Born to Kill (gang)
Born to Kill was the name of a notorious New York City-based street gang composed of first-generation Vietnamese immigrants. Their rise to power was in the 1980s when they ran New York City's Chinatown with an iron fist and quickly rose to become the most notorious Asian gang the country of the United States has ever witnessed. The early 1990s proved to be detrimental to the Vietnamese collective following the arrest and prosecution of most of their New York-based operatives by the fall of 1992.
Born to Kill was founded by David Thai, who arrived from Vietnam in 1975 following the Fall of Saigon. He formed Born to Kill in 1988, while his gang adopted its name from the phrase American soldiers had on their helmets during the Vietnam War and the gang's prowess is often attributed to the chaotic environment of guns and drugs in Vietnam. They are considered to be the most notorious and violent Asian gang known to date and were known to challenge the authority of established Chinatown gangs. While identified by some as predominantly Vietnamese, Born to Kill consisted of New York native Vietnamese as well as immigrants new to the tri-state area. David Thai and his operations birthed the Canal Street counterfeit market and made it a worldwide tourist visit location for bootlegged items.
Peak activity 
Gang members were predominantly in their teens and 20s, although they ranged from fifteen to thirty-five, and were known to target restaurant owners and storekeepers along Canal Street. Some members were recruited from areas near the Bronx High School of Science.
In July 1990 there were believed to be as many as 80 active members in New York City and by October 1992, when their activities in Chinatown had diminished significantly, there were factions of the gang operating in the State of Georgia and Canada. Peak numbers in New York may have ranged as high as 100, with chapters of the gang operating in New Jersey, California and Texas. Gang members were tattooed with the initials B.T.K, a coffin and three candles, signifying no fear of dying.
Outside of New York 
The gang's spread was more prevalent in areas with an established Vietnamese presence, including smaller cities such as Biloxi, Mississippi and larger cities such as Dallas, Texas. Once active in other cities and states, the gangs did not always maintain the same activities as they did in New York. In Sacramento, California, Born to Kill was active in less-visible areas such as computer-chip theft, as well as the sale of guns to young Vietnamese.
Gang founder Thai was arrested along with other top-tier members of Born to Kill in August 1991 at one of the gang's safe havens in Melville, Long Island. It was believed to be his first arrest. This led to the arrest and conviction of seven members on federal racketeering charges in April 1992. Most were sentenced to 40 years and Thai was sentenced to 10 extra years. Other members may reside in New Orleans, Louisiana.
- English, T.J. (1995). Born to Kill: America's Most Notorious Vietnamese Gang, and the Changing Face of Organized Crime. William Morrow & Co. ISBN 0-688-12238-8.
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- Donahue, Sean (2002). Gangs: Stories of Life and Death from the Streets. Thunder's Mouth Press. p. 285. ISBN 1-56025-425-4.
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- James Dao (1992-04-01). "Asian Street Gangs Emerging as New Underworld". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-19.