drug ring at 2240 S. State Street which is within the Harold Ickes projects located in the Near South Side neighborhood (Chicago Tribune September 6, 1981), this brought about gang wars with the Black Gangster Disciples that were trying to control the drug trade in these projects that became bloody by 1980.
On the night of November 12, 1980 the drug disputes with rival dealers in the Ickes projects escalated when Murray “Hoop” Hooper, Maurice “Pimp” Powell and Roger “Cochise” Collins kidnapped Frederick Lacey, R.C. Pettigrew and Roger Holliman as they rounded the men up at an apartment at 2240 State Street. The three men were tied up and led to a vehicle then driven to the intersection of Roosevelt and Clark in the South Loop area and brought under the viaduct. Frederick Lacey was shot execution style in the back of the head. R.C. Pettigrew was shot in the face, in the chest and in the leg and was also shot four times in the back. Roger Holliman had been shot three times in the back and shot once in the back of the neck. Police found the dead bodies the next day and the men were convicted of these murders (People vs. Collins, 1985).
Even though these Royal Family members were being sought for the November 12 triple murder, they still managed to kill Clorita Ladd on December 2, 1980 in a south side shootout with a gang only said to be “The Disciples” in the 1981 Chicago Tribune article (Chicago Tribune page 8, February 24, 1981). The shootout could have been with either Black Gangster Disciples or Black Disciples but most likely Black Gangster Disciples as they were disputing over drug turf on the south side.
The rampage of the Royal Family continued in 1980 and the leadership was being sought as authorities were especially after Roger Collins, Maurice Powell and Murray Hooper, but the three men had fled to Phoenix Arizona after they committed these drug related murders. The trio had flown to Arizona because they were handed down a contract from the Chicago Outfit to kill a print shop business owner named William Redmond. The contract was passed down by Robert “Fat Man” Cruz that had connected with the Royal Family when he was the in jail with Roger Collins and Murray Hooper back in 1971, now almost a decade later Cruz needed the Royal Family’s assistance is removing Redmond who was in the way of Cruz’s real estate interest. Cruz had moved to Arizona to get involved in the real estate business which is why he had interest in this property that Redmond refused to give up. Cruz now offered $10,000 to the Royal Family to kill Redmond. On December 31, 1980 Murray Hooper, Roger Collins and a former Chicago policeman Edward McCall burst into the home of Redmond, the men then tied up Redmond, his wife and his 70 year old mother – in – law. They were laid on the bed and shot in the back of the head execution style. After they were killed Murray Hooper slit Redmond’s throat to show to Outfit that they were brutal killers and should be hired again. The three men were arrested for these murders, Edward McCall was the first one to be taken down, he then hired his lawyer Michael Pritzker to get him out of the charges, when Pritzker failed to get McCall out of the charges completely, unknown gunman attempted to kill Pritzker right outside his home in Chicago, Pritzker knew the gunman but refused to divulge who shot him and dropped McCall as his client (Chicago Tribune page 5, September 6, 1981).
Murray Hooper ended up admitting the killing and named his boss Roger Collins as involved in the murder, this led to the conviction of Roger “Cochise” Collins and now he was headed back to prison in 1981.
Another Royal Family member George “Boonie Black” Davis was also headed to prison in 1981. On May 6, 1981 at the apartment of Linda Dates located at 1440 South Kedzie (15th and Kedzie) in the North Lawndale neighborhood three men came to her door that she recognized according to court documents as members of the Black Gangster Disciples according to court documents, or at least that is the rumor she heard. The men were George “Boonie Black” “Edward Black” Davis, “Moto” also referred to as “Johnny Gatt,” and “Smokey” also known as “Curtis Taylor” or “Lee.” The men came to the apartment to allegedly buy $100 worth of cocaine from Lex Leaks who was known in the neighborhood to be a cocaine dealer according to court documents. Apparently an argument broke out between Johnny Gatt and Leaks about the weight of the cocaine that resulted in a shootout that left Leaks dead and his roommate wounded. Shortly after the murder, police attempted to apprehend the men but all of them tried to flee and destroy evidence including George Davis after the Police came to his apartment at 3317 West Madison (Madison and Spaulding) in East Garfield Park. When police came to arrest Davis he ran into an abandoned apartment and locked himself in then fled down the stairwell with a shotgun in his hand after he dropped evidence which was other firearms. According to court documents Davis surrendered eventually. According to court documents George Davis had been released from prison within five years and had violated his parole (People vs Washington, 1984).
George “Boonie Black” Davis’ gang affiliations were not very known, as was shown in the court documents when he was convicted of armed robbery and attempted murder in 1981. I am not 100% sure Davis was a member of the Royal Family but he definitely became connected with them by 1981 if he had not already connected as he was serving prison time with Roger Cochise Collins and Maurice King Baldy Jackson who were verified members of the Royal Family. In that same year of 1981 after Collins and Davis were both incarcerated, the three men got together to create a new organization that would have ties to the Black Gangster Disciples, thus, this new organization known as the “Black Gangsters.” The Black Gangsters pledged into the Folk Nation alliance during their inception in the year 1981 and the Royal Family name was not a dead issue and was heavily intertwined into the Black Gangster organization, this is proven in the court case of the People vs. Knox in which Black Gangster/Royal Family member Theodore Knox was convicted of murdering two drug dealers in a Zion Illinois public housing project. In the court proceeding Knox admitted to membership in both the Royal Family and the Black Gangsters. In the court case there was specific information that the apartment of one of the gang members had a large six point star in the window to show alliance to the Folk Nation (People vs. Knox, 1993). The Black Gangsters of the 1980s were indeed Royal Family members as well and were aligned with the Folk Nation alliance.
It is said that other founders were individuals named “Gam,” “Jeepers” and Samuel “King Ram” Lawrence but I do not know anything about those individuals as I have found no court cases or articles about those guys, most importantly I do not know the real names of “Jeepers” and “Gam,” so I am not going to give them credit anymore for being founders until I see some court cases that these men were even high up Black Gangsters.
After the Black Gangsters formed in 1981, they made a conquest of the suburb of Zion Illinois and also the ABLA Housing projects (The Village). The Black Gangsters conflicted heavily with the Traveling Vice Lords and Conservative Vice Lords when they entered these projects. Many of the Black Gangster Disciples in these projects flipped to become Black Gangsters because they preferred how this new nation was ran. I am not sure if Cochise was running this organization at any point in time but legend has it that Boonie Black took over when the Black Gangsters were founded, regardless of whether it was Boonie or Cochise the leadership of this new organization knew how to make money on the streets and aggressively pursued drug turf while violently wiping out competition. The old ways of the 1970s Royal Family were installed in young impressionable members living in The Village in the 1980s which turned many young members into cold hearted killers and serious gangsters. The way of this organization was to not let anything stop them, especially the Traveling Vice Lords that had heavily armed security in The Village and the crumbling high rises of the notorious Grace Abbott projects.
Black Gangsters did not like having to rely on allies to get by but sometimes it was necessary especially since they were no longer a robbery gang that roamed the country killing and looting, now they were in this to make larger sums of money by selling drugs in the public housing projects and some of meanest areas of the west side of Chicago. The ally that gave the Black Gangsters the most grief was the Black Gangster Disciples that was another organization that was heavily involved in the selling of large amounts of drugs in the public housing projects.
It was about 1992 when the Black Gangsters began to have issues not only within their own organization but also with the Gangster Disciples and Black Souls street gangs. Legend has it that Maurice King Baldy Jackson was having sex with members of the Black Gangsters behind prison walls as he allegedly ordered members to do these acts with him whether they were willing or not. This possible founder that went by the nickname “Gam” was allegedly the one that exploited Baldy’s wrong doing and had him killed, because homosexual acts were not tolerated within the BGN.
In about the same year of 1992 another high ranking Black Gangster known as “Gabby” allegedly flipped to a Black Soul because he was beaten for violating BG codes of conduct, Gabby was angry and flipped to a Black Soul, then he allegedly ordered the attempted assassination of Boonie Black behind prison walls as Black Souls viciously stabbed Boonie several times. Rumor is that Boonie Black then went to the Gangster Disciples for assistance and a blessing to take out Gabby but the GDs turned him down. Legend has it that Davis then became angered and severed ties to the Gangsters Disciples and instead clicked up with the Black Disciples who were then enemies of the GDs. The Black Gangsters then only kept three of the six Folk Nation concepts Love, Life and Loyalty but dropped the rest of the literature, the organization now had an alternate name known as the “Tre Ls” or “Triple Ls.”
In the same year of 1992, a younger group of Black Gangsters broke away and called themselves “New Breeds” or “Triple L Breeds.” These young bloods were even more aggressive then the Boonie Black led Black Gangsters as they moved into new territory at 16th and Kostner (New Life Breeds) in the North Lawndale neighborhood where they clicked up with Black Souls. The Breeds also opened up in West Garfield Park (New Life Breeds) and clicked up with the Black Souls in that community as they battled several Vice Lord factions. The Breeds stormed the Austin neighborhood and the East Garfield Park neighborhood claiming the area known as “Fifth City.” The Breeds even opened territory in the West Humboldt Park community as they battled with Conservative Vice Lords and Latin Kings. The Breeds severed ties to the Folk Nation alliance especially since many of the members were not in prison and did not require an alliance to survive in the streets. George Davis was not presiding over the New Breeds, they had their own leader.
Within a very short time George Davis was more impressed than angry with the New Breeds and offered to combine forces once again making the Black Gangsters strictly a prison entity while the Breeds would be the street entity. It was an excellent arrangement for both parties because members were governed in the streets by a different leader and were able to be allies with any Folk or People Nation gang they wanted, then when members became incarcerated they were governed by Boonie and were now considered Black Gangsters and were Folks.
The Breeds were now able to expand further now that they were overall ran by George Davis as they opened new territory on the south side of Chicago in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood, Englewood neighborhood, Roseland neighborhood and Auburn Gresham. The Breeds also were able to set up small drug operations in the Altgeld Gardens projects in Riverdale, the Cabrini Green projects in the Near North Side neighborhoods and Jeffrey Manor in the South Deering community. The Breeds also opened new suburban turf besides just their Zion chapter, now they had chapters in Bellwood, Maywood, Harvey, Robbins, Rockford, Aurora and Peoria. Breeds traveled into other states like Indiana, Louisiana, Wisconsin and Georgia.
Breeds and Black Disciples became very close in relationship as they both were heavily at war with Gangster Disciples over drug turf. Both Breeds and BDs established the “Treys Both Ways” concept, as three fingers could symbolize both gangs, the “LLL” for Breeds and the “III” for BDs.
The Breeds have grown to over 4,000 members over the years and are known to be very quick to use their guns, many bodies have come up during gang wars between Breeds and their adversaries and most of the time it is their enemy that ends up dead. It is said that the Breeds wiped out a major chunk of the Traveling Vice Lord’s territory in The Village, regardless, if that happened or not the Breeds became the largest gang in the ABLA projects as they viciously battled Vice Lord factions and Gangster Disciples in those projects until the majority of them were torn down.
The Breeds were founded by black organized crime members that had heavy ties to the Italian Chicago Outfit. Breeds were born out of men that were cold blooded killers that would very easily take a life without blinking. Cochise first connected with the Italian Outfit in 1971 and later became a co-founder of this organization, Boonie Black was another co-founder that was a hardened gangster that had no fear and was known to be serious business, it was even rumored that he shook down the Italian Outfit at one point in time. Boonie dressed well and like an old time gangster. Boonie lead an extortion operation and most of his customers scrambled to pay him as quickly as possible, many just paid because Boonie looked scary.
Boonie was tall with big wide eyes and had a handlebar mustache making him look ferocious, not only that, his record of violent crime proved he could be dangerous if crossed. In one such incident, a man owed Boonie money and did not pay, so Boonie tied him to a chair then put a large machete on the burner of an oven until it was scalding hot then pressed it against the man’s face as he screamed in pain.
George Boonie Black Davis was considered “The Last Don” and the last of a dying breed, he was heavily honored and when he died in 2009 at the age of 71 almost every member of the New Breeds showed up to pay respect.
Please send in some 1970s, 1980s and 1990s pics!
- How long was Booney Black gang banging? When did he join a gang, and what gangs was he in? I am looking for some autobiography on him.
Zook Published: Updated: