We’ve reached the end of our story about Thaddeus Jimenez. He was a 13-year-old boy arrested for murder, exonerated after 16 years in prison and awarded millions of dollars.
With that money, T.J. could’ve done anything. Instead, he built a gang, unleashed chaos, shot a guy on video, and ended up back in jail.
And the big question is ... why? He’s left us some clues.
Motive extra features
Get a look at the real-life people and places covered in this episode of “Motive.” Meet T.J., his mother Victoria and the family members, friends and lawyers who tell his story.
T.J.’s latest jail photo
Here’s what T.J. looks like now.
“Blu Crown Announcement”
In 2015, T.J. wrote a manifesto from jail — praising the still-loyal members of his gang crew and condemning those he called imposters. The letter was entered into evidence in his federal trial for illegal possession of the gun that he used to shoot Earl Casteel. T.J. was sentenced to more than nine years in prison in that federal case.
Cook County Jail
This is Division 9, a maximum-security facility inside the sprawling Cook County Jail complex on the Southwest Side. It’s where T.J. is currently housed as he awaits trial on attempted murder and aggravated battery charges in state court for shooting Earl. If you stand on the sidewalk outside Division 9, you can see the inmates pacing in the wide, fenced-in galleries in the center of the building.
“A Brief Bio”
This is a still image from T.J.’s six-minute video called “A Brief Bio,” an autobiography of sorts that he produced and uploaded on YouTube. Here he’s loading a handgun. On the streets, T.J. called himself Batman. Note the Batman logo at the top left corner of this screenshot and the name of his gang, the Simon City Royals. In this video, he’s presenting the story of his comic-book alter ego — a gun-toting, gangland antihero.