|Founded||Founded in 1964 in or near South Lawndale: Little Village|
Founded in the Little Village section of South Lawndale
|Colors||Black and Dark blue|
|Primary ethnicities||Latino (Mexican) and White|
|Symbols||Cross, 3 Slashes, Shield, Lion, and Playboy Bunny|
Cross with three slashes, shield with two lions, playboy bunny with bent ear 1980-extinction
The Ridgeway Lords are said to have started sometime between 1960-1964 but I don’t know the exact time they formed but they were for sure started by 1964 at the intersection of 24th and Ridgeway in the Little Village neighborhood. I am not clear on who the Ridgeway Lords fought in their early years but I believe it was only small gangs. The Ridgeway Lords got very popular in the 1960s and got along very well with the other large gang the Latin Kings. Latin Kings and Ridgeway Lords were very tight in the 60s and into the early 70s as they partied hard together and fought various small gangs in the area.
I am not sure whom the first rivals of the RLs were but I do know by 1966 the RLs were fighting with the Taylor Sharks that migrated there from the Little Italy area. I came across a news article from 1966 in which a Taylor Shark shot a Ridgeway Lord in the chest once with a .22 caliber pistol and fled onto a bus, the RL died of the gunshot wound (Chicago Tribune Page 17, June 13, 1966).
The Ridgeway Lords took on more of the hippie style in the late 60s and through the 1970s which was a style of growing your hair long and partying very hard. Ridgeway Lords were known for being really tough and fearless while also throwing wild parties and drinking a lot and using some drugs. The Ridgeway Lords were perhaps the toughest hippie type group in Chicago and were very feared by many.
In 1972, when the Two Six gang formed in the neighborhood, Ridgeway Lords became enemies with them as they fought alongside the Latin Kings against them. The RLs also loved to fight against Cicero gangs in the 60s and by 1972 they were fighting Noble Knights, Arch Dukes, Berwyn Kings and Cicero Esquires. Ridgeway Lords loved to hang out in Cicero even though they never colonized the community. For some reason RLs just loved this town and if I am not mistaken they liked to hang out at 26th and 61st Ave in Cicero, even though it wasn’t an official territory.
At some point the RLs spread down the block to 24th and Lawndale then they opened a big set at 27th and Kedvale which became their stronghold especially since they lost the 24th Street original section. The mid-70s was the peak of Ridgeway Lord strength and from the mid-60s until the later 1970s the Ridgeway Lords and Latin Kings ran Little Village.
In the year 1977, the long standing relationship between Latin Kings and Ridgeway Lords came to an abrupt end when the Latin Kings violently murdered a member of the Ridgeway Lords. The war was very intense as both gangs shook the neighborhood during this brutal gang war.
In the year 1980, the Ridgeway Lords squashed their wars with Two Six, Two Two Boys and Satan Disciples as they joined the Folk alliance in prison as some key members were incarcerated. Ridgeway Lords became especially close with Two Six and Satan Disciples as they drew up a street alliance called “Lords Two Six Disciples” or “L.T.D.” A year later in 1981, the Ridgeway Lords were officially Folks on the streets. The early 80s would be the last of the best years for the Ridgeway Lords as their numbers began to slowly decline as Two Six numbers grew.
In the mid-80s Ridgeway Lord numbers began to decline faster as recruitment was mainly gravitating toward the Two Sixs as they now were running Little Village along with their enemies the Latin Kings. Many members of the Ridgeway Lords were facing incarceration by this time too which added to their decline. RLs were now only operating at 27th and Kedvale. Heroin addiction took hold of some higher up members which caused some of their key members to face prison time or become non-functioning due to the drug’s hold on them. RLs were well-known party animals in the 60s, 70s and 80s and it seemed to catch up to some of their members.
In the year 1988, the Satan Disciples and Two Sixs went to war which broke up the L.T.D alliance. RLs had a closer relationship with Satan Disciples especially since the Two Sixs and RLs were arch enemies from 1972 until 1980. Although the RLs were closer to SDs it didn’t mean they were going to take up arms against Two Six necessarily but Two Six didn’t like this friendship and this led to the shooting death of Jimmy Gender, a high ranking Ridgeway Lord. Being a much smaller gang than both Two Six and SDs the RLs realized they could no longer withstand a war with Two Six and made the decision to close their last territory as most members joined the ranks of the Satan Disciples. A small group of RLs refused to join SDs but still lived in the neighborhood but knew they could no longer hold an established territory. Some members moved out of the city and refused to let the legacy die out so they opened a Ridgeway Lord chapter in the suburb of Justice.
In the early 1990s the RLs of Justice perhaps had their best years although I don’t know much about this chapter or even how big they got in this area. By the mid-1990s they were looking to open new territory in the midway area in the city in the Clearing neighborhood. This action upset a rival gang called the Almighty Popes that happened to have territory in nearby Bridgeview, Summit and Burbank area which are all suburbs near Justice so bad blood was there. The drama between RLs and APs unfolded in December of 1995 when RLs were mentioned in the deadly shooting of two 13 year old girls in Clearing that were gunned down by Almighty Pope gang members at 62nd and Melvina. No Ridgeway Lords were harmed and they were never heard from again. The APs were mad that RLs were trying to colonize the area which was the motive for the shooting.
The Ridgeway Lords left behind a major legacy of being some very tough gangsters as they fought on some of the meanest streets of Chicago.
Please send in 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s pics!
- What exact year did the RLs start? 1964?
- Who was the founder and what happened to him?
- What year did 24th and Lawndale start?
- What year did 27th and Kedvale start?
- What other sections were there?
- What year did the Justice section start and what year did it shut down?
- What is the time line of leaders?
- What year did each section close?
- What other sections did I leave out? Where the RLs on 28th?