Back in the 1960s New Yorks China Town was a way different place than it once was. China Town was a lawless place where the cities cops had no jurisdiction. China Town was run by the Tongs, which were organizations that dipped into the pockets of all China Town residents.
The Tongs controlled everything in and out of China Town. As times changed, so did China Town. The Tongs needed to move different to stay in power, so they used young kids to watch the business on the streets. Due to the growing population of young Chinese youth, gangs were starting to form.
One of these gangs were the Ghost Shadows.
The Ghost Shadows or GSS are a Chinese youth street gang that was very prominent during the 1970s to the mid 1990s.
They were made up Taiwan and Hong Kong youth that were recruited with the On Leong Tong. The On Leong Tong were enemies of the Hip Sing Tong, and the On Leong Tong recruited the Ghost Shadow members to fight the Hip Sing Tongs street Gang, the Flying Dragons.
Tongs would usually recruit a street gang to protect their businesses and watch the streets their businesses were on. The street gangs would act as the muscle, and get a piece of the action from everyone that was under their watch.
The Fall of the Ghost Shadows
The Ghost Shadows Gang caused chaos and havoc in China Town for nearly a decade. They are not fully disbanded as of today, but are not as active as they once were in the public eye.
In 1985 the Ghost Shadows were indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on racketeering charges for crimes spanning more than a decade.
The indictment charged Ghost Shadows with the RICO act, which charged them for murders, extortions, robberies, kidnappings and other crimes that were committed between 1971 to November 1982!
Rudy Giuliani was the United States Attorney and said the gang was involved in extortion and shakedown of stores, restaurants and other Chinese owned businesses in the Mot Street Area.
The Ghost Shadows also ran a protection jacket for gambling dens, Giuliani stated.
The courts described the Ghost Shadows as a gang of men in there 20s and early 30s in which their activities were parasitic and preyed on their own people.