Cover image for My bloody life : the making of a Latin King
My bloody life : the making of a Latin King
Sanchez, Reymundo, 1963-
Personal Author:
1st ed.
Publication Information:
Chicago : Chicago Review Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xviii, 299 pages ; 24 cm
A former member of the Latin King gang describes his search as a young Latino for a place to call home, discussing his abusive childhood; his escape to drugs, alcohol, sex, and the streets of Chicago; and his entry into one of the largest street gangs in America.
La Familia -- Chicago -- Humboldt Park -- Beatings Begin -- Spanish Lords -- Murder in the 'Hood -- My Teacher Maria -- No Paradise -- No Home -- Jenny -- Lords of Nothing -- Chi-West -- Coward -- Can't Be Normal Even If I Tried -- First Kill -- Acceptable Difference -- Officer Friendly -- China -- Back to the Hunting Grounds -- Betrayed into a Coma -- Madness -- Rosie -- Convenient Agreement -- My Girl -- Prove Myself Worthy -- Rape -- Crowned -- Violence Rules -- Madman -- Losing Maplewood Park -- My Rosie -- Down Brother -- Poor Rosie -- Juni -- Loca -- Morena, R.I.P. -- NRA? Lucky's Death -- Crazy Ways -- Disciplined -- No Lesson Learned -- Spread the Violence -- Enemies Near -- Disowned -- Way It Is -- Another Addiction -- Close Call -- Law -- Free? -- Older Woman -- Love Lost -- Lesson Learned, Finally -- Crownless -- Tragedies Continue With or Without Me.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.8 19.0 104999.


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F548.9.P85 S26 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
F548.9.P85 S26 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
F548.9.P85 S26 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



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.

Author Notes

Reymundo Sanchez is the pseudonym of a former Latin King who no longer lives in Chicago

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Sanchez, who had been raped at age five by a cousin, left Puerto Rico for Chicago when he was seven, and reveled in his new home, excelling in school and at baseball. But his unloving mother married a monster, and by the time Sanchez was ten, he was taking to the streets to avoid their vicious beatings. Frightened by the bloodshed, he resisted joining the Latin Kings, the largest and most violent gang in the city, but by the time he was 13, Sanchez was drinking and getting high and training himself to suppress his compassion and embrace the very brutality he had suffered. Initiated into sex by a woman nearly three times his age, he became a sexual predator and soon felt no compunction about shooting his rivals. A survivor who turned his life around, Sanchez writes plainly and powerfully, and what is shocking about his tragic tale is not the barbaric actions of young gangbangers but the appalling collusion of adults, from criminally abusive parents to mercenary gun dealers and immoral cops. --Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

Chicago in the 1980s provides the setting for this extremely disturbing and raw account of a Puerto Rican teenager who lost himself to violent gang activity. Now repentant, Sanchez (a pseudonym) writes in a voluble voice, replete with operatic asides declaiming the immorality of his actions. But he offers a forceful and unusual perspective on ChicagoÄin Sanchez's telling, it's a place of territorial graffiti and racist cops, in which a slow-motion riot of drugs, sex and gunplay constantly unfolds. Sanchez recounts his family's arrival in Chicago's Northwest Side in the late 1970s, when he was a small boy; he describes the beatings his grifter stepfather regularly doled out; and he portrays the allure of the mysterious and ritual-bound lives of tough, teenaged gangsters. When his family returned to Puerto Rico, he stayed behind. Soon, he joined the fearsome Latin Kings, and his given street name "Lil Loco" attested to his youth and ferocity. While graphically describing what he witnessed as a gang memberÄsenseless killings, inter-ethnic hatreds and sexual abuse of gang-affiliated womenÄSanchez also pursues harder truths, arguing that it is a minority of promiscuous drug-users accompanied by community-wide silence that keeps the gangs in business. In the end, he condemns his former gang for masquerading as a Latino "public service" organization while high-ranking members become rich from their youthful recruits' drug dealing. And he scoffs at their reliance on conformist rituals and violence (violations of the rituals were punished with full body beatings). Offering very little hope, this book captures the dark, self-destructive lot of countless urban teens. Like other gangland memoirs (such as Monster and Always Running), it is significant because it takes the reader deep inside a secretive and brutal ethnic gang subculture. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xv
1 La Familiap. 1
2 Chicagop. 4
3 Humboldt Parkp. 8
4 The Beatings Beginp. 15
5 The Spanish Lordsp. 23
6 Murder in the 'Hoodp. 32
7 My Teacher Mariap. 43
8 No Paradisep. 51
9 No Homep. 53
10 Jennyp. 56
11 Lords of Nothingp. 61
12 Chi-Westp. 67
13 Cowardp. 74
14 Can't Be Normal Even If I Triedp. 79
15 First Killp. 86
16 The Acceptable Differencep. 91
17 Officer Friendlyp. 94
18 Chinap. 97
19 Back to the Hunting Groundsp. 101
20 Betrayed into a Comap. 104
21 Madnessp. 108
22 Rosiep. 116
23 Convenient Agreementp. 118
24 My Girlp. 123
25 Prove Myself Worthyp. 128
26 Rapep. 132
27 Crownedp. 137
28 Violence Rulesp. 151
29 Madmanp. 156
30 Losing Maplewood Parkp. 161
31 My Rosiep. 167
32 Down Brotherp. 175
33 Poor Rosiep. 186
34 Junip. 189
35 Locap. 195
36 Morena, R.I.P.p. 199
37 NRA? Lucky's Deathp. 206
38 Crazy Waysp. 209
39 Disciplinedp. 214
40 No Lesson Learnedp. 226
41 Spread the Violencep. 232
42 Enemies Nearp. 237
43 Disownedp. 240
44 The Way It Isp. 244
45 Another Addictionp. 251
46 Close Callp. 262
47 The Lawp. 265
48 Free?p. 274
49 Older Womanp. 278
50 Love Lostp. 285
51 Lesson Learned, Finallyp. 292
52 Crownlessp. 295
53 Tragedies Continue With or Without Mep. 298