Seeds of violence are planted across the Boston area by what authorities say are 160 gangs, some just small crews of kids from the same block, armed to the teeth and itching to fight, that can grow into sophisticated drug operations with international ties, reports the Boston Herald. The staggering number of gangs poses a unique problem for Boston lawmen as they scramble to find the ruthless killer of three young women Sunday night on a street. Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley said gang-linked murders make up the “bulk” of the city's homicides.
“It could be just organized around mischief and mayhem,” Conley told the Herald. “Sometimes it's things most adults in the city would view as completely inconsequential: Somebody looked at you for too long or somebody asked a girl you were interested in out on a date. When these worlds collide, it could be at a barbecue or a house party, and when you couple that with easy access to firearms and young people who aren't developmentally adjusted enough to not act in a split second of ferocious violence, it's a recipe for trouble.” The gangs themselves also differ from those in other major cities. Boston crews identify themselves by streets, neighborhoods and housing projects, and largely lack ties to well-known national gangs such as the Latin Kings, Crips and Bloods. It leaves them to create their own identifiers — sometimes among as few as a dozen members — that can include team logos and hats.