The year 1958 was not of big significance in our country.  Elvis Presley joined the United States Army.  The San Francisco Giants beat the Los Angeles Dodgers at Seals Stadium which became the first ever Major League Baseball game ever played in the state of California.  Pizza Hut opened its doors for the first time in Wichita Kansas.  The plastic hula hoop hit stores.  President Eisenhower signed Alaska into statehood and NASA was officially established.  Other than these fun events not much happened in 1958.  Most of the U.S. just went about living out the end of the 1950s working and making families as they made their way into the suburbs during a mass exodus.

In Chicago, scores of buildings and homes came tumbling down from the deep south side all the way up to the upper west side as thousands of mostly black families were displaced from their homes and forced to reside in new surroundings on the west side and the south side.  The construction of the Dan Ryan Expressway changed the cityscape forever as long-time residing residents now had new neighbors they often resented.  Mostly white neighborhoods rapidly changed from white to black driving the massive white flight exodus to the suburbs.  From January of 1958 until December entire communities changed color and income status which overwhelmed communities as the city poorly planned neighborhood integrations.  Greedy real estate agencies soon dug their claws into pushing white flight as their offices were bustling with agents convincing white families in Woodlawn, Englewood, West Garfield Park, East Garfield Park, Chatham and South Shore that it was time to pack their bags and leave immediately because their futures were in great jeopardy because of a black invasion.  Scare tactics ran rampant that ruined communities not only for long standing residents in south side and west communities but also for the newly arrived families promised a brighter future in these new surroundings.

The city was changing very fast in 1958 and culture shock was soon to explode causing a largely undocumented social disturbance that was only best documented in the minds of those who lived it. This would give fuel to Chicago’s primitive gang culture that had existed up to this point as just small groups of hooligans and neighborhood toughs into sophisticated street guardians and organized syndicates something our entire world had never seen before in the street gangbanger.  It was time for Chicago and the whole world to brace themselves for the creation of something so complex and monolithic, the city would not know what to do with it for decades to come.

Before 1958

In the years before 1958 almost all the gangs we know today or have gotten to know well in Chicago in the last few decades of the 20th century did not exist.  Very few organizations can fully claim history dating before 1958 like Ambrose or the north side Insane Popes.  The oldest of gangs usually only absorbed older groups that pre-date 1958 like the Vice Lords, Latin Counts, Latin Kings, C-Notes, Taylor Jousters and Simon City Royals.  Between 1949 and 1958 there was a creation of some significant groups that would live on into later years, but they would not flourish on their own until they absorbed into newer younger groups that formed in 1958 or later.

Groups like the Imperial Chaplins, 14th Street Clovers, Imperials, Taylor Dukes, Simon City Boys and Texans were all groups that formed between the late 40s up to the mid-50s that once made their mark on the streets of Chicago.  These groups were tough, revolutionary, and dominant in their neighborhoods.  Imperial Chaplins and Clovers first stood up to white gangs with force on the west side which gave birth the later successful Egyptian Cobras of the west side.  The Imperials of the west side became the first Hispanic gang to stand up to black and white gangs going head-to-head with them as they showed the streets of the Near West Side that Hispanics can have a significant organization and don’t need to attach to white gangs.  The Texans of Pilsen became the first Hispanic gang to ever grace the 18th Street corridor in the Pilsen community.  They dared to defy brutal and corrupt Chicago police and dared to fight the toughest white gangs in the area.  The Taylor Street Dukes and the early C-Notes (young adult group) became some of the first gangs since the Forty-Two gang to have spawned from the Italian mafia.  The Simon City gang was the first street gang ever active on the streets of West Humboldt Park and one of the toughest greaser groups in Chicago.  These groups were the main influencers of the next generation of gangs about to begin in 1958.  These groups were the beginning of a new era, but they lacked the proper organization to continue on for decades to come or they lacked the desire to push their organizations into later history.  These groups passed the torch on to that later generations that would build our Chicago gang landscape into permanence.

Black migration explodes into new land

For many years restrictive racial covenants confined over 99% of the black population of Chicago into the Bronzeville area of Chicago with some allowance to reside in the Near West Side community.  The west side was once coveted land prior to the Supreme Court rulings against racial covenants of 1948.  Very few black families resided in East Garfield Park and North Lawndale.  These families only gained access to these communities because there were two main factors that brought them there.  One main element was these neighborhoods had lands not so heavily coveted by the white man.  East Garfield Park lacked urbanization and was very barren.  North Lawndale was shared with the Jews, and Jews were accepting of blacks in their community.  The second factor that allowed black west side settlement in these communities was income.  Before the 1950s it was extremely difficult for blacks to achieve a higher education or have access to higher paying jobs.  The few Chicago blacks that went through hell to get a higher education and higher income were allotted the rare opportunity to reside on these west side streets outside the Near West Side slum.  In the black community, living in East Garfield Park was considered a major privilege and they considered these families to have made it big.

Beginning in 1958, the city aggressively planned the rapid construction of the Dan Ryan Expressway after a decade of small work on this highway system that was a stop and go scenario for ten years prior.  Finally, in 1958 all the funding was thrown at the city, and they surely wouldn’t squander it.  This plan was going to happen, and nothing would get in their way, certainly not the impoverished black community.  Instead of planning on tearing down only commercial structures and pushing on corporations to give up their land they went for the easy way by forcing the impoverished community to give up their homes.  This effected white, black, and brown people but hit the black community the hardest.  This expressway sliced through Fuller Park, Washington Park, Bronzeville and Lilydale which so happened to be black communities on the south side.  The expressway also sliced through Englewood, Greater Grand Crossing and Chatham which were communities in the early stages of transition but maintained a white and black balance.  The highway construction would shift these families around bringing them to other parts of the neighborhood or all new neighborhoods entirely where they were not welcome, and it was done so fast community groups didn’t even have time to organize smooth racial integration.  Much of this highway plan is what drove the Chicago Housing Authority to build all new public housing projects on the west side to accommodate this that included the Harrison Courts and the notorious Rockwell Gardens. Even with the construction of these projects it still was not enough to take in all these displaced families; therefore, they would just have to settle on the white west side and south side.

The racial clashing that happened in Roseland was a little more documented than clashes in other south side communities, but the clashing was perhaps much worse in Woodlawn and Englewood.  These are stories you will not read about in old newspapers or any old documents, these are only experiences left in the minds of those that lived these streets in 1958 that can remember how these south side communities reacted to the arrival of several black families.  These clashes were short lived and by 1959, the racial conflicts were already in the past.

The racial clash of Englewood and the beginning of the Mickey Cobras, Black Disciples and Gangster Disciples

In the year 2020 the Chicago Crime Commission estimated the city housed approximately 4,000 members of the Black Disciples.  The National Gang Threat Awareness Group has estimated the Gangster Disciples number between 50,000 to 90,000 members nationwide as of 2009.  These numbers are of course grossly underestimating the actual number of the members of both these groups, but one can still deduce from this that the GDs and BDs are massive forces with entire armies of members.  Many have asked exactly how and why the GDs and the BDs are so big.  Setting aside the drug profits and both groups’ lucrative and advanced ways of making money above most other organizations.  The original cause is really what gave these organization a leg up on growth to begin with, activism was the original purpose of the Disciples.

These groups have a foundation that dates to the exact year of 1958 as they came from the original Devil’s Disciples of Englewood, Hyde Park, and Kenwood.  Prior to 1958 black families had been steadily settling these three communities since the 1940s but in 1958 that migration pattern went into overdrive as the Dan Ryan expressway construction took hold of the city.  The prestigious white community in southern Hyde Park area south of 55th Street was infuriated with the arrival of so many black families in northern Hyde Park that would attend many of the same schools as white children.  This was a legal battle that had been going on since the beginning of the 20th century but now it became more heated by 1958 to the point where white youths and parents alike were tormenting black youths in the community.  Much of the same thing was happening in nearby Kenwood too.  Englewood had a large Italian population back in these years and the sudden arrival of black families caused a major uproar.  For years black families were confined to the Ogden Park area since 1885 which was along the Englewood/West Englewood border on Racine Ave.  Now black families were dotting all over the Englewood area from 55th down to 75th and from Racine to the Dan Ryan.  Italian greaser groups began attacking and tormenting in full force as their parents often equally taunted and pestered newly arrived blacks.  Fights in the school yards and on the streets broke out between white and black youths and black adults felt the discrimination trying to use public services and even when they shopped at stores.

The black youths of Englewood, Hyde Park and Kenwood finally had enough of being tormented by whites; therefore, they gathered to discuss this issue and ended up creating the Devil’s Disciples, an organized group that gathered along 63rd Street in Englewood, 47th Street in Kenwood and on 53rd Street in Hyde Park.  The Disciples took on the influence from the oldest black gangs that formed during the 1919 race riots from Bronzeville and now they had a name and an organization.  The difference between the 1919 gangs of Bronzeville and the 1958 Disciples was that the hate the Disciples encountered was on their own streets as a day-to-day issue.  The 1919 gangs had to just deal with outside invaders from nearby Canaryville.  The Disciples had enemies as neighbors and as school mates while they received unfavorable treatment from school staff and the police when conflict between black and white would arise.  This called for a tighter and more sophisticated group that had to be well organized so the young members of the group could protect each other effectively.  This is the very foundation or backbone of what created the Black Disciples and Gangster Disciples.  Before the drugs and money there was a well-knit club that effectively protected the black community and the Disciple members.  What needs to be understood by you as the reader is just how important it was for black youths in especially Englewood to become members of the Disciples because it stood for major protection from a hostile community around them.  This was so important to many black youths that it gave strong life to the early development and growth of the Disciples which carried on a strong legacy for years to come.  In later years disputes would develop between the GDs and the BDs about which group is true to the Disciple name but regardless of that argument both groups tap into these same roots from these young boys that found no other choice but to organize back in 1958.

The Egyptian Cobras formed along these same Englewood, Hyde Park, Kenwood streets.  The Cobras originated from Fuller Park as they also spread very quickly into Grand Boulevard and Washington Park.  Just like the Disciples the Cobras hit the ground running as the saying goes and their cause was almost exactly like the Disciples; however, they did not get along with the Disciples because each group thought they should be running the cause.  Both groups were an attempt to organize young black men to better themselves and to stand up to the negative forces that oppressed them.  The groups were meant to give young black men self-esteem and guide them in the direction of assisting the black community; however, they often fell into a life of crime and violence this was especially all over the 1960 and 1961 newspapers as several acts of gang violence were reported about naming the Egyptian Cobras as the perpetrators.  The Egyptian Cobras on the west side were making the news at the same time causing the public to believe this was the same gang but in reality, it was two different groups.  The south side Egyptian Cobras would go on to become the Mickey Cobras we know today while the west side Egyptian Cobras went extinct in the mid-70s and mostly absorbed into a Black Soul group.

The racial clashing in Woodlawn was just like what was happening in Hyde Park, Kenwood, and Englewood.  The Blackstone Raiders was the group that protected the black community in Woodlawn in the 1950s and even protected Englewood before 1958 when Cobras and Disciples took over.  The Raiders were not organized enough to protect these streets from the hostile white community and this led to the Cobras and Disciples pouring onto these streets in the late 50s flushing the Raiders out; however, many Woodlawn black youths were not very keen about Cobras and Disciples taking over their streets and this led to the creation and flourishing of the later forming Blackstone Rangers in 1959.

These racial conflicts were very short lived and only expanded over the course of a few months in 1958.  All Disciples and Cobras that joined after 1958 did not experience this racial conflict which is why much of it is forgotten.  I had to hear it from older members that were close to the oldest living Disciples to find out.  Racial issues is what started the Cobras and Disciples.  If there was no Dan Ryan push the Cobras and Disciples may have never existed.

The birth of the mighty Vice Lords

As I stated earlier in this piece the west side of Chicago was highly coveted by the white man and was a pipe dream for the black family as it was often too expensive or racially guarded.  By 1958 that was no longer the case as the highly coveted East Garfield Park community was now about to become majority black and black families were even able to settle in West Garfield Park with greater ease than normal.  Since 1955, Jewish families bailed out in mass exodus out of North Lawndale because they no longer approved of how the neighborhood changed, no not because they had more black neighbors, it was because the highway construction severely altered their community making it undesirable; therefore, the community was handed over more to lower income black families and crooked landlords.  As soon as this handoff happened the community became horribly disinvested and redlined leaving families in terrible poverty as the area crumbled into heavy blight.  Many families migrated from the Near West Side area specifically from the Maxwell Street Market area that was the foundation of early black gangs like the Imperial Chaplins, Egyptian Cobras, and the Clovers.  Now these groups found themselves in North Lawndale as their parents hoped to find a better functioning community for their children, but that of course would not come to fruition as this neighborhood immediately became disinvested by 1954.  Frustrated black youths that were lacking recreation and suffered boredom and poverty took to aggression and gang fighting which evolved into something very violent.  By 1958 the level of violence stepped up as guns and knives came into play and bodies were starting to drop.  The police in this area were harsh and brutal and acted as bullies to black youths instead of protectors.  Among this growing chaos a group of youths that had found organization while incarcerated in a juvenile detention center now wanted to bring their newfound organization to these streets.  The idea was brought here to North Lawndale in Autumn of 1958 when the notorious Vice Lords we know today first took to the streets of North Lawndale as the roamed anywhere in the neighborhood from Pulaski Street to Douglas Park.

These new Vice Lords needed to be tough as nails while being smarter and more well-balanced than Cobras, Clovers and Chaplins.  The Vice Lords were coming up in different scenarios than the Disciples and the Egyptian Cobras of the south side.  The Vice Lords were not trying to survive in a white neighborhood they were trying to have their beginnings in a black community that was surrounded by black gangs that once strove to fight against their oppressors when they haunted the streets of the Maxwell Street Market area.  These older groups bopped heads with Italian, Greek, Irish, Mexican and Puerto Rican gangs but always found themselves devoting most of their time to fighting other black gangs.  The Vice Lords offered an alternative to just “humbugging” and other forms of violence, they offered a true belonging to something more powerful and organized, a brotherhood that would stand up to these crooked cops, crooked landlords and store owners.  In order to be more effective, they needed to grow and suppress the powers of the less organized gangs of North Lawndale and the only way to do this besides preaching was to crack a lot of heads.  Not only did they need to fight and kill viciously they needed to take on larger enemies and allow themselves to be outnumbered, outgunned, and surrounded.  If they would prevail in these tight situations they would inherit another part of the west side streets, with much determination they achieved that goal.  The pain and anguish these young men went through to take these streets should not be something we need to ignore from history because it shows the world what young black men needed to go through just to keep some level of organization as this city aimed to keep the black community highly disorganized.  There is nothing our government feared more in these times than a group of organized black men.  The sad part of this history is as these young men got more powerful as a group, they lost the message the original Vice Lords were trying to convey, they also became just as violent or worse than their rivals the Cobras, Chaplins and Clovers.

At many points in history since 1964 the Vice Lords strove to regain their original goals of being guardians of their communities; however, it would always prove impossible to accomplish when having such a large membership.  In current decades, the Vice Lord nation gains popularity based upon how many bodies they leave on the streets or how much money they make but the real original foundation was based upon bettering themselves and their community.  This was a message lost several times and now is regarded as the ramblings of those known as “old heads.”

Hispanic settlement: the foundation of the Latin Counts and Spanish Cobras

As I had stated earlier in this piece the Dan Ryan expressway construction largely effected the black community but also did effect Hispanics and whites as well.  Much of the Puerto Rican and Mexican community from the Near West Side was forced to relocate in communities that already had deeply historic Hispanic settlement or some Hispanic families had to attach themselves to the public housing system.

Pilsen – The streets of Pilsen first saw Hispanic migration during World War II as a very small population of Mexican migrants boldly settled on the streets of Pilsen seeking work during the war time effort.  Communities like South Chicago, Back of the Yards and the Near West Side had a Mexican population since the former war effort during World War I but for some reason a group of Mexican families migrating from Texas decided to make Pilsen their home instead.  Perhaps it could have been because these families had already been living in the United States and found relation to a white population?  In either case their settlement was not an easy one indeed and these families faced discrimination from the Pilsen community and even law enforcement.  As their children grew older by the mid-1950s they no longer wanted to tolerate being bullied by white gangs and tormented by the police, so they put together their own gang called the Texans that became the first Hispanic gang to claim the 18th street area as their home.

The Texans were a smaller group and perhaps not real well-organized, but they almost couldn’t be because these streets were still over 99% white and having a big Mexican gang would stand out way too much.  In 1958 the Mexican population of Pilsen soon began to take a large turn as many displaced and/or freshly migrated Mexican families suddenly appeared on these streets.  Just like the Texans, a group of youths coming straight from Mexico stood together to stand up against the white gangs and crooked police that bullied the Mexican community.  These youths had so much pride in their original culture they took the name of “Sons of Mexico City.”  The Sons of Mexico City and the Texans quickly found common ground and the Texans were impressed with how well-organized the Sons of Mexico City were becoming and by the very beginning of 1959 the groups came together to create the Latin Counts that we know today that have thousands of members in the Chicago and Detroit areas.  This is the foundation of the Latin Counts that was brought up on fearlessness and the protection of the Mexican people in Pilsen.  The Counts were the first well-organized club in Pilsen and have outlived their rivals and allies on these streets.  Later in the year 1959 Ambrose, Satan Disciples, Rampants, Villa Lobos, Spartans and Morgan Deuces also moved onto 18th Street which all stemmed from the 1958 Hispanic migration wave to Pilsen.

Bridgeport – The streets of Bridgeport had long been associated with Irish organized crime, the oldest street gangs and the home of the biggest figures in the Chicago Democratic Machine.  This is the home of the Daley’s that once called themselves the mayors of this city.  This community has deep Italian, Lithuanian, Irish and Polish roots that go as far back as the birth of the city in the 1830s.  At one time Bridgeport was a violent slum with poverty on every corner and even the wealthy consisted of ex-crooks that graduated into advanced syndication or became part of Chicago politics.  I do not even think I need to mention the name Richard J Daley who grew up here and was an early gangbanger that graduated into politics.

For many decades residents of Bridgeport either downright hated the idea of people of color living on these streets or at least felt uneasiness because of what might change in their community.  For decades gangs and groups of men fought politically and physically against people of color to keep this community very white.  The battle to keep this community all-white began to be lost by 1958 when the Dan Ryan expressway displaced so many people of color from their homes in adjacent communities.  Richard J Daley was very careful not to allow the Dan Ryan to dig up any of Bridgeport and not upset his precious home but what he didn’t calculate is the sudden demand for people of color needing more public housing than ever especially those from the dilapidated tenement slums of the Near West Side and the south side along State street and Federal Street.  By 1958, so many white families no longer needed public housing now that the Great Depression era had fully come to an end so there was much vacancy in the local public housing projects known as the Bridgeport Homes along 31st Street.  Now black and Hispanic families found their way into this community through public housing but not by much choice of their own because they knew they would pay dearly for being black or brown on these streets.  They knew all about Bridgeport and the bloody history and the crazy gangs that haunted these streets for over 100 years.  Mexican and Puerto Rican families were the main minority group that now were residing in the projects, and they received anything from dirty looks to being spat on or beaten by hostile Bridgeporters.  In these very early days Puerto Ricans were the main minority group in the largest numbers in these projects, Mexican families would begin coming in two years later moving into houses or subdivided houses for rent.  The earliest struggle was felt by the Puerto Ricans until some of the youths had had enough.  In 1958 Puerto Rican youths came together in the projects to create Loco De Culebro, a very secretive group aimed at organizing young Puerto Rican men and women to stand up to the violent gangs of Bridgeport.  Two years later the group would rebrand as the “Spanish Cobras” which became somewhat of a household name in Bridgeport in the 1960s and early 1970s.  In the year 1969 the Spanish Cobra leadership would migrate to the East Humboldt Park community and merge with another gang to create the Insane Spanish Cobras we know today.  Before the Spanish Cobras made the news in the 1980s and 1990s for dealing drugs and killing people, they were built upon a foundation of community protection to protect the Puerto Rican people trying to live and work in a very hostile environment on the Bridgeport streets.

What’s going on in West Town?  The creation of Chi-West, C-Notes, Gaylords and Playboys

The West Town community has a long history of having many cultural identities from East Humboldt Park to East Village to Ukranian Village to Noble Square to River West and to the notorious Wicker Park neighborhood.  This area of Chicago has seen many changes in culture over time but the most significant has been the transition from white to Hispanic but in recent years it has converted back to mostly white in most areas.

The Smith Park area of southern West Town was known to be a very heavy Italian area that housed gangs like the Notorious Forty-Two Gang and before them was the black hand syndicates.  This is the area where the Chicago Outfit developed and grew the Grand Avenue Crew that has made headline news in recent decades.  This is the home of Joey the Clown Lombardo who lived at Ohio and Leavitt until he went to prison where he passed away.  Ohio and Leavitt is also the motherland of the notorious C-Notes street gang that still exists there presently and has been known to have heavy connections to the Chicago Outfit.  Many heavy hitter Chicago Outfit made men once were members of the C-Notes in their youth, a tradition that ran from the late 1950s until the 1980s.  Legend has it that the C-Notes date all the way back to the early 1950s; however, their earlier years did not have them as a street gang for youths.  In their early years, the C-Notes were a club for young men that would eventually move on to join the Outfit until finally they left the club to the youths by Ohio and Leavitt in the year 1958.  1958 is when the C-Notes became a street gang and as soon as they became a gang that roved all over West Town as the toughest pack of greasers you could ever meet.  They were perhaps the toughest greaser club in all of Chicago.  These greasers attended Wells High School and loved to pick on groups of youths that were often of other heritages and no I do not mean people of color, I mean Irish, German and Polish kids.  Don’t get me wrong the original C-Notes often had Irish and Polish kids and even some Puerto Ricans but they were largely Italian.  The C-Notes were very dominant and organized unlike all the other greaser gangs that had existed in West Town since the late 40s.  The C-Notes were part of the new organized era and dominated when and where they wanted.

This dominance often infuriated other groups of youths that had started off as just neighborhood kids playing sports together.  Now they were attending Wells High School and had to deal with the C-Notes daily.

The Gaylords began as a group of kids that got kicked out of the Postal Athletic Club in 1953 for getting drunk and ruining the club house.  These kids began going in their own direction and participating in sports on their own.  By 1956 they became the popular kids in school and that popularity swelled by 1958 to the point where there were about 100 of them hanging out.  This caught the attention of the C-Notes.  Even though C-Notes were in the “Patch” area and the future Gaylords were from Noble Square Grand Ave and Ogden Ave area they were both primarily Italian, attended the same school and often hung in the same areas between their respective hoods.  A clash would soon happen and the Gaylords organized in 1958 to fight the C-Notes and any other greaser clubs they did not like.  The Gaylords were about pride and honor and to be a member you had to be tough and a stand-up guy just like the C-Notes.  Some years later in the 1960s Gaylords and C-Notes would become allies because of these striking similarities.

After the C-Notes and Gaylords formed both groups often liked to dominate West Town, Wells High School, and many other teen hangouts.  Kids from Wicker Park were often the victim of bullying received from C-Notes and Gaylords and this led to the formation of three different gangs, the first of which was the Playboys that started out as a baseball team called the Naturals.  The Naturals were fun loving baseball players that attracted a large gathering of boys and girls that loved to hang out with the team by the summer of ’58 but once these kids got to Wells High their popularity became a threat to the dominance of the Gaylords and C-Notes and this is when the bullying began.  The boys that were not called Naturals made a demand that if they were to be in the same club as the Naturals the Naturals name and baseball team needed to dissolve in favor of the name Playboys.  The Playboys were then born as a highly organized group just like their enemies the Gaylords and C-Notes.  Two years later two other groups would form because of Gaylords and C-Notes called the Pulaski Park and Sons of Satan Slaves (later called the Ventures).  The three gangs came together in 1964 to form the Playboys Ventures Pulaski Park or P.V.P which lasted until 1980 when Pulaski Park and Ventures went extinct. The Playboys would last through the 1980s until extinction in 1990.

Another group that had ties to organized crime was the notorious Chi-West gang that started in Ukrainian Village in 1958.  Chi-West had ties to the lessor known Ukrainian mafia that did not make headlines like the Chicago Outfit.  Chi West was a very tough group of greasers that was willing to fight anyone at any time and often did not need any allies.  Even when Gaylords, C-Notes and P.V.Ps became good friends in the later 1960s Chi West declined this alliance and was willing to fight against all the Puerto Rican gangs all by themselves.

A legacy still in existence

At the time I am writing this piece here in 2022 all but one of the organizations I just wrote about above still exist on the streets of the Chicago area today.  The Gangster Disciples are the largest gang in Chicago area and one of the biggest gangs in the country with members almost everywhere.  The Black Disciples have become a very fast-growing organization and has graduated to becoming one of the top 10 largest gangs in the Chicago area.  The Vice Lords have several factions with a combined membership exceeding 25,000 plus members making them the second largest outfit in Chicago area if you factor in all the factions combined.  The Mickey Cobras remain on the south side of Chicago and remain low key with their existence just like how they began to become in 1962 when they adopted a quieter existence.  There are thousands of Mickey Cobras on the streets and in the prison systems.  The Latin Counts are well established all over the Midwest especially in Chicago area and Detroit area with thousands of members.  The Counts also still have a flourishing presence in Pilsen while several other groups that originated there have left. The Spanish Cobras still have a strong presence in Hermosa, Logan Square, and some other north side community areas. The Cobras are also present in many Chicago area suburbs.  C-Notes are still active at Ohio and Leavitt and will perhaps never leave the area withstanding the test of time.  Chi-West still has underground activity in West Town, although they do not necessarily claim territory they are still there.  Gaylords still have hundreds if not thousands of members; however, they do not claim turf or gangbang but they still are Gaylords and will get together whenever duty calls.  The P.V.Ps are no longer active; however, their legacy is so strong no one can forget their existence.

These top gangs will never disappear from the Chicago landscape, and they all have in common that they started in that fateful year of 1958.