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St. Louis Gangs Series

Gangs in our neighborhoods, an up-close look at the issue of gang violence in St. Louis.


- This series originally aired August 18-20, 2008.


Blood"Put it like this: Every day somebody bustin', somebody shootin', somebody gettin' locked up, somebody done got killed." --St. Louis gang member

Any way you try to explain it, St. Louis is one of the most violent cities in America. A primary cause for that distinction is gang violence.

In our special three-part series, St. Louis Public Radio reporter Adam Allington speaks with Crips, Bloods, police, lawyers, and the people living in some of St. Louis' most notorious gang neighborhoods.






North City Gangs Getting Younger, More Violent

St. Louis Gang MemberOver the past several years overall crime in the city of St. Louis has dropped dramatically—almost 30 percent.

One particular crime, however, is way up: homicides. The city is averaging nearly one murder every two days.

A primary cause of this deadly spike is a proliferation of gangs and gang culture.

In the first of his three-part series on gangs in St. Louis, St. Louis Public Radio's Adam Allington takes us behind the scenes with some of the city's most violent street gangs.

>> Listen (mp3)


Neighborhoods Suffer in Wake of Increased Gang Activity

Police LineSt. louis is home to one of America's most active and aggressive gang cultures, helping to make it one of the most violent U.S. cities.

In parts of North St. Louis and North County gangs wage turf wars that, in some cases, run block to block.

The impact this has on people living in these neighborhoods is overwhelming.

In part two of St. Louis Public Radio's three-part series on gang violence, Adam Allington examines the fallout for communities living under the perpetual threat of shootings, robberies, and constant police presence.

>> Listen (mp3)


Limited Solutions for St. Louis Gang Problem

In St. Louis gangs are accounting for a growing percentage of violent crime.

In an effort to control the situation police are saturating specific neighborhoods, recovering weapons and rounding up suspected offenders.

By most accounts this approach only provides a temporary solution for the problems caused by lack of jobs, poor schools and crumbling infrastructure.

In the last of his three part series on gangs in St. Louis, St. Louis Public Radio's Adam Allington takes a look at the city's response to the gang epidemic.

>> Listen (mp3)


St. Louis on the Air

Listen to the St. Louis on the Air episode about gang violence in the St. Louis area.

Guests include:

Ronnie Robinson, watch commander of the Crime Suppression Unit, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, and coordinator of G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training) Program.

Larry Bastain, owner of BOSS Entertainment, and producer of "Off the Record," a documentary film about St. Louis gangs.

Beth Huebner, Ph.D., assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

>> Listen (mp3)


Additional Information

G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training Program)

A program used by the St. Louis police department to help educate youth and prevent gang involvement. The program's coordinator, Ronnie Robinson, was on St. Louis on the Air in the episode described above.


Off the Record: A film produced by Larry Bastain about St. Louis gangs. Watch the trailer and other promos.