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Victoria Jimenez, mother of Thaddeus ‘T.J.’ Jimenez.
Victoria Jimenez, mother of Thaddeus ‘T.J.’ Jimenez.
Frank Main / Sun-Times

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‘Motive’ Episode 2: Violated into the PeeWees

T.J. Jimenez’s mother Victoria says she did her best to keep her son out of gangs. In this episode of ‘Motive,’ we learn about what he was like as a kid.

What was T.J. Jimenez’s childhood like before he was sent to prison?

A former friend talks about what it was like to run the streets with Jimenez in the early 1990s, when gang violence was out of control in Chicago.


You can listen to “Motive” wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Spotify, and Stitcher.


Motive extra features

Get a look at the real-life people and places covered in this episode of “Motive.” Meet Thaddeus “T.J.” Jimenez, his mother and the family members, friends, cops, and lawyers who tell his story.

Graph depicting Murder rates in Chicago 1985-present
Murder rates in Chicago 1985-present
Source: Chicago Police Department

Chicago violence has always been a political talking point. But in the 1990s, when T.J. was charged with murder, the number of killings skyrocketed due to gang violence. The government responded to violence in Chicago and across the country with “tough on crime” laws.

T.J. Jimenez’s mugshot

At 13, Jimenez was a member of the Simon City Royals — the PeeWee Royals, as those under 16 were called — and had been since he was 11. In his Avondale neighborhood, T.J. and his friends liked to hang out on the corner of Belmont and Sacramento avenues. Those who knew him then say he wanted to prove himself as a Royal and he carried a gun around the neighborhood.

Who’s who in ‘Motive’

Attorney Jon Loevy.
Attorney Jon Loevy.
Ashlee Rezin / Sun-Times

Meet the key players in this podcast, from T.J. and Vicky to Jon Loevy and Larry Tueffel.

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