Simon City Royals
Simon City Royals

Simon City Royals

Founded Founded in 1956 in or near Lake View
Founding story

Simon City was founded in 1956 by Joe Parisi; the Simon City Royals was founded in 1969 by Rashad Zayed

Affiliations Folk Nation — 1978 – 2000 or later;
Almighty — 1992 – 2000 or later;
Royal Pope Nation — 1973 – 2000 or later;
Colors Black and Royal blue
Primary ethnicities Mixed
Ethnicity notes Formerly primarily white
Symbols Rabbit Head, Lion, Shield, and Cross
Symbol usage

Rabbit head with bent ear, two lions, shield, cross with three slashes above it, pitchfork 1978-1992

Status Active

The creation of the Simon City Royals is a story to truly be marveled as it is a story of some of the toughest and most charismatic greasers coming together to create a solid organization that had some of the toughest warriors on the streets that many look up to in awe and many girls flocked to.

 

We will first begin with the story of “Simon City,” the origin of the first two words of the Simon City Royal name. 

 

The “Simon City” part of the name story begins in the year 1956 when a group of teenage greasers from West Humboldt Park got together and started a club named after the park they lived and hung around. This park is Almira Simon’s Park (1640 N. Drake Ave.) at the intersection of Drake and Wabansia. These young greasers were approximately 14 years old in age and the first leader and founder was Joe Parisi who named the club “Simon City” after the park. West Humboldt Park was still very much an Italian neighborhood back then but there were other nationalities in the neighborhood and multiple nationalities joined Simon City. The rumor was that original Simon City was all Italian but that isn’t true even though the founder was Italian it still doesn’t mean they were all Italian. Simon City colors were black and white, and they wore dagos and white hats with black rims. Their symbols were 2 dice with a “4” and a “3” showing, top hat, curved cane, and gloves. The boys also hung out at Joe’s Pizza that was located on St. Louis Street right near Drake and Wabansia. The boys were into softball, horseshoes, basketball and weightlifting.
Soon after Simon City formed more greaser gangs formed in the neighborhood like the Jokers or Hirsh Street that started in the same year. As more greaser clubs started Simon City found themselves fighting more of them establishing themselves as the toughest outfit in the area.

Simon City was one of the first gangs to encounter what would later become the notorious Beach and Spaulding Latin Kings.  The year was 1959 and Puerto Rican migration first came to the nearby northern East Humboldt Park community.  As soon as this migration happened Simon City noticed a decline in the Humboldt Park area as prostitutes, drugs and higher crime soon ushered into the Humboldt Park area that just so happened to occur at the same time scores of Puerto Rican migrants arrived.  Some of these migrants were straight from Puerto Rico and were used to a life of crime; therefore, Simon City began patrolling the streets seeking out undesirables.  A racial clash soon ensued, and the Puerto Rican youths of East Humboldt Park formed the Noble Knights street gang to defend themselves against Simon City and other mostly white clubs.  The Noble Knights would later become Latin Kings and by 1960 they were even hollering out “Latin Kings!” as it was more of a slogan/way of life back then for multiple Hispanic gangs in Humboldt Park and West Town areas.  By the mid-60s the Noble Knights would move to Division and Kedzie and become Latin Kings which started the notorious Beach and Spaulding Latin Kings.

In the year 1962, the second generation of Simon City came into the fold which brought in members like Al Granata, Rashad and Ahab Zayed and Andy Biedron who all became pee wee members in these years. The second generation fought much more with Puerto Rican gangs as Puerto Rican migration increased greatly in the early 1960s.
The Simon City gang made the news in October of 1964 when they were shot at by members of the C-Notes outside of their neighborhood with a shotgun. This incident was one of the first times Simon City was in the news.

In the mid-1960s the first generation had basically retired, and Joe Parisi became a Chicago Police officer.  The second generation took over and brought great growth especially since there were many kids in the neighborhood that hated Latin Kings and various other Puerto Rican gangs.  Simon City allowed Puerto Rican members some of the first were Taco, Frank, and Ronald Ramos just to name some.  In the year 1964, Andy Biedron and other second-generation Simon City took over the intersection of Cortland and Whipple in the Logan Square neighborhood which would now become Simon City focus.

In the year 1966, Andy Biedron oversaw Simon City and went to jail at that time.  In jail he met Crazy Tom from the rival gang the Bel Airs.  Andy and Tom became friends and little did they know they were in rival gangs to each other, they didn’t even know each other’s last names.  When they both got out of jail Crazy Tom wanted to fight a certain Simon City member, he heard about who was nameless to him not realizing this Simon City was his jail friend Andy Biedron.  Crazy Tom put the word out on the street for them to meet up and fight.  Andy obliged and went to the meeting spot even though both men had no idea who they were fighting until they met up at Armitage and Kedzie and were surprised that they were the ones that were supposed to fight each other.  After this encounter the two hugged it out and from that day forth Bel Airs and Simon City were allies and become very close.

In one incident in 1967, both Bel Airs and Simon City had problems with the Latin Kings and a big brawl of 150 gang members happened.  The police showed up to the fight and rounded up all the gang members and made them toss all their weapons into a pile.  There were several squad cars involved in this and they forced the Bel Airs and Simon City to run around in circles in the vicinity of Richmond Street, Humboldt Boulevard, Cortland Street and Bloomingdale Avenue.  The police then made the Latin Kings run in circles in the vicinity of Francisco Avenue, to Logan Boulevard, to California Avenue and up to the I-90 Expressway.  They had to keep running in circles for a very long time even when they were horribly out of breath while several squad cars supervised at each intersection until they let all the gang members go.  After this the Bel Airs, Simon City and Latin Kings all went to a bar together and got drunk and got along that night.

Another event of interest in 1968, was when Simon City founder Joe Parisi brought in Simon City and Bel Airs to the Root Coffee House at 3260 Armitage Avenue in Logan Square to the upstairs and downstairs parts of the buildings. Parisi worked with Reverend Johnson and his wife to allow youths from the gangs in there to help them stay out of trouble. A big brawl happened at this club house in 1968 which caused the club house to close, Simon City and the Bel Airs were involved in the fight.

In the year 1967, Rashad and Andy Biedron joined the United States Army and fought in the Vietnam War.  Andy Biedron was tragically killed in action on his 20th birthday on April 19, 1969. In 1968 the Zayed family moved to Addison and Southport area in the Lake View neighborhood giving Ahab a new start.

Simon City in Humboldt Park began to decline after the death of Andy Biedron and “Stokes,” a black guy that used to be a Vice Lord, took over as the new leader of Simon City which brought an alliance with the Vice Lords for Simon City.  Simon City also hung out with Latin Disciples and Spanish Cobras since they all hated Latin Kings.  By 1970, Art Meck took over leadership of Simon City but only for a short time until Simon City broke up.

Later in the year 1970 Rising Up Angry began reporting on Simon City as they were resurging at the intersection of Albany and Armitage according to one Rising Up Angry article.  The article mentioned not only Andy Biedron’s death but the death of unnamed other members that was the cause of the original breakup.  This resurgence had success until 1973.

Retired Simon City members still resided in Logan Square and Humboldt Park areas in the early 1970s and befriended members of the Insane Unknowns from Bucktown.  retired Royals lived along the Bloomingdale Trail border that divides Wicker Park and Bucktown.  Simon City was the ones that donated their black color to the Insane Unknowns in 1973, and they even gave the Unknowns their old sweaters that Unknowns converted in 1973 after Simon City officially closed.

 

Now we will look into the history of the Ashland Royals, Simon City Royals, and how “Simon City Royals” was born.

 

When Ahab arrived or maybe months before Ahab arrived Wayne Kowalski started his own club called the Ashland Royals (not related at all to the Simon City of West Humboldt Park) just blocks away from where Ahab lived.  The Ashland Royals wore the colors royal blue and light blue.  The Ashland Royals’ turf was Irving Park Road and Ashland, and they congregated right outside Lake View High School (4015 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60613).  There were seven members of the Ashland Royals that included Wayne Kowalski, Bottles and Batman to name some.  Batman was smooth talking, tough, confident and just an all-around legend on these streets that would put rival Latin Eagles in their places.  Wayne Kowalski was known for being one hell of a tough greaser.  The Ashland Royals were a mixed-race club with a Cuban member, a Puerto Rican, and a Mexican member.    Wayne Kowalski graduated high school, got married and retired as the class of 1968 and left the Royals with no leader and this was when Ahab befriended the Ashland Royals and the Royals liked Ahab a lot; the Royals thought of Ahab as one the coolest kids they met, and they all attended Lake View High School together.

Ahab never joined the Ashland Royals but was a consultant for the club, and he was looked up to by the rest of the guys in the club especially since Ahab got lots of girls.   Shortly after the 1968-1969 school year ended Rashad returned from the Vietnam war at the age of 20 and went to live with his family at Addison and Southport.  Rashad got acquainted with his younger brother Ahab’s friends and they soon let Rashad into the group.  The Royals soon discovered that Rashad was just as cool as his younger brother, if not more so.  Rashad had no interest in joining the Royals instead he wanted to return to his old club Simon City and recruit these Ashland Royals into flipping to Simon City, after all, they had something in common, a hatred for Latin Kings that were in both Lake View and West Humboldt Park.  After much disagreement about the Royals joining Simon City, a different agreement was reached where there would be a merger between Simon City and the Ashland Royals.  This merger was to put both clubs together as one club making Rashad the leader of the club, now Rashad needed to name this new club.  Rashad’s choice was “Simon City North”, and he went ahead and started making club cards to pass around with that name on it, basically he created the name without asking the rest of the club if it was alright.  When the rest of the club saw the cards with “Simon City North” on it they objected and told Rashad that “Royals” would have to be in the name and that is when Rashad came up with the “Simon City Royals” name.  Part of the idea came from Royal Crown cola cans.  This all happened at the end of 1969, perhaps right around the holidays.  The nation was at last fully given birth and Rashad was now known as “Arab” and regarded as the founder of the Simon City Royals.  Fellow Simon City Royals never called Rashad by his real name, instead he was known as “Richie.”

After orchestrating the merger between the Simon City and the Royals from Lake View Arab is accredited with founding the “Simon City Royals.” Shortly after the founding Arab established Irving Park Road and Ashland as the main hangout of the Simon City Royals, as they frequented a restaurant at that intersection. After inception they recruited heavily from Lake View High School by 1970.

Arab’s popularity in the neighborhood grew as he threw great parties and many girls flocked to hang out with these legends, this made other smaller gangs and parts of gangs want to join the Royals, thus, increasing their size.  The popularity made clubs like the Latin Kings very jealous, and war intensified between the two gangs.  Latin Eagles in the area were also known for being a little racist against whites (even though Latin Eagles had white members) and bullied some of the white kids in the area, that’s when the Royals came in to offer these youths protection if they joined the club, making the Royals even more popular. Arab was a charismatic guy and could make amends with enemies at any time then invite them to Royal parties.  From there he would be able to flip these rivals and get them to join the Royals, he had that type of charisma.  Arab set up a new headquarters at the intersection of Paulina and Cornelia, then the section Waveland and Greenview opened right after that.

In 1971, the white gangs on the streets of Chicago felt they were the victims against the much larger Hispanic and black gangs in their neighborhoods.  Hispanic migration was a major issue especially on the north side and northwest sides where old white neighborhoods were changing.  Latin Kings were becoming a real power house and such gangs as Latin EaglesImperial GangstersLatin Disciples and Spanish Cobras were beginning to rapidly recruit.  It was then time for a major truce among white gangs called the “White Power Organization.”  This truce effectively stopped wars between white gangs and helped several white gangs grown much larger.  One of those gangs was the Simon City Royals.

In 1971, Arab took the Royals to open Ashland Ave and Cornelia in front of the Miss Cue Pool Hall that would attract a crowd of about 100 people on a weekend night.  Younger Royals hung out in front of Wimpy’s burgers that was right next door to the pool hall.  These Royals also hung all the way down Cornelia to Paulina and Cornelia right outside the Hamilton Elementary School where many students at this school became Royals.  This became a very successful and large branch as the years went by with many of the toughest Royals.

By 1972, as the WPO was more solidified than ever the Royals were able to open new turf from Lincoln to Racine and Irving Park Road to Belmont which pushed the Royals’ territory into the western part of the Wrigleyville neighborhood which is a neighborhood inside of Lake View. It was at this point in time when the Royals wanted to advance further south to one larger block south to Barry Ave and that was when the Royals ran into the newly formed “Hamlin Park Insane Deuces.”

The Insane Deuces were a new gang that was formed from young gang members that used to be a part of a gang called the Barons or Junior Barons.  These guys in particular were former Junior Barons that were influenced by the Pilsen area gang known as the Morgan Deuces.  Now they had their own gang that was an offshoot of both Morgan Deuces and Junior Barons known as the Insane Deuces.  And by 1972 they had expanded into Hamlin Park from the Lathrop Projects in the southwest.

The Royals fought very tough battles against the Insane Deuces in the early 70s and it was a war that couldn’t be resolved because they both fought viciously.  The fighting was so severe that Royals considered Deuces to be one of their top arch enemies alongside the Latin Kings; to make it worse Latin Kings and Insane Deuces were allies.

The Royals made great progress opening turf in the North Center neighborhood as they took over the Bell School Yard outside of Alexander Graham Bell High School located at 3700 N Oakley Ave bringing them to secure the intersection of Waveland and Oakley.

In the same year of 1972 the Royals landed in Avondale and opened Drake and Wolfram by Nelson M.

The Royals also opened territory at the intersection of Kildare and Thomas which is located deep in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood.  This is of course the birthplace general area of the Simon City gang but apparently the Royals also came here.  There was a strong need for white gangs in this area because many white youths felt the Puerto Rican gangs like Latin Kings were taking over.

 

In the year 1973, the Simon City Royals encountered the Black Gangster Disciples for the first time.  The Black Gangster Disciples needed help from organizations that were not African American like they were, so they summoned the Ashland Vikings, Simon City Royals and Ambrose to do favors for them and the BGDs would, in turn, do favors for these groups, this started a new alliance.

In the year 1973, Simon City closed their last section in Kosciuszko Park (Koz Park) as they handed the park to the Simon City Royals.  This would become a renowned SCR section for about twenty years  until it closed during white flight.

In the year 1973 or 1974, an organization called the “Aces” flipped to become Simon City Royals.  The Aces were strong allies of the Royals and drew very close to them after a temporary truce with the Insane Deuces.  The Aces would then flip to Simon City Royals.

 

On July 10, 1974 Rashad Zayed A.K.A Arab was shot and killed around the 1900 Block of West Melrose Ave in the North Center neighborhood by two 17 year Insane Deuce gang members that deserted the U.S. Marine Corps around that time (Chicago Tribune July 13, 1974 P.23).   Arab had a new girlfriend that lived in this area and he would not let Deuces and Latin Kings get in his way of love.  On that Wednesday July 10, 1974, Arab had just pulled into his girlfriend’s garage when the two gang members jumped out and shot him as soon as he exited the vehicle.  Even though the shooters were arrested and charged, the charges did not stick and the two were freed; therefore, I cannot say for sure these two did it but the streets knew the Insane Deuces did it.  The great leader and founder of the Simon City Royals had lost his life, but his legacy is still honored today.

In the year 1974 Bob Biedron, the younger brother of Andy Biedron started back up Simon City calling the group “Old Simon City.  This group fought with groups like the Latin Kings in the mid-1970s and gained quite a bit of strength.  The Latin Kings were down the street at Cortland and Whipple now and Old Simon City was at Mozart and Cortland and Albany and Armitage in Logan Square. In 1977 Old Simon City began to decline in numbers and in 1978 they were no longer active.  After Simon City disbanded Spanish Cobras arrived in 1978 immediately followed by the YLO Cobras.

 

In 1974, Timothy “Bimbo” Gilfillan (Hagedorn, The Insane Chicago Way P. 246) took over leadership of the Simon City Royals and brought them into a new chapter.  Bimbo was charismatic and knew how to smooth over problems and was well liked, he was also able to open new sections.  Bimbo was good at keeping relations with allies tight which was one of his strong suits.

Black Disciple named Michael Motten A.K.A Motto (currently serving a life sentence for murder) moved to the area into Simon City Royal territory and began hanging out with Royals, Maniac Drifters and Insane Unknowns and, before you knew it there was a circle of friends that had Unknowns and Royals hanging out regularly.  It was also at this time in 1975 that the Simon City Royals first got involved in the weapons business which armed more members and brought income into the organization.  This took the relationship between Simon City Royals and Black Gangster Disciples to another level.

In 1975, Bimbo brought immediate expansion outside of Lake View into the Albany Park neighborhood at the intersection of Lawrence and Kimball and they also congregated at Leland and St.Louis.  Albany Park was a deteriorating neighborhood with run down abandoned buildings, drug addicts and prostitution.  Puerto Rican migration began moving in here in the early 1970s and by the mid-1970s it was rampant. Hispanic gangs soon were conquering the area and bullying the youths in the area, it was at this point that there was a demand for Royals and their goal was to conquer Theodore Roosevelt High School at 3436 W Wilson Ave.  Latin Kings and Puerto Rican Stones were the largest of the Hispanic gangs to colonize Albany Park and the Royals were there to protect youths victimized by these two groups and offer membership to stand up guys.

An interesting thing about the Albany Park Royals is that they got along with the Albany Park Gaylords because both gangs were white and both had issues with Latin Kings and Puerto Rican Stones.

According to court documents, on Saturday April 12, 1975 Bimbo and his friends were hanging out in front of the apartment buildings on that street corner of Leland and St. Louis in the Albany Park neighborhood.  These Royals had just finished cleaning up gang graffiti a while ago and were admiring their work when a group of Latin Kings came by and started causing problems.  A little while ago Bimbo was trying to bring peace with Latin Kings but it only lasted a couple weeks due to Latin Kings still trying to steal Simon City Royal sweaters.  One of the Latin Kings known as William “Pothead” Lewis had a gun on him.  The Royals then went and got paint sticks from inside the buildings to use as weapons and chased the Kings down and that is when Pothead fired his gun causing the Royals to Scatter, he ended up shooting Bimbo 4 times, killing him on that Saturday night on St. Louis and Leland.  William Lewis was later convicted of the shooting but since there were circumstances that could point to self-defense, he was only given 20-25 years for the murder (People V. Lewis, June 24, 1981).

Bimbo was murdered in the streets and not too long after his brother Jeff “Tuffy” Gilfillan was killed on Paulina Street by Latin Eagles.  Both brothers were leaders and now both lie dead in the same year.  Now that these brothers were gone the Royals were left without a leader for the next few years.  At the same time in 1975 Larry “Larkin” Morris of the Insane Popes was gunned down by Gaylords in the streets.

In that same year of 1975 the Gaylords and Royals started to feud and it quickly escalated to the point when the Simon City Royals killed a Gaylord leader as they killed him execution style by some railroad tracks behind Kilbourn Park in the Hermosa neighborhood.

Now Almighty Insane Popes and Simon City Royals both hated GaylordsLatin Kings and Insane Deuces with a passion.  With the hate of the Gaylords soon followed a hatred of the entire U.F.O unity which brought the Royals back into war with the C-Notes that had died out in 1971.  New branches rapidly popped up all over the north side including Albany and School, California and Fletcher and Drake and Wolfram in the Avondale neighborhood.  The Royals also ventured into the Lincoln Park neighborhood and opened up at Fullerton and Southport. The Royals also opened up a section in the Rogers Park neighborhood at Clark and Farwell, and the Royals also opened a new one in Albany Park at Central Park and Wilson.

It was a time of great expansion, but it was a hasty expansion and often unauthorized for certain sections to pop up.  Many of times a large group of youths would get together and just start claiming Simon City Royal even though no one heard of any of them from any sanctioned sections; nevertheless, many of these sections became official later on because these guys proved themselves.

By 1976, the Royals were now taking in many members of the Almighty Insane Popes because they were left without a leader after the death of Larry “Larkin” Morris in 1975.  The difference was the Royals functioned better without a leader than the Popes did and Popes appreciated that and flipped to being Royals.  It was also at this time in 1976 that the Royals began heavy arms trades with the Black Disciples from the south side.  An all-black street gang dealing weapons with an all-white street gang, it was crazy thing to see back in 1976.

In the same year of 1976 a Paulina and Cornelia Royal and a Keystone and Glenlake Royal opened Leland and Kenmore in the Uptown neighborhood, their one and only section in the Uptown community to exist.  In this section Royals were in a heavy state of war with Latin Kings from Ainslie and Winthrop which resulted in many shootings and police presence.  There were two shooting incidents between Royals and Latin Kings at the Aragon Ballroom parking lot then the police became fed up and started harassing the Royals to death.  Many times, police would come by with paddy wagons and pack them full of Royals.  In this section Royals were heavily outnumbered by Latin Kings and often called upon the assistance of the Lawrence and Rockwell Insane Popes to assist or Keystone and Glenlake Popes.

In the same year of the 1976 Paulina and Cornelia Royals the Fender brothers Frank and William and “Lil Kool” started a new chapter at Fullerton and Southport that extended to Wrightwood Park at Ashland and Wrightwood (2534 N Greenview Ave, Chicago) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.  This chapter was opened successfully and there was even a clubhouse that had a business sign out front that read “Simon City Royals.”  This clubhouse had about 50 members hanging out at a time as they would party hard.  Sometimes two preachers would come by and ask the Royals to be quiet since it was a church and senior living area, the Royals always put out the joints and complied out of respect.

The Simon City Royals were always tight with the Insane Unknowns going back to the Simon City days.  The two gangs would hang out all the time and even play baseball matches against each other.  In 1976 when Fullerton and Southport opened for the Royals and into Wrightwood Park at Ashland and Wrightwood, the Royals would invite the Unknowns to play ball at the park. Both groups hung together at Wrightwood and Wayne. Once the Insane Unknowns opened a branch at Halsted and Wrightwood later that year Southport and Fullerton leader Frank Fender was unhappy to say the least.  The Insane Unknowns were primarily a Hispanic gang and Hispanics moving into the neighborhood could have been the issue.  Another factor could have been when “Woody,” “Clown” and “Pablo” of the Insane Unknowns flipped to become Royals.  In either case Frank Fender was unhappy with the Insane Unknowns while the rest of the Royals seemingly had no issue but Frank was the leader of the Royals of Southport and Fullerton and his decisions would change the course of history.  Fender then encouraged fellow Royals to take the Unknowns to war but the rest of the Royals were not willing to participate in starting the war.

On a warm day in 1976, Royals and Unknowns were hanging out while drinking beers together and listening to music  having a good time at Wrightwood and Wayne.  The leader of the Halsted and Wrightwood Insane Unknowns 16-year-old Jose “Mr. Capone” Arroyo was hanging out by his car when Frank Fender shot Capone three times in the chest killing him instantly.  Even William Fender had no idea his brother was going to shoot Capone, it seemingly was a spur of the moment action, and this started the war.  The rest of Royals were left in utter shock and many thought Fender was always joking about starting a war.  Frank was later arrested and convicted of the murder and given 4 years in prison.  Frank was a legend on the streets and was very much feared by enemies and even fellow Royals. His brother William “Shadow” Fender also had a reputation and was feared among many as he was known to be a stone-cold killer type that was rumored to possibly have over 30 cold murder cases out there that he committed. It was also said Fender worked for murder-for-hire jobs and he was considered an assassin.  William eventually passed away in prison in 2014 and Frank moved to Kentucky where he kept chapters of the Royals out there alive. (Source: Chicagohoodz:Chicago Street Gang Art & Culture).

In 1976 or 1977 the “Fist City Royals” came about.  This project never worked out, but the name possibly comes from the idea that this group wanted some kind of fighting training, mainly boxing.  Royals would train at the Saint Andrew’s Gym (1658 W Addison St) at Paulina and Addison, here Royals would learn how to box.

During the late 1970s the Simon City Royals were on a war path smashing on other gangs with a wild, untamed fury.  They went up against Latin KingsInsane DeucesGaylordsC-NotesTaylor Jousters and Chi-West.  It was at this point that Royals ran into Spanish Lords over in Logan Square and war ensued right away.  Somehow the Royals came into contact with the Latin Brothers out of Belmont-Cragin and they went at it hard.

By 1978, the Royals were entangled in violent gang wars that were costing the Royals their freedom as they found themselves filling up the Illinois prisons.  Without leadership, wars were rampant and bloody and allies now became foes such as Gaylords and Insane Unknowns.

In April of 1978, Larry Hoover, the leader of the Black Gangster Disicples (Supreme Gangsters) organized a work stoppage strike in Stateville Prison in Crest Hill.  This was a protest against foul treatment of prisoners and feeding prisoners rotten food.  All gangs were brought together for this protest which led to a success.  After the protest, the gangs had cliques afterward and the biggest clique was centered around Simon City Royals and Black Gangster Disciples who were already allies.  This group included Latin Eagles, Maniac Latin Disciples, Satan Disciples, Imperial Gangsters etc…In the year 1979, this coalition decided it was time to put a name on it and the Royals suggested calling each other “Folks.”  Larry Hoover and the BGDs liked this idea; therefore, they began to call each other “Folks” behind prison walls.  The Folks was not totally official just yet but in 1980, it was made official in prison with bylaws etc…In 1981, the Folks was spread to the streets and made official there.

In 1979 Mike and Patrick Dayton started a new branch of Royals at Albany and School (In the Avondale neighborhood) known as the “Insane Royals.”  This group of Royals did not honor Folk nation concepts and had a “white power” stance, and they really weren’t even Simon City Royals.  These were also some of toughest of Royals and they often got involved in violent gang activity as they tangled with several rivals.  The Insane Royals would colonize the West Ridge neighborhood and Campbell and Lunt where they established an alliance with the Brazers and were at war with Latin Kings and Gaylords.

In the late 1970s the Simon City Royals were at the pique of their power as this was the point in history when Royals were the strongest in Chicago.

In 1979, Leland and Kenmore suffered too much police harassment and had to close especially after several members had to flee to other states or other countries to avoid prosecution from law enforcement.

In the year 1979, the “Almighty” alliance was created on the streets which was a loose alliance between Imperial Gangsters, Latin Eagles, Insane Popes (North side) and Simon City Royals.  This is when Simon City Royals became tight allies with Latin Eagles and the war was completely stopped.

 

In the summer of 1980, the Simon City Royals and Black Gangster Disciples attempted to increase their alliance and their power in the city by calling for a meeting.  They wanted to take over the drug and weapons trade and help each other bring supplies to each other to fuel their individual gang wars.  91 members of both gangs met on a Saturday afternoon in a warehouse located at 642 E. 47th Street in the Grand Boulevard neighborhood.  Concerned residents called the police and the police raided the meeting.  This meeting was in wake of the officialization of the Folk alliance in 1980, this meeting was the beginning of such negotiations.

By the year 1980, the Simon City Royals had become one of the largest street gangs in the city of Chicago with now thousands of members, they were only a little smaller than the 4th largest gang the Gaylords.  It was now finally time that the Royals had some leadership after 5 years of being wild.  A new leader stepped forward, his name I will leave out due to a specific request, his nickname was “Dillinger.”  This new leader was able to bring all the sections together and prevent them from functioning with that “renegade” mentality.  His reign was short lived and on November 20,1982 (those that know this leader can probably get the hint of who this man was) he was shot to death by the Puerto Rican Stones in the Albany Park neighborhood. The P.R. Stones were now gunning for Lawrence and Kimball and this brought a vicious war with these Stones.

 

In late 1982, Agim Hotsa took over as the new leader throughout the rest of the decade.

In the year 1983, the Insane Royals section was visited by the Simon City Royals and Maniac Latin Disciples.  The Insane Royals had no choice but to flip to Simon City Royals.  The Maniac Latin Disciples that arrived flipped Brands Park Party People into Maniac Latin Disciples.

By the late 1980s Simon City Royals began having issues with key incarcerations of older and higher up members.  Alot of heat was on Hotsa and Greg Behzad which lead both men to be taken down in drug raids. This drastically shrunk the organization and resulted in a loss of territory over the course of the late 1980s up to the mid-1990s.  White flight and gentrification was growing in the city in the 1990s which also hurt the Royals as members could no longer afford to live in these now pricey neighborhoods, yuppies were taking over.  The Royals also began engaging in bloody interalliance wars with other Folk Nation gangs eventually, and by the early and mid-1990s wars stated with gangs like Spanish Cobras and Maniac  Latin Disciples.  These interalliance wars were very costly especially the war with the Spanish Cobras which became legendary.  The Simon City Royals were now throwing down the pitchfork gang sign that they had been waving around and tagging since 1981, now the fork was to go down.

In the year 1988, Simon City Royals began forming new chapters in the south.  I believe the first one was in the Boomville area.  Chapters began to sprout up all over the southern states and Royals spread west into areas like Kansas City.  Royals from Mississippi often have made the news multiple times for several crimes and murders; however, the majority of the Royals in other states are not hardened criminals or a liability to their communities, in fact, most Royals in the south are active in their communities and are positive influences.  The issue with the southern states in the Meth and some members become addicted and act violently, hence, many of the news reports of violent gang members.

In the very early 1990s Agim Hotsa had mostly avoided prosecution and slipped into retirement leaving leadership to Frank “Fats” Fender.

In 1995, Frank Fender stepped down from leadership and it was said that Brian “Mouse” Nelson took over leadership of the whole nation, however, the real truth it was that Nelson was only running Stateville operations but he was pinned with so much more and transferred to Tamms supermax facility to be isolated from the world basically.  In Tamms Brian Nelson suffered terribly as he was locked in isolation even after being diagnosed with severe depression and mental illness.  He was even locked in a bathroom naked by an angry therapist that said, “You’re making me look bad!” (Source: Voices From Solitary June 24, 2012). After release from prison Brian Nelson retired from gang life and began working for prison rights advocacy until his work cost him his life from becoming so heavily involved in his work, he was found dead on April 19, 2021, at his desk at the Uptown People’s Law Center.  Nelson was so traumatized by his twelve years in supermax that he suffered from severe depression, sleeplessness, and anxiety.  He had to work overnights in a isolated office because other people gave him anxiety. He was heavily dedicated to his work until his life left him while doing his work at age 56.  He died while reading letters from prisoners.

Most of the presence of Simon City Royals vanished in Lake View and Lincoln Park but that had a lot to do with gentrification in the late 1990s/early 2000s.  The CPD along with gentrification pushed the Royals out of Avondale eventually.  The Royals had expanded into the suburbs of Lyons and Brookfield in the mid-1980s but eventually were pushed out by suburban police activity by the early 21st century.  The Royals did; however, spread in other states especially Mississippi where there are thousands of members.  The Royals in Chicago were eventually only holding territory in northern Logan Square and Albany Park.

This is a nation that has a hell of a legacy to be respected that had many legendary street warriors that fought valiantly on the streets so much that the spirit of the organization still lives on even in the retired old schoolers.

 

Known sections of the Simon City Royals past and present

Albany Park neighborhood established 1975-present years

Sections of Albany Park

Lawrence to Montrose, Lawndale to Central Park Ave

Wilson & Central Park Ave Established 1975

Lawndale & Agatite

Montrose & St. Louis

Argyle & Keeler

California from Montrose to Irving Park Road (Horner Park, Cal Mont Royals)

Cullom & Whipple Established 1979

Lawrence and Kimball Established 1975

Lawndale & Wilson (Jensen Park)

Leland & St. Louis Established 1975

Montrose & Whipple

Sunnyside & Kimball

Montrose & Bernard

Kimball & Cullom

Montrose & Drake

Wilson & Hamlin

Leland & St Louis

Monticello & Leland

Sunnyside & Bernard

Montrose & Francisco

Avondale neighborhood established 1972-2000s decade

Sections of Avondale

Belmont to Wellington, Milwaukee to Springfield (Murda Ave)

George & Ridgeway

Barry & Avondale

California & Fletcher Established 1972

Drake & Wolfram Established 1972

Kimball & Avondale

Lawndale & Roscoe

Albany and School Established 1979-1990s

School & Avers

Wellington & Christiana

Barry & California 70s

Francisco & Fletcher 70s 80s 90s

Allen & Kimball 70s

Belmont & Kimball 70s

Avers & School 90s 2000s

George & Christiana 90s 2000s

Dunning neighborhood

Sections of Dunning

Waveland & Odell

East Side neighborhood established 1984-1991

Sections of the East Side

106th to 110th, Burley to Ave O (Wolfe Park) Established 1984-1991

Edison Park neighborhood

Sections of Edison Park

Olympia & Avondale (Olympia Park)

Irving Park neighborhood 90s-present years

Sections of Irving Park

Collum to Bertau, St. Louis to Kimball (KC Royals) 90s-present years

Irving Park Road & Bernard

Lawndale & Grace

Lake View neighborhood Established 1968 as Ashland Royals, Established 1969-1990s as Simon City Royals

Sections of Lake View

Cornelia & Paulina

Grace & Marshfield

Irving Park & Ashland Established 1968 as Ashland Royals, Established 1969-1990s as Simon City Royals

Newport & Lincoln

Waveland & Greenview Established 1970-1990s

Paulina & Cornelia Established 1970-1990s

Lincoln to Racine, Irving Park to Belmont Established 1972-1990s

Lincoln Park neighborhood established 1976-2010s

Sections of Lincoln Park

Fullerton & Southport Established 1976-2010s

Ashland & Wrightwood Established 1976-1990

Little Village neighborhood 90s

Sections of Little Village

28th & Kildare 90s

Logan Square neighborhood established 1964 as Simon City

Sections of Logan Square

Diversey from Pulaski to St. Louis (Kosciusko Park)

Cortland & Whipple Established 1964 as Simon City, re-established by Old Simon City 1974-1978

Albany & Armitage Established 1974-1978 as Old Simon City

Mozart & Cortland Established as Old Simon City 1974-1978

North Center neighborhood Established 1972-1990s

Sections of North Center

Waveland & Oakley (Bell School Yard) Established 1972-1990s

North Park neighborhood 70s-present years

Sections of North Park

Bryn Mawr & Spaulding

Bryn Mawr & Kimball

Carmen & Bernard

Carmen & Drake

Glenlake & Keystone

Peterson & Central Park Ave (Peterson Park)

Bryn Mawr & Pulaski (Brynford Park)

Norwood Park neighborhood

Sections of Norwood Park

Bryn Mawr & Harlem

Portage Park neighborhood 2010s-present years

Sections of Portage Park

Addison & Knox 2010s-present years

Rogers Park neighborhood Established 1975-2010s

Sections of Rogers Park

Clark & Farwell Established 1975-2010s

Greenleaf from Clark to Ravenswood

Sheridan & Albion

Touhy & Ridge Established 1975-1990s

Paulina & Lunt Established 1975-1990s

Uptown neighborhood Established 1976-1979

Sections of Uptown

Leland & Kenmore Established 1976-1979

West Humboldt Park neighborhood Established 1956 as Simon City until 1970, 1971-1975 as Simon City Royals

Sections of West Humboldt Park

Drake & Wabansia (Simons Park, Simon City gang) Established 1956-1970

Kildare & Thomas (As Simon City Royals) Established 1971-1975

West Ridge neighborhood Established 1979-2000s

Sections of West Ridge

Lunt & Campbell (Indian Boundary Park) 1979-2000s

 

Suburbs

Arlington Heights

Brookfield

Des Plains

Franklin Park

Lyons

Norridge

Peoria

Rockford

Springfield

Stone Park

Waukegan

Miami

Ft. Lauderdale

Batesville, Mississippi

Jackson, Mississippi

Gulfport, Mississippi

Boloxi, Mississippi

Vicksburg, Mississippi

Booneville, Mississippi

Jumpertown, Mississippi

Tupelo, Mississippi

Ponca, Oklahoma

Memphis, Tennessee

Millington, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

West Virginia