Vice Lords

Founded Founded in 1957 by Edwin Marion Perry in or near North Lawndale
Founding story

Founded at the Illinois Youth Center of St. Charles, North Lawndale, 21st and Lawndale

Affiliations ;
Colors Black, Red, and Gold
Color usage Black and gold 1957-present; Black and red 1978-present
Primary ethnicities African American
Symbols Playboy Bunny, Cane, Top Hat, Martini Glass, and Pyramid
Symbol usage

Pyramid 1978-present

Status Active

The Vice Lord’s history is greatly intertwined with Imperial Chaplain history.  The story begins in the early 1940s when African Americans began to move into the “Jew Town” section of the Near West Side neighborhood in larger numbers.  For many years this area was referred to as the “Jewish Ghetto” and was the site the famous Maxwell Street Market.  When blacks arrived they were not welcomed by the Jewish community and the tensions developed quickly.  The tensions were the worst at the intersection of Maxwell Street and Halsted Street and up to Roosevelt Road at the spot of the Maxwell Street market that Jews heavily regarded as their area.  At some point in the early 1940s the tensions got so out of control that groups and black and white youths were fighting in the streets.  This neighborhood was well known for having prominent Italian and Jewish gangs decades prior and now they were fighting with scores of black youths that were fighting for their rights to live in Jew Town.

As the conflicts between Jewish and black youths escalated in Jew Town the black youths formed two street gangs to battle the Jewish gangs.  Forming these clubs was the only way to size up against the tough Jewish gangs and the black youths wanted to call upon all black youths in the area to join them in the fight, this was the prophecy.  The name “Imperial Chaplain” was likely chosen because a Chaplain by definition is a type of prophet that is attached to a religious group.  The Imperial Chaplains would serve as the prophets to spread the word to black youths moving into Jew Town to stand up and fight for their existence.  The other black gang to take form was the 14th Street Clovers that formed at 14th and Halsted just south of the Maxwell Street market.  At first the two gangs could work together to fight against a common cause, however, that didn’t last long before they began fighting each other as each group wanted to stand as one against the common enemy but neither group wanted to assimilate into the other.

The building of the Robert Brooks public housing projects brought many more blacks into the area and members of the Imperial Chaplains and 14th Street Clovers were the first gangs to take up residence in these buildings.  Extensions were built onto the Jane Addams projects in 1943 that were built for blacks and this is when Clovers and Chaplains were moving in these buildings.

In the year 1948, members of the Imperial Chaplains and 14th Street Clovers moved to the North Lawndale neighborhood as many Jewish residents moved out of the area.  North Lawndale was both welcoming and spiteful of blacks moving into this neighborhood and once again friction popped off between blacks and Jews.  North Lawndale was ideal for black families as their was an abundance of rental properties, because blacks were often barred from purchasing property in this community.  The Chaplains made 16th and Homan down the 16th and Trumbull as their main stronghold.  The rivalries between Clovers and Chaplains would now carry over onto these streets.

In the year 1950, Imperial Chaplains and Clovers took over the Loomis Courts after the doors were opened.

As the Grace Abbott public housing projects opened in the Near West Side neighborhood in 1952, Chaplains and Clovers moved into these buildings, simultaneously, Chaplains and Clovers were also moving into the Jane Addams projects as those projects were now starting to allow blacks to move into the older section.  Both gangs were taking over the ABLA housing projects and were the first to run “The Village.”

In the year 1954, a group broke away from the Chaplains in Jew Town that took on the name “Egyptian Cobras.”  The Cobras had their own idea of how to handle issues black youths faced in the neighborhood and the Cobras seemed to have a more violent and extreme approach.

By 1955, more gangs began breaking away from the Chaplains causing a major gang war on the streets of North Lawndale and Jew Town which prompted many more members of this mostly Jewish community to leave the neighborhood, the Chaplains still continued to grow despite losing members to other gangs, the newer members were Junior Chaplains.  The Egyptian Cobras also colonized North Lawndale in the Filmore District at 14th and Kedvale.

In The mid 1950s, Chaplains began to spread around the west side heavily as they settled deeply into the Near West Side neighborhood.  Chaplains also steam rolled into West Garfield Park and East Garfield Park and could even be found in the Cabrini Green high rise projects as they opened up in 1955, Clovers would also join them there.

In the year 1957, the Henry Horner public housing projects opened their doors for the first time and Imperial Chaplains made their way into these buldings as did their rivals the Egyptian Cobras and 14th Street Clovers.  Clovers, Chaplains and Egyptian Cobras were the first to dominate Henry Horner projects.

In March of 1957, the pressure to clean up the growing crime problem was getting to Police Captain Thomas O’ Donnell.  He had been criticized since 1954 by the communities’ Jewish residents for not getting rid of what was thought of as a temporary crime wave, now it was no longer a temporary issue as the white residents moved out fast and the neighborhood fell into a state of disarray due to redlining practices and a loss of tax revenues due to higher income families moving out of the neighborhood.  With the pressure pushing down on him, Captain Thomas O’Donnell launched a major sweep of all of North Lawndale’s gang population.  Young black youths were being rounded up and interrogated, yelled at, beaten, and even shaken down for cigarettes and money.  There were incidences where gang members were taken to the Police station and beaten with belts and burned with cigarettes.  The CPD thought this would scare out the gang members but instead it had an opposite effect.

Many youths were rounded up and ended up facing sentences in the St. Charles Reformatory for Boys (Illinois Youth Center of St. Charles).  One of the youths incarcerated was Edwin Marion “Pepilo” Perry. Before he was sentenced, he wanted to join up with the Imperial Chaplains street gang to fight against the Cobras but for some odd reason they told him he could not join the gang, which is strange to me because he was a pretty big guy.

While incarcerated in the section of the reformatory that housed the toughest boys in Harding Cottage Perry came across Chaplains and Clovers alike and talked some of them into starting something much larger and more organized than anything that had existed on the west side before.  Perry put together this organization that would have rules and assign duties for each of the members while at the reformatory.  They would rotate doing shifts of kitchen duties, cleanup etc…Perry also took on the style of the Italian Mafia and organized his group into a similar command structure as our military.  Although Perry was the central leader, he established a council of leaders that would directly report to him.  This is also a similar structure to the Italian mafia and allows the organization to reach decisions as a council.  This is also an important structure in case the central leader becomes absent.

The youths Perry shared his vision with were Ralph Bonds, Leonard “Cal” Calloway, Maurice “King Baldy” Jackson, Maurice Miller, “Toehold,” and “Wren,” and after incarceration Bobby Gore.  These were the first Vice Lords in the world.  Perry first thought of the name “Conservative Lads” but that was too much so he went with “Imperial Vice Lords” because most of the first members were Imperial Chaplains and some of the Vice Lord history comes out of the Chaplains but then he did not like that because the Chaplains They would likely clash with the Chaplains when they returned to the streets, so “Conservative Vice Lord” was the new name.  The only problem with the “Conservative” part was most members did not understand what “Conservative” meant so it became a hidden part of the name.  “Vice Lord” came from Vice meaning to have a grip and Lord the lord of all vices (Dawley, 1992: pg. 11).

In the Autumn of 1958, the youths were released from juvenile detention and were now on the streets of North Lawndale as they congregated at 21st and Lawndale. The Vice Lords wasted no time taking over in 1958; they viciously attacked other gangs in the area even if they were outnumbered.  The Vice Lords  had the goal of spreading the prophecy in the black community to fight back, and Vice Lord methodology was more organized and complex than the Egyptian Cobras or Imperial Chaplains, making the Vice Lords superior.  One of the first Vice Lords to join on the streets was Bobby Gore who had been a member of the 14th Street Clovers for a long time.  The Vice Lord prophecy was infectious and many young black youths joined this organization for guidance because that was the very thing the Vice Lords offered.  The Vice Lords were for all black youths city-wide, west side, south side and north side, however, south side youths didn’t get involved with the Vice Lords until decades later.

Pepilo was the leader of the Vice Lords and enhanced his reputation by nearly severing the arm of an Imperial Chaplain for assaulting a Vice Lady; this got him some prison time on the Bridewell Prison Farm in Burr Ridge, IL (now closed down).  “Sugarcane” was now running the Vice Lords while Perry was locked up and continued to guide them down the path of brutal destruction as they viciously fought gangs like the Egyptian Cobras, Imperial Chaplains, Imperial Knights, Barons, 14th Street Clovers, Continental Pimps, Imperial Roman Cobras, Comanches, and the Van Dykes. By 1959 the Vice Lords were expanding further in North Lawndale and had captured the corner of 14th and Springfield where they established quite a stronghold.  With the momentum of a steamroller they blazed their way into both East Garfield Park and West Garfield Park as they fought with the Satan’s Helpers, Spanish Counts and the Muscaleros. Vice Lords were now hanging out on the south side in the Woodlawn area with family members Eugene Hairston “King Bull” and Jeff Fort who commanded their own little gangs that would eventually become the Black P Stones.  The Vice Lords were not only there to assist their little cousins they were there to expand and begin south side chapters.  Already in 1959 the Vice Lords were in the newspaper and were fully identified by law enforcement, most gangs take at least a few years to get recognition, for the Vice Lords it was right away.

Back in 1959, no other street gang had the mentality of the Vice Lords, this was an organization well on its way to becoming a sophisticated syndicate, creating an organization was the ultimate goal that Edwin Perry had in mind and he bestowed his leadership qualities upon other leaders in the gang.  An effective leader will teach lower ranked leaders how to be the best possible, that goes for any organization out there and is seen in the corporate world and in the military.  One of the reasons the United States defeated Germany in World War II is because we had a complex chain of command with leaders that granted power and full responsibilities upon lower ranking leaders, all the way down the chain of command, this was the similar structure of the Vice Lord Nation, as Pepilo developed his leaders to be just as effective or more effective than himself, which brought this gang to become a very early super power while other gangs in Chicago were just street corner gangs.

As early as 1959, the Vice Lords had already wrestled away dominance of the Robert Brooks Homes, Grace Abbott Homes, Loomis Courts, Jane Addams Homes and the Henry Horner homes away from Clovers and Imperial Chaplains.  Many Clovers and Chaplains in these projects flipped to Vice Lords right away.

In 1961, Pepilo was released from work prison and was back to take over from Sugar Cane.  When he got out of prison there was an immediate hit put out on him and Glenn Miles a high ranking Vice Lord was gunned down instead by mistake.  There is heavy suspicion the Chicago Outfit (Chicago Italian Mafia) did the shooting because Vice Lords were moving in on prostitution and extortion rackets that the mob usually controlled.  The Vice Lords were now moving on to the bigger time crimes to go along with their excessive violence on the streets.  Throughout the rest of the early 1960s the Vice Lords were relentless in their pursuit of total domination of the North Lawndale streets which was their first goal before taking over the city.  The fact that they were able to cross the Chicago Outfit so deeply showed that this organization had tapped into complex criminal conspiracies very early in their history which would make the Vice Lords an inspiration to both allied gangs and enemy gangs city-wide.

By 1964, it was said there were about 10,000 Vice Lords on the streets although law enforcement claimed that number was much smaller.  The Vice Lords now had 28 sets in the city (mainly on the west side) which made them the biggest gang in Chicago.  The VLs started to branch out because the gang was so big.  There were now individual factions that would have their own leadership, these new factions were: Albany Vice Lords, Ambrose Vice Lords, Black Orpheus Vice Lords, Cermak Vice Lords, Chocolate Corner Vice Lords, Cicero Vice Lords, City Vice Lords, Conservative Village Vice Lords, Douglas Vice Lords, Imperial Vice Lords, Independence Vice Lords, K-Town Vice Lords, Invisible Vice Lords, Kedzie Vice Lords, Kedzie Albany Terrible Vice Lords, Lake Street Vice Lords, Seven Crown Syndicate Vice Lords, and Warlords.  Pretty much none of these factions exist anymore or if they do they go under another name like the Imperial Vice Lords became the Imperial Insane Vice Lords.

In 1964 older members were in their mid to late 20s and were raising families and working legit jobs.  They now were opening their eyes to seeing the destruction they had caused in the conquest to destroy all other gangs.  After all, they were successful; they only needed to compete with the Egyptian Cobras and the Imperial Roman Cobras on the west side of the city.  They even wiped out the Imperial Chaplains for the most part and got them to become the Imperial Vice lord faction which would later become the Imperial Insane Vice lords in the early 1970s we know today.  The Egyptian Cobras had become weakened from fighting against the VLs and were starting to migrate to the Robert Taylor Homes on the city’s south side so it would be just a matter of time before they would be gone.  With all this lack of competition it brought about one hot Summer night in July of 1964 when older members were hanging out on the corner of 16th and Lawndale drinking themselves silly.  A young member approached them and proposed they all go attack their rivals in another violent show of force.  The gang member was so young these older VLs started to feel everything was spinning out of control and began discussing how they can fix a lot of the damage they had done and move the Vice Lords in a positive direction.  They decided they would make the “Conservative” part of their name more official instead of hidden like it had been the past 7 years.  It was at that point in time where the older members turned a new leaf and began working with the community to rebuild.  Pepilo decided he was done with being the leader of the Vice Lords as he was now in his mid-20s.  He wanted to focus on family and turned the President position over to Alfonse Alfred who was then 29 years old at the time.  Some speculate that this was just a guise and Pepilo was still actually running the show secretly behind the scenes.

On April 12, 1965 a new Police assistant superintendent was nominated named George T. Sims of the Filmore area police district 11.  The older Vice Lords were happy to see a black high ranking officer and went directly to him to see what they could do to help the community and get things on track while in the meantime the younger Vice Lords were murderous and still on a rampage.  It was still a step in the right direction regardless.

In the spring of 1966, things were heating up on the west side.  First there were tensions over the CPD killing a Vice Lady, then there was a hot Summer day where temperatures reached over 100 degrees and children around the city opened fire Hydrants to cool off, but when black children did it in North Lawndale the Police got brutal and beat on them and arrested them.  This caused rioting in North Lawndale as residents were angry; however, the Vice lords stayed out of that rioting and instead tried to keep everyone calm by talking people out of it (

Later in the Summer of 1966, another scandal happened when a white murderer was released that killed a black man, this caused a rampage again in North Lawndale and this one was worse because the Vice Lords got fully involved causing violence and destruction.  This brought the Vice Lords major media attention and made them a publically known street gang.

Sometime between the middle to later 1960s Vice Lords opened up turf in the Cabrini Green public housing projects on the north side of the city.  Because the Vice Lords arrived after Disciples and Mickey Cobras they were always smaller than GDs, BDs and Mickey Cobras.

In early 1967, as the snow fell heavy and made it tough for CPD to enter North Lawndale, the Vice Lords continued destruction as they terrorized small businesses that were specifically owned by white people which caused more businesses to close down, thus, hurting the community more due a loss of tax revenues that these businesses generated.

By the summer of 1967, 24th Ward Alderman George Collins and Commander George Sims reached out to the Vice Lords to prevent the predicted worse riots for the summer of 1967 and told them if they controlled their Lords the Alderman himself would assist the Vice Lords with opening a new restaurant.  The Vice Lords now had a visitor all the way from Newbury, Massachusetts named David Dawley.  David Dawley was a white man that was looking to join the Vice Lords but not for the purposes of gangbanging or violence but for the purpose of helping the Vice Lords renew themselves and their community.  David Dawley worked for the Transcentury Corporation which was a non-profit Washington DC survey that had a government grant with the goal of evaluating urban youth feelings about federally-funded social programs. TransCentury sent Dawley to North Lawndale to conduct surveys of the youths and gangs.  He temporarily stayed at the Effie O Ellis YMCA at 10 S. Kedzie Ave in East Garfield Park (

When Dawley arrived he learned all he needed to do was get to know the Vice Lords and interview them since they represented all the youths in North Lawndale.  He soon began working with them and became a Conservative Vice Lord member himself.  By September of 1967 the Vice Lords had become incorporated and were now known as Conservative Vice Lord Inc.  This led them to receive a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in the amount of $15,000, then $25,000 from the Field Foundation, $130,000 from the Ford Foundation, $36,000 from the Department Of Labor and $60,000 from W. Clement Stone (

After Dawley helped CVL INC receive several grants they began opening multiple legit businesses near their pool hall/headquarters at 3720. West 16th street (16th and Lawndale).  These were abandoned and dilapidated buildings along this strip, but now starting in the fall of 1967 all the way through 1969 legit CVL INC businesses opened up.  These business were: Teen Town at 3700 West 16th street, The African Lion at 3702 W. 16th street, The House of Lords at 3724 W. 16th street and one at 3414 West 15th street, Art And Soul at 3742 West 16th street, Tastee Freeze at 18th and Pulaski and California and Flournoy.  Vice Lords also used funding for management training and business skills at their headquarters (

By the summer of 1968 Vice Lords were helping people in the community deal with slum lords or landlords that were asking too much for rent right off the bat.  The Vice Lords also worked with the Catholic Church to give youths summer jobs to clean up and beautify the neighborhood, this was especially needed after the Martin Luther King assassination riots destroyed a lot of the neighborhood in April of that year.  The CVLs fought for equality and would often storm outside government buildings demanding equal labor rights for those in their community.

By 1969, CVL INC was on a role helping in every way they could.  They even drew peace with Black Gangster Disciples and Black P Stones and became a part of the LSD coalition (Lords Stones and Disciples Coalition) that marched on city hall demanding employment equality and better opportunities for impoverished blacks on the south side, west side and even the north side.

The crime rate dropped in North Lawndale as a result of Vice Lord activism in 1969; however, it was all short lived.  Behind the scenes the Vice Lord nation was still involving themselves in gang activity especially the younger members that were trying to make a name for themselves, this prevailed in October of 1969 when a Vice Lord kidnapped two women and raped them both in the African Lion.  Also in May of 1969 Robert Weatherall was shot and killed at point blank range right out in front of Teen Town then the killer burst into the headquarters next door and shot Alfonso Alford.  It was said the shooter was also a Vice Lord.

In November of 1969 Bobby Gore was arrested for murder then convicted the following year.  David Dawley packed his bags by the Autumn of 1969 while at the same time Mayor Richard J. Daley and State Attorney Edward Hanrahan declared war on street gangs and this is what led to the massive probe on Jeff Fort and his Black P Stones.  They were being investigated for mismanaging thousands of dollars in government funding; therefore, funding was cut off.  This did not just mean funding for the BPSN was cut off but also for all street gangs, CVL INC included.  There was also a mismanagement of funding that was not necessarily illegal like the fact that CVL INC top members were paying themselves a salary of $10,000 to $15,000 a year when many of those on the payroll did not do very much good for CVL INC and instead were just criminals.  The whole business logic of opening only businesses in North Lawndale was a huge flaw.  Many Vice Lords did not understand economics back then and did not realize that only opening businesses in North Lawndale would not bring enough revenue into the organization due to having operations only in an impoverished area that could not afford to put much money into those businesses through sales.  This all spelled bad news across the board with all this series of bad events.

By 1970, CVL INC was crumbling and many Vice Lords took to the streets again especially with the rise of Heroin sales.  The Vice Lords had opened shop in the Austin neighborhood as early as the mid-1960s right along Cicero Ave (known as Cicero Insane Vice Lords) and tapped heavily into the Heroin trade there by the early 1970s.  The Austin neighborhood became dubbed the “Heroin Super Highway.”  Vice Lords also broke out into more branches that acted even more independently and more violently than ever such as: Insane Vice Lords (formerly Apache Vice Lords), Mafia Insane Vice Lords (offshoot of Central Insane Vice Lords), Undertaker Vice Lords, Ebony Vice Lords (formerly Harlem Mafia Vice Lords), and Executioner Vice Lords.  Other preexisting branches like the Unknown Vice Lords (founded 1966 by Willie Lloyd), Traveling Vice lords (founded early 1960s) grew much larger in size.  Vice Lord branches began shooting at each other in North Lawndale now that there really were not any other gangs and there was massive competition to control the Heroin trade.

Government funding had 100% dried up by 1971 and CVL INC was no more, positive leaders were long gone, dead, or even in prison.  Once again the Vice Lords were forgotten and left to run the streets and sell drugs.  The LSD coalition broke up in October of 1973 and that was the last positive program the Vice Lords were involved in.   Teen Town, the pool hall headquarters, the taste freezes, The African Lion, The House of Lords locations and Art and Soul all closed down and were eventually leveled or left as the dilapidated buildings they are today.  This was another form of rebellion, now that the government and positive leadership abandoned the Vice Lords they began acting out more violently than ever by gangbanging and selling drugs.

After positive programs were swept away from the Vice Lords, the new way to help members of the community survive was through Heroin sales.  This did not help anyone that was not a Vice Lord gang member but it would surely provide income for members of the gang.  Jobs were extremely tough to come by in this severely impoverished part of Chicago, even in nearby neighborhoods there was a lack of employment as the west side had dried up badly by the 1970s.  The Vice Lord Nation had taken all they had learned over the years about economics and running a large organization to open a complex drug trade that involved several leaders through a chain of command.  The drugs moved down the ladder from the Universal, 5 Star, 3 Star Elites all the way down to the soldiers on the streets.  The Vice Lord organization acted much like an organized crime group as top generals within each branch profited from the distribution of drugs made by all branches in comparison to the top leaders of La Cosa Nostra.  In the Italian Mafia, La Cosa Nosta will govern all Italian Outfits and control the wars between them while taking profits from all warring factions, the same could be said about the Vice Lord Nation as the Elite 5 Star Universal commanders would be conspired behind prison walls or on the streets to delve into the profits of the warring factions.  The different faction lower ranking leaders were not able to profit from other branches, instead they would lose money from competition, this would generate violent gang wars within the Vice Lord branches making Vice Lords the first gang to have complex faction gang wars in Chicago.

In April, 1978 the entire Vice Lord nation aligned under the People nation alliance behind prison walls which united them with EL Rukns, Latin Kings, Mickey Cobras (formerly Egyptian Cobras), Insane Unknowns, Spanish Lords, P.R. Stones, Latin Counts and Bishops.  The Vice Lords then adopted Islamic concepts thanks to the guidance of the EL Rukns (formerly and presently Black P Stones).

The Vice Lord and Black P Stone relations are very old and date back to 1959 when Vice Lord founders mentored Black P Stone founders Eugene Hairston and Jeff Fort.  In the 1960s both gangs were strong allies for the most part but once Jeff Fort took over and wanted 100% control of the south side drug trade, there began clashing over drug profits with any Vice Lord groups trying to operate on the south side of the city.  The Black P Stones set up a massive recruitment drive in the south suburbs in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but the Vice Lords wanted a piece of those suburbs as well, especially Robbins, this led to a bloody gang war between the organizations in those suburbs.  Both organizations understood the importance of business and understood that although in some parts of the city and suburbs they could not get along, complete war was not the answer, so in other parts of the city they worked together against common enemies.

When the People Nation alliance was established, this brought some peace within the Vice Lord factions on the streets.   Even though gang wars were helping each faction take over some drug turfs and stealing profits from competition, it also caused major incarcerations, legal issues and further expenses on weapons costs, not only that top ranking Generals would lose out on these wars.  The unity of the factions helped cut down on legal costs and made the profits much larger for the Generals due the cutback of legal issues.  The gang wars brought negative attention and more police presence and the police would then look to take down top leadership which would bring more heat onto top elites, the alliance of the 1980s was beneficial for the big players, but for the lower ranked leaders and soldiers, it was not beneficial besides not facing as much violence.

In 1980, Willie Johnson “Minister Rico” had power over the entire CVLN and the entire Vice Lord nation while he was incarcerated.  He had the idea of allowing a Latino branch of Vice Lords in the South Deering neighborhood on Chicago’s south side in the Trumbull Housing projects.  This branch was known as the “Spanish Vice Lords.”  This would also help Vice Lords expand more on the south side in the South Deering and South Chicago neighborhoods.  After that was a success in the early 1980s the Vice Lords expanded into South Shore, Roseland, Chatham, Auburn-Gresham, Englewood, Washington Park , Altgeld Gardens projects and all over Riverdale, Greater Grand Crossing, Oakland, Kenwood and the East Side neighborhood.  Vice Lords also made it over to the Leclaire Courts projects by Midway Airport in Garfield Ridge.

By the late 1980s the Vice Lord nation was everywhere in the city of Chicago and in almost every suburb and every state in the United States.  They could even be found in foreign countries like Canada, inviting other races into the organization not only invited expansion it also invited higher profits.

The loss of profits caused by sharing drug turf with other VL branches and People Nation allies was too much for many lower ranked gang leaders by the late 1980s to early 1990s; this caused many gang leaders to begin ordering the extermination of other factions especially after the Crack Cocaine craze swept the streets in the late 1980s.  Vice Lord branches began disagreeing heavily on drug turf and no longer cared what their leaders thought and even disobeyed orders calling for peace from their superiors, in fact, the smaller time leaders and soldiers put their leaders in the cross hairs marking them for assassination because of jealousy and greed.  The top Elites made the most money without even having to touch the streets most of the time and this made hard working lower ranked members angry that had to shoot and kill and get shot at while they also hustled on the block daily for a smaller piece of the pie, this led to all-out rebellion and war with other factions and other People Nation gangs.  In many parts of the city the Vice Lords were not just shooting at Folk Nation enemies now they were shooting at Black P Stones and Mickey Cobras.  The VL factions also turned on each other once again, especially on the west side mainly in North Lawndale as factions hated each other as much as they hated Folks.  The faction wars became extremely heated in the west side public housing projects like Rockwell Gardens, ABLA projects and the Henry Horners.  This VL on VL war became so deadly that bodies were turning up left and right and many incarcerations followed, young soldiers were coming into the Illinois prisons and had to tell long time incarcerated Elites that they killed another Vice Lord, they would soon learn that this type of thing would not fly in the joint and all VLs were unified.

The faction wars became so intense that there were even disagreements developing within the factions themselves.  New gang leaders would suddenly emerge within a faction and develop their own independence and have their own little crew, once the leader of the faction would find out that this small crew was making money on the side, war would be declared against that crew, many of times that small crew would be wiped out but sometimes they would prevail and grow strong on their own becoming their own faction, a good example would be the Outlaw Lunatic Traveling Vice Lords that broke away from the Traveling Vice Lord branch and survived to have their own successful faction, which is quite a feat because the TVLs have been known to be one of the more ruthless VL branches.

The Vice Lords rose to become city of Chicago’s second largest gang having over 25,000 members once you combine the population of all the branches together.

Please send in 1940s and 1950s Imperial Chaplain pics!  Please send in 1950s and early 1960s Vice Lord pics!  1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s pics will be greatly appreciated too!


  1. Who was the founder of the Imperial Chaplains and what happened to him?
  2. Who were the leader of Chaplains from the late 1940s to 1957?