Before you get to the Guestbook…

On February 23, 2018, my book on the Mau Maus and Sand Street Angels, who were two Brooklyn youth gangs from the 1950s, has been completed.  It took 15 years of research and writing to complete Brooklyn Rumble: Mau Maus, Sand Street Angels, and the End of an Era.  This book is roughly 6″x9″ and has 370 pages and includes a look at the characters in the Mau Maus and the details of a gang killing that happened in February 1959 in front of the iconic Brooklyn Paramount Theater (now Long Island University).  If you want to buy a copy, click here and this link will take you to an online ordering page.


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291 entries.
lewis yablonsky lewis yablonsky wrote on March 25, 2012 at 2:06 am:
Good job
Eric Schneider Eric Schneider wrote on March 25, 2012 at 2:02 am:
Nice job of research, David.
Ray OPrey Ray OPrey wrote on March 25, 2012 at 1:57 am:
Thank you for the site....I grew up in the Heights during much of this activity... I received summer employment due to the Port Authority funding of programs following the Farmer incident.. Sunsequently I met many involved directly or indirectly while a Patrolman on 135 St.......The Capeman's mans brother (Negron) strutted the neighborhood like a flea trying to be a bumble bee......... Thank You
aj schure aj schure wrote on March 25, 2012 at 1:02 am:
glad i ws some help to you good luck!!arnie
Joshua Rodriguez Joshua Rodriguez wrote on March 24, 2012 at 11:53 pm:
Great Website Dave, long-long time I didn't hear from. I went to NYC last year to visit my parents. I was with Dad and we past by Sand Street; then Dad says you remember? I said yes the old Sandstreet Angels turf. I was seeing New York in a whole different light. Reading on this era is so interesting. Being born in the 1970's and having Dad, uncles, cousins,in these gangs is very interesting. Dad (Assasins)-Westside 100 Street Manhattan, Uncle (The Roman Lords) Brownsville,etc. I learned a lot. Did anyone saved their Gang Sweaters from this era? For the Dave could post on this site.
RON RON wrote on March 24, 2012 at 11:24 pm:
Jim Butler Jim Butler wrote on March 24, 2012 at 11:03 pm:
the bad old days lol
bob young bob young wrote on March 24, 2012 at 11:01 pm:
the ditmas dukes & foster gents were two gangs in my neighborhood. long time ago
Mike Dallo Mike Dallo wrote on March 24, 2012 at 10:48 pm:
Hi David, Wish you luck on this start up. Hope it provides you with the information you need for you reseach.
Luis Perez Luis Perez wrote on March 24, 2012 at 10:11 pm:
It's a little spooky to go back to those times. I lived most of this history. As I have metioned before, "Someone had to do it first."" It's too much deja vous for me. Grátulalok (Hungarian for what it sounds like),CONGRATULATIONS! Lui
Randy Randy wrote on March 24, 2012 at 9:39 pm:
From time to time I wondered if you had given up on your gang project, From this site I see you didn't. Interesting site and I will put it in my favorite places, so I can come back to check what is new. Keep up the good work.
Herman Rivera Herman Rivera wrote on March 24, 2012 at 8:30 pm:
HI Daved WHATS UP,long time since i heard from you ,did you ever get down to red hook a take some pictures of the bullet hole that i put in the signs were i lived 50 years ago they are still there i was down the hook last year boy things are changeing down there ,lot of yuppies moved in and so called artis lol.if they only new what happened there .good luck on you book,later Herman Rivera
joe joe wrote on March 24, 2012 at 7:17 pm:
I grew up in the bushwick section of Brooklyn in the early 60's times were much different than but life was always moving.i joined a gang just for fun and for some protection agaunst the blacks at the time and there was a big influx of purto ricans why i do not know and they brought there own gangs with them.i really never got into many schoffels but there were some.I remember one of the gang members showed us what at the time was called a zip gun a crude home made weapon that fired a 22r round thats about the time i said good by to gangs it scared me too much.heto long after that the famly moved to n.j. and it was suburbia life for me lol!
Rosa Margarita Flowers Rosa Margarita Flowers wrote on March 24, 2012 at 7:04 pm:
Hi David, this is a great site. I am very interested in reading anything about New york City in the fifties. Best of luck with all your research. Margie.
john donnelly john donnelly wrote on March 24, 2012 at 5:40 pm:
There was a gang in Inwood called the Shamrocks. Leader was a guy named Rene something or other. Tiger Mahoney was one of them. Can't remember names of any others. Good luck with your research.
Steve Sutcliffe Steve Sutcliffe wrote on March 24, 2012 at 5:35 pm:
Great website Dave, will check it out more in detail at a later time
Carlos Nieves Carlos Nieves wrote on March 24, 2012 at 5:35 pm:
William Hurley William Hurley wrote on March 24, 2012 at 5:17 pm:
Good Luck ... Much nostalgia!
Karl Sharpe Karl Sharpe wrote on March 24, 2012 at 4:59 pm:
Hi David Am very much enjoying your website, I wondered if :- "August 30, 1959 – Perhaps the most infamous of all gang killings in this era. Sal “Capeman” Agron, Louis “Umbrella Man” Hernandez and some others stab and kill Robert Young and Anthony Krzesinski. All were members of a gang called the Vampires." ..... might give the impression that Robert and Anthony were also members of the Vampires ( or even members of a gang)? all the best Karl **Hi Karl, that is a very good point, thank-you for bringing that to my attention. You are correct, Young & Krzesinski were innocent victims who had the misfortune of being in the park when Agron and co. descended looking for a fight. I changed the wording to reflect this, thanks for the note.  David**
carol solotoff carol solotoff wrote on March 24, 2012 at 4:49 pm:
i lived in brooklyn in the early 50's around st johns pl. and rochester ave. lincoln terrace park. we had two gangs, one called the black hawks, and the other the terrace kings. we stayed at the carroll theater.
Angelo alvarado Angelo alvarado wrote on March 24, 2012 at 4:30 pm:
Lived in ft greene during the mau mau killing....
frankie g frankie g wrote on March 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm:
great website , i will follow it, keep up the good work. Go Halsey.
Denise Ajami Denise Ajami wrote on March 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm:
Interesting read
Ed Blanco Ed Blanco wrote on March 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm:
Interesting site. Looking forward to reading more. I remember several gangs from Brooklyn, the largest being the Chaplains.
Jim O Jim O wrote on March 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm:
Dave, a great addition to gang research. Brings back memories of Bed-Stuy Brooklyn in the 1950s This is a welcomed addition to research materials on gangs in NYC. David has done a magnificent job in naming and identifying what is known about gangs particularly those of the 1950s.A must website foe any researcher studying this era in youth violence.
Karl Sharpe Karl Sharpe wrote on March 24, 2012 at 1:02 pm:
Hi David I'm very much enjoying your website, and look forward to returning to it regularly, as it is a fascinating subject. Its also very relevant to today here in the UK and Europe which has seen a growth in gangs because of circumstances which are not entirely dissimiliar to those of 1940's / 50's New York. Keep up the great work, there is very much an interested audience for your hard work and research. I'm looking forward to reading about the Mau Maus, The Chaplins and the Bishops, as well as all the others. Any photos of the gang members in their 'colours' would be fascinating. Your photos and maps of locations etc are also very interesting as they give non New Yorkers an understanding of how the streets and buildings actually looked like, ie. a physical context. All the best Karl
Bob Breen Bob Breen wrote on March 24, 2012 at 12:54 pm:
David, Excellent work. As you know I was a friend of Vinny Pardon, we went to Yankee games to together as kids. He did time for the killing of Michael Farmer at the Otisville Correctional Facility,in upstate NY. When I later became a police officer, my partner found him dead from an overdose on a rooftop in Harlem. When I finish my book on police work in NYC, I will ask you to sing it also, good luck to you. Bob
Joe E Joe E wrote on March 24, 2012 at 5:17 am:
Great website David, Very fasinating time in our history
James bishop James bishop wrote on March 23, 2012 at 9:25 pm:
Jeremy Lin coulda been a great 50's gangster!
Joseph Matagrano Joseph Matagrano wrote on March 23, 2012 at 8:33 pm:
David Great hearing from you. I have often thought about the 50's. It was a fabulous era. Growing up in the East River Housing Projects was the most memorable. Remembering some of the greatest music that is still played today. A wardrobe that consisted of sneakers, Levis' and a T shirt. And in the winter a treasured leather motorcycle jacket.(you had to love Marlon Brando and James Dean) A building full of friends and people you knew by name. And than there were the gangs. Most of them fairly quiet a few with their share of crazies.. Kind of reminds me of the movie City Across The River. True, we had our share of tragedies. The 50's was my inspiration for writing the novel, Forever Brothers. (all proceeds to St Jude Childrens Hospital) I visited the old neighborhood a while back. I think Thomas Wolfe said it best, "You can never go home again" That may be so but how you can yearn. Maybe what Wolfe failed to realize is that some never really leave. Back to gangs. I knew some Red Wings, Fordam Baldies, Royals, Latin Gents, Golden G's, Italian Dukes and others I have long forgotten. Most all were just everyday guys belonging to their local click. And at times it could be a jungle with its share of animals. The younger generation may call it the dark ages because of its simplicity and they may be right. But still, it was the fabulous 50's.
Chad Van Troost Chad Van Troost wrote on March 23, 2012 at 5:31 pm:
Looks like an interesting website. Will be checking out more in depth.
Bill Coleman Bill Coleman wrote on March 23, 2012 at 3:01 pm:
Very interesting material. I have read some books on this time and find this information as a great historical review and study.
Richie Rubin Richie Rubin wrote on March 23, 2012 at 2:59 pm:
Yeah,I wuz around in dem daze,& knew many Gang members,but I wuz a`coolie'& nevah joined a(real)Gang,sure some of the gangs of today are more heavily armed than police!..but back then we respected their`turf' & any gang territories, I lived in Crown Heights,Brooklyn,home of several `fighting'gangs,& thru our`grapevine'Heard of some killings,& udda Crimes,ergo,earned a`fearful'respect of these gangs,& had a real street`education'growing up in gang infested`turf', & the gangs returned our respect,with a nod,wave,`low 5[handslap @ waist level]when in passing,or on line for a Rock & Roll/Rythm & Blues /Soul/show in downtown Brooklyn,or @ the Apollo in Harlem,thusly,I'm still here & have all my real teeth!..thanx,david..this is a `killah'site!
Joseph Schiavone Joseph Schiavone wrote on March 23, 2012 at 3:45 am:
Memories of our youth, great research. I am sending some of my friends your site.
Emmitt Thrower Emmitt Thrower wrote on March 23, 2012 at 3:29 am:
Very interesting info. Nice research. To see the evolution of the Gangs to what they became in later decades. WELL DONE!!!
Carole Ludwig Carole Ludwig wrote on March 23, 2012 at 2:06 am:
Looks so interesting. Good luck with doing more research. I lived in NYC during the 50's, but wasn't in a gang, ha ha. Can't help you there. Carole
jacqueline jacqueline wrote on March 20, 2012 at 8:42 pm:
Well laid-out. Very informative.
floyd floyd wrote on March 19, 2012 at 10:28 pm:
excellent work. well done.
Tanya Tanya wrote on March 17, 2012 at 7:28 pm:
Great website. Tons of detail. Do you plan on adding more? **Tanya I do plan on adding more, keep the website under your favorite for updates David**
Sarah Van Pelt Sarah Van Pelt wrote on March 14, 2012 at 3:53 pm:
You have done an amazing job on this site - I can't wait to see more!
William Welstead William Welstead wrote on February 18, 2012 at 4:07 am:
Great, great website! I have been looking for a site or any information source devoted to NYC fighting gangs for a long, long time. After reading the books, Run Baby Run and The Cross and the Switchblade in the 1970s, I became fascinated by this era in the NYC boroughs from the mid -1950s. I look forward to the expanded growth of this website with great anticipation. Hopefully, a wealth of information and photos from the fighting gang era will surface as a result.