Why Did You Kill Me: What is the 5150 gang and what does the name mean?

Members say the gang started as a family, but now they’re known as killers


New Netflix true crime documentary, Why Did You Kill Me, focuses on the 2006 death of Crystal Theobald and her mother’s mission to get justice and find who killed her daughter. After hunting those responsible down on MySpace, it was found that Crystal had been killed by members of local gang the 5150, in a tragic case of mistaken identity.

The 5150 is mentioned a lot throughout the documentary, with pictures of people with the number tattooed across their bodies, videos of them being violent with one another, and then contrasting stories from gang members saying they were a family, and it wasn’t about crime at the beginning.

So you might be wondering who the 5150 are and what the name of the gang even means. Here’s everything we know.

5150, gang, Riverside, California, meaning

via Netflix

The 5150 is a gang in Los Angeles, whose members were behind the murder of Crystal Theobald

The 5150 is a local gang in Riverside, California. The 5150 claim “territory” around the area where Crystal Theobald was killed, but there are other gangs in the area too and they get caught in turf war and violence with each other.

Police say the 5150 first came onto their radar around 2003 and tried to establish themselves as an extremely violent group, responsible for assaults, shootings and murders in the city. The 5150, and other local gangs, have also been involved in drug crime.

One 5150 gang member featured in the Netflix documentary said in the area people were being stabbed and robbed, and the 5150 had locals feeling scared, saying that members were murderers. He said that the gang wasn’t like that to start, it was family members and friends “backing each other up” and supporting each other whilst living in a poor area. The motive started out as family, and nothing more.

5150, gang, members, Netflix, documentary, Why Did You Kill Me, true crime

via Netflix

5150 members were found out to be behind the 2006 death of 24-year-old Crystal Theobald. She was in the car with her boyfriend and her brother, Justin Theobald. Crystal’s boyfriend was driving, and her mother, Belinda Lane, was in another car just ahead of them. On that day, members of the 5150 had apparently heard that members of a rival gang, the MD, had tried to kill some 5150 members. They were out in the area trying to get revenge.

At around 8:40pm that night, the car which Crystal was in was shot at multiple times by 5150’s Julio “Lil Huero” Heredia. Crystal had been shot in the head and was rushed to hospital. She died two days later. Crystal left behind two young children, and after her death police confirmed she had nothing to do with the gang that killed her.

Crystal Theobald, Netflix, Why Did You Kill Me

Crystal Theobald, via Netflix

What is the meaning behind the 5150 gang name?

After watching Why Did You Kill Me on Netflix, you might be wondering where the name “5150” even comes from. The term has a number of similar meanings, all to do with police codes.

According to Urban Dictionary, 5150 can be defined as a “police code for crazy one on the loose. Danger to property, danger to others, and danger to themselves.” It’s also apparently the California police code for “crazy” or someone who is a danger. The site says the term is often used by gang members to refer to someone who is willing to put their life on the line.

According to another definition, 5150 is slang for “the number of the section of the Welfare and Institutions Code, which allows an adult who is experiencing a mental health crisis to be involuntarily detained for a 72- hour psychiatric hospitalisation when evaluated to be a danger to others, or to himself or herself, or gravely disabled.”

Why Did You Kill Me? is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, quizzes, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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