This is the beginning of a series of articles about street gangs in our nation. Gone are the days back in the 1960s and before when gangs were social organizations and were geographically linked. Beginning in the 1970s, these street gangs evolved into criminal organizations. They are the generators of murder, drugs, robbery, etc. No longer are they cool or cute. They are pure savages craving fast money and a fast life style. This week let's take a look at Detroit.
One of the earliest gangs was the Errol Flynns. They took the name from the Caucasian movie star. Funny, Errol Flynn was a Nazi sympathizer and a complete bigot. The Flynns developed a good structure on the eastside of the Motor City. Like most gangs, the members had creative nick names and hand gestures that would provide quick identity. Their specialty was heroin. They became quite wealthy and had 400 members at their height of activity. A lot of smaller gangs began to pop up, especially on the west side. "Dexter Boys," "Schoolcraft Boys," "7 Mile Boys," "8 Mile Sconys" and just about every major thoroughfare soon had a representative gang.
The new gangs eventually started cutting into the Errol Flynns market share. When crack cocaine hit the city and became a much cheaper alternative to heroin, the Flynns started to flounder and eventually faded away. Soon came the emergence of Young Boys Inc. (Y.B.I.). This gang was more sophisticated and showed organizational prowess. They eventually controlled more than 80 percent of the Detroit heroin business between 1978 through 1982. That didn't satisfy their greed and they started opening franchises in other cities.