My Bloody Life: The Making of a Latin King

My Bloody Life: The Making of a Latin King

My Bloody Life: The Making of a Latin King

My Bloody Life: The Making of a Latin King


Looking for an escape from childhood abuse, Reymundo Sanchez turned away from school and baseball to drugs, alcohol, and then sex, and was left to fend for himself before age 14. The Latin Kings, one of the largest and most notorious street gangs in America, became his refuge and his world, but its violence cost him friends, freedom, self-respect, and nearly his life. This is a raw and powerful odyssey through the ranks of the new mafia, where the only people more dangerous than rival gangs are members of your own gang, who in one breath will say they'll die for you and in the next will order your assassination.


Although this book is based on the truth, the names of those involved and places where events occurred have been changed. The order of events has also been changed. However, all of these events did take place in the city of Chicago and the names of the gangs are real. I still have relatives who live in these gang-infested neighborhoods, so I've made these changes to protect them.

My real name and age are not important. I've written about everyday occurrences in the neighborhood I grew up in, a place where parents swap tragic tales about what Latino youths do to each other. Anybody who has been in or around a gang can tell a similar story, some even more tragic than mine. I choose to remain just another ex-gang member, one who opened his eyes in time to survive.

The point of this book is not merely to tell stories of gang life but to also provide some explanations for why kids join gangs and to point out that most kids are driven to gangs by adults, not by their peers or the dreaded “white man” who is blamed for every problem. I hope this book can save the life of at least one kid.

This book is also my attempt to make the brothers and sisters in gangs realize that the gang leaders are living the good life at their expense. Unfortunately, the people who need to hear this message the most will probably never read this book.

LATINO GANG MEMBERS kill other Latinos as part of their daily routine, but instead of changing themselves they blame police harassment and discrimination for all their social ills. In the meantime the Latin Kings and other street gangs continue to grow. They victimize Latino families by giving kids a false sense of belonging—something their parents fail to . . .

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