East Humboldt Park (part of West Town)
East Humboldt Park (part of West Town)

East Humboldt Park (part of West Town)

Area West Side

loomingdale Avenue on the north, Chicago Avenue on the south, Western Avenue on the east, California Avenue to Sacramento Avenue on the west.

Gangs founded Insane Campbell Boys, Insane Dragons, Maniac Latin Disciples, Maniac Campbell Boys, Latin Jivers, Puerto Rican Stones, Jokers,
Gangs headquartered Insane Dragons, Maniac Latin Disciples, Spanish Cobras, Maniac Campbell Boys, Jokers,

This area in bounded by: Bloomingdale Avenue on the north, Chicago Avenue on the south, Western Avenue on the east, California Avenue to Sacramento Avenue on the west.  This area is technically part of the West Town neighborhood as this area is a sub-neighborhood of the larger West Town.  This area needs to be distinguished from West Humboldt Park as both neighborhoods have many similarities but many differences especially if I am to effectively tell the tale of Chicago gangs.  I don’t have much of a history lesson on the neighborhood itself because research takes me to general Humboldt Park research.  It wasn’t until recent years that this area has been given its own name.  It was sorely needed because this part that lies east of the park has always been within West Town borders but not West Humboldt Park.

This neighborhood was originally settled by Polish, German and Russian Jews in the 19th century and early 20th century.

Greaser gangs roamed these streets in the 1950s as they battled many groups all over West Town, Logan Square and West Humboldt Park.  The most notorious gang was the Jokers who were a violent and dangerous white gang that formed on these streets in 1956 at Washtenaw and Cortez.  The Jokers mainly dominated the entire southern part of this community.

In the year 1959, this area began to be settled by Puerto Ricans in higher volume in the northern area north of Divison Street.  Before 1959, this neighborhood only had minimal Puerto Rican settlement.  These early Puerto Rican migrants were constantly bullied and attacked by white gangs from the surrounding area like Chi-West, Gaylords, PVPs, Jokers and Simon City.  This led Humboldt Park and West Town area Puerto Ricans to create gangs for protection. The first Hispanic gang was the Noble Knights. Some early known groups of East Humboldt Park were the Latin Angels, Latin Scorpions, and the Paragons.  The Paragons migrated from Lincoln Park area.  One of the most significant group to form on these streets was the Latin Invaders.  These gangs got into very violent altercations with white gangs but many of times these groups were disorganized or even seedy groups that attracted crime and drugs to the area.  This was frowned upon by groups of Hispanic youths that formed the Latin Kings in 1964 as an effective way to fight back against hostile white gangs.

The Harrison Gents moved here from the Near West Side neighborhood and settled right by the park.  The Gents were a African American and Hispanic group that had Hispanic members move here in 1964.  The Gents were needed to help prevent the Gaylords street gang from beating up Puerto Rican youths trying to play in Humboldt park; however, the Gents would end up fighting with Latin Kings too.

In the summer of 1966, African American and Puerto Rican youths on the northern part of the city came together unifying against oppression.  Black and Puerto Rican gangs even came together and for some reason these streets were a big point of unification between Puerto Rican youths and Black P Stones and Black Disciples.  The Black Disciples assisted a group of youths at Rockwell and Potomac to create the legendary Maniac Latin Disciples that year, while Black P Stones got together with youths closer to the park to create the Puerto Rican Stones.  The Puerto Rican Stones would not last long on these streets until they moved to Lake View and Albany Park but the Maniac Latin Disciples would eventually become a major part of this community for generations.  Between the years of 1966 to 1972 Latin Kings and Maniac Latin Disciples worked together and fought white gangs and were active with community projects.

The Division Street riots of 1966 ripped through this area causing massive destruction as a major protest over the wrongful police treatment of the Puerto Rican people was the reason for the chaos.  Shortly after the Latin Kings embarked upon a conquest to rid the West Town and Humboldt Park areas of undesirable Puerto Rican gangs that brought drugs and crime to the area, this is when Latin Kings took apart the Latin Angels and Paragons.

In the year 1966 Latin Kings settled at Maplewood and Wabansia and opened a sandwich shop at Rockwell and Hirsh and now the Latin Kings became the biggest gang in East Humboldt Park battling the Jokers for dominance.  The Latin Kings controlled the northern part of the community while Jokers controlled the southern portion.  The Latin Kings flipped the Noble Knights in 1966 and this move gained them control of the whole northern part of the neighborhood.

In the year 1969, a group called the Spanish Cobras migrated here from the Bridgeport community as they bonded with the Latin Invaders.  The groups came together and created the Spanish Cobras we know today.

In the year 1970, the Insane Dragons formed in the southern part of this area and became deep rivals against hostile white gangs.  The Dragons moved in after the Jokers mostly moved out.

In the year 1972, Maniac Latin Disciples broke out into war with the Latin Kings after the Latin Kings stabbed a leader/founder of the Disciples to death.  This is what started the permanent war between Latin Kings and Disciples.

In the mid-1970s Spanish Cobras became Insane Spanish Cobras and at some point either during this time or before they also went to war with Latin Kings.  In the year 1976 Spanish Cobras and Maniac Latin Disciples became very close allies as they teamed up against the Latin Kings. 1976 was also a big year for Spanish Cobra expansion in this neighborhood as they flipped one gang after another to join their ranks.

In the year 1978, the Latin Disciples began selling drugs very heavily in the area and involved the Spanish Cobras.  The crime rate soon soared in this area as drugs, gangs and violent crime became a major issue.

In 1978, a new gang would form called the Latin Jivers.  The Jivers allied with Latin Disciples and Spanish Cobras to further help push out Latin Kings.

In the year 1979 Latin Kings withdrew from Maplewood and Wabansia and the store on Rockwell had closed quite some time before then.  This was often due to a key incarceration of the Latin King leader of this area.

In the year 1980 Insane Campbell Boys were birthed on these streets then in 1984 the Maniac Campbell Boys were started here making East Humboldt Park the motherland for multiple gangs.

This neighborhood became a war zone in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s as invading gangs often sparked much conflict with native gangs here.  For the most part in the 1980s and early 1990s the Folk alliance kept Insane Dragons, Maniac Latin Disciples, Spanish Cobras, Latin Jivers, YLO Cobras, Maniac Campbell Boys, Insane Campbell Boys, Imperial Gangsters and Milwaukee Kings as close allies.  Insane Campbell Boys, Spanish Cobras, Insane Dragons and YLO Cobras were bound by a Folk sub-alliance known as Insane.  Maniac Latin Disciples, Maniac Campbell Boys, Milwaukee Kings and Latin Jivers were bound by the sub-alliance of Maniac.  These two Folk alliance groups got along quite well until violent conflict began to brew in 1993 and would evolve into full war by 1997.  Now Insanes and Maniacs were killing each other viciously which caused some gangs to fade from the area.

In recent years much of this neighborhood became taken over by hipsters and yuppies as property is now going up in value.  New trendy businesses and finer restaurants have been put in that further increased the value of the community.  It has now become necessary for the name “East Humboldt Park” to be used in order to distinguish this rising neighborhood with the still struggling impoverished West Humboldt Park neighborhood.

This neighborhood serves as the birthplace of the Maniac Campbell Boys, Insane Campbell Boys, Latin Jivers, Insane Dragons and Maniac Latin Disciples street gangs.

In the earliest years this neighborhood was dominated by the Latin Kings and Jokers until late in the 1970s then by 1976 the tables turned as Spanish Cobras and Maniac Latin Disciples became the dominant groups in this neighborhood.

In recent years I do not really know how much gang activity happens here.  The Insane Dragons continue to have a presence but the Maniac Latin Disciples and Spanish Cobras have mostly had to leave this area due to gentrification from upper classes in the northern area of the neighborhood.  The Dragons are in the southern portion.

For those of you that are from the young urban professional group you might be interested to know these gangs have walked your streets over time:


Jokers Established 1956-1975

Division to Chicago Ave, Western to California

Latin Angels Established 1962-1966

Maplewood & Division

Paragons Established 1962-1966

Washtenaw & Potomac

Latin Invaders Established 1962-1969

Campbell & Division

Latin Scorpions Established 1962

Not sure where

Imperial Gangsters

Western & Cortez

Harrison Gents Established 1964

Augusta & Fairfield

Lemoyne & California (Humboldt Park) Established 1964

Noble Knights Established 1959-1966

North Ave to Division, Western Ave to California

Latin Kings Established 1966-1979

Maplewood & Wabansia (1966-1979)

Insane Campbell Boys Established 1980-1994

Augusta & Campbell

Insane Dragons Established 1970-present years

Augusta to Chicago Ave, Sacramento to Campbell Established 1970 (Dragon’s Pitt, The Rocks, Vato Land)

Iowa from Western to California (Iowa Village)

Latin Jivers Established 1978

Crystal & Washtenaw (Dark Crystal) Established 1978

Spanish Cobras Established 1969-present years

Division to Potomac, Campbell to Maplewood Established 1963 as Latin Invaders, as Spanish Cobras 1969

Haddon & Washtenaw Established 1976

Artesian & Potomac Established 1973

Thomas & Campbell Established?

Artesian & Hirsch Established 1969-1969

Artesian & Lemoyne Established 1973

Fairfield & Lemoyne Established 1976

Evergreen & Washtenaw Established 1976

YLO Cobras

Rockwell from Potomac to Division

Artesian & Potomac

Latin Stylers

Le Moyne and Fairfield

Maniac Campbell Boys Established 1984

North Ave to Hirsch, Talman to Artesian

Maniac Latin Disciples Established 1966-present years

North Ave to Hirsch, California to Washtenaw

North Ave to Hirsch, Talman to Maplewood (Monk Land)

Evergreen to Crystal, California to Washtenaw

Washtenaw & Wabansia

Maplewood & Wabansia (Maplewood Park)

Evergreen from Rockwell to Washtenaw

Rockwell & Potomac (Twilight Zone) Established 1966

Talman & Wabansia (Real Side, T-Dubb)

Cortez & Washtenaw

Thomas & Washtenaw (Murder Town

Milwaukee Kings

Beach & Lemoyne

Puerto Rican Stones Established 1966-early 70s

Lemoyne & California