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Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
My Bloody Life: The Making of a Latin King

My Bloody Life: The Making of a Latin King

by Reymundo Sanchez, Rey Sanchez


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My Bloody Life: The Making of a Latin King

Looking for an escape from childhood abuse, Reymundo Sanchez turned away from school and baseball to drugs, alcohol, and then sex, and was left to fend for himself before age 14. The Latin Kings, one of the largest and most notorious street gangs in America, became his refuge and his world, but its violence cost him friends, freedom, self-respect, and nearly his life. This is a raw and powerful odyssey through the ranks of the new mafia, where the only people more dangerous than rival gangs are members of your own gang, who in one breath will say they’ll die for you and in the next will order your assassination.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781556524271
Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 07/28/2000
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 64,764
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.85(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Reymundo Sanchez is the pseudonym of a former Latin King who no longer lives in Chicago. He is also the author of My Bloody Life and coauthor, with Sonia Rodriguez, of Lady Q: The Rise and Fall of a Latin Queen.

Rudy Sanda is a versatile actor, singer, voice-over artist, and fight choreographer. He has appeared on stage and screen in the United States and England, including productions at Laguna Playhouse, Ivoryton Playhouse, and Ocean State Theatre. Rudy holds a BFA in acting from the University of Rhode Island.

Read an Excerpt

The Vicelords hung out on Hoyne and Crystal streets not far from the Unknowns 'hood. That's where we headed. Pebbles and I sat in the rear of the van, Hercules drove, and Morena sat on the front passenger seat. Leo called Pebbles up to the front. I heard him say "give this to that brother so he can take care of business." Pebbles came back to where I was and handed me a sawed off shotgun. I was scared out of my mind. I was about to be tested again. Damn I wished I was in Puerto Rico!

A few seconds later the van stopped. Hercules came to the back and asked for the shotgun. I was relieved thinking that I wouldn't have to use it on anybody, but he only had forgotten to load it. Hercules loaded the shotgun and demonstrated how to use it. "See my brother you pull the trigger then pump it, pull the trigger again then pump it again until its empty," Hercules instructed me. Shotgun shells flew out of the top of the gun every time he pumped it. (He never actually pulled the trigger.) Hercules reloaded it, gave it to me, and again we were on our way. Pebbles lit up a joint and sat next to me. She gave me the joint and started kissing me on my neck and whispering about what she would do to me if I shot a Vicelord for her. I stared at the shotgun, not knowing what to do.

Pebbles took it out of my hands, put it under a blanket then kissed me. I was tongue kissing and feeling up Pebbles' body when Morena came back and told us that we had arrived at our destination. She advised me to get ready then she went back into the front.

Pebbles looked out the window and pointed out the Vicelords for me. She grabbed my groin, squeezed gently, kissed me, and told me that the sooner I got it over with, the quicker I could have her. I made up my mind right there and then to go ahead with the whole thing.

Table of Contents


1 La Familia,
2 Chicago,
3 Humboldt Park,
4 The Beatings Begin,
5 The Spanish Lords,
6 Murder in the 'Hood,
7 My Teacher Maria,
8 No Paradise,
9 No Home,
10 Jenny,
11 Lords of Nothing,
12 Chi-West,
13 Coward,
14 Can't Be Normal Even If I Tried,
15 First Kill,
16 The Acceptable Difference,
17 Officer Friendly,
18 China,
19 Back to the Hunting Grounds,
20 Betrayed into a Coma,
21 Madness,
22 Rosie,
23 Convenient Agreement,
24 My Girl,
25 Prove Myself Worthy,
26 Rape,
27 Crowned,
28 Violence Rules,
29 Madman,
30 Losing Maplewood Park,
31 My Rosie,
32 Down Brother,
33 Poor Rosie,
34 Juni,
35 Loca,
36 Morena, R.I.P.,
37 NRA? Lucky's Death,
38 Crazy Ways,
39 Disciplined,
40 No Lesson Learned,
41 Spread the Violence,
42 Enemies Near,
43 Disowned,
44 The Way It Is,
45 Another Addiction,
46 Close Call,
47 The Law,
48 Free?,
49 Older Woman,
50 Love Lost,
51 Lesson Learned, Finally,
52 Crownless,
53 Tragedies Continue With or Without Me,

What People are Saying About This

Jesse White

A brutal, chilling firsthand account of how a young person who is raised without positive family values will reach out to a gang to find a support system and a substitute family. This book offers new insights into what lures kids into gangs and how difficult it can be for them to get out alive. It shockingly explains how difficult life can be for disadvantaged youngsters and demands that we make a greater effort at improving their lives.
— (Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State and founder of the Jesse White Tumblers, an anti-gang and -drug program)

Customer Reviews

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My Bloody Life 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 178 reviews.
Joe-S307 More than 1 year ago
My Bloody Life is the most intense and thrilling book I have ever read. Reymundo Sanchez wasted no time going into the hardships that he faced through out his life. He is a great author and describes his life with so much detail. It almost feels like you are his best friend living by his side day and night. When he describes some of the horrors of gang life I felt like I was experiencing them. It is a great book that describes his coming-of-age and his transition from little Reymundo into Lil Loco and then back into Reymundo. The intensity of some of the scenes he describes makes you jump into the air. He uses foreshadowing to always keep you guessing what is going to happen next. Some events that he has been through seem unbelievable. I couldn't imagine what it would be like to deal with being shot at every day. Always being afraid for your life and getting sucked into all different addictions. His words that he uses really speak to the heart. He may be a murderer and may have been heartless, but through the whole book you can't help but feel sorry for him. It must have been so hard to see death every day. I recommend this book to mostly young adults who are tired of boring mysteries or drama books. This book may have drama but it is all exciting and the pages jump out at you. You honestly can feel the cold winters he felt. You feel every punch or bullet he takes to the body. You feel like you are running with him when he runs for his life. The very first chapter is filled with excitement. Each paragraph explains more and more how deep he got into gang life. The neglect from his family leads him to the Latin Kings. The backstabbing that took place between the members drove him to reconsider what it really meant to be a King. His path toward being known as a wanted and respected gang member is just unbelievable. His constant battles with himself and who he has become just sinks into your gut. Makes you realize how hard it was for him to have to live under drugs so he could be who everyone else wanted him to be. This book is full of excitement that any young adult would love to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recently met some retired LKs and being a white girl from the suburbs i couldnt beleive the stories they told me. They sugessted i read this book and i was so into it i couldnt put the book down The way he writes makes you feel like you are lil locos best friend and there with him through everything I would recomend this book to anyone reguardless of their age
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is very intersating, and a book everyone should read ! If you like reading books gang related and gang-life this is the book for YOU.!
Jessica Fregoso More than 1 year ago
im growing up in the area where this book takes place the hang out corners,parks,and schools are still around even the gangs have been remade died out and back, but i can tell how its changed. i never planed on ever joining a gang and i still dont,. i told others about the book since they thought gangs were cool now they see how they are not. i thank the author of making this book. because its changed their minds. now i can hope that. my friends will be around longer and do the right thing,. people may think that we are young for this book, but iv been known to be more of an adult then most people my. age an this book has made me more of one. my bloody life is what alot of us around here need. (a book that i will never forget)
rocprince More than 1 year ago
"My Bloody Life", was a deep and eye opening inside look at Latin gang-life. From start to finish the book is gut wrenching, and tells the tale of a boy that has his childhood taken from him from a very young age. The book includes intimate details on the down spiral of a teenage boy entering gang life. It is a personal testimonial of when you have no love and attention at home, you look for it somewhere else. In "Lil Loco's" case he found it with The Latin Kings, or so he thought. I would recommend this book to anyone, but especially young men. Great book from start to finish. Did not disappoint at all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You all need to read this book, My Bloody Life by Reymundo Sanchez. Anyone can enjoy this book. This book is full of suspense and has a brilliant plot. It has lots of things going on and is very easy to get caught in the story. One moment you will be reading the book and time will fly by! This book unwraps a story of a gang member who faces great difficulties with drugs,sex,violence, and death. Throughout the story he has to deal drugs, kill, and have a life as a party. The book is meant to help kids face the reality of being in a gang and to warn them to stay away. I think it's extremely well written for this purpose because it shows Lil Loco at the depth of almost dying but he has to stay in the gang because of fear. " Anything seemed better than what I feared my future would be like as a King." Before that he had been warned that if he didn't join they would have to jump him because he was claiming he was a King. Which he wasn't. In that instance LIL Loco feared for his life so he decided to join. This book demonstrates that gangs can be your friends and rapidly turn against you. I really liked this book because it was full of action and disaster yet it had such a dramatic ending, and I recommend it too all mature people. To read this book you have to be mature because you can fall into the main characters ideas which he's trying to make you avoid. This book is full of violence,drugs, and death. It was breath taking. Not only that but this book has a sequel named Once a King Always A King: The Unmaking of A Latin King by Reymundo Sanchez. This book is based on the same subject. With the first book in mind I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel. Order this book, go out and buy it. Do whatever you need to do because this book is great!
Rdolan More than 1 year ago
First off, I'm not a reader whatsoever and my mother purchased me this book for Christmas. One day, I started off reading it because I was bored at my workplace and that was it. The book's characters and story line is so easy to follow and deep you find yourself angry at your daily chores and job because it interferes with your reading. I finished this book in 5 days and was disappointed when it was over. This is a great book for 1) young adults to show them exactly what's in store for them and that street life is not all fun and games but a matter of life and death and 2) for parents to show what happens when you neglect your children and don't provide them with the attention necessary. Overall, 5 out of 5 and a must read. If not to better your life, it makes you aware of your surroundings and things to watch for. Hope this helped!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing. To me I cherish this book so much and I love it. It's inspired me to do better and achieve more in life. I'm not really much of a reader and i needed a book to do a report on n jst saw this on the shelf. Once i started reading it i couldn't put it down, and finished it in 3 days.(i know how crazy) It has everything a teenager wants to read about (at least where im from). Drugs, Sex, Violence and Just the thoughts that we can relate to. I've let 4 people borrowed this book and they loved it. and 3 other people are waiting in line to borrow. It feels good know that I can get someone to pick up a book that would never even think about reading. Reymundo you are amazing. this is my favorite book ever!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Though My Bloody Life is an interesting book to read, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning about gang life. I had a few doubts about the entire truth of this book. Mr. Sanchez states that during the period in his life when he was a Latin King in Chicago, Puerto Ricans were being deported back to the island. Well, a true Puerto Rican would doubt this seriously! ALL Puerto Ricans are born American citizens because Puerto Rico is not a foreign country, but rather a common wealth of the USA, we are part of the USofA! Thus making us citizens of the United States by birth right! Also, the Spanish language used in this book was grammatically incorrect. Be proud of your ethnicity and make sure you properly spell in Spanish, please! My Bloody Life, like I stated before, makes for an interesting read. But certain parts of this book seem to be bigger than life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is written not to glorify gang life but to show people the horrors of it and the reasons why kids join gangs. these are the reasons I liked it so much. As somewhat of a gang researcher and enthusiast, I read this book with much skepticism thinking it would be another memoir seeking sympathy from the reader. Mr. Sanchez does a good job of explaining what he went through without playing on the reader's heart strings. I recommend this book to anyone interested in seeing what the gang culture is all about and see what goes on in the life of a gang member.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down it just drew into his world and made me sad to think that someone could abandon their child. I really recommend this book to anyone because even my brother who hardly ever reads picked this book up and started reading it as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was interesting.. my friend who is now in a gang told me to read it so I'd understand his lifestyle. I unserstand a lot more about gnags and other things like that after reading this book.. I think it was worth buying. I like how the author didn't use too big of words.. it made it seem for understandable & a lot more interesting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading My Bloody Life. This book is a definite page turner, I couldn't put it down. Sanchez does a good job of taking you straight into the 'hood and putting the drama right in your face. He tells a story of how hard it is to be a young boy and wanting to fit in. If you enjoy reading about real people and experiencing gang life first hand, then this is a great book and I would strongly recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
i loved this book so much i couldnt put it down after the first chapter it had me hooked all though i havent read the second one but i plan to i also live in chicago and i know many of the 'Latin Kings' and they all seem to like what they are doing and i dont disagree with them but i know secretly that gangbangers wonder what there life would be without gangs....
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was an eye opening book for many Puerto Rican Chicagoans as myself. It explains the indirects and the prejudism from non Puerto Ricans and the over protective parents while I was a child. I agree with Jesse White.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a 21 year old girl who read this book while being pregnant with my now 2 year old son. Its a great book to read to encourage others to read it too. I was never involved in the street life but knew of alot of people involved in them. They always seemed so tough so confident in what they were doing in their life but u know they always had another side to them that they were ashmed to show. I would recommed this book to all kids out ther who are a lonely and they think they only way to have somebody whos going to love them is to be in a gang to read this book. It would really open their eyes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Reymundo Sanchez did an AMAZING job in this book. I have seriously read it 5 times... first time I EVER read a book over! I understood it so well, did so many book reports on it and got excellent grades for them. It was really easy to follow and the description was great. It made me laugh, made me cry (each time i read it), and it left me wanting more. Reymundo Sanchez is a great latino, and all that stuff he sayin about the Latin Kings is true.. trust me i know... Gang life isnt what it looks like.. many ppl think it involves being in a family that 'has ur back' every time u get into problems, but in reality it creates MORE problems. Everyone should read this book, young and old!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has you hooked from the very first paragraph untill the last and has you questioning about what will happen next.many teenagers may relate to it from the beatings or simply whats happening around the neighborhood
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author hesitated to join a gang, yet slowly was lured in, wanting to belong in a world where his family beat him almost to death. Later, he sees how the gang, formed to protect the minority in a hard world, ends up using the young to sell drugs and make money. And that is a classic story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I mostly dont read books but when i heard about this book i dedcide to get it 4 my b-day.This is one of the very few books i have ever loved.It was everythin from voilence to sex to drugs.I have like 5 friends that are addicted to this book and cant stop reading. I have kids from arround my skool whating to buy it from me. I recommend this book to any person even if ur 14 to even 70 or who ever will love this book. If u like a different book from others this id it. It is writing in an understandable langauge.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As someone in law school who will soon be fighting for people in Reymundo's situation, I feel like I have a much better feel for what life is like 'on the streets.' As chilling as it is, it is reality for so many. Reymundo exposes his readers to a side of society that most choose to turn a blind eye to. I could not put this book down. Thank-you Reymundo
Guest More than 1 year ago
A job well done!! This book captures the real day to day events of what goes on in the lives of a gangbanger. This book will captivate the curious and will tear the people that lived there even after so many years. I have to admit that reading this book made me remember what for so many years I had tried to forget. Having walked those same streets as Sanchez and now being an adult,I look back and am grateful to be alive!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was one of the best books i have ever read!! it was all true and he really told you how he felt. i have a lot of friends who are kings and queens. one of my friends tells me a lot about what goes on in the nation and while i was reading this book it made me realize and understand more about what was happening w/ my friends. i thought about being a queen myself but after reading this im rethinking the whole thing. thanx lil loco you saved my life!