Almighty Latin Kings

Founded Founded in 1953 by Ramon Santos in or near Near South Side
Founding story

South Loop 18th and Wabash, Marshall Square 24th and Marshall, Heart of Chicago Coulter and Damen

Affiliations ;
Colors Black and Gold
Primary ethnicities Latino
Symbols 3 Point Crown, 5 Point Crown, Lion, and King Head
Symbol usage

3 point crown – 1960s-1978; 5 point crown – 1978-present, lion, king head with a crown

Status Active

In the early 1950s, a Latino gang came to the streets of the Near West Side known as the “Royal Kings” that tended to congregate in the Heart of Chicago and Pilsen sections of the Lower West Side neighborhood and into the South Lawndale neighborhood by the later 1950s.  This gang was for both Mexican and Puerto Rican youths.  According to the findings of the NGCRC (national Gang Crime Research Center) and George W. Knox social service documents revealed the discovery of the Royal Kings in 1959 by Social service workers.  The Royal Kings could be found at Polk and Laflin and at a snack shop at Filmore and Loomis both in the Near West Side neighborhood; these were their biggest hang outs. The researchers determined the members were between the ages of 16 to 22 years old and had territory from Madison Avenue on the north down to 26th Street on the south and from Halsted Street on the east all the way to Western Avenue, but this territory was patchy and not all clumped together, their main turf was said by researchers to be from Harrison Street on the north to Roosevelt Road on the south, Loomis Street on the east down to Ashland on the west which is within the Near West Side neighborhood.  The Royal Kings also had rivalries with Latin Counts, AmbroseSatan Disciples (later) and Gay Lords just to name some.

In 1954, a group of three Latino youths got together in the South Loop section of the Near South Side neighborhood at the intersection of 18th and Wabash to form their own gang called the “Imperials.”  The leader of the gang was Ramon ‘Papa King,’ ‘Papa Santos,’ ‘King Papo’ Santos who was a Cuban youth that moved to Chicago from Puerto Rico.  The gang quickly grew to include five members including King Papo, the other four members were Jose “Cadillac Joe” Rivera a Puerto Rican, Eddie “King Tiger” Rodriguez a Puerto Rican, and “Fast Eddie” a Puerto Rican and Joe Gunn a Mexican youth, they formed the organization to battle various African American and other Latino rivals in the area.

In 1958 both Mexicans and Puerto Ricans were being displaced by the construction of “The Circle” interchange which was to be a junction for the Dan Ryan, Kennedy, and Eisenhower expressways.  What this means is they were forced to leave their Near West Side homes because the homes were going to be torn down in order for this massive interchange to be put in there.  Now Mexicans migrated to Pilsen mainly along 18th street while Puerto Ricans went up north to various neighborhoods.

Upon the arrival in Pilsen, the newly arrived Mexicans experienced conflict from whites that were not too happy to see more Mexicans, and also gangs that were already there were going to clash with these West Loop/Near West gangs such as the Royal Kings. One of the Mexican gangs to form in the Heart of Chicago (or you can just refer to the area as Pilsen) section of the Lower West Side was the “Coulter Kings” that formed on Damen and Coulter.  I believe that the Coulter Kings spawned out of the Royal Kings and as Royal King gang members would arrive in Pilsen in higher volume in the early 1960s they converted into Coulter Kings right away.

Another manifestation was the creation of a gang of Mexican youths called the “MarKings” that were formed by “White Sal” at the intersection of 24th and Marshall Boulevard (The Boulevards) in the Marshall Square section of South Lawndale in the early 1960s, “Black Sal” was second in command of this organization.  The name MarKings comes from the street name of Marshall Boulevard, basically saying they are the kings of Marshall Boulevard.  The Mexican Kings soon grew to have about 15 members as they fought rivals such as the Gay Lords.  I personally theorize that the MarKings spawned out of the Royal Kings just like the Coulter Kings possibly did.  I think that Royal King gang members arrived in Little Village and created a new organization called the “MarKings.”

As Puerto Rican migration came to west Lincoln Park in the late 1950s, gang activity began to flare up and the Puerto Rican youths clung to the new Young Lords gang that first formed.  By the early 1960s or perhaps a tad sooner King Papo came to Lincoln Park at Armitage and Sheffield to start a new Imperials chapter. Around that same time King Papo started a chapter of Imperials at the intersection of Ashland and Cortez on the Noble Square/East Village border.

Now that I have shown the history of these four gangs now I will show how they came together to form the Latin Kings.  In the year 1964 Ramon King Papo Santos who was the leader of the Imperials who got together with the leaders of the other three organizations to form the “Latin Kings.” King Papo paid a visit to the Mar Kings and Coulter Kings to propose to them that they had a lot in common and he asked them to meet him in Humboldt Park. The meeting was held in the actual Humboldt Park Park in between East and West Humboldt Park neighborhoods.  This is the meeting place where King Papo proposed the merger to the young leaders of the Imperials, Mar Kings and Coulter Kings. It was King Papo that got his council members together to start the second chapter of Puerto Rican Latin Kings at the street corner of Kedzie and Ohio in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood and Leavitt and Schiller right behind Sabin Elementary school at 2216 W Hirsch St which is located right in the Wicker Park section within the West Town neighborhood.

The Young Lords were probably the largest Puerto Rican gang in Wicker Park at the time so they called a meeting with the Latin Kings, Young Sinners, Warlords, and the Pierce Syndicates and various others to form a unity to fight against the white greaser gangs that heavily outnumbered any of these Puerto Rican gangs.

The Latin Kings became big at Sabin Elementary and that is how they were able to spread their influence throughout Wicker Park because recruitment happened in the school and on the school playground.  It was also at this location that Latin Kings were working with the Puerto Rican extremist group FALN and they were hiding them at Leavitt and Schiller.  Once the FALN blew up Schubert Theater, the Latin Kings cut off ties with FALN.

The Latin Kings have been thought by many to be put together by a bunch of kids on the streets; however, there is nothing further from the truth, this organization was put together by grown men, some as old as nearly 30 years old.  The men that put this organization together were immigrants from Puerto Rico and Mexico and some may have even had gang ties or ties to revolutionary groups in their original country.  This was to become a sophisticated syndicate that would become active in the distribution of drugs at the time of their formation.

This organization was mainly built upon the reason for the protection of Latino youths against the racist white gangs in their neighborhood that threatened to destroy businesses and attack the families of Latino males.  Even though there was a drug distribution syndicate operating by older members in the earliest years, the main focus was all about neighborhood protection and for members to come together to fight for the neighborhood.

The Latin Kings had the idea to widen their territory in order to make larger drug profits.  The recruitment of several young Latino youths became necessary in order to widen that territory and make the organization as profitable as possible for the council; eventually the Latin King Nation saw no issue recruiting white and black members as well.  This organization was built upon engaging in activities that would commonly be seen with organized crime syndicates but older members would also interact closely with younger members on the street.  Many people thought Papo King was much younger than he was.

In the mean time in the Pilsen neighborhood King Papo appointed 14 year old Raul “Baby King” “Rayo” Gonzales to start the third chapter or south side chapter of the Latin Kings that would spread in Pilsen at 16th and Blue Island and then Little Village on 26th Street.  Rayo was said to be the protégé of King Papo possessing the leadership traits and the balls that King Papo had, this is probably why the 14 year old was given such a heavy responsibility.

Now that the new chapters were set, the organization began heavy and aggressive recruitment and began selling drugs and attempting total control of the drug trade within these neighborhoods.  In 1964, the Latin Kings opened up their second piece of West Humboldt Park turf at the intersection of Beach and Spaulding (The Motherland) that was ran by Jose “Cadillac Joe” Rivera and from there the Latin Kings became a major force in West Humboldt Park.

By 1964, the Latin Kings were aggravating several groups of Puerto Rican and Mexican youths on the west side, south side, and north side which caused them to form their own gangs to combat the Latin Kings.  The Kings wanted the power and control of the neighborhood and this did not vibe with other gangs or groups of youths.  The Latin Kings also had an aggressive recruitment policy that still exists today, and if youths refused to join they might become targets of bullying especially if the youths had friends in other gangs, but one rule old school Latin Kings played by was to not harm innocent women or children in the midst of gang wars.

In the year 1964, the Latin Kings bopped heads with one of their biggest allies the Young Lords and war ensued that lasted two years until the Young Lords became passive activists and were no longer interested in neighborhood control or selling drugs.  That two year war came to an end on June 12, 1966 when the Division street riots were going down.  A Puerto Rican man was gunned down unjustly by Chicago Police so Young Lords and Latin Kings stormed the streets rioting against the police over human rights. King Papo, Eddie LB, Bronco and Tiger along with the Young Lords drew an alliance on this day and from there on became allies once again.  It was this very day on June 12, 1966 that the Latin Kings first made the news all over the United States and perhaps globally.  This enhanced recruitment and also public awareness and of course law enforcement became more aware of the Latin Kings.

By 1964, the Latin Kings were well established in the Little Village community and had major turf all along 26th Street, also by 1964 Latin Kings were all over the Humboldt Park neighborhood.  From Beach and Spaulding Latin Kings spread like wild fire and eventually all the area between Leavitt and Schiller and Beach and Spaulding was full of Latin King sections.  This also meant they had sets in the East Humboldt Park section in the West Town neighborhood (between West Humboldt Park and Wicker Park).  From the Boulevards territory in Little Village a group of Latin Kings formed in the Bridgeport and South Chicago neighborhoods in the mid 1960s.

To summarize, the Latin Kings instantly controlled these territories right away in the mid 1960s:

  • Little Village at 24th and Marshall Boulevard “The Boulevards.”
  • West Humboldt Park at Kedzie and Ohio, quickly moved to Beach and Spaulding “The Motherland.”  First leader was “Batman.”
  • Pilsen at Coulter and Damen “Coulter Kings
  • East Village/Noble Square at Ashland and Cortez
  • Lincoln Park at Armitage and Sheffield
  • Bridgeport at 27th and Normal
  • South Chicago neighborhood
Ashland and Cortez Latin Kings 1971. Cholo in the very back in the center, Sonny sitting in the chair on the right, Lucky kneeling in the center with the rifle or shotgun
Ashland and Cortez Latin Kings 1972. The President Michael Perez standing wearing a beret. Lucky sitting wearing a sweater. Albert on the far right. Sonny with back to the camera
Ashland and Cortez Latin Kings 1972. Lucky, Cholo and Sonny

The Kings were now fighting with rival white greaser gangs like the Gaylords and the Simon’s City gang of Humboldt Park.  They clashed with Chi-west in nearby Ukrainian Village.

As more and more Puerto Ricans migrated to Humboldt Park in the mid-1960s a new rivalry would flare up between the Latin Kings and Spanish Cobras.  The Spanish Cobras were the best alternative to joining the Latin Kings or the Young Lords in Humboldt Park.  If you were bullied by or just did not like Latin Kings, being a Cobra was the way to go if you wanted to be in a bigger club because all other Latino gangs up north were very small compared to the Latin Kings and Young Lords.  It has to be understood that the reason the Latin Kings grew so fast and became an immediate super power is the fact that they formed as a result of four already developed gangs, this combo created an immediate success story.

By the late 1960s Latin Kings had migrated north of Lincoln Park and into the Lathrop Projects and moved into Edgewater and Uptown and then eventually into Rogers Park.  The Latin Kings then began roaming into the North Center neighborhoods and Lincoln Square which is where they began to clash with the Almighty Popes (now known as North side Insane Popes).

The Latin Kings of Humboldt Park and Wicker Park began migrating into Logan Square, Avondale, Albany Park and even Hermosa in the late 1960s and early 1970s causing them to clash with the Imperial Gangsters, Taylor Jousters and the Stoned Freaks (then known as Young Freaks, or Young Blood Freaks).

On the Southern part of the city the Latin Kings had very quickly spread into the Back of The Yards section of the New City neighborhood possibly as early as the mid-1960s.  By the late 1960s to early 1970s Latin Kings could be found in the Marquette Park.  It is safe to say that Latin Kings were almost everywhere in Chicago by the early 1970s, even over by Midway airport (Clearing, Garfield Ridge and Archer Heights).  This was already a mega gang by the early 1970s and the largest Latino gang in Chicago by then.

In the midst of all this gangbanging and expansion, the Latin Kings were very influenced by the Young Lords and engaged in community activism.  This would enhance their image which was good for the organization because by the early 1970s law enforcement was closing in on the Latin Kings.  In June of 1971 Raul Gonzales and another high ranking north side member of the Latin Kings Gustavo “Hercules” Colon were each out for blood at the end of this hot summer month.

On the night of June 20, 1971 Raul “BK” “Rayo” Gonzales was hanging out at the intersection of 24th and Sacramento in the Marshall Square neighborhood when he spotted Ernesto Villagomez in a car with several other people.  Gonzales then fired bullets into the car and killed the driver causing the car to crash into a building, his intended target survived and only the driver that was shot was killed, the driver was Villagomez’ uncle.  Villagomez had been known to hang out with both Latin Kings and Bishops gang members.  Latin Kings and Bishops were rival gangs at that point in time and BK did not like Ernesto hanging out with Bishops, especially after Ernesto wore a shirt that said “Bishops” on it.  One day outside of Harrison High School BK confronted Villagomez and told him to not wear Bishop clothing, when Ernesto wised off to BK, BK slapped him across the face, Ernesto then threatened revenge on another date, it was at that point that BK marked Villagomez, and on the night of June 20th he killed Villagomez’ uncle as he was driving Ernesto and others home from a dance.  The other car load in front of the uncle’s car was a car full of Bishops gang members and according to court documents those witnesses were affiliated with the Bishops, Gonzales was then charged with murder and sent to prison (People vs. Gonzales, 1974).

On the night of June 27, 1971 Gustavo “Hercules” Colon was hanging out at the intersection of Leavitt and Potomac in the Wicker Park neighborhood that night.  According to court documents Colon and Florentine “Brillo” Menendez spotted Glenn Burr and his sister and friends walking down the street.  Menendez then shouted “Shoot that black mother fucker!” and pulled a gun on the group of five according to court documents, Glenn Burr then took off running but Colon then shot him three times in the back, killing him.  Colon then walked up to Verlinda Hamilton and put the gun to her head and gave her a big smile then pulled the trigger; however, the gun jammed.  Colon was not arrested for the crime until August of 1971, Brillo was said to be dead by the time arrests were to be made, Colon was then charged with murder and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison (People vs. Colon, 1974).

By 1972, the Latin Kings were facing a major crisis.  Starting in the late 1960s several members were getting into heavy drugs like Heroin.  There were also many members that were not focused on tasks at hand and much of the LKN was disorganized.  In the midst of several gang and drug wars and now with law enforcement breathing down their necks, there was a real threat to the very existence of the Latin King Nation.  Now that Hercules and Rayo were incarcerated for murder they had an immediate meeting behind prison walls with Manuel Diaz Rodriguez, Johnny Martinez, Eddie, Dino, and Sun Child.  These 7 Latin Kings drew up the “Kings Manifesto” which was literature that was to guide and organize Latin Kings in the right direction in order to ease operations and maintain order.  One of the biggest guidelines was no use of drugs unless it was Marijuana.

After the Manifesto was written in 1972, King Papo stepped down along with Carmelo leaving Hercules to run the north side and northwest side operations while Rayo ran southwest and south side operations.  Other members were out casted for their behavior and ejected from the organization to be made examples of how this behavior was now not acceptable.  All Latin Kings were ordered to kick their Heroin habits immediately and turn in all bags of their Heroin, if they did not, severe consequences would be suffered.  It did not matter about the withdraw effects; you had to just stop using……no Exceptions!

Now that Rayo had become leader of the south side, he was now referred to the nickname “Baby King” as he was the protégé of the former leader Papo King.  Gustavo Colon was now referred to as “Lord Gino” now that he was in command of all northern Chicago operations, these two men had just become the King of Kings.

Now at this point in time the Latin King nation was to become even stronger than ever with the Kings Manifesto, and BK and Gino were successfully operating the organization from behind prison walls; however, there were still lots of Latin Kings that supported and looked up to King Papo and many still saw him as the supreme leader of the Latin Kings.  King Papo did indeed officially step down in 1972 but unofficially he was still a shot caller especially since he was out on the streets while BK and Gino were locked up.  It was something that likely never settled well with BK and Gino, rumor has it they really despised it.

Another big player within the Latin King Nation was a member named Julio “Compa” Munoz who was an original member of the nation.  Compa was born in the year 1935 making him one of the oldest members or perhaps the oldest member of the Latin Kings.  He was the 9th member of the Imperials as they formed in 1954.  Compa was a big time member and highly regarded in the nation.  On the night of December 17, 1975 Compa conspired with a prostitute named Deborah Schak and Victor Figueroa and Ralphie Munoz to get a sum of money together to pay for Schak’s methadone treatment because she was a struggling recovering heroin addict and asked the men for help according to court documents.  The four of them then conspired to have Schak lure a client into a trap where she would perform her sexual favors for money then Munoz men would rob him.  Schak lived with Munoz at 1737 Maplewood (Maplewood and Bloomingdale in Logan Square) and told Munoz she needed the money and was willing to steal for it according to court documents. Schak then walked to Western Avenue and picked up on three men, two of which took her to one of the men’s residence where she performed sexual favors on them both.  One of the men, Peter Mobiles, wanted to stay with Schak and offered her $100 for a night with her and he flashed a large amount of money according to court documents.  Mobiles and Schak then left to stay at her “sister’s house” at Campbell and Wabansia which was right down the block from where Schak and Munoz actually stayed.  Schak had Mobiles wait outside while she went inside to ask her sister for permission, instead Schak grabbed a knife and Munoz came with her with a gun on him.  Schak asked Mobiles if he could give Munoz a ride to Foster and Sheridan, Mobiles agreed and got in the car while Schak got in the back seat behind him, and Munoz hopped into the passenger seat.  According to court documents Munoz put the gun to Mobiles’ head while Schack wrapped her arm around Mobile’s neck and put her knife to his throat, the two of them then demanded money but Mobiles only gave them $20.  Munoz then ordered Mobiles to take off his clothes and put them right outside the car, Mobiles complied according to court documents.  I am speculating Munoz had Mobiles do this so they could search his clothes for more money because after this happened Munoz told Schak to step outside, Munoz then ordered Mobiles to lie down on the ground face down, then Munoz shot Mobiles in the back of the head.  The two of them grabbed the clothes then left the scene and fled to their place on Maplewood.  Back at the residence Munoz told Ralphie Munoz that he was not sure if Mobiles was dead and that he accidentally shot Mobiles but also said “it’s probably better that way.”  Schak apparently did not want murder to be involved because she was freaked out and ended up testifying against Munoz which got in prison time for the murder (People vs. Munoz, 1979).

This Julio Munoz case did not end with this 1975 murder, when the trails were happening in 1976 one of the men that discussed the robbery before it happened in December of 1975 was Victor Figueroa who had turned state’s witness against Compa in August of 1976.  Because of Figueroa’s testimony the Latin Kings were making death threats against Figueroa forcing him into a witness protection program.  Compa was highly regarded and was a high up member of the organization so tricking on him would come with consequences.  The Latin Kings were now hunting Figueroa down and the hunt ended in 1979.  According to court documents the frozen body of Victor Figueroa was found in a gangway at 1027 N. Francisco Street (East Humboldt Park) on February 23, 1979 with three bullet wounds in his chest and his penis was severed and shoved into his mouth.  Anthony Perez was later arrested and charged with the murder.  According to court documents Perez initially denied killing Figueroa but then later confessed to killing him, and said he did it with another Latin King named “Black Jack,” but Black Jack’s real identity was never revealed in the court documents.  Perez said he killed Figueroa in revenge for Figueroa testifying against Julio Compa Munoz.  On the night of the murder Figueroa went into a bar at 1100 North California Ave (California and Thomas in East Humboldt Park) to look into buying drugs, at the bar Perez and Black Jack recognized Figueroa and approached him offering to get him the drugs as long as Figueroa came with them.  The two men lured Figueroa to the alleyway at 1027 N. Francisco Street then Black Jack acted like he fell on the ice and pulled down Figueroa with him, then Perez pulled out the .38 revolver and pointed it at Figueroa and said “your days are over” then fired all six bullets striking him only twice in the chest.  Black Jack then reloaded the revolver for Perez and told him to shoot Figueroa in the heart, Perez then shot Figueroa right in the heart which was the cause of death according to the court documents.  Perez was later arrested and charged with murder, in the court documents Perez denied cutting off Figueroa’s penis and feeding it to him, and the documents do not detail that part at all (People vs. Perez, 1983).  The penis was likely removed by one of the two men to symbolize what happens when you run your mouth and testify, hence, why the penis was placed in the man’s mouth, the message was clearly sent, and it also showed the influence that Compa had, being an original member and perhaps the oldest member.  Compa would remain in prison until 2012 where he died behind bars.

As the 1970s progressed the Latin Kings only got bigger and the struggle was no longer for Latino men and women, now the organization took in whites, blacks and many other races.  There were white and black members as early as the 1960s but by the 1970s there were several black and white members depending on the neighborhood.  The Latin Kings also had small sleeper cells of members living in the suburbs as early as the early 1970s, then by the late 1970s there began some recruitment in the suburbs like, Melrose Park and Maywood as examples.

In 1977, the Latin Kings made the news again when another Division street riot kicked off on June 4th 1977.  Once again Chicago Police gunned down two Puerto Rican youths and once again the community was infuriated.  Looting, vandalism and violence ensued and the Latin Kings were a major part of the riot and so were the Spanish Cobras.  Once Cobras and Kings saw each other they started fighting viciously and leaving a big path of destruction in their wake.

A big turn happened for the Latin Kings in 1978.  The Latin Kings had a very strong branch operating on the corner of North Ave and Kedzie in West Humboldt Park.  Right around the corner at 1551 North Kedzie ave is the Illinois National Guard armory.  The Latin Kings of North and Kedzie pulled off a major heist on a military vehicle right near the armory and stole thousands of dollars worth of high powered weapons by ambushing a military vehicle as it left the armory, they then helped themselves to all the crates in the vehicle while they held the personnel at gun point.  This made the Latin Kings one heavily armed organization for the rest of their existence even up to present day and of course this will enhance recruitment due to being heavily armed.

On November 11th 1978 the Folk Nation alliance was formed in the prison system which included such gangs as Black Gangsters Disciples, Black DisciplesAmbrose, Satan Disciples, Latin Disciples (Maniac Latin Disciples), Two Six Boys (Gangster Two Six), Spanish Cobras, Simon City Royals, Almighty Insane Royal Popes, Imperial Gangsters, Latin Eagles, Orquestra Albany and Ashland Vikings.  This was a prison alliance mainly orchestrated by Larry Hoover.  This spelled bad news for the Latin Kings and any other gang that was not aligned with this new Folk Nation.  It turned out the Latin Kings’ worst enemies had joined this alliance in the same meeting, the Latin Kings along with the Vice Lords and El Rukns created the People Nation alliance.  They then extended the invite the Mickey Cobras, Latin Counts, Bishops, Spanish Lords, P.R. Stones and Insane Unknowns.  The El Rukns and Vice Lords represented the Islam side of the People Nation, while the Latin Kings were represented the Christian side of the People Nation.  This was all made possible because the Latin Kings, Black P. Stones, and Vice Lords had been allies ever since the early 1960s when they all found a common enemy, the Devil’s Disciples.

The Latin Kings kept their ties pretty tight with their People Nation allies that intensified on the streets in the early 1980s.  By 1980, the Latin Kings were recruiting more gangs to join the People alliance and that is when they reeled in gangs like the Gaylords, Insane Deuces, Villa Lobos and Cullerton Deuces.  This was also the point in time when there were Latin Kings in every white or Hispanic neighborhood in the city.  The Kings were now putting in more sleeper cells out in the suburbs and were beginning to bust out in some suburbs like Rockford, Cicero, Berwyn, Stone Park, Maywood and Joliet.  The Latin Kings also began colonizing the further south side of Chicago in neighborhoods like South Chicago, South Deering, East Side, Pullman and Hedgewish.

By the mid-1980s the Latin Kings were spreading into more suburbs and the sleeper cells were opening up and taking in suburban kids interested in gangbanging.  By the late 1980s the Latin Kings were now in the majority of Du Page County, Will County, Lake County and Kane County suburbs and all of Cook County.  In Will County they started recruiting out of early 80s sleeper cells in Romeoville and Bolingbrook.

In Dupage County they opened sets in suburbs like Addison, Schaumberg, Downers Grove and Westmont.  The Latin Kings were aggressively expanding their empire and were looking for more angles to expand the Cocaine, Marijuana, and Heroin pipelines by putting soldiers in the burbs.  They also grew into other states and even small towns in rural Illinois.  As the Latin Kings continued to grow by the late 1980s tensions with other gangs heated up and more violence ensued.  The Latin Kings wanted to flex their muscle and show their dominance in the streets by displaying several acts of violence; this would eventually bring about early tensions with fellow gangs within the People Nation alliance.  Sometimes scuffles would break out or there were cold feelings among allies.

In the summer of 1988 King Papo, the man that united all the gangs together that created the Latin King Nation in 1964 had suddenly disappeared.  Rumors flew around that this was an internal hit on his life but there is no confirmation of that, other rumors said that Papo fled the country but once again there was no evidence.  Right after Papo’s disappearance, the Latin Kings were left 100% in command to the incarcerated BK and Lord Gino who were still servicing sentences for murders since 1972.  They now ran the organization from behind bars and took the Latin Kings in a direction that would bring about higher profits and more dominance on the streets and that is the point in time where they started having minor conflicts with fellow People Nation gangs.

In 1991, the Latin Kings developed an “anybody killer” or “almighty don’t like nobody” policy where they declared war on several other People Nation gangs or pushed several others to start a war with them.  Some notable allies they begin war with around 1991 were Latin Counts, Bishops, Cullerton Deuces, Some Vice Lord sets, and Insane Deuces.  The rival Folks alliance also began engaging in several interralliance wars that year; therefore, the Kings did not really need their allies as much anyway.

By the early 1990s Latin Kings could be found in every suburban town in Chicago land whether there was an active set or not.  The LKN had spread to all 50 states and even other countries as well, especially Mexico.  New York City developed a very large faction of Latin Kings in the 1980s.  I am not going into details about the NYC Kings because this is a Chicago and Chicago area gang history site; I do not have much to do with gang histories in other states.

By 1995, BK was released from prison and running things on the street especially all down the 26th street corridor.  By 1997, Lord Gino was 1 day from getting out until he was brought up on RICO charges and now is spending the rest of his life in federal prison.  In 1999 BK was incarcerated again on felony drug charges and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Please send in old school pics.   1950s or 1960s pics will be especially appreciated!


    1. What year did the Royal Kings form?  Who was the founder and what happened to him?
    2. What was Royal King’s first section?
    3. What happened to the 16th and Blue Island set?  When did it fall?
    4. Who founded the Coulter Kings and what happened to him?