Mexican Mafia co-founder turned born-again Christian dies at 81

By Alex A. Alonso for Streetgangs.Com
January 8, 2021

Ernest “Kilroy” Roybal was born on March 3, 1939 and grew up in the Boyle Heights section of Los Angeles. He became a member of Varrio White Fence during the early 1950s and quickly became a major member within the varrio. As a juvenile he was arrested multiple times and got involved in drugs. He was a gifted athlete that excelled in boxing but the allure of the streets was too strong for Kilroy.

Kilroy, 75, doing interview with Alex Alonso

While in San Quentin prison he became a member of the Mexican Mafia approximately 4 years after Huero “Buff” Flores told him about his idea to start a new prison gang. Throughout the 1960s he became a senior member of the Mexican Mafia, providing structure to the group and guiding it into a powerful prison gang. He spent nearly 40 years incarcerated in total from the early 1950s until his release in 1993 at 54 years old.

After his released from prison he turned his life to God and made a complete change from his violent past. Although many thought he was not sincere is his new found love for Jesus Christ, he stay dedicated to that life until his death. He became extremely active in the ministry and he often visited the prisons he once controlled to speak to other prisoners about the gospel. Kilroy was one of the first men to walk away from a life that was once dedicated to the Mexican Mafia without ever debriefing to the prison or becoming an agent for the government.

In 2006 he survived a near fatal trucking accident when he was crushed suffering permanent physical damage. Although he recovered, having that accident at the age of 67 took a huge toll on his body.

In 2014 I met Kilroy and had the opportunity to do a rare video interview with him. We talked about his early life in the gang in Boyle Heights, his rise into the Mexican Mafia and his transition into the ministry.

I recently got in contact with him in early December 2020 and we talked about doing a second interview. He agreed to do it, but expressed concerns about COVID-19 so we decided to wait a couple months before we made this interview happen, but we lost Kilroy on January 7, 2021 at the age of 81 after contracting coronavirus.

Watch interview of Kilroy:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Posted by on Jan 8 2021. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Comments for “Mexican Mafia co-founder turned born-again Christian dies at 81”

  1. Cocoa Butter

    Props to ma ni66a ! Vatos Locos forever!!

  2. Witeout

    RIP brother, see you in God’s kingdom

Leave a Reply

Log in |
  • Prison Gangs
  • Other Cities
  • Los Angeles Police Gang Enforcement Initiaitives – 2007
  • SG Music
  • Crips
  • Bloods
  • Asian Gangs
  • Forums
  • Shop
  • Injunctions
  • contact
  • Resources