The Vice Lords street gang erupted into war 25 years ago, as legendary Chicago crime lord Willie Lloyd squared off with his former acting boss Tyrone (Baby Ty) Williams for bragging rights in the drug game on the Windy City’s notoriously dangerous West Side after Lloyd was released from a prison stay in the early 1990s. Williams had looked after the gang’s affairs on a day-to-day basis while Lloyd served four years behind bars on a gun charge. Lloyd’s penchant for micromanaging and his decision to start taxing his own men didn’t sit well with Williams and others in the Vice Lords hierarchy and less than a year following Lloyd walking free from state lockup, a feverish street feud engulfed the organization for a solid eight months.

When heat began building from within for Lloyd and his street-corner kingdom on the West Side, he took his family out of the city and relocated to the swanky North Shore suburb of Deerfield, setting up shop in a collection of hotel suites at a local Residence Inn and only returning to the city with a heavily-armed envoy of bodyguards in tow. Undeterred by this show of strength, Baby Ty, along with his four brothers (Kenny aka “Big Smooth,” Shelton aka “Mayor,” Cardell aka “C-Town” and Andre aka “A-Town”) joined forces with the Patterson brothers (Andrew aka “Bay-Bay,” Robert aka “Shaky,” and Henry aka “Bud,”) to oppose Lloyd’s leadership. Chaos ensued.


December 1992 – Willie Lloyd is released from Logan Correctional Institute in Lincoln, Illinois after four years on a weapons conviction. He is picked up at the prison gates by an entourage driving a fleet of limousines and baring gifts (mink coat, cellular phone) and ushered back to the West Side of Chicago where he first built his legacy decades earlier. During his incarceration, Lloyd racked up $1,000 per week telephone bills keeping in contact with the Williams brothers on the outside.

March 26, 1993 – Baby Ty Williams’ brothers and top lieutenants Shelton (Mayor) Williams and Cardell (C-Town) Williams are kidnapped by Williams loyalists and held for ransom over a $6,000 drug debt Willie Lloyd felt Baby Ty owed him. Negotiating with Lloyd via the phone, the Williams brothers forfeit a Mercedes-Benz automobile and are released.

March 27, 1993 – The Williams brothers stalk Lloyd to his hideout in Deerfield and then open fire on his Chevy Caprice Classic on a crowded Eisenhower Expressway in rush hour traffic near the Wolf Road exit. Lloyd isn’t in the car, but his infant son and sister are. The driver of the car, Lloyd’s bodyguard Victor (Trader Vic) Nichols is shot, but everyone else remains unharmed.

March 28-29, 1993 – Willie Lloyd is arrested for kidnapping the two Williams brothers and Baby Ty’s men are busted for the expressway shooting within 24 hours of each other.

September 12-14, 1993 – Four murders and three more shootings occur on Chicago’s West Side over a 48-hour period tied to the unrest. A pair of Lloyd’s teenage drug runners (Stanton Burch & Mike Purnham) are executed on train tracks by Roosevelt Road.

October 19, 1993 – Baby Ty’s men ambush Willie leaving a court session, boxing his car in at 19th & South Kedzie and opening fire. Four of the five occupants of the car are wounded, including Lloyd himself. Luckily, his two-year old son is again unscathed.

Oct 27, 1993 – Williams loyalist Artez (Tricky Ted) Thigpen is arrested for the Burch & Purnham slayings.

January 31, 1994 – Williams lieutenants Eugene Alexander and Keith Robinson are found guilty in the Eisenhower Expressway shooting.

April 8, 1994 – Lloyd is found not guilty at trial in the kidnapping of the Williams brothers.

April 13, 1994 – Lloyd and 30 Vice Lord followers are indicted in federal court for drug and racketeering.

May 18, 1994 – Lloyd cops a plea and pleads guilty to a weapons possession charge stemming from a gun federal agents confiscated during a raid (he receives an eight-year prison sentence).

June 7, 1996 – The Williams brothers and the Patterson brothers are convicted of drug and racketeering charges and for giving guns to undercover corrupt cops as a payoff in a CPD sting.

February 22, 2001 — Lloyd is released from federal prison and starts teaching a class in gang studies at DePaul University in Chicago’s posh Lincoln Park neighborhood.

August 20, 2003 – Lloyd is shot and paralyzed in Garfield Park on orders of Vice Lord leaders who resent his continual efforts to extort them.

June 19, 2016 – Willie Lloyd dies of natural causes at 65.

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