As a teenager growing up on Chicago’s West Side in the 1960s, Willie Lloyd joined the Unknown Vice Lords, a faction based along 16th Street in the Lawndale neighborhood. Lloyd soon became the faction’s leader and recruited thousands of followers. Eventually he proclaimed himself “King of Kings” and stated that he was the leader of the entire Vice Lord Nation. However, his tenure was interrupted by a prison term for his part in the murder of a police officer in Iowa.
Willie Lloyd continued to lead the gang on the outside through fellow inmates and prison employees affiliated with the gang. While incarcerated, Lloyd wrote The Amalgamated Order of Lordism, a 61-page manifesto on the Vice Lord command structure in the prisons and on the streets. He was incarcerated in 1971 until his release on parole in 1986, then was back in prison a year later on a weapons conviction until another parole in 1992. When he left prison in 1992, he was picked up by fellow gang members dressed in furs who were driving a convoy of five limousines.In 1992, he was involved in a protracted gang war over control of the Vice Lord Nation, involving kidnapping and the murder of rival members’ children. Law enforcement intensified its efforts to remove Lloyd from the street, and from 1994 to 2001, he was again incarcerated for weapons violations.
During Loyd’s quarter-century as gang leader, Vice Lord drug deals, extortion and other crimes reportedly led to thousands of homicides. In 1996, police had supposedly linked every murder committed in Chicago’s 15th district back to orders from Lloyd.
Willie Lloyd supposedly quit the Vice Lords after his release from prison, and became an outspoken critic of gang life.
In August 2003, Lloyd was shot four times in Garfield Park. This was the third assassination attempt on Lloyd. Lloyd became paralyzed from the neck down due to injuries from the shooting. Rumors persisted that Lloyd still wanted to collect a “tax” from the Vice Lords as its leader, even though he had supposedly left gang life. Lloyd has given interviews stating that he believes his attackers included some of his former henchmen