New email variant of a familiar urban legend claims that innocent people who flash their headlights at gang members' cars will be chased down and killed as part of a gang initiation game.
Description: Email rumor / Urban legend
Circulating since: Sep. 2005 (this version)
Email text contributed by Kris C., Sep. 16, 2005:
Subject: FW: Read & Heed
This is nuts!!!
Police officers working with the DARE program has issued this warning: If you are driving after dark and see an on-coming car with no headlights on, DO NOT FLASH YOUR LIGHTS AT THEM! This is a common Bloods gang member "initiation game" that goes like this:
The new gang member under initiation drives along with no headlights, and the first car to flash their headlights at him is now his "target". He is now required to turn around and chase that car, then shoot and kill every individual in the vehicle in order to complete his initiation requirements.
Police Depts across the nation are being warned that September 23rd and 24th is the "blood" initiation weekend. Their intent is to have all the new bloods nationwide drive around on Friday and Saturday nights with their headlights off. In order to be accepted into the gang, they have to shoot and kill all individuals in the first auto that does a courtesy flash to warn them that their lights are off. Make sure you share this information with all the drivers in your family!
Please Foward this message to all your friends and family members to inform them about this initiation ritual. You can save someone's life if you heed to this warning.
Analysis: False. Other versions of this message have circulated online and off since the early 1990s, yet police gang units nationwide insist they're unaware of any "initiation game" involving the killing of innocent people who flash their headlights at gang members' cars.
The above variant claims the initiation rites will be conducted by a specific gang on specific dates, but apart from those variable the message is virtually identical to warnings distributed via fax and email as early as 1993.
Compare it to this one, for example, dated November 1998:
A police officer who works with the DARE Program has asked that this warning be passed on to anyone who drives: If you are driving after dark and see an oncoming car with NO headlights on -- DO NOT flash y our lights at them!!! This is a new GANG MEMBER INITIATION game!
The new member drives along with no headlights and the first car to flash their headlights at them is the "TARGET". The new member is required to chase the car and do whatever is required by the gang to complete the initiation requirements...
SO, BE WARNED AND BE CAREFUL!
Don't believe everything you read.