Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member (305886)

The badly decomposed body of a transient found in an Oceanside homeless encampment on June 7 has been tentatively identified as that of Kody Dejohn Scott, whose exploits as infamous gangster “Monster Kody” introduced the outside world to the maniacal subculture of the Los Angeles gang lifestyle.

Reached by phone, Donnie Ryan, San Diego County’s Public Safety Group communications officer said that the cause of death was undetermined, as an autopsy has not been performed.

Born on Nov. 13, 1963, (unsubstantiated rumors have him the offspring of an adulterous fling his mother had with legendary running back Dick Bass), by 1975 Scott had become an initiate of the Eight-Tray Gangster Crips (ETGs), earning the moniker “Monster” after he brutally beat a victim during a strong-arm robbery.

A fixture at the State Youth Authority, and then the California penal system, he reformed, embraced Islam, and changed his name to Sanyika Shakur.

In keeping with this lifestyle change, he wrote “Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member,” in 1991. Still, his street rep lingered.

Former gang member and now gang interventionist “Skipp” Townsend remembers his first childhood encounters with the older Scott. Delivering newspapers in the same neighborhood, Townsend described Scott as the “bully of the community,” who would never confront him directly. Instead, he would dispatch other boys Townsend’s age to steal his bike, newspapers, etc.

“He eventually had me fight every kid my age,” Townsend recalled of this youthful rite of passage. Another of his contemporaries (and nemesis), Rollin’ 60s Leo Victor “Pretty Boy” Smith crossed paths with Scott after moving from the east side (where he lived at 76th and Wadsworth, next door to legendary Crip Raymond Washington) to 67th and Western.

“I knew the whole family before we turned gangbangers,” he says of those innocent days of dirt bikes and aerobatic trick riding.

Schoolboy squabbles soon transitioned into hard-core gunfights between the formerly friendly Rollin’ 60s Crips and Scott’s set, the ETG. By 1993, the folly of misspent youth and the onset of middle age brought a mellowing of their adversarial mindset, and the former foes began to communicate in a cordial manner.

Maturity is a logical byproduct Smith notes, “…once you see that gray hair growin’.”

Recently they’d planned to do a podcast with noted impresario Kev Mac, so the news of his demise was a sudden surprise.

“I was kinda like devastated,” Smith says.