One of the hardest greaser gangs of the time, the Thorndale Jagoffs were a problem. They started off in Chicagos uptown neighbourhood labelled as North Side.
The Rise of the Thorndale Jarvis Organization
At the Corner of Thorndale and Kenmore, and youth by the name Joe Ganci would start a greaser gang called the Thorndale Jarvis Organization. Joe started the gang in 1962.
By 1963 the TJOs started an effort to become the toughest greaser gang in all of Uptown, by 1964 the TJOs became known as the toughest greaser gang.
During their rise to notoriety, the Torndale Jarvis Organization members were called Jag Offs in the news papers. The members got a rise out of this and changed they gang name to the Thorndale Jag offs.
In the News
One of the crimes that put the Jag Offs on the map happened in 1969. The TJO members Peter Cusack and Donal Ritt battered a man named Robert Boyce with a bottle and an antenna from a car at a Drive in Theatre at 5627 Olive Street.
This incident would bring a lot of heat to the gang as no one at the drive in or even the owner of the drive in decided to call the cops or even stop the battering.
The fact that no one stopped the fight or tried to stop it showed how much power the TJO had over their neighbourhood.
Another incident in 1969 happened when 4 members of the TJO broke into Swift Elementary and vandalized the school, and set 4 rooms on fire.
Greaser Gang to Real Gang
Now greaser gangs were not really considered hard core street gangs yet, although they did get in trouble and the occasional member would commit a serious crime.
In the 1970s the TJOs would move from a greaser gang to a fully established gang and would cement their name in Chicago gang history.
The 70s brought out a violent side of the TJOs not seen before, with the introduction of Black students at Senn High School in 1971.
The city would start moving in black students from the south side of Chicago, the TJO was not on board with this decision and attacked black students who were part of the Black P Stones.
The Black P Stones were not having any of this and planned an attack on the TJOs on April 15, 1972 at Bobs Restaurant, which was a TJO hangout.
This attack would lead to a massive gang brawl that had bottles and chains.
Another fight at Senn High School involving the TJO, Stones and the Puerto Rican Stones gang caused the school to close.
By the 1973 the residents of Uptown hated the TJOs and started fighting back against the gang, it was not after Bill Cooper a resident of Uptown was beaten up by the leader of the TJOs at the time, Gary Keller.
Keller would eventually press charges against Keller and this would land him in jail for 6 months.
Notorious TJO Members
Of all the TJOs the most feared members were Gary Keller, the leader and Joe Ganci the founder, who called all the shots behind the scenes.
Things went bad for these 2 including another member James Oldham when they were convicted of the murder and attempted murder of 2 other gang members.
The 3 TJO members stopped a car containing 2 gang members and fired a shotgun, resulting in 1 killing and an injury.
The 3 TJO members were charged with murder, Joe Ganci the one that shot the shotgun would get life in prison. He later died in prison due to a sickness, he would die in solitary confinement at Menard Correction Center.
While in jail Joe Ganci, would lead a White Supremacist prison gang called the North Side Gang, which consisted of former gang members from the Gaylords, Stoned Freaks, Taylor Jousters, PVR, C-Notes, Uptown Rebels, Insane Popes and Simon City Royals.
The TJOs left their name in history as one of the most hardcore Greaser Gangs in Chicago.