Brief History of Chicago's Black Gangs - South side



Black P. Stones BDs and GDs
Eugene Hairston lived at 1404 E. Marquette (Jan. 1968), Jeff Fort lived at 6536 S. Blackstone (moved there in 1955). Larry Hoover lived at 6853 S. Green (Sept. 1968), David Barksdale lived at 6424 S. Ashland (May 1968).
May 1965: Edwin Codwell arrested, and 6 others arrested. A 50 year-old man was beaten to death, when he came outside the building on 6146 S. Kenwood, he saw 2 kids beating a woman, and intervened.
June 20, 1966: Female Stones called Rangerettes, beaten and stabbed a girl because she refused to join, at 62nd and Kenwood. Her name was Barbara Newell, 16, of 6504 S. Minerva. Later that day, a Stone named Isaac Gilmore, 17, a job corps member at Hyde Park H.S., was beaten by another gang on the steps of his home 6130 S. Kenwood.

July 21-22, 1966: 5 Stones were shot at Thursday night and Friday morning: Ronnie Rogers, 14, 6434 S. Woodlawn, Lionel Henry, 15, 2604 S. Kimbark, Robert Knox, 18, 6328 S. Cottage Grove, Juan Booker, 16, 6123 S. Woodlawn, and Glenn King, 16, 1126 E. 67th.

July 26, 1966: CPD arrest Danny Butler, 14, of East Side Disciples 5633 S. Cottage Grove, for shooting Bernard Green, 19, of Stones 1527 E. 67th, shot at 63rd and Greenwood. Bernard Green is a future #2 leader of BPSN.
July 28, 1966: More than 350 Devil Disciples assembled that night in the recreation center of St. Anselm's Catholic Church, 210 E. 61st, where several YMCA street workers urged an end of violence.
Sept. 14, 1966: CPD arrested 122 teenagers, ages 13-18, from 2 churches: the Disciples gang at Englewood Methodist Church, 6410 S. Stewart, and the Double Six Cobras, at Emerald Presbyterian Church, 6107 S. Emerald, for mapping a strategy for a gang war. They were charged with conspiracy to commit assault and disorderly conduct.
Sept. 1967: On Sept. 12, ~3:15 p.m., 13 year-old Dennis Jackson fired 6 shots from a revolver into a parked car killing Leo McClure, and wounding Theodore Newsome and Dorocher Berrien, 6120 S. Kenwood. Eugene Hairston, Paul Martin, and Dennis Jackson arrested for murder and attempted murder on Sept. 21.

Jan. 26, 1968: Paul Martin found innocent. He wore a Roman collar and held a Bible during the weeklong trial.

Fall 1967: Double Six Cobras and Raven King Cobras merged into 1 gang, as the leader of the Raven King Cobras went to jail for 3 months. But when he came out in December, the gangs clashed, and peace treatys couldn't be kept. Both gangs blamed it on him for not trusting the leader of the other gang.
Feb. 14, 1968: innocent bystanders killed. CPD alleges between Devil Disciples and Blacktone Rangers. 14 year-old Demetria Wormley, who was shot in the back of the neck, was walking with 14 year-old Dorothy Profit, who survived shot in the hand, and 18 year-old Donald Blanton who survived shot in the shoulder, were walking in front of 6220 S. Dorchester, when they were approached by a group that shouted "Mighty East Side Disciples," and they fired 11 shots. The next day, CPD arrested Nick Dorenzo, 19, of 1138 E. 64th, and Paul Hawkins, 20, of 5800 S. Park way, and are searching for a 3rd.

1 of the earliest homicides, Cornel Steel, 22, a enforcer for the BPSN, had killed Thomas Hood, 40, on Feb. 18, 1968. He was charged for it March 30. A jury acquitted him Dec. 9, and then kills someone else mention below for Dec. 25.
April 2, 1968: 1st BPSN killed. Hillary Johnson 16, of 1051 E. 42nd, killed, and Michael Adams, 14, shot and survived, were standing at a vacant lot at 652 E. 42nd, when they were shot by a passing taxi. The cab driver later testified against the Devil Disciples in the car: Michael Sims (17, 4418 S. Cottage Grove) and Jerome Harris (32, 4329 S. St. Lawrence) were sentenced August 7, while Herbert Colbert, 32, was dismissed..

April 21, 1968: Paul Martin and and 19 or 17 other youths arrested in the Afro-American Youth Center, 1470 E. 67th, on narcotics and drinking charges. Martin calls himself the spitirual leader of BPSN. Around this time, it was revealed BPSN had a meeting every Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday at the 1st Presbyterian Church at 6400 Kimbark.

April 1, 1968: a fight between the Double Six Cobras and Raven King Cobras broke out at Parker High School, due to fighting over a coat in the halls. Beatings/shootings/murders all erupted after.

5 days later, Darry Cleveland, 19, of 7057 S. Normal, was slain in Hamilton Park fieldhouse, in an area dominated by Double Six gang. However, he was not either, according to police, he associated with the Supreme Gangsters. The next day, police arrested James Baskin, 19, of 6556 S. Normal, of the Double Six Cobras.

Charles Edward Bey, the #2 guy in BPSN, lived at 6246 S. Dorchester (June 1968), and by that time, Fort had lived at 6038 S. Dorchester. Nicholas Dorenzo, the #2 guy in Devil Disciples, however I already posted his address, 1138 E. 64th (Feb. 1968).
On May 8, 1968, 3 BPSN were arrested for attempting to murder David Barksdale. The 3 arrested were Melvin Bailey, 19, Andrew McChristian, 19, and Edward Dinkins, 21. Police had arrested the 1st 2, the Edward Dinkins approached the police in front of David Barksdale saying they can't arrest them, and Barksdale identified to police that he was the 3rd gunman. Also with Barksdale, were William Gaddy, Tyrone Withers, and Mitchell Newton, and they were all shot at while in a car as they arrived to park at 6526 S. Ellis.
On June 2, 1968, a Disciple named Larry Davenport, 19, of 6543 S. Racine, kills a Stone named Marcus Joyner, 19, of 6502 S. Loomis. His charges were dropped 6/8/1970, but sentenced 5-12 years for murder of Shirley Jones, 13, of 6632 S. Peoria, on Aug. 20, 1968, in her own home, after he got in an argument with her brother Levi.
June 8, 1968 ~2 a.m.: Maurice Lee and his 16 year-old wife Sharon Lee were walking east on 47th street, when they were confronted by a group of 3 or 4 young men, and they argued with Maurice about the "Blackstone Rangers and their territory" when 1 was dispatched to "get the heat" and he returned with another a few minutes later, where the person he returned was shot and killed Maurice. Steve McCorry was arrested within 15 minutes as the dispatch person, and Thomas Holiday was arrested some 3 hours later as the shooter. Some of the problems with her testimony as well as a witness in a nearby car, believed the shooters to be 5'10" - 5'11", and definitely taller than them, but Holiday, Sharon, and the 2nd witness, were all the same height of 5'7".
On July 20, 1968, there was a peace treaty meeting by the University of Chicago, at the grass Midway Plaissance at 59th/Dorchester, where Eugene Hairston and Jeff Fort, met with David Barksdale. About 200 gang members attended. To quote Eugene Hairston "We had a talk about keeping the peace and agreed not to fight each other anymore."
Sept. 9, 1968: 1st ranking BPSN to be killed. Jerome Cogwell, 19, killed at Robert Taylor Homes, 5244 S. State. This was likely retaliation for the death of East Side Devil Disciple leader (Supreme Gangster) Booker Ransom, 19, who was shot to death on the corner of 65th and University with a group of youths, the previous day. In Sept. 1968, Larry Hoover, 18, and 2 others were shot in the leg at Parker High School (Mildred Sivels, 15, and Louis Jackson, 15). James Highsmith and Leonard Longsmith, both 18 and both of East Side Devil Disciples, were arrested for it. Highsmith is a future #3 leader (nation enforcer) for the BDs, and at that time, lived at 6534 S. Emerald. All 3 high school students were rushed to St. Bernard's hospital for treatment.
1st BPSN killing BPSN:
Cornell Steel killed another gang member, James McCane, on Dec. 25, at 4160 S. Drexel, #307. McCane had been shot 5 times, with 2 bullets to the brain. McCane had talked about changing his allegiance to a rival gang.
Feb. 11, 1969: misdemeanor arrest. A Blackstone Ranger, Sylvester Hutchins, 21, was arrested for entering Forrestville High School, 4401 S. St. Lawrence, with a cane, by CPD who responded to a disturbance call. The arresting officer asked him why he was at the school, and he stated that his friend Jeff Fort may need some help.

April 4, 1969: Nicholas Dorenzo, a former #2 of the Devil Disciples, was shot shortly as he left his house, and walked into a gas station at 6701 S. Eberhart for ambulance. He refused to tell authorities about it.
April 9, 1969: officer Richard Peck, in an unmarked car, was shot by BPSN 4:30 p.m. He was driving south on Woodlawn near 61st, saw 5-6 men on the street wearing red tams, in a group of 25-30. He saw Jerome McMurray whom he knew with a sawed-off shotgun or rifle, and shouted "police officer." The officer saw McMurray as 1 of 4 men who shot at him multiple times, and then ran east towards Kimbark. McMurray was arrested by another officer that night around 11:30, who was 19 and lived at 1505 E. Marquette. Ronald Davis, 23, of 1502 E. 66th Pl, was a co-defendant who was tried separately.
On April 26, 1969, there was a party at 83rd and East End, where a Devil Disciple named Alva Love, 17, of 9126 S. Harper, shot and killed a Ranger. Then Jerome Jackson, 15, of 8906 S. Greenbay, was arrested for killing Love.
On May 7, 1969, between 1:30 and 2 a.m., 3 members of the Supreme Gangsters (Ronald Vandergrift, Gregory Sanders, and Felix Murry) were in the Shrimp Shop, 817 W. 69th. When Vandergrift walked out, he met 3 members of the Double 6 Kings: Lonnie King, Charlie Smith "Stone," and Steven Smith. King told Vandergrift that he did not belong in the "hood" meaning it was Blackstone Rangers territory. The conversation continued until they reached the area of 69th and Halsted, where Smith shot Vandergrift twice, wounding him in the groin. Vandergrift was hospitalized for 3 or 4 days. After that, he attended a meeting with high-ranking Blackstone Rangers, and was told the shooting was an accident, because the Double 6 Kings did not know the Supreme Gangsters had a peace with the Blackstone Rangers. A few days later, Vandergrift saw the 3 of them in a police car, and the police asked Vandergrift if they were the shooters, Vandergrift said yes but he didn't want to press charges because it was an accident and that they were all in the same organization at the time. However, when the Supreme Gangsters split from the Blackstone Rangers, Vandergrift had tried to press charges.
On May 27, 1969, a bunch of Satan Lovers killed a Devil Disciple named Charles Strong, 18. They dragged him from a front porch and shot him in an alley behind 6242 S. Bishop / 6243 S. Laflin. 3 days later, 7 Satan Lovers were charged in court for murder: Michael Anderson 19, of 6123 S. Ada, Bruce Upton 21 (6039 S. Racine), Simpson Beclair 17, of 6217 S. Ada, Leon Rushing 18, of 5715 S. Ada, Douglas Streeter 17, of 6130 S. Ada, Benjamin Smothers 26, of 1209 W. 55th, and Allen Spicers 16, of 1235 W. 79th.
(Part 1 of 3)
July 16, 1969: Jeff Fort, Charles Bey, and Andrew McChristian all arrested for shooting Jackie Turner, 22, who was a Vietnam veteran and refused to join the gang. Story continued later.
Aug. 1, 1969: 3 members of the Devil Disciples, testified against 2 Stones. Aaron Evans, James Shead, and Ramond Thomas, testified against LeRoy Hairston, 20, of 6456 S. Dante, and William Ephraim Jr., 16, of 611 E. 47th, for driving in a car and shooting at Booker Ransom. 25 days later, Hairston sentenced 75-100 years and Ephraim 25-30 years.
Oct. 3, 1969: a BPSN leader named Robert Reeves, 20, of 7137 S. Ashland, was indicted for murdering his pregnant girlfriend, 17.

Oct. 4, 1969: Paul Martin found killed on sidewalk at 1506 E. 67th, and lived at 1028 E. 46th. According to him, he left the gang on July 2, as Fort was getting on his case.

August 14, 1970: Chicago police officer James Alfono killed by Stones, in an alley between 66th Pl and 67th near Stony Island. 7 Stones that were arrested all beat the case.

August 31, 1970 ~11 p.m.: BPSN shoots 1 of their own in Markham, IL. Shot was Michael Weaver, 20, near 160th/Gauger. Michael Weaver joined the BPSN in 1964, served in the armed forces from 1967 till 1969. He pressed charges against Willie Thompkins, Glenn Lee, Fred Miller, and Lawrence Moore (the last 1 was not a BPSN). He got paralyzed to the waist down, and knew others were testifying against Willie in an unrelated matter.

June 7, 1970: David Barksdale shot in the abdomen and it hit his kidney. He was in a bar at 848 W. 69th.

Sept. 6, 1970: BD killed by CPD: William J. Dismukes, 20, of 4848 S. Langley, a Motown Disciple.

Jan. 9, 1971: David Barksdale arrested for defacing firearms and discharging, gets 6 months in the county jail.
(Part 2 of 3)
According to a Sept. 11, 1971 newspaper, 3rd mistrial and 4th against Fort, as jury didn't know whether to testify against the BPSN, including due to fear. On Oct. 14, Jackie Turner was shot at and refused to testify that without money or police protection. "I have gotten no support from community leaders or ordinary Black people and I can't get a job because the gang would know my comings and goings." He was with a companion, Charles Hall, 22, in Bessie Miller's Soul Food restaurant, 6910 S. Stony Island, where shortly after ordering hamburger and drinks, bullets shattered through the front window and narrowly missed everyone.
(West side) Nov. 29, 1971: 2 of 3 Supreme Gangsters shoot Albert Harris, of 4122 W. Adams, because he didn't want to join the gang, he becomes permanently blind. Shot by Ike Taylor, of 4122 W. Gladys, and Henry Hearn, of 546 W. Quincy. (They were all arrested for it and their ages will be posted later.). Ike Taylor will be a future leader in the GDs.
April 21, 1972: 3 GDs arrested for firing into a crowd of teenagers at a restaurant 3320 E. 88th. Charles Hoover, 20, of 121 E. 104th, Ronald Vandergrift, 20, of 6702 S. Peoria, and Len Brownlow, 21, of 320 E. 132nd. The most seriously injured victim was Gilbert Reynolds, 19, of 8238 S. Green.
July 2, 1972: 2 members of BPSN Main 21 killed together: William Troop and Lee Jackson. Also killed was Melba Grate, at 1448 E. 68th. Melvin Haywood (Head) from the GDs went to prison for it. Lee Jackson was the brother of Dennis Jackson, mentioned previously.

July 3, 1972: A GD leader Raymond Smith, 18, of 1241 S. Throop, killed at 1650 W. 62nd.

(Part 3 of 3)
Nov. 16, 1972: Charges against Fort in Cook County are dropped, due to the only star witness, Jackie Turner, is now a fugitive on a kidnapping charge.
Feb. 26, 1973: Joshua Shaw witnesses Larry Hoover and 2 others kidnap drug-addict William Young (Pooky), 25, of 7142 S. Parnell, at 69th and Wentworth. Hoover and Andrew Howard arrested March 16. Young's dead body found in alley behind 6814 S. Lowe. Shaw testified, and his dead body, 26, of 1209 W. 79th, was found in an alley behind 6531 S. Bishop, on Sept. 27, 1973.

June 19, 1973: Ike Taylor, 22, Henry Hearn, 20, are convicted of shooting Albert Harris, 18, because he refused to join the Supreme Gangsters. A 3rd person, Ronald Lawson, was acquitted.

Dec. 5, 1973: BPSN killed by CPD: Jesse Hooker, 18, of 4652 S. Lake Park, killed at BPSN headquarters 7854 S. Coles.
April 17, 1974: Jeff Fort's brother, Bennie Fort, with Bernard Green, were both shot as they walked out of Bennie's apartment building, 6450 S. Kenwood, as a gunman jumped out of the bushes. Bennie shot twice in the neck, and Bernard Green, 24, of 6220 S. Woodlawn, shot in the hip and in good condition.

July 19, 1974: 16 year-old Gregory Shell, and 14 year-old Sirrane R. Traylor, charged with murder of a 66 year-old woman, Josephine Hack, in an armed robbery outside St. Ailbe's Catholic Church, 9015 S. Harper. Gregory Shell is the future #2 leader for GDs for the early 1990s. Shell lived at 8245 S. Blackstone, and Traylor at 7941 S. Wood. Note that at this time, they are both BPSN. Josephine was shot in the neck and ran back to the church and allegedly died in the priests arms.
Sept. 2, 1974: David Barksdale dies of kidney failure, 27. Buried in Restvale Cemetery. His funeral was at Golden Gate Funeral Home, 2036 W. 79th. Survived by his wife Yvonne (Cookie), son David 4, and twins Melinda and Ronald 17-months, and 13 brothers and sisters. His wife died on June 24, 1978.
1986: Last story for Jeff Fort ruling the streets. Jeff Fort was taken by feds in summer 1986. In 1991, a snitch testified this story about Fort, that he ordered a violation to his son, Antonio Fort, in 1986, at the Fort temple, which was demolished in June of 1990.

His son had tried to start his own gang, and Fort didn't allow. So while on the phone from prison, to the Fort temple, Fort said "Son, I told you I keep my promises." According to the snitch Henry Harris, 6 of the 14 ambassadors formed a circle around Antonio. Fort then said "Ambassadors, I want you to drum him until I tell you to stop." When the men hesitated, Fort said "I can't hear nothing." The ambassadors then attacked Antonio for about a minute. His arms were handcuffed behind his back the whole time. Then Jeff spoke to his son alone, then he was freed.

Henry Harris, who is the husband of Jeff Fort's sister, told the courts he tried to get Antonio to escape the beating. When U.S. attorney Theodore Poulos asked Harris why, Harris said "He witnessed something and never said nothing about it." When Poulos asked Harris to explain, he said "He caught me with his mother." "Did you have an affair with Diane Fort?" "Yes."


Interview with a GD board member:

In spring 2021, I got a confirmation from a GD board member that Booker Ransom was the 1st GD to be killed (this was to clear confusion that all the newspapers mistakenly listed Booker Ransom as a Devil Disciple, than Supreme Gangster.).

I also asked the GD board member, when Jeff Fort turned Stones into a Muslim gang 1976-77, about how many Stones flipped to GD? He says about 20-30.