RC: How long were you in your gang?
Joe: Man, about 15 years I guess.
RC: During your time in the gang, what activities were you involved in?
Joe: I started out basically on a recruiter team, which is very cool. They set you up with the kickin' ride, crib, and clothes. Then, you hang around the streets, acting cool.
RC: What's the point?
Joe: Makes other kids want what I got. Let's the kids know that the older guys I was paired with are approachable.
RC: To get new kids into the gang.
Joe: Yeah. Exactly. We spent the day me driving around with these guys, showing off my grill and stuff, and all the time the older guys were watching to see who had the hunger in their eyes. Then, they'd find out everything about those kids...did they have strong families, how did they feel about school...all that kind of stuff.
Robin: And if they felt the kid was isolated enough, they'd target him like they did you?
Joe: Pretty much.
Robin: What was the average age of these new recruits?
Joe: Same as me--not even 13.
Robin: What else did you do over the course of your 15 years in the gang?
Joe: I'm not proud of what I've done.
Robin: I know that.
Joe: Let's see, I recruited, I sold drugs, was an enforcer, a protector, laundered money, stole...pretty much every horrible thing you can imagine, I did for my gang.
...stay tuned for part 3
All of this information *Joe* so candidly shared was vital to me in writing my latest release, Fear No Evil