Gang Investigation Books: Learn About Life on the Inside of America’s Gangs


A gang is a group of people who, through the organization, formation, and establishment of an assemblage, share a common identity.  In current terms, the word gang typically denotes a criminal organization or a criminal affiliation. The word gang often carries a negative connotation due to the violence and criminal activity usually associated with gang members.

Why Do Private Eyes Need to Know About These Organizations?
Private investigators are sometimes hired to infiltrate gangs to conduct covert investigations involving cliques.  For example, a parent might hire a private investigator to determine if their child has become involved in illegal and dangerous activity. In other situations, private investigators may have to interview crew members to get information about a crime or a subject.  Having an understanding of gang life, how squads, tribes, teams and cliques are formed and structured will be helpful to private detectives.

Following are books that provide more information on gang investigations.

Under and Alone: The True Story of the Undercover Agent Who Infiltrated America’s Most Violent Outlaw Motorcycle Gang – A book that provides a detailed account of a law enforcement agent who infiltrated a violent motorcycle gang. The agent assumed the role of a biker named “Billy St. John” and spent 28-months in an undercover operation. During his investigation, he gathered evidence of homicide, weapons and drug violations. At first the crew suspected that he was a cop and he was forced to prove himself a number of times. The book reads like a movie and provides a fascinating look into the life of sadistic and criminal biker gangs.

Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member

An account of a Los Angeles gangbanger who was inducted into the Crips at age 11. Get a look inside the Crips and learn how their mindset keeps them in a constant state of war.

Gang Investigations: A Street Cop’s Guide

This guide provides information on gangbanger identification, arrest, search and seizure, prosecution, and anti-gang measure. Learn how to deal with the modern street thugs and survive on the streets as a law enforcement officer.

Gangs Across America And Their Symbols (Pocket Guides

A guide to understanding gangs. Includes such topics as:

  • Gang affiliation breakdowns
  • Affiliated nations’ color schemes meanings
  • interpretations of graffiti and insignia
  • hand signs, slang translations and tattoo meanings

The book covers such interesting topics as: street, ethnic, occult, outlaw motorcycle, hate groups, prison groups and more.

Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A.

A memoir that documents a youth’s time as an East Los Angeles gang member. Describes such events as shootings, Mexican funerals, rapes and arrests.

Inside the Crips: Life Inside L.A.’s Most Notorious Gang

A memoir of a clique member that provides an inside look into the life of gang members. Learn what daily life looks like from the inside of a criminal organization.

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