Saturday, March 14, 2009

The evolution of Calgary's deadly gang war

Source: Calgary Herald (entire article and timeline

Much love from the crew The cries and the pain got me goin' insane Gang life has got me on the brink walking around with a strap on my hip -- Lyrics from a rap recording paying tribute to slain FOB Killers member John Pheng made by his friends in 2005

Before FOB and FK, there was the"Runaway Gang."

That's the nickname police investigators gave a ragtag bunch of troublemakers who either attended Forest Lawn High School or spent time hanging around the school a decade ago.

"We watched this group of goofy kids develop into a gang," recalls Henry Hollinger, a retired Calgary police officer who was working in the intelligence unit at the time.

From kids to killers, this is the story of Calgary's evolving gang war, how a group of teens went from cutting class together 10 years ago to shooting each other on city streets.

The feud between FOB and the FOB Killers (FK) has claimed at least 25 lives since 2002, maimed dozens of others and struck fear into law-abiding citizens throughout Calgary.

If there's any question about whether the conflict has escalated into all-out war, consider the life and death of John Pheng.

At age 22, the FK member died on the floor of a 17th Avenue nightclub as his companions pursued the gunmen into the busy street outside two years ago.

The content of the article doesn't surprise me. I know there have been gangs coming out of Forest Lawn for the last ten years. Everyone in Calgary knows it.

What startled me in the incredible detail by the police and the newspaper of all the names of participants and all of the details that have happened since 1999. We know about the gang member, about the families, when attacks happened when these two sides met. Everything is known and out in the open. What do the police do with this information? Nothing. What good is it that this information is in the Herald if police do nothing about it. Is there going to be another article in 20 years twice as long detailing the same thing. It's the biggest cover up in the city and will continue to be for a very long time.

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