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RIOTS, CIVIL AND CRIMINAL DISORDERS

TUESDAY, JULY 2, 1968

U.S. SENATE,
PERMANENT SUBCOMMITTEE ON INVESTIGATIONS
OF THE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS,

Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10:17 a.m., in room 3302, New Senate Office Building, pursuant to Senate Resolution 216, agreed to March 15, 1968, Senator John L. McClellan (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.

Members of the subcommittee present: Senator John L. McClellan, Democrat, Arkansas; Senator Karl E. Mundt, Republican, South Dakota; and Senator Carl T. Curtis, Republican, Nebraska.

Also present: Jerome S. Adlerman, general counsel; La Vern J. Duffy, assistant counsel; John J. Walsh, investigator; Dr. Robert E. Dunne, assistant counsel; Philip W. Morgan, chief counsel to the minority; John Brick, investigator; and Ruth Y. Watt, chief clerk.

The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.

(Members of the subcommittee present at time of reconvening: Senators McClellan and Curtis.)

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Counsel, call your witness.
Mr. ADLERMAN. Mr. Dorenzo.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you raise your right hand.

You do solemnly swear the evidence you shall give before this Senate subcommittee shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

Mr. DORENZO. Yes, sir.

TESTIMONY OF NICHOLAS DORENZO

The CHAIRMAN. Be seated.
State your name.
Mr. DORENZO. My name is Nicholas Dorenzo.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you live in Chicago?
Mr. DORENZO. Yes, I do.
The CHAIRMAN. How old are you
Mr. DORENZO. Nineteen.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have an attorney?
Mr. DORENZO. No.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you now in custody of the Chicago police ?
Mr. DORENZO. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Have you previously in executive session testified before this committee? Mr. DORENZO. In previous session?

The CHAIRMAN. Did you testify yesterday before this subcommittee? 1 Mr. DORENZO. No, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. You did not testify here. Did you in another room in the building testify before the committee yesterday?

Mr. DORENZO. Oh, yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Before you testified were you advised then, since you did not have an attorney, that anything you might say could be used against you?

Mr. DORENZO. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And that you were not being compelled to testify?
Mr. DORENZO. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Did you state that you wanted to testify voluntarily and tell the truth?

Mr. DORENZO. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you still wish to do that?
Mr. DORENZO. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you wish now to have counsel before you testify! )
Mr. DORENZO. No, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Have you been promised anything for your testimony?

Mr. DORENZO. No, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. By the committee, by the committee staff, or by any : one in the Chicago Police Department, or anyone else?

Mr. DORENZO. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Why are you willing to testify?

Mr. DORENZO. Because I feel that our problem has not been solved with this money that was sent to us by OEO.

The CHAIRMAN. I can't hear you. Mr. DORENZO. I feel that the problem in our area has not been solved

The CHAIRMAN. The problem has not been solved?
Mr. DORENZO. That is true.

The CHAIRMAN. If there is any reason why you don't want to testify I want you to say so.

Mr. DORENZO. There is no reason.
The CHAIRMAN. You are sure now that you want to proceed?
Mr. DORENZO. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. How long have you lived in Chicago?
Mr. DORENZO. All my 19 years.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you live in what is known as the Woodlawn area?

Mr. DORENZO. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you lived there all your life!
Mr. DORENZO. Since 1954.
The CHAIRMAN. Where did you live prior to that time?
Mr. DORENZO. I lived at 532i Shields.
The CHAIRMAN. In Chicago?
Mr. DORENZO. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. In another area of town?
Mr. DORENZO. I believe it was called Garfield, in and around Garfield.
The CHAIRMAN. What education have you?
Mr. DORENZO. I am third year in high school.

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The CHAIRMAN. Third year in high school?
Mr. DORENZO. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. When did you quit high school?
Mr. DORENZO. In 1965, I believe it was.
The CHAIRMAN. In 1965 ?
Mr. DORENZO. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. What have you been doing since ?

Mr. DORENZO. I have had previous jobs. I quit school I worked at
Hot Point.

The CHAIRMAN. Worked where?
Mr. DORENZO. Hotpoint.
The CHAIRMAN. A Hotpoint plant?
Mr. DORENZO. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. How long did you work there?
Mr. DORENZO. I worked there about 9 months.
The CHAIRMAN. Then what did you do?
Mr. DORENZO. I had a job at O'Hare Field working for American
Airlines.

The CHAIRMAN. You worked for American Airlines a while. How long?

Mr. DORENZO. About 5 months, I believe.
The CHAIRMAN. Where did you next work?
Mr. DORENZO. Then I didn't have a job.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that the last place you worked ?
Mr. DORENZO. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. With a regular job?
Mr. DORENZO. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Before you worked for the OEO project?
Mr. DORENZO. That is true.

The CHAIRMAN. During that time, how long was it? A year or so that you didn't work?

Mr. DORENZO. I believe that is correct.

The CHAIRMAN. I don't know what the time figures for 1965 areyou worked 9 months and then 5 or 6 months ?

Mr. DORENZO. It is about 14 months.
The CHAIRMAN. About 14 months that you didn't have a job?
Mr. DORENZO. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. During that time, what did you do?
Mr. DORENZO. I ran a street gang.
The CHAIRMAN. You ran a street gang?
Mr. DORENZO. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What was the name of it?
Mr. DORENZO. The Devil's Disciples.

The CHAIRMAN. How many are in that gang or were in it when you left it?

Mr. DORENZO. About when I started and when I left it, it totaled about 400 membership.

The CHAIRMAN. About 400 membership. When did you leave it? Mr. DORENZO. After I was relieved from Cook County jail, about the end of March.

The CHAIRMAN. About the end of March this year?
Mr. DORENZO. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Why did you leave it?
Mr. DORENZO. Because of the previous charge made upon me earlier.
The CHAIRMAN. Threats made upon you?
Mr. DORENZO. From the charge that I had in Cook County jail.
Mr. Duffy. Could you explain that a bit!
Mr. DORENZO. From the charge, the charge of murder.
The CHAIRMAN. From the charge you had ?
Mr. DORENZO. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that what caused you to leave it?
Mr. DORENZO. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you married.
Mr. DORENZO. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have any children! ?
Mr. DORENZO. One.

The CHAIRMAN. What is the structure of the Devil's Disciples with respect to its ruling power or authority? Who rules it? Who controls it?

Nr. DORENZO. It is run by the president, David Barksdale. He is the commander.

The CHAIRMAN. What is his name?
Mr. DORENZO. David Barksdale.
The CHAIRMAN. Was he the president?
Mr. DORENZO. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What position did you hold?
Mr. DORENZO. Vice president.
The CHAIRMAN. How long were you vice president?
Mr. DORENZO. For about a year.

The CHAIRMAN. How long after you joined before you became vice president?

Mr. DORENZO. I was in the group but we had two sides then, Englewood Disciples and East Side Disciples which I was the president of before we united.

The CHAIRMAN. You were president of the Englewood Disciples?
Mr. DORENZO. No, East Side.
The CHAIRMAN. What are the Disciples called now, just the Devil's
Disciples

Mr. DORENZO. That is true.
The CHAIRMAN. Was there a merger of a number of smaller gangs?
Mr. DORENZO. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. How many?
Mr. DORENZO. About five which merged.
The CHAIRMAN. About five allies that merged ?
Mr. DORENZO. Yes.
Senator CURTIS. May I ask a question there?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Senator CURTIS. What high school did you attend !
Mr. DORENZO. Hyde Park.

Senator CURTIS. How did you happen to join the gang? Was there any reason for it?

Mr. DORENZO. I was chased out of school by the Blackstone Rangers. I was chased away from school by the Blackstone Rangers.

Senator CURTIS. The Blackstone Rangers is another gang!
Mr. DORENZO. That is true.
(At this point Senator Mundt entered the hearing room.)

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Senator CURTIS. And they would chase you away from school?
Mr. DORENZO. That is true.
Senator CURTIS. How could you prevent that from happening?

Mr. DORENZO. Well, we had to be members of the gang, go by the agreement that they wanted us to go by. They wanted the whole Woodlawn area, including our neighborhood, too.

Senator CURTIS. What would you have to do or be to be a member of their gang?

Mr. DORENZO. The idea was that they wanted to run the whole community, extort merchants, dope peddlers, prostitution, everything, all these activities that went on in the community that the people there were having this would have to pay the Blackstone Rangers to work there.

Senator CURTIS. If you were to join the Blackstone Rangers, is it your understanding you would have had to pay dues?

Mr. DORENZO. That is true.
Senator CURTIS. And do what they told you?
Mr. DORENZO. That is true.

Senator CURTIS. So, you joined another gang that was opposed
to the Blackstone Rangers?
Mr. DORENZO. That is true.

Senator CURTIS. Do you think you would have ever joined the gang if you had been allowed to go to and from school without being molested?

Mr. DORENZO. Yes, sir, I think this is true.
Senator CURTIS. What is true?
Mr. DORENZO. That if I had not been molested or most of the boys
that we wouldn't have joined the gang.

Senator CURTIS. Because you did passing work for 3 years?
Mr. DORENZO. That is true.
Senator CURTIS. And you felt that you could have graduated ?
Mr. DORENZO. Yes, sir.

Senator CURTIS. Did some of the Blackstone Rangers come to you and say anything or make threats of any kind?

Mr. DORENZO. Yes, the leadership at that time, Jeff Fort-
The CHAIRMAN. Who?
Mr. DORENZO. Eugene Hairston and Jeff Fort and Fletcher Pugh.

Senator CURTIS. What did they say? If you can't remember the exact words be as accurate as you can and tell us what kind of threats they would make.

Mr. DORENZO. At that time I was going to the boys club whose director was Mr. Dan Wood. He had former service with the Rangers at one time and getting them into the First Presbyterian Church, I believe,

We had about 18 boys there which was a basketball team. We would talk with Eugene Hairston and Jeff Fort. In the future they started making us offerings, you know, by trying to come over into our area to get control of it which a number of times we went along with but when they say we didn't respond to their wishes that is when we started being jumped on and ran from school sometimes.

Sometimes the police would give us protection but they were around all the time.

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