- Bobby Gore, the spokesman for the 1960s
Conservative Vice Lords, was arrested on November 14, 1969 for the murder
of Thurman Williams three weeks before. Eyewitnesses to the killing
told the court the shooter was Clarence Conn, who was known to have
a longstanding grudge against the victim. The main witness against Bobby
Gore was that same Clarence Conn. The victim was shot by a right-handed
shooter and Bobby Gore is left handed. Witnesses placed Gore blocks
away at the time of the shooting. Despite contradictory testimony, Bobby
was convicted by an all-white jury.
- Bobby’s choice of Attorney,
noted Black lawyer Eugene Pincham, was forced to withdraw because
the judge refused to grant a sinlge continuance. Bobby’s original
counsel, Patrck Murphy, was not experienced in capital cases, and
was then forced to trial without meaningful preparation. Other homicide
cases, which occurred even later than Bobby’s case, had been
routinely continued. Bobby’s trial leap-frogged over 62 other
trials that should have been set before his. Lawndale residents at
the time were told that Chicago Police knew Bobby had not done the
shooting but “the old man,” presumably
States Attorney Edward Hanrahan, had ordered Bobby’s arrest.
- States Attorney Hanrahan and Mayor Richard
J. Daley had declared “war” on gangs and the Black Panthers
earlier that year. Several gang leaders, including Leonard Sengali of
the Blackstone Rangers were arrested at about the same time for murder,
but charges were dropped. On December 4, 1969, three weeks after Bobby’s
arrest, Hanrahan led a raid that resulted in the deaths of Black Panther
leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark.
- Bobby Gore at the time had
been as visible public figure as Fred Hampton. He was in the forefront
of transforming the CVL from a gang into a community organization.
He was a well-known peacemaker between gangs and on the streets of
Lawndale. He has given his life to his community.k
- During his 11 years in Stateville Penitentiary
and after his release, Bobby continued to work for peace and justice.
His dream for the CVL, however, crashed with his arrest, and the CVL
reverted to the streets. We are seeking a measure of justice and vindication
for the 1960s CVL.
- The complete story of Bobby
Gore and the shattered
dreams of Lawndale’s Conservative Vice
Lords can be found on gangresearch.net
pdf leaflet version of this fact sheet, click