Oh, the South Side of Chicago Is the Baddest Part of Town

AP Photo/Teresa Crawford

Remember “Leroy Brown“?

Well, the south side of Chicago
Is the baddest part of town
And if you go down there
You better just beware

~ Jim Croce

It’s been fifty years since Jim Croce died in a plane crash on take-off from a foggy Natchitoches airport – hard to believe, no?


It’s hard to believe what Chicago looks like 50 years later, too. The South Side certainly has its issues and they are an every day problem.

Screencap Google Search

I doubt anyone from then would recognize the place were they sucked through a half century wormhole and deposited back in the city today.

For one thing, the “projects” sure look different.

I’m hoping those aren’t the new tents they’ve been talking about putting up for the “migrants. Yeesh. That’s not even a stiff wind, less mind what can come through in a blizzard. And “warming buses”? These can’t possibly be any of the $29M tents Mayor Brandon Johnson has committed the city to buying. In classic Johnson fashion, he’s dumping in a ward whose alderwoman he never even bothered to notify that they were en route to vacant lot near her.

[Cue: footage, pissed off Chicago residents]

The criminals for which Chicago has always been known aren’t exactly Al Capone or Mayor Daly strong arm types these days, but, in many cases, they do seem ruthlessly efficient. Time is money and tempus fugit. The bad South Side is holding its own.

Police are investigating two strings of armed robberies on the Southwest and South sides, one of which included 10 armed robberies within 45 minutes.

The 10 robberies were reported between about 6:15 a.m. and 7 a.m. Saturday in the Brighton Park, Chicago Lawn, Gage Park and Lower West Side neighborhoods, Chicago police said.

Friday evening, six armed robberies were reported on the South Side. Five of them happened between 8 p.m. and 8:35 p.m., while the other was about 4:30 p.m., according to police.


Chicago criminals also seem to have started indulging an overdeveloped sweet tooth for vehicular thefts, with or without drivers.

In one particularly horrifying instance last week, a mom had just parked her car after bringing her 12 year old daughter home from volleyball practice. Knee deep in closing the door of the separate garage and getting to the backdoor of her home in the dark, she never once noticed the two men who had followed them home, and were waiting in the driveway for her.

This video and her screams – it’s just ghastly.

She is so lucky to be alive.

An investigation is underway after thieves stole a car from a woman after holding her at gunpoint outside of her home on the city’s Far South Side last week, police say.

…“I thought that they might have been my son’s friends because they had hoods up and they looked young and they were kind of lanky.” the victim, Michele Pettiford, said. “And I started to kind of like, almost go towards them, because he wasn’t home at the time, and then they started, like, running at me with guns.”

Police say two men held the victim up at gunpoint and pushed her to the ground before demanding car keys. According to police, the men then took the victim’s belongings and fled the scene in the stolen car, heading eastbound.


Even when you are in your own driveway, you must – as we Marines say – always have your head on a swivel 24/7 there. Not only because carjacking rates have gone through the roof. You might have to duck bullets in a drive-by, too.

In an unintentionally hilarious headline – considering the new no-bail, soft on criminals bill Gov J.B. Pritzker signed into law – a local news station seems confused about what’s causing the crime surge.

With Carjackings on the Rise, Illinois Looks to Curb the Growing Crime

…There’s been an increase in carjackings nationwide, but Chicago is reporting more incidents than any other city in the U.S. The city is seeing triple the number of carjackings from a decade ago, with 1,655 reported carjackings in 2022.

According to the National Crime Information Center, Chicago had 21,516 reported auto thefts in 2022, up from 13,856 the previous year. Those numbers represent all auto thefts, including carjackings.

So Chicago’s doubled their vehicle thefts, tripled the carjackings contained in the theft stat, and what do authorities entrusted with the public’s safety plan to do about it?

As the mother frightened out of her mind in the carjacking video above will be delighted to hear, the state has a plan to address the skyrocketing crime.


I Schlitz you not. That’s the plan.

…In an attempt to curb this crime, Illinois’ General Assembly recently passed a bill requiring car manufacturers to establish a 24-hour hotline allowing police to track stolen cars.


How ’bout them apples? You want action?

You got it.

Fifty years ago, the object would be to prevent the criminal from taking your car to begin with, because criminal behavior was discouraged. Now “success” is having a 1-800 number to call so they can maybe keep track of your car afterward.

Whatever happened to you while they were stealing it is between you and your health insurer.

If you go down there
You better just beware

Maybe that’s the wrong song…

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