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Gang codes: Patterns on paper

Gang codes can be very ornate symbols that bear no resemblance to the English alphabet. Gangs use these symbols to confuse the reader and hide a covert message. But some gang members use the English alphabet and hide their message in other ways. These can often be patterns on paper that can only be deciphered when you see how the pattern is arranged.

I received a seven (7) page document that was confiscated in a correctional facility. Sample pages are shown in (Illustrations #1 - #3).




As I examined the document, I noticed a pattern. (Illustration #4) is a close-up of the first paragraph of (Illustration #1). Look at it carefully and pay particular attention to the letter arrangement.

(Illustration #5) indicates the pattern for the first line.


(Illustration #6) indicates the pattern for the second line.


The first fifteen (15) lines of (Illustration #1) are deciphered and shown in (Illustration #7).

“BAM” refers to “Bosses About Money” and where the writer states that if you want out that’s in a bag, he is referring to a body bag.

The solution to deciphering this pattern is to take the first letter of every three-letter group and every individual letter. The individual letters are “A, E, I, O, U”. The “#” indicates the end of a word.

When you first examined this document, it looks confusing and the message is hidden… until you see the “patterns on paper”.

GS KLIVANS is a gang consultant and lecturer. He retired with the rank of Captain from the Westchester County (NY) Department of Correction (Peace Officer). Captain KLIVANS is a former District Attorney Investigator (Police Officer). He served in the US Army Reserve for 30 years in Military Intelligence and CID (Federal Agent).

He is the author of the book “Gang Secret Codes: Deciphered”, available through Police and Fire Publishing, Santa Ana, CA

He can be contacted at:

GS KLIVANS is a gang consultant and lecturer specializing in gang codes.
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