By Christopher Zoukis

Image courtesy mrzine.monthlyreview.org

According to legend, Stanley Tookie Williams was the co-founder of the Crips.  The legend was nothing more than embellishment, encouraged by Tookie Williams.  The reality of the situation was this:  Raymond, wanting to expand the Crips to the west side of Los Angeles, approached Tookie Williams about running the gang’s west side territory.  Tookie accepted, becoming the leader of the Westside Crips.  Tookie Williams, even more muscular than Raymond, was a thug with a bad attitude.  Tookie, in his heart of hearts, believed he was the supreme bad-boy.  Through blatant self-promotion, he attempted to augment his reputation.  Later, while on Death Row, Tookie wrote self-aggrandizing books about himself, books that achieved bestseller status.

This is not to deny that Tookie may have changed.  He encouraged children and teenagers to avoid the gangbanger lifestyle and mentality.  He apologized for his misdeeds as a Crip and severed his affiliation with the gang.

However, he was not the co-founder of the Crips.