An Inside Look at Avondale and Logan Square's Toughest GangsAs Timmy's blotter makes clear, violent crime--sometimes even homicide--is an almost daily tragic occurrence in the Avondale/Logan area. Stories such as reported this month about a pregnant woman killed in an Avondale hit-and-run are no longer much of a surprise. Chicago denizens are well aware that the endless violence is nothing short of domestic warfare fueled by the most vicious gangs in the country.
But who are these gangs? A quick look at the main gangs in the area and their respective sordid histories perhaps will give a better insight into local crime. The three most prevalent gangs in the Avondale/Logan area form part of the large cross-country alliance, Folks Nation. These gangs include the Insane Spanish Cobras, the Imperial Gangsters, and the Maniac Latin Disciples, all of which are vying for turf in the Avondale area.
The largest of these gangs are the Maniac Latin Disciples, the biggest Latino gang part of the Folks alliance, which was sealed in 1978. MLD was founded by Albert "Hitler" Hernandez in 1966. The MLDs gained strength throughout the 1980s in Chicago's North Side, and then quickly spread to the South and outlying suburbs in the 1990s. In 2004, the FBI arrested several top-ranking members of the MLD for drug charges. Today, the MLDs are thought to be divided into three large factions, and continue internal organizational fighting. The MLDs' colors are light blue and black, while their signs are varied and include a heart with horns and tail, pitchforks, monks, an inverted swastika, or a six point star.
The MLDs chief rivals are the Spanish Cobras. The Cobras are also a Latino group, and their history goes back as far as the 1950s, when Puerto Rican immigration began on Chicago's North side. Although it is uncertain, it is reported that the Cobras were founded by a man known as King Cobra, who was assassinated by the Insane Unknowns in 1979. The Cobras formed and broke with several gang unities, including the MLDs. Once the Cobras, as part of the Insane Familia, separated from the MLDs, a vicious drug war ensued between the MLDs and Cobras in the 1990s. The two gangs remain heated enemies to this day. The Spanish Cobras' sign is a diamond staff with three dots and their affiliated colors are black and green.
The Imperial Gangsters are another large gang presence in the Avondale/Logan Square area. The IGs are also part of the original Folks Alliance. The IGs began in the 1960s in conjunction with the Imperial Bachelors. In the 1970s, the Imperial Bachelors, having Logan Square origins, defected and renamed themselves the Imperial Spanish Gangsters. In the late 1970s, the ISGs remerged with what was left of the original IBs and became known as the Imperial Gangsters. Throughout the 80s, the IGs changed organizationally several times, losing their leaders to deaths and arrests. The IG colors are pink and black, and their signs include a pink panther, a shotgun, and an IG crown.
Other significant gangs that have exacerbated crime in the Avondale/Logan Square area are the Insane Orchestra Albanys, the very powerful Latin Kings, and the Harrison Gents. More information on these gangs and other Chicago area organized crime mobs can be found at ChicagoGangs.org.
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