Raymond Washington And The Crips

Raymond Washington

Raymond Washington and the Crips

(the origins of the crips)

Raymond Washington and the Crips

(the origins of the crips)

By Chance Kelsey, chancellorfiles.com

Chance: Raymond Lee Washington was the man who started the Crips. He was killed at age 26 by a shotgun blast — allegedly by someone he knew — on the corner of 64th and San Pedro streets on August 9, 1979 in South Los Angeles.

It is said that Stanley Tookie Williams was the co-founder of the Crips but this is not true, Tookie Williams was the leader of another gang that was on the Westside. Then one day Raymond asked Stanley Tookie Williams to join the Crips, and Tookie said yes, he would join – and Tookie’s Westside gang became Crips. The first Crip gang that Raymond created was called Eastside Crips, today eastside Crips are called east cost Crips. This makes East Coast Crips the very first Crip Gang.

Raymond had three older brothers and one of them was named Reggie. Now Reggie was bow legged and one day Reggie twisted his ankle really bad and was walked with a limp. Reggie then wrote the name Crip on his Chuck Taylor Converse All Stars and Raymond took the name. According to family and Childhood friends Raymond grew up with — Raymond disliked guns, and preferred to fight with his fist man on man one on one. He was known as a terrific fist fighter who was good with his hands.

Rest in peace to all of the victims of gang violence and Rest in peace Raymond Lee Washington.

Read Story


Tookie’s Mistaken Identity

On the trail of the real founder of the Crips

by MICHAEL KRIKORIAN for the LA Weekly, Dec 15, 2005

The founder of the Crips was not lethally injected minutes after midnight Tuesday morning in the sterilized death chamber of San Quentin State Prison. There was no news of his death. There were no Oscar winners or rap stars urging that his life continue. Fifty-year-old white women in $5 million Hancock Park homes did not ponder the gang leader’s fate in his final days. No bums pushing shopping carts on Sunset and Vine had opinions on whether a governor should spare him from a state-inflicted death.
No, the founder of the Crips was gut-shot with a sawed-off on a dreary South Los Angeles corner 26 years ago.

Contrary to popular assumption, Stanley Tookie Williams, who was fatally injected Tuesday morning and pronounced dead at 12:35 a.m., was not the founder or even the co-founder of the Crips. The undisputed father of the notorious black street gang was one Raymond Washington, a fearless and mighty 5-foot-8 fireplug who loved to fight and loathed guns. He was killed at age 26 by a shotgun blast — allegedly by someone he knew — on the corner of 64th and San Pedro streets on August 9, 1979.

There was no mention of his death in the Los Angeles Times or The New York Times or any other major newspaper as there was of the death of Williams. But on the hardcore streets of South-Central Los Angeles, Watts and Compton, the slaying of Washington was akin to a presidential assassination.

“All this talk lately about Tookie, we was wondering when someone was gonna finally tell the real story about the Crips, tell the story of Raymond,” said Debra Addie Smith, who knew the gang leader back in the early and mid-1970s.
Raymond Washington was born in Texas, but grew up on 76th Street near Wadsworth Avenue, just west of Central Avenue.

“Raymond was a good kid when he was a boy,” said his mother, Violet Barton, who now lives in Phoenix. “Raymond didn’t go out of his way to fight or do anything bad, but if someone came to him, he would protect himself. And he was well-built. He tried to protect the community and keep the bad guys out. But after a while, every time I looked up, the police were coming to the house looking for Raymond.”

Others on 76th Street, a well-kept block of small single-family homes that is now more Latino than African-American, said that while Raymond protected the boys and girls from bullies from other neighborhoods, he bullied them himself.

“I don’t have a whole lot of good to say about Raymond,” said Lorrie Griffin Moss, 48, with a laugh. She grew up directly across the street from Washington on 76th Street, just west of Wadsworth. “Raymond was a bully. A muscular bully. He wouldn’t let anybody from outside our neighborhood bother us. He would bother us. Raymond could be very mean.”
Washington was known as a great street fighter.

“Raymond could really toss ’em,” said Los Angeles Police Department Detective Wayne Caffey, referring to Washington’s fist skills as a street fighter. Caffey’s cousin attended Fremont High School, where Washington was occasionally schooled when he wasn’t kicked out for fighting. “He was an awesome football player, but he didn’t want to play organized ball. He wanted to be a knucklehead.”
Raymond, Caffey said, deplored guns and considered those who brought guns to a fight to be punks. Washington — who had three older brothers — was a street legend, especially to his one younger brother.

“He was real, real good with his hands. He could bring it from the shoulders. Like Mike Tyson in his prime,” said Derard Barton, 46, who added that his brother had 18-inch arms and a 50-inch chest. “He weighed abut 215. All muscle. I never saw my brother lose a fight, except to my older brothers when he was real young. But when he got older, he could even take them.”
Even youths miles away from Washington’s 76th Street neighborhood remember him.
“I remember that Raymond Washington was a hog,” said Ronald “Kartoon” Antwine, a community activist from Watts who remembers seeing the Crips founder at the Watts Summer Festival. “By hog, I mean Raymond would take his shirt off and fight his ass off all day long.”
Washington was kicked out of every school he ever attended for fighting. He would go away to juvenile detention camps and be sure to let everyone know when he was back in the neighborhood, said Griffin Moss.

“He’d go away for a few months, and when he came back, he come up to my dad and mom and say, “Hey, Mr. Griffin, I’m back. Hello, Mrs. Griffin. I’m back.”
His younger brother remembers Raymond fondly and proudly.
“He was like a Robin Hood type a person, stealing from the rich, giving to the poor,” said Derard Barton from his home in Phoenix.

Washington admired the Black Panthers and tried for a while to emulate them as a youth.
He eventually joined the local gang called the Avenues led by a youth named Craig Munson. He later left the Avenues after “he kicked Craig Munson’s brother’s ass,” according to Detective Caffey.
He started his own gang. The origin of the name Crips has many tales, has become folklore. Some, including Tookie, have said the name came from Raymond’s gang the Baby Avenues, which became the Avenue Cribs. In a drunken state, Cribs mispronounced their name into Crips.

However, Washington’s brother and Griffin Moss say the name simply came from an injury that one of Raymond’s older brothers incurred.
“My older brother Reggie was kind of bowlegged, and then he twisted his ankle bad one time, and he was walking with a limp, so he put “Crip” on his Chuck Taylor Converse All Stars and Raymond took the name,” said younger brother Derard.
As for Raymond’s nickname, he was sometimes referred to as Ray Ray — as many Rays are for some reason — but mainly he was just called Raymond.

“Raymond didn’t need a nickname,” said Derard Barton.

Barton said being the younger brother of the founder of the Crips had some benefits.
“Sometimes I would get into fights, but once people knew I was Raymond Washington’s brother, they were the nicest people in the world to me,” said Barton, who works at a hospital for disabled people as a behavioral health technician. “Plus, no one ever broke into our house.
“He was really a goodhearted person. He was really kind to elderly people. He liked to fight, yeah, but if he liked you, he’d treat you so well. If he didn’t like you, he would hate you.”
Raymond had a simple and very effective tactic of expanding the Crips.

“He would go to the leader of another gang and fight him,” said Derard Barton. “He went straight to their main man. Once he put the guy on his back, everyone else would join up and follow him.”

Said Detective Caffey: “He went to other neighborhoods and said, ‘Either join me or become my enemy.’ Most kids living on the edge of thuggery joined. Some did not. Those that were fighters, who were not intimidated, kept to their own gangs.”
Eventually, the pressure of the Crips became so intense, so bloody, that the other gangs — the Piru in Compton and the Brims near USC — aligned themselves into a loosely knit gang group called the Bloods. The Swans and Bounty Hunters also signed on with the Bloods alliance. And the bloody battle of South Los Angeles, Watts and Compton was on.

Raymond’s Crips got their first notoriety in March of 1972 when a rat-pack group of them attacked four youths for their leather jackets at the Palladium in Hollywood. One of the victims, Robert Ballou, a popular student at Los Angeles High School, resisted. The Crips beat him to death. After that, the word spread of their ruthlessness.

Although inspired by the Black Panthers, Washington and his group never were able to develop an agenda for social change within the community. Early big-shot members included Mack Thomas of the original Compton Crips, Michael “Shaft” Concepcion, Jimel “Godfather” Barnes, Greg “Batman” Davis and Stanley Tookie Williams.

Williams, of course, gained international infamy as his death sentence gained unprecedented publicity. Legend has it that Washington approached Williams to expand his gang to the west side of the Harbor Freeway and Williams became the leader of the Westside Crips.
“It’s just wrong to say Tookie was the founder of the Crips,” said Wes McBride, president of the California Gang Investigators Association.

Griffin Moss also remembers Tookie Williams coming by all the time to visit Raymond.
“He’d be walking down the street looking like the Pirelli man,” she said.
Still, though Williams was killed by the state Tuesday morning and referred to himself as the co-founder of the Crips, many say Raymond Washington is being forgotten.

“All this talk of Tookie being the co-founder of the Crips is a lot of embellishment because there is no doubt Raymond Washington founded the Crips,” said Alex Alonso, founder of the Web site Streetgangs.com. Alonso even went so far as to produce a documentary called Gangsta King about Washington. “Raymond was a very strong leader and extremely gifted with his fists. In another life he could have been a champion boxer,” said Alonso.
As the Crips became more deadly and infamous for robbing youths of their black leather jackets and drive-by shootings, Raymond started to become disillusioned with the gang he founded.

“He started running with a black motorcycle goup,” said retired Los Angeles County Sheriff’s gang investigator Curtis Jackson. “I think he felt that the youngsters were getting too crazy, getting totally out of control.

“My interaction with Raymond was minimal, but he was very approachable,” said Jackson. “I had no trouble talking with him. Most gang members are actually very personable, and I’ve never had any trouble rapping with them. Tookie was an exception, as he always had a few thugs around him, so he always had an attitude.”

On the bleak corner of 64th Street and San Pedro is a drab pink, two-story apartment building — 6326 S. San Pedro St. — complete with runaway weeds, peeling paint, three rusty barbecues and a large cart labeled Rick’s Hot Dogs, all nestled against a ratty chainlink fence. It was here on an August night in 1979 that Raymond Washington was blown away by a blast from a sawed-off shotgun. Someone inside a car had called out his name, and Washington walked over. The pellets tore into his guts, and he was rushed away to a hospital, where he died, according to police.

It was the end of the founder of the Crips, and it was the beginning of the end of the Crips as a united gang.

Though no one was ever arrested, rumors spread — erroneously — that the Hoover Crips (now Hoover Criminals) were responsible. Shootings broke out between Raymond’s Eastside Crips — now known as the East Coast Crips — and the Hoovers. Right around then, a woman caused a feud between the Rollin’ 60s Crips and the Eight Trey Gangster Crips, and shootings erupted between those large and extremely violent Crips factions. Other Crip sets chose sides, and Crips have been killing Crips ever since then. More even than Crips kill Bloods or Bloods kill Crips.

As much as he relished a good fistfight, Raymond would be sad and disappointed to see what havoc was wreaked on the gang he founded. Rare is the time when two guys meet in an alley or park anymore and “toss ’em.” The days of bringing it from the shoulders were coming to an end, and the days of bringing it from the holster were the way it would be.


    Crips and bloods — crippled and useless, basura de barrio, and a shame that blacks must face

  2. Chance

    And look at all of those people who have lost their lives behind gang violence.

  3. Solsistuh

    According to Nat Geo, the first “crips” were called “cribs”, because the members were so young. One of their trademarks was to walk with canes, thus the name “crips” evolved.

  4. tyrell

    i need to know how this mof died

  5. leather jackets can really make you look good, they also make you feel warm and comfortable ‘:~

  6. Jgroove52hxxva4lyfe!!

    Rip og ray Washington, 6ut u cats are disrespecting og tookie and I find tht very disrespectful and it’s a 6lessin u aren’t n Texas cuz I would give u tha 6usiness, like og took said tha east is kewl 6ut tha west rulez and it wuz understood, tha nation wuz made stronger!! Fucc all u lame Azz muthafuccaz tht aren’t locz n tha 1st place!! Hating Azz niccaz!!! Rip og Stan tookie Williams and Og Raymond Washington

  7. Muscle

    Raymond’s original name for the Gang was Crib Avenues or simply Cribs, the word Crip originated on the West after the death of Robert Bellou around 1972 due to the media mispronunciation, West side crips were using it when the word Cribs was still being graffitied on walls on the east side, eventually OGs on the Eastside including Raymond began using it as well. The name didn’t begin on the Eastside and it had nothing to do with any accident further more Alex Alonso was not at St Andrews park in 1971 the day Tookie and Raymond formed and consolidated the Crip alliance so he is no authority on the Topic, Raymond may have founded the Cribs but it had a little over ten members they became CRIPS when they allied with the West side the word “Cuz” which crips use so frequently was the abridged middle name of James Cousin Cunnigham an OG West crip and childhood friend of Big Took. Tookie and his friends were calling each other cuz before they were crips, Raymond thought they were actually related.

    Jimel was not original crip meaning he wasn’t around when they were formed Jimel was recruited by Raymond in the Avalon Gardens much to the protest Head another OG Eastside Crip. Raymond challenged him to a street fight to which Jimel knowing Raymond’s reputation declined and acquiesced. Jimel was not well liked by Westside or Eastcoast Crips, he was never present at large fights and always depended on Tookie to bail him out of precarious situations. after Raymond and most other OG’s died he re-invented his role like mike Conception and Liars and became Raymond’s closest friend and creator of the Crips and the Bloods and the Guy who trained and looked after Tookie: a known fact Tookie was always more muscular than Jimel and taller. His information cannot be trusted and we should also test the veracity of Alonso’s facts.

  8. Muscle

    The war between the Trays and NRC began in the late seventies and it wasn’t over a girl, Jeffrey Bacot an Eight Tray and the younger brother of Judson Bacot an Original Westside crip was shot by a Rollin 60 sixty in retaliation for the shooting of a Rolling Sixty by a baby Loc from the ETG this kicked off the crip on crip conflicts because other crip sets began to choose sides, by the way Hoovers were originally allied to West side crips not Eastside

  9. His Story

    Quote from the Article above:

    Griffin Moss also remembers Tookie Williams coming by all the time to visit Raymond.
    “He’d be walking down the street looking like the Pirelli man,” she said.

    It’s funny because in Jimel’s radio interview he said Tookie never met Raymond and that he wasn’t even muscular when Raymond died
    I think all that drugs Jimel took seriously distorted his memory along with his jealousy of Tookie

  10. The only authorized biography of Raymond Washington is now available on Amazon.com for pre order. I am Raymond Washington offers an unprecedented look into the life of Raymond Washington. http://amzn.to/1KikBH4

  11. Judson Bacot

    Jame Cunningham middle name was not Cousin. His nickname was Cuzz. How do I know. Cuzz was my crime partner on the Ballou case. My name is Judson Bacot. I am an Original Westside Crip. I wrote a book entitled: The Evolution of Americas Home Bred Terrorist: Crips and Bloods, The Changing Culture. The book will be out this year, around May, no later than June. I detail the beginning of West Side Crips and the fall of West Side Crips as one body. I detail why it fell. Why Crips became so violent and what should be done to curb the violence. Who is at fault, and why they are at fault. With the help of Big Bob (Original West Side Crip) – we have put together a MUST READ BOOK for ALL of America. Especially Black America.

  12. Muscle

    Judson no disrespect Cuz but you and Bub was locked up throughout the seventies when the Crips started to expand and proliferate through Los Angeles meaning you missed most of the action and have to rely on second hand information, when you guys went away Buddha was still alive, Tookie still had 18 inch arms and crips still wore leather Jackets, they weren’t even banging in blue when you got locked up.
    Jame’s name Cuz was short for cousin, didn’t crips used to say My Cousin when they spoke to each other, i never implied it was his legal name, i wrote it the same way i would write Curtis Buddha Murrow or Bennie Bulldog Simpson

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