Chicago: Gang War

"Mighty Blackstone Rangers" brags the challenge scrawled across the walls and barred store windows of Chicago's South Side slums. A loosely organized army numbering perhaps 2,500, the Rangers hold their neighborhoods in thrall. So far this year, 36 Chicagoans under 21 have been murdered, most of them in juvenile warfare for which the Rangers get the blame. Recruiters even pull pre-teenagers into the ranks, and one triggerman of 14 said that he had carried out a killing for a $6 fee.

A year ago, the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity financed a $927,341...

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