An Introduction to Gangs – Part 2, by T.N.

Specific Gangs, Their Behavior, and How To Identify Them

The examples given in this section are by no means the only gangs to be concerned with; they are just a few examples of some gangs you may see.


The Crips are a notorious gang that originated in Los Angeles California back in the 1960’s but have spread to every state in the nation with an estimated 35,000 members in 2007, according to FBI statistics. (This figure is based on the number who have been arrested and is likely a very low estimate.) They are predominantly an African-American ethnic gang; however, this does not hold true in all cases and regions of the U.S., as there are some sets that accept members from other races. Crips utilize the cell or set first structure, which means they are not very organized across the country and for the most part share little more than a common name and culture.

Crips share a lifestyle, which all Crips try to emulate. They refer to this life as Crippin’. It means you have no regard for life, others around you, and live only for your own fulfillment and to make money. Crips are notoriously ruthless and uncaring in their crimes, willing to kill young children and innocent bystanders with no remorse. In the lifestyle of Crippin’, one dresses in a flamboyant way. always “flagging” the color blue and wearing loose-fitting, expensive clothing; they speak using primarily slang terms and must always be ready to fight and kill any rival they see.

Crips often have entire neighborhoods (especially in the inner city suburbs of Los Angeles) where if you walk down the street wearing the wrong clothes or drive the wrong car, you will be shot and killed instantly, simply because you are not a Crip. Different sets control different neighborhoods and often fight over territory. However, they all fight together against common rivals, such as Bloods and Surenos, and they are united while in prison.

Crips’ primary criminal activity is selling drugs in the inner city; however, they often times branch out into activities like prostitution and murder for hire. Nationwide Crips are often willing to undertake any illegal activity, so long as it looks cool and makes money. They have little to no moral guidelines and promote a culture of sexual depravity and violence.

In addition to drugs, another major income source for the Crips is the Hip-Hop music industry. Many famous rappers have been members of the Crips, and even after they have had success and escaped the inner city they usually remain strictly loyal to their set and will use their lawfully-gained money to finance illegal activities. They have also formed many record studios and dance clubs as fronts for illegal activities. Another more recent occurrence is several prominent sports stars who are members, using their fame and money to promote and recruit for the Crips as well as hiring gang members as bodyguards.

In recent years, it has become more difficult to identify a Crip, because the fashion in America has taken to emulating their loose-fitting, expensive clothes and the wearing of gaudy jewelry. The slang used by the Crips has also become very popular, and many non-gang member teenagers have been using the slang terms once used to identify Crips. One surefire way to identify a Crip, however, is the flagging of the color blue (usually in the form of a blue handkerchief in the back pocket), or the tattoo’s.

Common tattoos are the words Crip, BloodKiller, BK, Crippin’, CripLoc, and anything identifying the neighborhood or set they are from. They also will commonly have tattoos of hands throwing up gang signs. There are many other common tattoos Crips use, but these are the ones that are only found on Crips and should not be on someone who just emulates the pop culture.

Also a common practice amongst Crips, especially from the Los Angeles area, is to avoid using the letter B. They associate this with the rival gang The Bloods. They will call each other Cuz’ rather than Brother or Bro’. They will also refer to birthdays as C-Day. You might hear one say “hey Cuz’ happy C-Day.” This practice becomes less common in other parts of the country. Also, Crips will always replace their name with a nickname or moniker like CRAZY, D-LOC, or KILLA DOGG, but this practice is actually very common among most street gangs around the country.

Crips are very prone to violence, and the sets with larger drug trafficking abilities usually stay very well armed. It is not uncommon for Crip sets to have access to fully automatic weapons, such as Uzi’s or AK-47’s smuggled in from overseas. Another very disturbing trend in the recent years is for the Crips to encourage young members with clean records to go into the US Military. This has caused a significant change in the way some of the more powerful sets operate, as the members return from service with new training to pass on to the gang. Military service members have also been caught in recent years stealing grenades and military weapons and smuggling them to their gang back home.

In a SHTF situation when the threat of law enforcement is diminished or gone totally, the Crips are likely to try to expand their influence and territory. At first this will most likely be a series of very violent and bloody clashes between sets for control of entire cities. However, in due time, more powerful sets will likely absorb smaller sets, creating little warlord fiefdoms inside urban areas. Due to strict gun control laws in most major U.S. cities that have large Crip populations’ (coincidence?) non-involved citizens will likely be pillaged and victimized at will. In areas where the citizenry is armed and the populations of Crip members remains low, the gang members themselves will likely either remain quiet or will be killed off by citizens defending themselves. However, if looting occurs in these areas you can expect the Crips to join in.

In our current society, it is best to simply avoid Crips. This is easy to do simply by avoiding the neighborhoods they inhabit, and when you encounter them at the mall or movie theater simply stay alert, but mind your own business. So long as you do not involve yourself in unlawful activity or delve deeply into the Hip-Hop culture, you are likely not to have a problem.

After an EVENT when SHTF, this may not be an option. The best thing you can do, if you live in an area with a high gang population within a two hours drive, is to leave. Otherwise, be prepared to defend yourself, your family, and your property from a horde of roaming thugs in blue. They will likely be well armed and, with the military training they have been slowly receiving, they will be very dangerous, even if they tend not to be well organized. If the opportunity arrives for you to attempt peaceful trade, I would recommend against this course of action. Obviously situations may dictate it by necessity, and you must also remember that there are people who have dropped out or severed all ties to this gang yet still are left with the tattoos. Use your best judgment.


The Bloods are in many respects very similar to the Crips and as such I will only cover the things that are different.

Bloods flag the color red and will usually have tattoos such as Blood, Piru, CripKilla, CK, Blood family, and other tattoos associated with their set or neighborhood. Bloods are very partial to wearing red jackets and jerseys of sports teams, like the San Francisco 49ers or Kansas City Chiefs. Although the Crips will recruit members from all racial groups, the Bloods have a much higher level of diversity. There are entire large sets made up entirely of Pacific Islander groups, such as Micronesians or Tongans, as well as being very popular amongst Vietnamese immigrants.

1% Outlaw Biker Gangs:

There are many different biker gangs in the U.S., so I will give a general overview of them and talk about a few of the more notorious groups.

Most motorcycle clubs are peaceful and law abiding people. In fact, the name 1% comes from a magazine article that says “99% of motorcycle riders are good law-abiding people, and we are the other 1%”.

1% Outlaw Biker gangs or “clubs” often wear an easy to identify jacket or vest with three patches on the back identifying the club name, chapter location, and a symbol. They also commonly wear a patch reading 1%.

Commonly, biker gangs will operate out of a clubhouse for each chapter and have a chapter in different towns within their territory. They usually have a mixture of legal and illegal activities, which will usually include making and selling of meth as well as being guns for hire. Not all members of a biker gang are criminals either. What differentiates a 1% biker gang from a lawful club is that they allow and promote the criminal activity, not that it is always required for membership.

Biker gangs use a very strict para-military structure in which members have different ranks and different duties; however, one thing unique to a biker gang is that many of them operate on a democratic base with rules of conduct. They often times operate more like a corporation than they do a criminal gang.

Biker gangs usually have standards of behavior that are very different than mainstream society. They strongly promote sexual depravity and violence, but they have rules of conduct, which must not be violated.

If you come into contact with these groups, it is best to be alert and leave them alone. Because of their strong rules of conduct, they will usually conduct themselves fairly in a business situation, but don’t try to take advantage of them, as they can turn violent. If they are not in a peaceful frame of mind, be cautious as they can be ruthless.

Due to the differences of rules and patch designs from club to club, I encourage you to go online and research the clubs to find out which ones operate near you. Below is a list of some of the more prominent 1% clubs around the nation for you to research. They are pretty up front with who they are and post pictures of their emblems and locations on the Internet.

  • Hell’S Angels (likely the biggest and most powerful. Operates MANY legal businesses and conducts most of its business above board. They are, however, well known for murder and like using both bombs and a ball peed hammer.)
  • Brother Speed (common in the northwest U.S. It’s not very powerful but well organized in its local areas.)
  • Mongols (found mainly in the southwest. They are mostly known for drug trafficking, but in a war with the Hell’s Angels they committed several bombings and murders.)
  • Hessians
  • Vagos
  • Pagans
  • Outlaws
  • Bandidos
  • Gypsie Jokers