Chicago gangs: Real people. Real stories.

In the face of the city’s violence, Cecilia Mannion refuses to give up hope. The former gang member relentlessly pursues peace and healing.
Meet Thaddeus “T.J.” Jimenez, a Chicago man who spent 16 years in prison for a murder he swore he didn’t commit. With $25 million from a wrongful-conviction lawsuit, T.J. bought a gang. “Motive” is his story.
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.
After he’s arrested, T.J. is sent to a juvenile detention center in Chicago. In Episode 3 of “Motive,” those who knew T.J. when he was in juvie speak out.
In February 1993, Eric Morro was shot outside a Honey Baked Ham store in Avondale. In this episode of “Motive,” T.J.’s old friend Larry Tueffel takes Frank Main back to the crime scene to tell him how it all really happened.
On May 1, 2009, T.J. became a free man. He won his $25-million lawsuit against the city, found a girlfriend and had two kids. But trouble seemed to find T.J. wherever he went.
T.J. spent 16 years in prison, going from a boy of 13 to a 30-year-old man. What impact did prison have on him? The latest episode of “Motive” looks at the worst of what prison can do to you. Brian Nelson, a former leader of T.J.’s gang, explains.
At the age of 17, TJ walked into Stateville prison and had to grow up fast. Though he was later exonerated in 2009, his prison scars never quite healed.
T.J. and his attorney file a wrongful-conviction lawsuit against the City of Chicago, but how will living through the details of the trial affect T.J.?
With millions of dollars in his pocket, T.J. invested in his old gang — and started a war on Chicago’s West Side.
As we conclude this story, we find some answers about what motivates T.J. Jimenez — from T.J. himself.
Read our coverage of T.J. Jimenez
In what became a viral cellphone video, Earl Casteel was seen shot in the legs by Thaddeus ‘T.J.’ Jimenez in a bizarre case recounted in the 2019 Sun-Times/WBEZ podcast.
He’d asked Illinois’ appeals court to toss the charges in the caught-on-video attack because he already was convicted of a federal gun charge stemming from the same shooting.
The Chicago gang leader was featured in the serial podcast last fall from the Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ Chicago.
The Chicago gang figure was featured in the serial podcast last fall from the Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ Chicago.
Featured in the 2019 podcast ‘Motive,’ he was found dead Monday in his office at the Uptown People’s Law Center, where he worked for a decade and answered thousands of inmates’ letters.
Earl Casteel sued Thaddeus “T.J.” Jimenez for shooting him in 2015 on Chicago’s Northwest Side. A judge awarded Casteel $6.3 million.
Jimenez was in prison for 16 years after he was convicted in the fatal shooting of a man in 1993. He was freed after his conviction was overturned.
A federal jury Tuesday awarded $25 million to a suburban man who sued the city of Chicago after spending 16 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. “Sometimes the criminal justice system makes a mistake,” said Jon Loevy, one of the attorneys for plaintiff Thaddeus “T.J.” Jimenez. “In this case, we proved that’s exactly what happened.”
Thaddeus “T.J.” Jimenez received 110 months for shooting the man twice in August 2015 from his Mercedes convertible.
Even the $25 million Thaddeus ‘T.J.’ Jimenez won from City Hall can’t keep wrongfully convicted Chicago man out of trouble.
T.J. Jimenez won $25 million from the city of Chicago for wrongful conviction — then blew it on a deadly gang war that “blew up the West Side.”
THE WATCHDOGS: For years, women have put on strip shows atop a downtown parking garage for inmates at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center.