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The Simon City Royals, formally the Almighty Simon City Royal Nation, are a
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, and
prison gang A prison gang is an inmate organization that operates within a prison system. It has a corporate entity and exists into perpetuity. Its membership is restrictive, mutually exclusive, and often requires a lifetime commitment. Prison officials and oth ...
which began in
Chicago (''City in a Garden''); I Will , image_map = , map_caption = Interactive maps of Chicago , coordinates = , coordinates_footnotes = , subdivision_type = Country , subd ...

Chicago
during 1952 as Simon City, a greaser gang. They named themselves for Simons Park, which is located on the corner of Drake and Wabansia in the Humboldt Park neighborhood where they originally formed. The Royals are one of the oldest and largest white gangs in the US. The Royals are heavily involved in the dealing of illegal drugs and other contraband, particularly in prisons where members are incarcerated. They have successfully bribed a prison guard in
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to smuggle drugs into an institution and are involved in
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and
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ing. The gang has expanded to other states, and is one of the fastest-growing gangs in
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.


Early years

In the 1960s, Simon City became involved in turf wars with other gangs including the Imperial Gangsters, Latin Kings, Jokers, Drakers, and Belairs. By this time, the gang had begun to expand and organize and had spread to other neighborhoods on the northwest side. They started talks with a gang called the Ashland Royals who were headquartered on the corner of Paulina and Cornelia streets. The leader of Simon City, Michael Kraft, fought a leading member of the Royals and lost, with the result being that the two gangs merged into one. The gang was now called ''Simon City's Angry Royals'', soon to be shortened to ''Simon City Royals''. Some sections of Simon City continued to operate as a separate group under the old name for a few years before either joining the merged group or leaving the gang entirely.


Turf wars and alliances

In the 1970s, the gang had tenuous alliances to the city's two major white gangs, the Popes and the Chicago Gaylords, Gaylords. In 1975, the Gaylords killed Larry "Larkin" Morris, then the leader of the Popes, and the Popes decided to form an alliance with the Royals. The Royals also fought major "wars" with the Latin Kings, Insane Deuces and Latin Eagles in which many lives were lost, including some of the top ranking Simon City Royals. By this time the Royals had spread out to include neighborhoods like Albany and School, Drake and Wolfram, Southport and Fullerton, Central Park and Wilson, California and Fletcher, Farwell and Clark, Marshfield and Grace, among others. The Southport and Fullerton Royals were involved in a "war" with the Insane Unknowns because they had killed the leader of the Unknowns after inviting him to a peace meeting. The ensuing war between the Unknowns and the Southport and Fullerton Royals would result in many deaths in both gangs. The changing demographics of the neighborhood eventually drove out most of the Southport and Fullerton Royals. To protect their members in prison and to maintain some presence on the streets, the Royals opted to join the Folk Nation which sprang up in the late 70s/early 80s. The leader of the Simon City Royals, Todd O'Thomas, aka Todd Brewer, was killed by the Puerto Rican Stones in the early 80s.


Decline

The Royals entered into vicious street wars with the Latin Kings, Insane Deuces and Gaylords. In 1984, the Royals shot a 14-year-old Gaylord in the back, killing him. One of the Gaylords present was Michael Scott, who would later go on to write a book about his days as aLords of Lawndale". Hours after the murder, Scott identified a Royal named Mike Hynes as one of the shooters and testified against him. Hynes and Orlando Serrano, who claimed to not be a gang member, were tried for murder. Serrano was found not guilty, but Hynes was convicted in part because of testimony given by fellow Simon City Royal members, as well as testimony given by Scott and two others who were present when the killing occurred. Hynes spent over twenty years in prison and was killed shortly after his release after being involved in the stabbing of a woman in a Chicago bar.


Later history

The Royals killed several members of the Deuces and the Kings and the PR Stones in the 1980s, in addition to the 14-year-old that they shot in the back. By the early 90s, however, they had begun to feud with their former allies, the Spanish Cobras and Latin Disciples. The Royals killed several Cobras and had some of their members killed in return. Out of necessity, they entered into a grouping within the Folks alliance known as the Almighty Family. This faction consists of the Royals, Imperial Gangsters, Harrison Gents, Latin Eagles and Ambrose. The Royals still control some of their historic strongholds on the north side of Chicago and have spread into the suburbs and other states such as Wisconsin and Mississippi. Today they still consist of mostly white members but also includes many Latin American and African American members as well. In 2003, they changed their traditional colors of black and royal blue for the historic color scheme re-introduced that year by the Kansas City Royals: black, white and blue.


See also

* Gangs in the United States ** Gangs in Chicago


References


External links


University of ILL. Gang Research
{{Organized crime groups in America Organizations established in 1952 1952 establishments in Illinois Organizations based in Chicago Italian-American culture in Chicago West Side, Chicago Folk Nation Street gangs European-American gangs Gangs in Chicago Gangs in Mississippi Gangs in Wisconsin