My research on youth gang homicides takes me to some very interesting places and some twists and turns on the route. For example, one case that I am researching and will be writing when I am completed my book on the Mau Maus and Sand Street Angels, (click here for more information on that) happened in the summer of 1959, between two bitter enemies from West Harlem: The Sinners (sometimes referred to as the Young Sinners) and the Assassins, an offshoot of the Uptown Assassins. This gang murder ended in the death of 13-year-old Sergio Quinones, a member or friend of the Assassins. Several members of the Sinners drove by a passel of Assassins near their turf and blazed away at them with a .45 hand gun.
Radislaw Blazic, Theodore Niforos, Frank Arroyo and Milton Graniela, — all Sinners — were the ones that did the drive-by shooting. As they were making their get-away, the police took pursuit and right around Central Park and West 110th Street the car skidded to a stop and the Sinners, bold as brass, took some shots at the police. The police returned fire, killing Milton Graniela, while the others took off, vaulting the stone wall into Central Park to make their escape. You can notice the chalk outline in this following picture of where Graniela died that day. Part of my research took me directly to New York City and the spot where the Sinners and Assassins hung out as well as the spot where they shot Quinones and shot at the police on West 110th Street. After reading over the court records on the spot where Graniela died, I tried to pinpoint what that crime scene looks like today in 2012 (when the picture was taken). See the comparison for yourself:
Some crime scene photos were easy to figure out while, others were a bit more of a challenge to pinpoint. In this case it was difficult to know for sure that this was the exact spot where Milton died, but I think I was able to narrow it down with a good certainty. I am doing this with the other cases I am writing about as well, so this gives a glimpse into some of the research I am doing.