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Robert "Yummy" Sandifer
Born March 12, 1983(1983-03-12)
Chicago, Illinois
Died September 1, 1994 (aged 11)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Charge(s) murder
armed robbery
drug possession
Penalty Probation
Status deceased
Occupation gangster
Black Disciples

Robert "Yummy" Sandifer (March 12, 1983 – September 1, 1994) garnered national attention in September 1994 after his murder by fellow gang members. He appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in September 1994.[1]

Nicknamed Yummy because of his love of junk food, Sandifer was a young member of the Chicago street gang the Black Disciples. After committing murder, arson and armed robbery, he was executed by fellow gang members who feared he could be turned snitch. Coverage of Sandifer's death and retrospectives on his short, violent life were widely published in the American media, and Sandifer became a symbol of the gang problem in American inner cities, the failure of social safety netting, and the shortcomings of the juvenile justice system.


Early life

Yummy's mother was a crack addict who had her first son at age 15. Yummy was a victim of abuse from an early age, and was sent to live with his grandmother by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) after one of his brothers went blind from a neglected eye infection. His grandmother's residence contained as many as 19 children on some occasions. Sandifer, at age 8, quit regularly attending school and took to the streets stealing cars and breaking into houses. The year before his death he was removed to a DCFS shelter on Chicago's north side, which he ran away from.

Criminal behavior

Yummy was known for bullying and extorting money from local children and the community in the Chicago neighborhood of Roseland. He liked luxury cars such as Lincolns and Cadillacs and, remarkably, was able to drive them despite his small stature (he was still beneath the height limit for many of the rides at Six Flags Great America). Many of his 23 felonies and 5 misdemeanors were committed in the course of running errands for street gangs. The penal system had no way to keep him out of trouble and the courts were helpless to lock him away because he was too young for juvenile detention and too dangerous to be placed with children his age.


On August 28, 1994, Yummy walked up to 15-year-old Kianta Britten and asked him to which gang he belonged. Kianta responded that he didn't belong to any gang, and Yummy opened fire on him with a semiautomatic pistol, hitting him in the stomach with one bullet and also catching a nerve with another bullet leaving Britten partially paralyzed. Later on that same day, Yummy shot at some rival gangmembers. One stray bullet hit Shavon Dean in the head and killed her as she walked home from a friend's house.

For the next three days, gang members from the Black Disciples kept Yummy on the move, evading the police investigation of the shootings. Yummy was last seen by a neighbor on August 31, waiting for his grandmother to pick him up, but instead two brothers (14 and 16 years of age) from his gang arrived. Telling him they were going to take him out of the city, he was brought to a viaduct underpass and executed. He was found later in a muddy pool of blood with two gunshot wounds in the head.



  • Grace, Julie. "There Are No Children Here". Time Magazine. September 12, 1994.
  • Hewitt, Bill. "Death at An Early Age". People Magazine. September 19, 1994. Vol 42. No. 12.
  • Kirby, Joseph A. "The Death of Dantrell Davis". Chicago Tribune. October 13, 1992.
  • Long, Elizabeth Valk. "To Our Readers". Time Magazine. September 19, 1994.

External links

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