Instead of searching one site after another to piece Chicago street gang history together, you can come to Chicago Gang History to see the research I, Zach Jones (A.K.A Zook) have done to compile everything into one source. I have researched news articles, books, forum posts, interviewed old school members and people in Chicago communities, and researched old social services records from the 1950s and 1960s. I translate poorly written pieces and stories into making sense. My work has also involved researching Puerto Rican, Mexican, white and African American migration along with researching the neighborhoods they lived or still live in, in order to determine the origins of these streets gangs in correlation with interviews and other research. I have been doing this research for over 20 years; however, I do not have any background as an “official” researcher, I simply have been doing it out of my own home.
My first attempt at helping the world understand gang histories was when he worked with the Chicagogangs.org website as the author of all the histories and the write ups on that site. Chicagogangs.org is not my website but I was in contact with the owner of the site and sent them histories I write for them. There I was known as “Zook” and if you go on www.chicagogangs.org today you can still see the “special thanks to “Zach AKA Zook” for the historical info” at the bottom of many of the pages. I also wrote the “Mafiosis” piece on that site. Am I proud of his work on that site? HELL NO! I messed up a lot of info on there and am starting over fresh with Chicago Gang History, so please just disregard the histories I wrote for that site. I had a lot of crap going on in my personal life when I helped with Chicagogangs.org and after it. Chicagogangs.org was a break through site and I still highly recommends you visit it for a wealth of information about the current gangs such as colors, symbols, recent pics (some old school ones) etc… just please, ignore all that crap I wrote on there, I’m now back with a vengeance with much better more accurate histories than ever.
Many of you sent tons of historical info back in 2008-2010 and you may have felt you were ignored. I’m letting you know, you were not ignored, in fact, I dug up those old emails the Chicagogangs administrator sent me and I have now used much of that info in the histories written for Chicago Gang History. Another great thing about me having my own site is I can make corrections whenever I please instead of having to wait for someone else to update it. The administrator of Chicagogangs.org was a busy man, which I can totally respect and the admin became busier over time or maybe just lost interest. I do not know the man and never met him, nor have I even spoken to him on the phone so please do not email me about him because I know nothing. Hell I do not even know if the admin is a man! He put together an excellent site and I got a chance to share my research through that site from 2005-2011 until a lot of personal crap kept happening to me. At one point I did not even own a computer for a few years, then by the time I lost contact with Chicagogangs.org.
Chicago Gang History is strictly dedicated to pre-2000 gang history only! I will not talk much about anything in the 21st century nor do I have any interest in what has been going on between 2000 and present. I am constantly on the search for old school pics from the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. If you have any pics you want to share, send them in! Please no pics from after 1999 unless they are pics of old schoolers wearing old school sweaters and T-shirts or representing as a group or at gang reunion picnics. Please also this is a site ONLY dedicated to Chicago gang history and not to any gang stuff in any other city, so please do not send any historical info on Chicago gangs that migrated to another city unless it is asked for on a gang’s page I made. Please also do not copy and paste other people’s pics from the internet and send them to me. If you were the original sender of those pics to that other site please send them the same way you sent them the pics. If not, I will assume you stole them from their site and will not post them. I have been everywhere on the internet so I know what all is out there including the many amazing pics on the “Old-school Chicago Gangs” page on Facebook. I have also have been a huge fan of Chicagohoodz.com since it first launched in 2000 and I am very familiar with the pics on there so please do not copy and paste!
This site is pretty much only about street gangs and not organized crime except when I show how organized crime inspired street gangs or tied into them. I am not spending much time talking about street gangs that existed before WWII because they have no significance to the gangs that exist today or really any significance with any gangs that existed after WWII besides setting a slight example for later gang. To be more specific Chicago Gang History is dedicated to street gangs from 1945-2000 as the main focus. I also will not be focusing on little gangs that started in the late 1990s, so that is why those organizations are not on here.
I will not have time to make pages for every single street gang that existed in the second half of the 20th century. I have chosen certain gangs I will be writing about that are either current or extinct but were very significant and well-known and gangs I personally want to know about or post about. If you do not see a certain gang posted on Chicago Gang History I may not ever make a page for them, but hey I may change my mind down the road. The biggest focus needs to be the histories and pics of the current street gangs, even if they only have one street corner left.
Time is passing us by and our grandfathers, great grandfathers, uncles etc. are starting to die off that lived the mean streets of Chicago back in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and even 1970s. I am hoping I can get as much participation from these old schoolers as he possibly can before it is too late! If you have any relatives that were around and saw the earliest formations of the gangs listed, please hit me up! If you want identities protected I can accommodate that. No email address, names or anything need to be used unless one or the other is ok to be used with your permission. I will respect your anonymity if you request it. You may see me using real names in his histories but that is only because he either got permission, there was an official court case and it is public info, the name was officially published in a newspaper, article or book where anyone can see that info anyway. Real nicknames are a great way to share a founder’s or leader’s name without using their real name if you feel more comfortable with that. I strongly prefers pics that show faces because it just makes the pics look way the hell better, but if you do not want the face shown I will take care of it and use my computer programs to hide the face.
This is a hear no evil and see no evil site. I do not want any information that can get anyone arrested when I post it, so please do not send in any incriminating stuff and undocumented crimes. I really only need basic and historical info such as who the founder is and what year it all started, which is very rarely incriminating.
I am obsessed with getting exact years so please try to specify exact years if possible. The police have no interest in who founded a gang in the year 1958 especially if they are long dead or already known as the founder to law enforcement. As far as I know RICO charges are only brought upon a gang member if they actually act upon conspiracy crimes, but simply starting an organization that started committing RICO crimes does not automatically make the founder implicated in those crimes especially if they have not been active in the gang after those crimes started to be committed.
If I ask for leader info, I really only need to know what year they took over and what year they were no longer the leader and what happened to them, jail, death, retirement etc… If the police are investigating a leader or former leader that they were not aware was the leader then that can be seen as private info that I do not need to post, but if the cops already knew the guy was the leader, or at least were investigating them as the leader then it will be fine on this site. I may ask about gang wars and how they started but I only need basic info on why they started and especially if there was already a court case or arrests then please share away because that is stuff that is already known with law enforcement. I do not anticipate much info from before the year 2000 will even be of any interest to Chicago law enforcement anyway, especially since they are super busy everyday.
Chicago Gang History is not meant to glorify street gangs or encourage kids to join gangs, it is only meant to educate the public about how this all came to happen and what factors caused these gangs to start up and develop. If you are offended in any way by the language and content of this site, please just stop looking and go elsewhere do not raise hell about it because this an ugly history but still a history that many in Chicago cherish that lived and breathed the life. shitty and oversensitive options are not necessary.
This site is also dedicated to the struggle of the old school gangsters and will serve as kind of like an alumni site for those that lived it. Gang banging was way different back in the old days and this site will serve as a look into how it used to be, I hope I will start getting old school pics sent in to show a visual of how it was.
One might ask me, why is gang history in Chicago so much more interesting than any other gang history in other cities? If I were ever asked that I would say it is because of the graffiti, murals, gang sweaters, symbols, Capone-like organizations, the alliances, the toughness of the old school ways in the Chi. I have looked at old pictures of gang bangers in New York or LA and the pics look dull and boring with the same old vato pics or Crips and Bloods. In Chicago you will see arms folded over the other arm, cigarette dangling out of the mouth, wearing a colorful sweater with the gangs’ emblem while the group is standing in front of a beautiful hand painted mural that looks like a professional artist did it. If you look at graffiti and murals from other cities all you see is some boring shapes and some writing, yawn! In Chicago the gangsters used symbols such as lions, money bags, playboy bunnies, Pink Panthers, eagles, popes, monks, crowns, pitchforks, diamonds, hearts, clubs, shotguns, canes, Cobra snakes, pyramids, martini glasses etc… You will also see interesting and colorful characters painted on the walls in elaborate colors like the Pink Panther, vikings, king heads with a crown, bishop faces with bishop hats, a stick figure character with a halo, monks, reapers, cobra snakes, dragons, low rider faces etc… They would even paint their rivals’ signs all elaborate but upside down of course. You would see those characters with teardrops under their eyes looking mean. Sometimes the walls would have elaborate scenes of gang charters killing each other on these walls, it was impressive. I grew up in Chicagoland and have lived on both the north side and south side, so I saw a lot of this stuff firsthand, this is my city and I will rep it and write about it, even though it is a ugly history, the story must be told!
Someone may ask, why are Bloods, Crips, Surenos, MS13 all over the country but not really in Chicago? The answer to that is Chicago has their own flavor and Chicago gangsters do not like outside influence from other cities. When they tried to open up shop out here they get shut down real fast or have to settle with claiming the suburbs. The Chi has zero tolerance for outsiders and has some of the meanest hoods in the country that will swallow up those outsiders coming to try to claim this city as their own.
There is no room in Chicago for outside gang influence and there likely never will be; however, Chicago gangs have sections in all 50 states and other countries. Most cities in this country have L.A. and Chicago-based gangs running things and do not have much of their own creations, but Chicago is all original.
If there are any inaccuracies in my histories please do not hesitate to contact me about correcting the issue.