|Founded||Founded in 1967 in or near Hermosa|
|Formerly known as||
Young Blood Freaks 1971-late 1970s; United Freaks ?-late 1970s; Insane Freaks ?-late 1970s; Freaks late 1970s-1991
2000 or later;
|Colors||Black, Red, and Light blue|
|Color usage||Black and light blue 1971–1991; Black and red 1991–present|
|Symbols||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.
Within a few years Puerto Rican gangs began moving in near the Hermosa neighborhood and gang violence was flaring up in Humboldt Park, Austin, Logan Square and even some in Belmont-Cragin. One major gang that was becoming a problem were the Latin Kings that wanted to take over Humboldt Park and Logan Square but to the hippie group in Kelvyn Park liked the Latin Kings who were dealers that had really good pot and acid and some of the Kings loved to get wasted with this hippie group so these hippies started hanging out with Latin Kings.
As the friendship with the Kings grew it became noticed by the enemies of the Latin Kings the Imperial Gangsters which then led this hippie group into conflict with the IGs. These hippies of Kelvyn Park were not your typical wimpy hippies they were fighters, warriors and did not take it from Imperial Gangsters.
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 Latino 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.”
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 the Puerto Rican invasion. Diversey and Kilbourn (DK / No Mercy on Diversey), Keeler and Armitage, Keeler and Palmer, Kilbourn and Fullerton Avenue, Kilbourn and Montana, Wellington and Kenosha (Ken-Wel Park) and Kilbourn and Wrightwood (Kelvyn Park) all became Young Blood Freak turfs.
Recruitment into the gang was ideal for many youths that felt they were losing the neighborhood to Latino gangs that were selling drugs and bullying them. Freak gang members soon found common ground with the Gaylords and the P.V.Rs in the neighborhood that were two other white gangs struggling to keep Puerto Rican gangs out. The Freaks also discovered two other gangs that carried the name of “Freak” in the Irving Park and Jefferson Park communities. The Freaks of Irving Park were known as the “United Freaks,” while the Jefferson Park Freaks were known as the “Insane Freaks.”
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. 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.
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 the late 1970s, I think 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 a 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” but this idea was shot down. These Freaks instead settled for “Stoned Freaks.” This was how the Stoned Freaks came to be.
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. By this time there really wasn’t much left accept the Young Blood Freaks that originated in Hermosa.
beginning in 1985, Freaks fought viciously for Kelvyn Park against the Latin Eagles tooth and nail in the southern part of Hermosa. The Latin Eagles had just arrived in the community for the first time. Fullerton and Tripp Gaylords and Freaks were battling against these Eagles and the war worsened when Imperial Gangsters opened around there in 1986. The Freaks were allied in the area with Gaylords and P.V.Rs, while still maintaining the alliance with Latin Kings. It was in 1985 when Young Blood Freaks became a part of the Stoned Freaks because of these wars with Hispanic gangs. In the year 1987 the Spanish Cobras arrived in the neighborhood sparking a legendary war between Freaks and Cobras.
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 gang 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 which is probably the time when he just joined the gang and was only a pee wee member. Crazy F did not assume leadership until later into the 1980s. 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 1991. The Freaks were in very heavy opposition to Spanish Cobras living in Hermosa and fought them viciously until members moved out alongside white flight.
Once Crazy F was behind bars he found himself outnumbered by gangs of the Folk Nation and People Nation gangs would not help him, not even Latin Kings because Freaks were not People or Folks. Crazy F then got connected with the Latin Counts and brought the Freaks into the People Nation under the wing of the Counts and Black P Stones. The Freaks also adopted the first name of “Almighty” which is used by all People Nation gangs.
Joining the People Nation did not save the Freaks from losing Kelvyn Park or any of their other Hermosa sets, the Freaks had to fully withdraw from that neighborhood because it was over 90% Latino. 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.
Also in the early 1990s 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 early 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 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; however, old rivalries may have caught up to him because he was found dead in a burning car on October 8, 2016. The Stoned Freaks were a very tough gang of stone greasers that left a legacy, 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 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s pics!
- Who was the founder of the Young Blood Freaks and what happened to him?
- What is the time line of leaders of all Freak organizations?
- What year did each street corner open and what year did each close down?