Cover Reveal—I Am Raymond Washington by Zach Fortier

We are honored and happy to reveal the cover for I Am Raymond Washington by BHC author Zach Fortier. Zach is now a three-time award-winning true crime author. This book is Zach Fortier’s first venture outside his own experiences as a cop of more than 20 years. I Am Raymond Washington is the only authorized biography about Raymond Lee Washington, the original founder of one of the most infamous street gangs, the Crips. The book was written with the assistance and cooperation of Washington’s brother, Derard Barton.

I Am Raymond Washington - Zach Fortier

Front cover for eBook and Trade Softcover—Available February 20th, 2015

Click HERE to pre-order the eBook now and save


Imagine the Robin Hood myth, with south central values, and that was how the Crips started out.

As a former Gang unit detective I entered into the world of Raymond Lee Washington with certain expectations of what I would find. I expected to strongly dislike who Raymond Washington was and what he represented as a man. I expected to come away from the research and interviews I conducted while preparing to write this book with my beliefs about the undisputed founder of  The Crips solidly reinforced.

Instead, I had to take a step back and re-examine everything I thought I knew and had been told about the Crips, about Ray himself, and about the reasons that the Crips were founded, and how they were named. This book is filled with eyewitness accounts of neighbors, associates, friends, and family members of Raymond Washington. They allow the reader an unprecedented look inside the life of Raymond, and the world in which he grew up. This book is not filled with account after account of gang fights, drive-bys, and violence. It is filled with stories and eyewitness testimony of those that knew who the real founder of the Crips gang was, what he represented to the people that knew him, and hopefully explains why his name is still spoken on the streets of Los Angeles with both hatred, fear, awe, and reverence.

Entering the world of Raymond Washington with an open mind was difficult for me but eventually the story of who Raymond Washington was as a leader, warrior, tactician, and mentor became clear. Hopefully it will become clear to the reader why the gang was so successful and explain how an apparently unremarkable 15 year old kid in the fall of 1969 would sit down with his best friend and form what would become one of the single most successful and yet feared and hated gangs in the world, The Crips.

Zach will also be featured this Friday at 5 p.m. on WSTU AM 1450 where he will be interviewed about his experiences as well as some current events. You can listen by clicking here.

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