King Cobras

Founded Founded in 1972 by Mel Tellez in or near South Deering
Affiliations ;
;
Colors Black and Green
Primary ethnicities Latino (Mexican)
Symbols Cobra and Insane Diamond
Symbol usage

Insane diamond with 3 dots

Status Active

The King Cobras formed in the year 1972 at the intersection of 106th and Oglesby down to 106th and Bensely right in front of Trumbull Park and the Trumbull Park projects in the South Deering neighborhood.  The King Cobras were put together by Mel Tellez for the purpose of protecting the neighborhood from gangs developing in the surrounding neighborhood that had ambitions to invade.  There were black gangs in Calumet Heights, Riverdale and Roseland that could threaten to invade but those were not the biggest concerns.  The biggest concerns was the Latin Kings from South Chicago or the Bishops from the Bush area.  The King Cobras along with the “Iron Hands” gang were the first gangs in South Deering and they worked together to keep Latin Kings and other undesirables out.  Contrary to popular belief, the meaning behind the King Cobra name has nothing to do with paying homage to Richard “King Cobra” Medina, the fallen leader of the Spanish Cobras.  Instead the name pays tribute to “King Serpent of the neighborhood.”

The early King Cobras dominated the Trumbull Park projects and were located in just about every building in that cluster.

In the year 1975, King Cobras began to recruit young members and now the organization grew in numbers beyond the original members.

In the early 1980s, new gangs ended up invading the neighborhood and it couldn’t be stopped because these gang members from other parts of the city were actually moving onto the streets of South Deering.  The projects now had Black Gangster Disciples and Conservative Vice Lords moving in as the community now experienced a large African American wave of migration.  As more Hispanic people moved into the area soon many began joining the rival Spanish Vice Lords or Latin Counts. King Cobras now had new enemies and the violence in South Deering soon became legendary.

I don’t know when in time it happened but eventually the King Cobras connected with the Spanish Cobras and joined the Insane family from the north side of the city in the 1980s.  By 1990 King Cobras were for sure Insane.  King Cobras then adopted the Spanish Cobra diamond and other symbols.  Perhaps this happened because King Cobras and Spanish Cobras had the same colors and used the cobra symbol.

In the early 1990s the King Cobras opened territory in the Hedgewish neighborhood at 133rd and Ave L “Chopper City” and 133rd and Burley.  They also opened in nearby Hammond, Indiana.

King Cobras had a very nasty war with Latin Counts of 108th and Hoxie.  The Latin Counts killed one of King Cobra top gunner “Lil Rico” in the 1990s.  In revenge the King Cobras killed the leader of the 108th and Hoxie section known as “Maniac.”

King Cobras also went at it very hard with the Spanish Vice Lords in the 1990s.  In the area around the Trumbull homes there was Spanish Vice Lord and King Cobra graffiti everywhere and bullet holes in the stop signs, this war was very intense.

by 2005 the King Cobras left the projects but when they did all operations were moved to the East Side neighborhood and Hedgewish neighborhood.  A short time later all Chicago operations ceased and King Cobras moved everything Indiana.

 

Please send in 1979, 1980s and 1990s pics!

  1. What was the time line of leaders up to the year 2000?
  2. What year did Hedgewish territory open?