Saturday, December 12, 2009

Jeff Fort Family Tree

As discussed in previous posts (here, here, here, and here), Jeff Fort was one of the most notorious gangsters in Chicago history. Like better-known Italian mob leaders such as Colosimo, Torrio, and Capone, he perceived arbitrage profits from government policy (primarily drug prohibition in Fort's case), then developed and managed a huge criminal distribution and marketing enterprise to exploit them. Also like other top gang leaders, he used ingenious methods to distract law enforcement and to massage political and community perceptions, and became a controversial community leader.

Fort was critical in establishing several important gang entities, including the Blackstone Rangers, the Black P. Stone Nation (a collection of local affiliated "stone" gangs), the People Nation (a national cartel of gangs including the BPSN as well as other lage organizations including the Vice Lords), and the El Rukns (a religiously-motivated gang). While the Italian mob in Chicago is today a mere shell of its former self, Fort's gangs, with the possible exception of the Rukns -- whose influence is nevertheless still felt -- are going strong.

It is not uncommon for gang members to draw their family into a criminal organization. Without the ability to enforce employment contracts through the court system the way legal businesses do, trust becomes a next-best substitute for formal contracts in underground industries. Ethnicity and common background engender some level of trust -- hence the fact that most gangs are composed of members of the same race or ethnicity -- but family ties are even stronger. Shirking and disloyalty to the gang in such cases thus means turning one's back on loved ones. In addition, family members of prominent criminals may face discrimination in the labor market (would you think twice before hiring someone named "Gotti"?), so non-gang opportunities become relatively scarce.

The Fort family exemplifies the role relatives play within a gang. Jeff Fort had seven brothers and three sisters, most of which are known to have been active in his criminal enterprise. He is believed to have fathered at least seven children, and two of these rose to leadership positions in the gang. In addition, nephews and even grandchildren have also been connected with criminal activity.


  • Andrew Fort (born c. 1959)
Active in developing the drug sales operations of the El Rukns in the 1970s and 1980s after Jeff Fort's release from prison in 1976. In 1986, convicted of the April 1985 murder of Robert "Dog" Johnson on Stony Island and 67th Place. Johnson, a former Rukn, had left the gang to deal drugs independently and was allegedly killed by Andrew Fort in a territorial dispute.

(Pictured: Andrew Fort, being arrested for marijuana possession in 1979 at the El Rukn Temple)

  • Bennie Fort (born c. 1949)

Active in the Blackstone Rangers and BPSN during the 1960s and 1970s. Served two years in prison between 1968 and 1970 for aggravated battery. After release, rejoined gang and was among top leadership during Jeff Fort's first prison sentence, 1972-76. He apparently continued to be active in the El Rukns during the 1980s, and in 1982 was involved in a physical altercation with a woman in a dispute over ownership of a television set. The woman called police, and while accusing Bennie Fort of aggravated battery, also fingered him as the killer in a murder a few months before, a bar fight that ended in the death of Darryl Poindexter. Fort went on trial for the slaying, but after some witness intimidation by his brothers Eugene and Johnny Lee (see below), was acquitted. He did serve two years in prison for the woman's battery, however.

Televisions were bad news for Bennie Fort. In June 1988, a fellow El Rukn, Perry Squire, sold a broken TV to Fort for $40. Fort managed to repair it, and when Squire saw his broken set working again, he insisted it be returned to him. Fort refused, but a few days later, the television was stolen, and Fort confronted Squire about it. An altercation ensued, during which Squire stabbed Bennie Fort to death.

  • Eugene Fort (born c. 1951)

A low-level enforcer in the Rukns. Along with Johnny Lee Fort, he was involved in intimidating witnesses during Bennie Fort's 1983 murder trial. On July 14, 1983, the day after police arrested Bennie Fort, Eugene and Johnny Lee Fort allegedly broke into the home of the woman who had accused him of the killing and threatened to kill her.

  • James Fort (born c. 1962)

Drug dealer in the Rukns. Convicted of crack cocaine distribution and imprisoned in 1994.

  • Johnny Lee Fort (born c. 1947)

The oldest of the brothers and the namesake of his father. Despite age, does not appear to have held high office in the gang, though together with Eugene Fort, was involved in intimidation of witnesses in Bennie Fort's 1983 murder trial (see above).

  • Lawrence Fort (born c. 1960)

Ran one of the El Rukns' ancillary businesses in the 1980s, a security firm known as Security Maintenance Services, Ltd. The firm was unlicensed, and Fort was arrested as part of a police sting operation at McCormick Place. Pled guilty in the case to operating a security firm without a license, and carrying an illegal firearm.


  • Pee Wee Fort (born ?)

Active in El Ruks during 1980s. In 1985, Yonava Eason and two girlfriends were walking down a street when they saw Andrew Fort (above) and David Carter, both El Rukns, open fire on Robert "Dog" Johnson. Eason picked Carter's photo from a lineup, but when asked to testify in court, recanted her identification. Andrew Fort was convicted, but without Eason's testimony, Carter went free. Later, in 1991, Eason admitted she had changed her testimony after being threatened out of court by Pee Wee Fort, who told her she "better not testify". "My family was more important to me than telling the truth in that courtroom that day," she said.

Carter was convicted of murder, but eventually had his sentence reduced to 8-1/2 years on narcotics distribution charges, based on prosecutorial misbehavior. Prosecutors in the case had allowed gang snitches to use drugs, liquor, and to have sex with their wives and girlfriends while under state guard.
  • Merriam Rice (neĆ© Fort) (born ?)

No known gang activities in Chicago. Today is an anti-gang activist, working alongside former Gangster Disciples leader K.G. Wilson in inner-city Minneapolis, who is involved in street preaching and anti-violence community organizing. See this article for details. The Disciples are the chief Chicago rivals of the BPSN, and form the core of the "Folk Nation", a gang cartel organization rival to Fort's "People Nation"; hence, Rice's work with Wilson is significant. Wilson said,

I heard Jeff Fort had a sister here. I introduced myself and told her to come out with me. She did, and she's been with me ever since. Here I am, an ex-chief of the Black Gangster Disciples, and God gave me the sister of Jeff Fort. I think that allows us to show people that this gang thing is garbage.

[Thanks to Otto Sotnak for the tip about Merriam Rice, which inspired this post.]

  • Antonio Fort (born c. 1966) (also known as "Prince Akeem")

Believed to have been among top Chicago-based leadership of the El Rukns during the 1980s (Jeff Fort commanded the gang from prison in Beaumont, Texas, for most of the period), Antonio Fort was the target of the arrest warrant police used to infiltrate and eventually demolish the El Rukn Grand Major Temple and mosque headquarters on 39th and Drexel in 1989. Antonio Fort was apparently not fully loyal to the gang (possibly under the influence of a substance abuse problem), leading Jeff Fort to direct "drummings" [beatings] of his own son by fellow gang members as punishment on at least two occasions.

In the early 1990s, Antonio Fort is believed to have led a large Stones set the South Shore neighborhood (colloquially known as "Terror Town" during the gang's reign). Between 1992 and 1996, he served a prison sentence for conspiracy to purchase cocaine in Evanston. His release may have created a power struggle in the gang; in any case, his body washed up on the shore of Wolf Lake, separating Illinois and Indiana, in March, 1997.
  • Watkeeta Valenzuela Fort (born c. 1970) (also known as "Prince Watkeeta")

In the power vacuum left after the government takedown of the Rukns in the late 1980s, Valenzuela came to power, leading one of the major Stones sets which controlled the Englewood neighborhood, with headquarters at 54th St. and Bishop St. (pictured at the top of this post). Valenzuela led the Stones in violent clashes with the Gangster Disciples gang, which also tried to move in on Rukn territory on the South Side during the early 1990s. In March, 1997, he pled guilty to running a cocaine trafficking operation, telling the court "I was born into this. I had no other choice."

Valenzuela is believed to have remained the closest of his siblings to father Jeff Fort, and to have incorporated much of the quasi-Islamic religious aspects of the Rukns in the 1990s Stones sets. His followers called themselves "Moes", a reference to the "Moorish Science" tenants of the Rukns. That name is still common among some factions.


  • Eugene Fort, nephew and son of Eugene Fort, brother (born c. 1972)

Active in Minneapolis crack trade during the early 1990s. Was chief suspect in 1990 murder of 11-year old boy Marcus Potts, who was at home alone while his house was being burglarized. A trail of footprints in the snow from the boy's home led police back to Eugene Fort's house, where traces of the boy's blood were found. However, the evidence was not strong enough to convict in court, and so the case was not brought to trial for 15 years, when DNA testing technology had advanced to the point where the blood could be more authoritatively matched. Eugene Fort was convicted of murder in 2007, though a new trial was briefly considered in 2007 based on the apparent jailhouse confession of his cousin Paul Rice. However, Fort's conviction was upheld.

  • Paul Rice, nephew and son of Merriam Rice, sister (born ?)

After the conviction of his cousin Eugene Fort in the murder of an 11-year old boy, Rice supposedly bragged to jail inmates that he had "killed a little boy" on at least two occasions. On this basis, Eugene Fort received a hearing to determine whether a new trial was warranted, though Fort's conviction was subsequently upheld.

  • Antonio Fort, grandson and son of Antonio Fort, son (born c. 1987) (also known as "Peanut")

Allegedly involved in 2002 mob beating that made national news. Jack Moore and Anthony Stuckey were driving drunk and high through the Oakland neighborhood, and crashed their van into a house on Lake Park Ave., where three young women were sitting. The crash injured the women, killing one. A crowd of men who were nearby at the time of the wreck dragged Moore and Stuckey out of the van and beat them to death on the street. A police officer who arrived on the scene to break up the violence claimed that Antonio was a leader of the vigilante mob, and had personally attacked Moore and Stuckey.

At trial in 2003, Antonio Fort testified that he arrived on the scene after the violence had already begun, and that he left quickly when he heard his mother calling him. Fort was acquitted. Reports indicate he is not closely associated with the Stones.


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Anonymous said...

I agree when you run into one of these so-call tough gangbanger ONE ON ONE without their weapon they are straight up scary petrified bitches. But with their gang they act like they're harder than steel. Chicken hearted punks.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I recall after the Jeff and Main 21 fall out the powerful Jeff tip toed around Woodlawn alone in fear of his life. After being shot at from the order of Main Killer Cain , Jeff called a meet to dissolve the disagreement.

Anonymous said...

When are the Rukns annually picnic?

Anonymous said...

What the status of the Alfano 7?

Anonymous said...

What goin on with Satan?

Anonymous said...

What goin on with Satan?

Anonymous said...

Wat up Andrew? Wat happenin?

Anonymous said...

Larry Hoover broke bread with Jeff on August 23,2015 after moved back to population.Can you dig it?

Anonymous said...

That's a Dam lie
Forts on lock down
No human contact
My cousin works there

Anonymous said...


Giardinelleso said...

The public records show the following regarding the family of Jeff Fort.

His mother, Annie Gibson Bacon, born August 30, 1930; died March 8, 2010. She had ten children with John Lee Fort, Sr. (b. 1925) of whom the following are deceased. They were all born in Aberdeen, Mississippi, where the Fort family has lived for several generations.

1. John Lee Fort, Jr., born January 1, 1946; died April 7, 2004 at Chicago.

2. Bennie Fort, born February 21, 1948; died June 11, 1988 at Chicago.

3. Willie Gene Fort, born November 9, 1949, died December 12, 2002 at Chester, Illinois (Menard).

Anonymous said...

When did Eugene Fort pass? I heard that Pee Wee Fort died last year.

Anonymous said...

Alll wellll moee

Anonymous said...

All of that no human contact bull shit are what they portray to the public. All about politic and money.

Anonymous said...

Congressman Bobby Rush visited Jeff and Hoover on Nov.9,15 in Florence, Co.about the gangs violence and killing on the streets in Chicago.

Anonymous said...

For the idiot who said
Fort and Hoover ate together.
Bobby Rush stated they are on 23 hr
Lockdown with minimal human contact.
Does that sound like 2 mother fuckers eating
Together?Google and read the article
And for the fools who think they are getting
Out or should get out..conspiring with terrorist
Drug and murder convictions?
You fools would go visit the devil in jail
If you could and not to learn how to stay out of hell
But to kiss his ass.

Anonymous said...

None of these young guys give a fuck about
Fort or Hoover, you'd read about both they're
Assess laying in the streets just like Willie Lloyd
And they sure dam wouldn't
Stop seeking drugs and that goes hand in hand
With killing people, just ask Fort and Hoover
How many people they have had murdered?
Save the Bullshit, it's these Old niggers
Who use to be or still wanna be thugs
Standing in line to lick ass. I agree

Anonymous said...

If u think Fort is having human contact
You're not a congressman I'm sure
Take your ass to ADX eat with Fort
And post a pic
Save the Shit

Anonymous said...

I know this site is about gang bs
Post some shit about people
Whose still out on the streets
The smart ones who don't get their
Dumb asses locked up from
Saying stupid shit on the phone
Like Fort .. When it's posted
Phone calls may be recorded
And Hoover talking into
ID cards being recorded
you want these fools
Let out to lead somebody?
Lol now that's funny
The 2 stooges

Anonymous said...

Jeff and Hoover broke bread and that's a fact.

Anonymous said...

not true bruh ik a few wit college degrees that own appliance stores liqour stores corner stores and used car lots right in medina and dry moving in signs of education and peace ✌ ✌ ✌ get yall facts right

Anonymous said...

I appreciate you for that
Bottom line is we are in this together bro.

Anonymous said...

fort and hoover are just 2 fools who didn't know when to stop their criminal behavior after repeatedly going back and forth to prison.
so what does that tell you?
both are dam fools, and whether they ate together or not
doesn't change a dam thing in or out of prison.
enough of the ass kissing.....that el rukn shit is over
for sure lol

Anonymous said...

Yes this is true he is very young and Wild and has a violent temper and known to carry weapons on him at all times

Anonymous said...

Pawnee fort is the one tha violent and believes in only gang Bangin very hot-headed known to have a temper and known to carry weapons at all times

Anonymous said...

Pawnee fort is very hot headed violent charismatic and known to carry weapons on him at all times

Anonymous said...

Been over.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

No moose is not gang banging. The man is sick. He got people kissing his ass keeping up shit so they can get his position or a title before he die...

Anonymous said...

Go on face book you will find Aki and a lot of the fortd

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