The Vice Lords was founded in 1958 by Edward Pepilow Perry and several other incarcerated African American youths at the State Training School for Boys in St. Charles, Illinois. In 1960, paroled members then organized the violent gang in the mean streets of North Lawndale Chicago and began committing crimes such as petty theft and robbery. As the gang multiplied in numbers so did the severity of its crimes. The ruthless gang eventually branched out into factions and made numerous rivals. Most of the gang’s older members claim to be followers of the Moorish-American Muslim religion.

Symbols: VL, AMVLN, colors black, gold and red, Pittsburg Steelers Pirates attire
Ranking structure: Paramilitary
Territory: Chicago, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas, and Kansas
Alliances: none
Members: 35, 000
Racial make up: Black, Hispanic, some whites and others
Threat: High

In 1982 incarcerated members decided to unite all of its VL branches by forming the Almighty Vice Lords Nation. The Almighty Vice Lord Nation is comprised of the gangs 10 largest branches, the Conservative Vice Lords, Imperial Vice Lords, Mafia Insane Vice Lords, Renegade Vice Lords, Traveling Vice Lords, Conservative Vice Lords, Undertaker Vice Lords, The Notorious Vice Lords, Imperial Insane Vice Lords, Four Corner Hustlers, and the Unknown Vice Lords.

The violent Vice Lords gang is highly organized and operates under a paramilitary chain of command. The highest ranking ministers are referred to as the "Five Star Universal League”, the gangs generals are known as the “Three Star League”. The “Leagues are authorized to order the gangs foot soldiers.


In 1958, the Vice Lords is founded by Edward Pepilow Perry and several other incarcerated African American youths at the Illinois State Training School for Boys in St. Charles. (Gang Intelligence 101)

In 1960, paroled members of the Vice Lords organize in the mean streets of North Lawndale Chicago and began committing crimes such as petty theft and robbery. (Gang Intelligence 101)

In 1983, members of the Black Gangster Disciples shoot and kill rival Vice Lords member Billy Green in retaliation of a prior gang shooting. (Fagan v. Washington, 942 F.2d 1155 (C.A.7 (Ill.), 1991)

On August 20, 1983, several Vice Lord members brutally beat and murder rival Black Mobster member Kevin Jackson in Chicago, Illinois. (Harmon v. McVicar, 95 F.3d 620 (C.A.7 (Ill.), 1996)


On August 16, 1986, Vice Lords members murder William Wilks in Elkhart, Indiana. (Groves v. State, 787 N.E.2d 401 (Ind. App., 2003)

On September 24, 1986, Vice Lords members Lawrance Jackson and Bobby Driskel invade the home of Vernita Winder and brutally murder the family of four in Chicago, Illinois. (People v. Jackson, 182 Ill.2d 30, 695 N.E.2d 391 (Ill., 1998)

On September 25, 1992, Vice Lords members shoot and kill Minneapolis Police Officer Jerome Haaf. (El-Shabazz v. State, 754 N.W.2d 370 (Minn., 2008)

On November 16, 1992, Vice Lords members invade the home of Jeffrey Lassiter and murder him and his girlfriend Sharon Haugabook in Chicago, Illinois. (People v. Patrick, 697 N.E.2d 1167, 298 Ill.App.3d 16 (Ill. App. 1 Dist., 1998)

On September 12, 1993, Vice Lord members kidnap and murder drug dealers, Stanton Burch and Michael. (82. People v. Harvey, Docket Nos. 89106, 89760, 90278 cons)


On April 14, 2002, Vice Lords members do a drive by shooting and kill eight-year-old DeMarcus Hanson. (People v. Anderson, No. 2-04-0487 (Ill. App. 9/28/2006) (Ill. App., 2006)

On July 4, 1993, Vice Lords members shoot and kill Armando Gomez at the Mi Tenampa bar and restaurant in Chicago. (People v. Joya, 744 N.E.2d 891 (Ill. App. 1 Dist., 2001)

On November 1993, Vice Lords members shoot and kill Ed Harris in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Flournoy v. State, 583 N.W.2d 564 (Minn., 1998)

On July 31, 1994, Vice Lord members shoot and kill William Thurman at a Chicago liquor store. (State v. Mason, 756 N.E.2d 365 (Ill. App. 1 Dist., 2001) 

On October 2, 1994, Vice Lord members shoot and kill Alphonso Taylor and Damon Royal as they were walking east on 86th Street in Chicago, Illinois. (People v. Joya, 744 N.E.2d 891, 319 Ill. App.3d 370 (Ill. App. Ct., 2001)

February 11, 1995, Vice Lord members shoot and kill Corey Pittman at a Milwaukee, Wisconsin tavern after the victim accidentally stepped on one of the gang members shoes. (State v. Willis, 577 N.W.2d 386, 217 Wis.2d 289 (Wis. App., 1998)

November 3, 1995, Vice Lord members kidnap, rob and murder Robbie Barrett in Chicago, Illinois. (State v. Wilder, 760 N.E.2d 496, 325 Ill. App.3d 987 (Ill. App. Ct., 2001)

On March 9, 1996, Vice Lords members shoot Donquelo Bailey, Deon Brisco and Derrick Rogers as their walking down a street in Chicago.  Donquelo Bailey is killed. (People v. Young, 738 N.E.2d 134 (Ill. App. 1 Dist., 2000)

On April 19, 1996, high ranking incarcerated Vice Lord members order the murder of correctional officer Sergeant Dedrick Taylor. (State v Thompson & Jackson (Tenn. Crim. App., 2001)


On April 8, 1997, members of the Blackstone gang murder rival Vice Lord Anthony Darring by shooting the victim in the head in Chicago. (People v. Island, 896 N.E.2d 802 (Ill. App., 2008)

On June 12, 1998, Lamar Jones is killed by a stray bullet fired by Vice Lords members in Iowa. (Moore v. State, No. 4-342/03-1223 (IA 10/27/2004) (IA, 2004)

On January 14, 1999, Vice Lord members brutally beat and murder Edward Crafter in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Frerrell v. State, 746 N.E.2d 48 (Ind., 2001)


On July 21, 1999, Vice Lords members rob and murder Steven Cooks in Memphis, Tennessee. (State v. Smith (Tenn. Crim. App., 2002)


On March 1, 2000, Vice Lords members murder Dwayne Cobbins of The One Ways gang in Chicago, Illinois. (People v. Eastling, No. 1-05-2969 (Ill. App. 10/20/2008) (Ill. App., 2008)

On August 29, 2000, Vice Lords members murder Levell Applewhite in Chicago, Illinois. (People v. Bloomingburg, No. 1-02-2359 (Ill. App. 2/3/2004) (Ill. App., 2004)

On July 20, 2001, 18 Vice Lord members are indicted on federal charges of high intensity cocaine trafficking. (U.S. v. Suggs, 374 F.3d 508 (7th Cir. 2004)


On April 11, 2002, Vice Lord members shoot and kill Montrell Graham over a game of dice in Memphis, Tennessee. (State v. Harris, No. W2006-02234-CCA-R3-CD (Tenn. Crim. App. 8/24/2007)

On July 16, 2003, Vice Lord members gun down innocent trucker, Nikolay Shedko as he's about to unload near the Rockwell Gardens Housing Project in Chicago. (People v. Dixon, 882 N.E.2d 668 (Ill. App., 2007)


On September 8, 2004, 45 Vice Lord members are indicted on charges of drug trafficking and firearms offenses. (State v. Blue, 792 N.E.2d 1149, 205 Ill.2d 1 (Ill., 2001)


In 2007, twenty-four Vice Lords members are charged in federal court in  Milwaukee. (Associated Press)



PRISON ART: Learn how prisoners with art skills are making money behind the walls.

PRISON TATTOOS: Ever wonder how inmates are able to tattoo while behind bars?

POLICE AND MMA - Why some police and x-cons are turning to Mixed Martial Arts.



BLACK GUERRILLA FAMILY - The BGF attracted thousands of angry African-American offenders.....

CRIPS - The Crips gang was founded in the Watts district of Los Angeles, California in 1969...................

CRIPS AND BLOODS SETS - Crips and Bloods sets from A to Z ..............................................................

BLOODS - The Bloods became a full scale prison gang when members of different sets decided to unite

FOUR CORNER HUSTLERS - In 1969, the Four Corner Hustlers is founded in Chicago, Illinois............

GANGSTER DISCIPLES - In 1986, the GD’s decided to organize a unity structure inside the prison.......

MANDINGO WARRIORS - The Mandingo Warriors is a black prison gang that was founded in 1981..