Kansas City police say Steven Wright Jr. was the worst gangster in recent memory. This summer, his bloody legacy is flowing in the streets.

When Moody Ruled 

Kansas City police say Steven Wright Jr. was the worst gangster in recent memory. This summer, his bloody legacy is flowing in the streets.

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After Moody went down, Anthony "Fat Tone" Watkins saw opportunity and claimed he was the new mastermind behind the 51st Street violence. Everyone knew Fat Tone had little say when Moody was running the streets, and several sources have told the Pitch that Watkins and Wright were on bad terms when Wright went to jail. But on his albums, Watkins glorified himself as a killer: You bitch-ass pussy I'll take your life/We can be in a church or in front of the vice/I'll slide right upon you, make you drop your gun/First shot hit you hard, make you swallow your tongue.

In fact, it isn't easy to spot the gangsters in the neighborhood anymore. Liebsch says at least three gangs run 51st Street from Swope Parkway to the Paseo, and membership is constantly changing. Since January, he says, two gangs along 51st Street have started a turf war in their own neighborhood, shooting into about a dozen of each other's homes.

Last fall, Charlese Henderson moved her four children into a house at 33rd Street and College Avenue from a two-bedroom at 80th Street and Brooklyn Avenue. She needed more space for her kids. The new home was big enough, but Henderson didn't understand the history of the corner.

Violence was sporadic at first -- she remembers seeing an occasional flash of light outside her windows at night, but she thought it was just kids playing with fireworks. She soon realized it was gunfire in her backyard.

Two summers after the grand jury returned its 17-page indictment against Steven Wright Jr., and less than three months after Fat Tone's murder, a new panic has settled in. Over the past 60 days, residents have endured more than a dozen drive-by shootings, many aimed at the Third Wall territory.

On June 15, Charlese Henderson scooped her 12-year-old son into her arms and ran screaming to the fire station two blocks away. Firefighters tried to resuscitate him in the circle drive, but he was already dead.

It was as if Moody had returned again, says one neighborhood resident. "Twelve years old," she says. "His life hadn't even started. Twelve years old."

The next Wednesday, two men were shot in a car at 39th Street and Indiana Avenue, the southern border of Third Wall's territory. Residents have begun to suspect a new group of gangsters, this time coming from 43rd Street. People fear that they're fighting simply for glory and initiation.

"Nowadays there don't have to be nothing behind it and they'll shoot," says a former associate of the Third Wall Bloods. He says Moody created terror in the neighborhood, and the next generation appears to have his ruthless nature. "They do it just to say, 'I shot at them.' They want to show the next dudes 'We ain't no punks,' to get a name, to be cool with the dudes."

On Tuesday, June 28, Cheri Clark stands with her brother Eddie and around 20 other men, women and children who are writing on the streets in colored chalk as part of a vigil for Alex.

"That was very unnatural," Eddie Clark says of the way his son was murdered: 15 shots, including five at close range. "It would only take one bullet."

Cars thump past, heavy bass rolling down the open streets and avenues intersecting Benton Boulevard. Homes are pocked with bullet holes, some fresh.

Down the street, a young man approaches. His shirt off, he walks confidently, muscles rippling on his thin arms and chest. "Third Wall Soldier" is tattooed across his stomach.

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