|Founded in 1967 in or near Hermosa Jefferson Park
|Formerly known as
Young Blood Freaks 1971-late 1970s; United Freaks ?-late 1970s; Insane Freaks ?-late 1970s; Freaks late 1970s-1991
2000 or later;
|Black, Red, and Light blue
|Black and light blue 1971–1991; Black and red 1991–present
|Skull, Top Hat, and Cross
Skull with top hat and joint in mouth
The Freak’s story dates back to the year 1967 at a time when the Vietnam War was raging on and many young men and women protested the war by forming hippie groups. Hippies often called themselves “freaks” because they felt like outcasts and different. Many groups of hippies all over the northern part of the city formed referring to themselves as “Freaks” and by the 1970s they all would start gangbanging mainly against Hispanic gangs.
One such group of hippies that called themselves “Freaks” was a group that hung out in Kelvyn Park at Kilbourn and Wrightwood in the Hermosa neighborhood. These guys and girls loved to drink beer smoke pot and drop acid like most hippie groups did back then. This particular group of Freaks had conflicts with the Imperial Gangsters especially since the Freaks of Hermosa hung out with Latin Kings from school that lived in nearby West Humboldt Park. Kelvyn Park high school bussed in many kids from various neighborhoods in the area including kids from West Humboldt Park and from Logan Square which brought many gangs to hang out by Kelvyn Park especially after school. The Latin Kings happened to supply the best marijuana and LSD for the Freaks.
At the time, there were no Hispanic gangs in Hermosa. Gaylords were then able to settle in Hermosa in 1969 and became the dominating gang in the neighborhood. As far as the relationship between hippies and Gaylords in this area is concerned I am not sure if there was a early rivalry but Gaylords had been known not to like hippies unless they could find common ground with partying.
In the year 1971, all the white gangs on the northern part of Chicago were fed up with the many Puerto Rican gangs that were growing rapidly in number; therefore, the white gangs formed an alliance called the “WPO” or “White Power Organization” which brought a cease fire between the white gangs and they focused all their attention to Hispanic and black gangs. Many white gangs grew in power during the WPO days and the hippies of Kelyvn Park became a street gang as a result of WPO as they called themselves “Young Blood Freaks” in 1971.
The Young Blood Freaks now had colors of black and light blue and wore gang sweaters. Within no time the Freaks expanded all around the Hermosa neighborhood as they fought against nearby Puerto Rican gangs primarily the Imperial Gangsters from West Humboldt Park.
In the year 1975, a group called the Stoned Freaks first formed at the intersection of Armitage and St. Louis that was a pseudo biker group that loved to party and smoke lots of Marijuana. Jimmy was the main founder/leader of the group. In no time the Stoned Freaks got into heavy conflict with the Imperial Gangsters from Armitage and Drake which led to the shooting death of a Stoned Freak in 1976. After the death the Stoned Freaks moved further south in Logan Square to the Monticello Park area at Armitage and Monticello in Logan Square and Cortland and Monticello. This was the original group that carried the Stoned Freak name and where the name originates from.
In the year 1977, the Imperial Gangsters came to Hermosa which caused the Gaylords and Freaks to become enraged. This may have been the time when Gaylords and Freaks became close to each other.
There were at least three other significant Freak groups that started a gang type of group in the 1970s one being the United Freaks of Irving Park, Insane Freaks of Jefferson Park and Norwood Park and the Stoned Freaks of Logan Square.
The United Freaks could be found at Lowell and Collum and Kedvale and Grace in the Irving Park community. The Insane Freaks of Jefferson Park could be found at Milwaukee Ave and Austin Ave they were also in Norwood Park at Peterson and Nagle. Norwood Park never had strong gang activity and the Freaks there were simply in the area to keep other rivals from moving in or to just party out of teenage boredom. Jefferson Park was another all-white neighborhood that had issues with gang activity among white gangs. The toughest fought streets were in Hermosa fought by the Young Blood Freaks dealing with outsiders.
The United Freaks formed in 1976 at Grace and Kedvale right outside of Irving Park School (now known as Disney II Magnet Elementary School, 3815 N Kedvale Ave). The United Freaks joined the UFO alliance and were the only Freaks gang that joined that alliance. These Freaks battled with Imperial Gangsters and Orquestra Albanies.
In 1977, two members of the Insane Deuces Rich “Budhead” Imlach and Mikey “Mr. Bogus” Halverson left the Insane Deuces due to a personal disagreement they had with an allied gang of the Deuces. The men kept a friendship with the Deuces as they arrived at the intersection of Milwaukee Ave and Austin Ave in the Jefferson Park neighborhood. Here the two would form their own Freaks gang that they wanted to pay homage to the Insane Deuces by called themselves “Insane Freaks.”
All Freaks gangs all over the northern part of the city had a loose-knit alliance that was not set in stone or made official, it was just understood that if any gang has the last name of “Freak” they were automatically an ally because they all descended from groups of hippies in the late 60s and early 70s. In the mid-1980s the United Freaks disbanded shortly after the UFO broke up.
In 1982, the Young Blood Freaks and Gaylords went to war in the Hermosa area. I don’t know why that war happened but this was still a time before Hispanic gangs had any turf within the borders or Hermosa; therefore, they didn’t need each other’s assistance. The Imperial Gangsters had just left the area in about 1980 so there were no other Hispanic gangs. It was at this time in 1982 when Stoned Freaks from Monticello Park moved into the Hermosa neighborhood and befriended the Young Blood Freaks as they went against the Gaylords. This new Freak Unity took them to Keeler and Armitage which became the first section of these Freaks. The Insane Freaks of Jefferson Park area may have also partaken in this alliance and may have had some members move here at this time too but I am not sure, regardless, at some point in time Insane Freaks would join the People alliance and heavily unite with Stoned Freaks as one which made Milwaukee and Austin Stoned Freak main territory starting in 1994.
In the year 1984, the Spanish Cobras moved into the Hermosa neighborhood who would become the first permanent Hispanic gang to live on these streets. The Spanish Cobras arrived alongside a sudden hike in Hispanic migration to Hermosa as white flight began to take off. Hispanic people slowly settled Hermosa since 1965 until 1984 but it was never overwhelming for the community until 1984. Once the Cobras arrived the war between Gaylords and Freaks came to an end as they realized they had bigger enemies to deal with. The two gangs then created and alliance called GFN or Gaylords Freaks Nation. By this point in time the Freak gangs came together and used the Stoned Freak name to create the SFN. The individual pivotal in this inception was 18 year old Crazy F who then established this Stoned Freak nation at Palmer and Keeler, Crazy F was now the leader of the nation.
In the year 1985, the issue with Spanish Cobras worsened as they grew larger in numbers but when the Maniac Latin Disciples arrived it was far worse. The Latin Eagles also settled here in 1985 and became a force to be reckoned with too. In a strange twist of events the Imperial Gangsters returned to Hermosa after being gone for over 15 years, they returned to their motherland but not as solid as they once were on these streets. Mexican migration began in 1985 which brought in the La Raza gang from the south side of the city which was yet another Folk alliance gang to fight.
In the year 1986, war with all the Folks worsened as Freaks decided to invite the Belmont and Damen Insane Deuces to settle in Hermosa at Kilbourn and Diversey. Now there were Deuces, Gaylords and Freaks all battling the Folks.
I want to clear up a bit of false info that has spread around the internet about the leader known as “Crazy F.” Crazy F did not start the Freaks organization because Crazy F was only a baby when the first Freak group formed in Hermosa and there is a bad story saying he led the Freaks to become a criminal organization in the late 1970s, ha! In the late 1970s Crazy F was 11-13 years old during those years and he joined the Freaks in 1978 at age 12. In 1987 Crazy F shot a Spanish Cobra gang member because the Cobras had shot at him and his wife and also firebombed Crazy F’s home before the shooting happened. Crazy F was originally charged with attempted murder but got the charges dropped down but still found himself behind bars in 1992 after slowly fighting the case while on the streets. The Freaks were in very heavy opposition to Spanish Cobras living in Hermosa and fought them viciously until members moved out alongside white flight. In light of Crazy Fs pending incarceration the Stoned Freaks connected with the Latin Kings and officially joined the People alliance drawing them closer to Insane Deuces and Latin Kings. This was arranged in 1987 in advance for when Crazy F would be incarcerated.
At some point in time the Freaks then opened a new section in the Edgewater neighborhood at Clark Street and Hollywood and another section at Belmont Avenue and Central Avenue in the Belmont-Cragin/Portage Park border. I don’t know how long these sections lasted.
By 1992, the Freaks had to move all their Hermosa operations to Kelvyn Park where they originated until 1994 when they left the Hermosa area entirely. Crazy F now ended up in Statesville prison in 1992 which effected the leadership of the Freaks.
In the year 1994 the Stoned Freaks of Hermosa withdrew from the park as the whole neighborhood was Hispanic and Crazy F was now locked up in prison. These Freaks then moved to Milwaukee and Austin area in Norwood Park.
Also in 1994 Ryan “Shorty F” Brown moved from Kelvyn Park to Jefferson Park and started the Gladstone Park Stoned Freaks at Milwaukee and Bryn Mawr. This section became very popular in the mid 90s and was perhaps at the peak in the mid-1990s. The biggest enemy of these Freaks was the Jefferson Park C-Notes which was a vicious war that led to incarcerations and heavy police intervention. Not only were the 16th District Police an issue many of these Freaks began using harder drugs and it took the lives of 5 members. In the late 90s this section would dissolve.
In the 1990s the Freaks faced many problems with the police in the Portage Park, Edgewater, Norwood Park and Jefferson Park neighborhoods and by the late 1990s all these sections closed down. The Freaks then moved into the suburb of Fox Lake where it is said they are still active or at least were up to a few years ago. There have also been older more retired gang members around Belmont and Central.
Crazy F retired from gang activity and moved to Skokie he was found dead in a burning car on October 8, 2016 after the engine accidentally caught on fire, the death was not ruled a homicide but just an accident. Investigators said he had a heart attack and died with his foot on the gas which overran the engine causing it to set on fire. The Stoned Freaks were a very tough gang, they went extinct because they could not fit in with the 21st century gang banging. The Freaks were also not big drug dealers although they did operate a Heroin and PCP business for a while.
Please send in 1970s, 1980s and 1990s pics!
Who was the founder of the Young Blood Freaks and what happened to him?
Known sections of the Stoned Freak past and present
Sections of Austin
Lamon & Wabansia (De George Park)
Sections of Belmont – Cragin
Belmont & Central Ave
Edgewater neighborhood 80s, 90s
Sections of Edgewater
Clark & Hollywood 80s, 90s
Hermosa neighborhood Established 1967-1994
Sections of Hermosa
Armitage to Diversey, Kilbourn to Kedvale (Kelvyn Park, Ken-Well Park, DK, No Mercy on Diversey) Established 1967-1994
Irving Park neighborhood Established as United Freaks 1976-mid-1980s
Sections of Irving Park
Kedvale & Grace United Freaks
Lowell & Cullom United Freaks
Jefferson Park neighborhood Established 1977 as Insane Freaks, Stoned Freaks 1994-2000s
Sections of Jefferson Park
Milwaukee & Bryn Mawr (Gladstone Park, Stoned Freaks) Established 1994-2000s
Milwaukee & Austin (as Insane Freaks 1977-1994, Stoned Freaks 1994-2000s)
Logan Square neighborhood Established as Stoned Freaks 1975-1982
Sections of Logan Square
Armitage & St. Louis Established 1975-1976
Monticello from Armitage to Cortland Established 1976-1982
Sections of Near North Side
Sheffield & Concord
Norwood Park neighborhood Established 1977-2000s
Sections of Norwood Park
Milwaukee & Austin (as Insane Freaks 1977-1994, Stoned Freaks 1994-2000s)
Peterson & Nagle
Northwest Highway & Austin
Portage Park neighborhood 90s, 2000s
Sections of Portage Park
Irving Park Road & Central Ave 90s, 2000s
Lamon & Cullom 90s
Montrose & Cicero
West Humboldt Park neighborhood Established as Stoned Freaks 1976-1980
Sections of West Humboldt Park
Cortland & Monticello Established 1976-1980