Shower Posse: Invoking Unbelievable Fear

December 16th, 2008


This is one of the most complex and violent shows in “American Gangster” history. The Shower Posse was born in the rough and ruthless ghettos of Kingston, Jamaica. From the ’70s well into the ’80s they were one of several gangs used by Jamaica’s mainstream political parties as tools for extortion and intimidation.
The Shower Posse expanded into the international smuggling of marijuana, sending shipments of ganga to secret air strips throughout the Florida Keys, but they didn’t become a truly feared force in this country until they became heavily involved in the trafficking of crack cocaine.  Using Jamaica as a transportation stop for product moving from South America to the U.S., they then routed it to cities and towns from Miami all the way to Seattle, quickly becoming one of the most feared organizations on the streets.
The name Shower Posse grew out of their reputation for “showering” their opponents with indiscriminant sprays of gunfire from automatic weapons. Vicious shootouts were their specialty. Multiple homicides in Miami, New Jersey and other cities around the U.S. made them more feared than the Bloods and the Crips in many cities. This episode’s producer, Curtis Scoon, says the biggest challenge to putting this show together was the Shower Posse’s enduring reputation in Jamaica and the U.S.
“So violent is the Shower Posse’s history and reputation among the Caribbean immigrant community that even now, more than a decade after their reign in the US, getting people to talk on camera took some serious effort,” Scoon says. “The mere mention of the name still invokes unbelievable fear.”

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latayo perry said on December 17th, 2008

i dont think the person who subit this article really understand the meaning of the word shower .that concepts that you have has praying bullets on their enemy is not true

gina lee said on December 18th, 2008

look father and son both have that stupid snarl… or is that look supposed to scare somebody… i missed their show… i’m sure in the end they felt sorry and asked for forgiveness for their stupidity and madness… money is not everything!!! to be known as a killer, i guess that makes one feel big huh?

young said on December 18th, 2008

The Shower Posse had their day but this Vivian character is just another punk turned snitch. Another tough guy who could do the crime but turned @*~$$ when it came to do the time.

O said on December 19th, 2008

yo this was the best show since the Frank Lucas episode

Renee said on December 19th, 2008

This was the best show since Frank Lucus …period !! Those dudes had the goverment protecting them? That is Gansta !!!!!

warren s. said on December 19th, 2008

The Jamaican Shower Posse was a good topic this week. Yall need to show more episodes like this one.

sady said on December 19th, 2008

The word shower in the name SHOWER POSSE was used incorrectly. It was used to highlight ones support and affiliation to the jamaica Labour Party (JLP). Hence, once you hear “showa” think JLP and primarily Tivoli Garden from which the gang originate.

Geoff said on December 19th, 2008

I have seen & heard mad things about these guys! Jim Brown is supposed to be a distant cousin of mine. That was an amazing documentary, and I hope to see more. Big up! “Show any how!!!!!!!!!!!!” Those guys make all the other gangsters look like petty thieves

Elliott said on December 19th, 2008

I still have to big up the family all day everyday “SHOWA FI LIFE” wha gwaan Yardie unuh done know, a we set the trend long time before those lil hurry come up forward, Showw!!!!!!!!!!!

kim said on December 19th, 2008

Why Dauane was not on there ? And why they had to show the pic of my pop’s a hug up with Vivian. From what my mom told me Vivian was a very good person.. He took care of alot of people. it’s sad how it all ended..

cdog said on December 19th, 2008

When will The Shower Posse episode air again????

Just Valerie said on December 19th, 2008

Vivian Blake is a good man with a golden heart. Curtis Scoon really did a excellent job on this piece. Big ups…

Jam on said on December 19th, 2008

In the of each of the docs the gangsters always seem to regret the path they chose. Some of these guys killed more people they can count and got locked up for the rest of ther lives. It seems like the message is missed by alot of the viewers.

koolers said on December 20th, 2008

showa mi elda big up urself a real born jamaican top they didn’t name them self shower posse because they shower ppl wit bullets no..the preson who post this neeed to get them facts right…

GullyDawg said on December 21st, 2008

go to kingston and ask around. these dudes laid the groundworks for others after them. In retrospect one can argue that Jamaica has, and have been producing the most ruthless street thugs the world has ever seen. these guys came to america in the 80’s and muscled there way into the stream of cocaine dealings with the colombians. even today in american cities they are among the most feared. in the jamaican criminal diaspora killing is a normative act. it is an amazing thought when you consider the impact this organization and other spin-off groups like it have had on jamaicans as a collective, which is why it is hard for me to even glamourize it. i do, however, tip my hat to the producers of this episode as they were able to compress into one hour a story that i myself have trouble telling in brevity format.

yet, i do concur with my compatriots in disputing of the meaning of the word “shower’. no one knows exactly how it came about, but the word exist even to this day as the street lingo for JLP and its supporters, or for acknowledging someone who is a native of Tivoli Gardens in West Kingston.

Big ups from Toronto, Canada

skalawah said on December 22nd, 2008

this is one of the best .

orrette cobourne said on December 22nd, 2008

this episode was great it feels good as a jamaican to watch the show but we showed uall in the olyimpics that its not all negative we have to offer to the world we are small but great án showa dont mean u showa nobody wid bullitt ok it means u a labour right or JLP” power mean PNP ZEEN

me said on December 22nd, 2008

You may look at all this and see a group of top shotta’s or monsters but from someone who lived amongst these guys like (blacks) tony, vivian (dave) or Erroll (kong) I can personally say that they did what they did to give us a better life. Though they did what they did all of them had good intensions they just went about it the wrong way you now. But regardless of what they did they will always be loved by they family all day.
RIP uncle Erroll (kong) RIP Erroll Jr ,your nephew and cousin miss yall and love yall. God Bless

grans said on December 24th, 2008

There is another error in this. Shower leaders in Jamaica and the U.S. may have died or gone to prison…..but they show is wrong to say that Tivoli Gardens has no more “weight” in Jamaica. Look what happens when the police and military (even up to the present time) try to go in there and do an operation………

BmorecityOg said on December 24th, 2008

When are you going to do a story on Baltimores ture kings,Not Lil Melvin Williams.But Anthony jones [ADX],Peanut king{coming home soon] and Lenny jones[life]

dawg said on December 26th, 2008

vivian was the business man jim brown was the enforcer even if vivian said no jim said yes take care of business jim and vivian loved and respected each other vivivian was the book man the brains jim was the street man together they run the thing the soldiers didnt play !!!

everybodyknome said on December 27th, 2008

For all u slow people out there Vivian Blake was the business man and Lester Lloyd Coke (Jim Brown) was the killer. I mean it is sad that Jamaica used to tranship more weed and coke in the 80’s than food but such was life. Vivian had good intentions cuz his 2 kids are college grads, it goes to show we can break any cycle…. I am not ashamed of being a jamaican because of this, it just says we are go getters whether legal or illegal we top anyone…..

highly blest said on December 30th, 2008

let king selassie be the judge acording to you people only GOD

dimples876 said on December 31st, 2008

I missed the show but I watched it online and I would have to say it was good but the correct way of saying it is ”’SHOWA”". I on one hand is a Labor Right.


Bad John said on January 1st, 2009

What difference does it make what “shower” means or how it’s pronounced? A jamaican professor and social scientist interviewed defined Shower as a term meaning showering a man with lead as did all the law enforcement. Maybe there’s several meanings to Shower or “Showa.” They certainly got that from somewhere. The important thing is to understand how these things happen to prevent it from repeating. I wonder what Vivian will do upon his return. Anyone capable of great evil has the capacity to do great good. That is universal balance. I hope he chooses the latter… Lickle More Hear.

Skeng said on January 5th, 2009

The word shower was derived from the gang and is used in the right format…since the gang was affiliated with the jlp and tivoli gardens, which stands as an icon for the parties power…over time the true meaning of the word was lost….in the 70’s under Claudious Massop the then don of Tivoli there was no shower…Shower came about under Jim Brown.

Similar thing happened with the spanglers posse who had roots in Matthews lane and Concrete Jungle….a lot of pnp supporters use to call themselves spanglers.

Ali Rob said on January 6th, 2009

Truth is, like most Third World mentality folk living in America, they only killed and target their own people, mostly. When The King of Jersey, Midget Molley, who life story was aired on American Gangster this season, was on the streets the Shower Posse/Jamaican Posse never came to Atlantic City.
However, after the arrest of Midget Molley the Posse moved on his turf.
For those who doubt this fact need only read the Report, AFRO-LINEAL ORGANIZED CRIME, on google. Killing has never made one a man. Most of those same dudes were the ones who tip-toe around the Yard (prison) scared to death!!!! AND THAT’S REAL TALK, YO!!!!!
The show didn’t talk about how those same jungle bunnies were outgunned in Philly during their war with the JBM, or in Atlantic City against the remaning members of the ASO Posse, Midget Molley’s old crew.

grans said on January 6th, 2009

Ali Rob – what are you talking about? “Third World mentality folk living in America”?? “Jungle Bunnies”?? As someone on here said – whether good or bad Jamaicans always seek to be the best. Go to any hospital in the NY tri-state or the South Florida areas and see how many of the top nurses are Jamaican. Do a search to see how many Jamaican doctors there among the minorities. Go check and see how many Jamaican judges and lawyers there are in America that sit in high up positions. Go to any large accounting firm and see how Jamaicans are in management. Go to an engineering school and you will see that many of the blacks come from Jamaica or Africa.
And not to glorify violence. So what if they lost a few shootouts (if that’s even true). This was an international operation. They held weight as far as England and Canada. Jamaica is a tiny coutry and this small group went into every city in America with no fear. Sadly they were killing police and soilders long before they came here. If they backed out of any places it was because it didn’t make business sense for them to carry on the war. Trust me – if you knew you would understand it wasn’t from fear….
Lastly there were a lot of different crews that came to America from Jamaica that were not from Tivoli Gardens. Get it straight.

gotti said on January 6th, 2009

these investigators need to know that the word shower short for shou means that you are apart of the jamaica labour party

voulture said on January 7th, 2009

showa fi eva JLP

DL said on January 7th, 2009

I know Vivian getting out of prison this month

Dawg said on January 9th, 2009

The doc said it. These guys were created by lack of opportunity. Jamaica is one of the most violent places today and alot has to do with their history. Slavery in Jamaica was brutal. Medieval England was a much more brutal place than Jamaica is now. The brutality is nothing to be proud of. There have always been violent groups. Vikings, Crusaders.

Venezuela has the highest homicide rate now.

Yardie said on January 10th, 2009

I think ppl really have the reason for the name shower posse wrong. In jamaica the JLP say shower and the PNP power as a result i believe the term shower posse was coined to show affiliation to the JLP not bcuz they sprayed their enemies with bullets

Observer said on January 12th, 2009

No wonder jamaica is in the state it is in. Can’t have it both way my Yardie friends. Exhaulting murderers and lowlifes as national heros then crying about the sorid state of affairs in your country. You people are crazy!!!! Good riddins.

mona said on January 24th, 2009

Some advise for the makers of American Gangster please look into Rich Alpo and AZ story. Look into Wayne Perry who was a hitman and also an associate of Rayful Edmond and Alberto Martinez (Alpo) This will be a classic and sad American Gangster story.

SHOWA said on January 30th, 2009


Just been around said on February 1st, 2009

They got ran out of Philly because it wasn’t going down like that. JBM had this city along with others.

jason said on February 5th, 2009 read how vivian snitched.on the guy who really did all the killing.kirk bruce

Duddus said on February 6th, 2009

Yo Jason, wha ya deal wit? Ah idiot ting dat. Kirk Bruce is a blood claat informer. Big up Vivian! Kirk Bruce ah bumbo claat SNITCH. Vivian ah show di prosecutor dem Kirk testimony mean nothing. Dats all. Nuff respect Vivian ya know ya large an big inna ya business. Jason a ras claat fassi.

grans said on February 10th, 2009

Observer – you should “observe” the politics of your own country first. Jamaica is a young country. If you really look at the history (not the kind in children’s history books) – you will find out that their was plenty of political violence right here in the United States – and I don’t mean just the assassinations. Ignorance breeds ignorance – educate yourself.

Angela said on February 15th, 2009

Big up Vivian
Good does not give a man more than they can bare.. I met you a long time ago you will not remember me but i met you in Canada a long time time ago . you came with helping hands to help out a friend they were going to send back home.. No disrespect to the woman in your life but your were a SWEETHEART..remember when you bought the white benze.. we became friends. if you knew who this is you would surely have a good laugh. anyways WELCOME BACK HOME you were and is a good man, or you would not be out..I am very happy for you and wish you and your family only the best of everything..Maybe one day I will let you know who I am..I know a lot of people have your back..just dont forgoet to stop THANKING GOD for keeping you…

ANGELA said on February 15th, 2009

my prayers will always be with you..

lord said on April 8th, 2009

i really enjoyed reading about the shower posse.

Naddyboo said on July 2nd, 2009

I was obviously late to see this documentary, but it was too intriguing, too intriguing..,..Showa fi eva… Yo but unno see how evil Seaga is?

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