18-Year-Old Tortured and Killed By His Wannabe Gangster Friends

The Crew’s fixation with mafia movies grew dangerously lethal.

7 min readApr 19, 2022


Jared Whaley, the 18-year-old murdered | Photo Credits: 8NewsNow.com

An unfortunate tale of friendship began when two 18-year-old boys recently moved from California to Las Vegas in 2003. Both had single mothers and attended Silverado High School, where they met.

Matt Baker was quiet and introverted, while Jared Whaley was aggressive and confrontational. Their distinct personalities complimented each other, and they formed an iconic pair. But, an unexpected chain of events followed, proving that everybody isn’t your friend.

Two Best Friends Form The Crew

Jared while working out | Photo Credits: Last-Memories.com

Since the boys’ mothers worked full time, Matt and Jared spent most of their time together. Jared was obsessed with lifting weights, and Matt followed everything Jared did because Jared was the macho guy Matt aspired to be.

Apart from the gym, another favorite place for their hangout was Drinking Hill. It was a small area on the outskirts of town where the boys could freely drink beers and smoke weed. But, that was not all they did. They had regular mafia movie nights, and soon, two other 18-year-old friends, Shane Myers and his brother Cody joined in. Together, they called themselves “the Crew”.

Even though everyone enjoyed the gangster movies, Matt was particularly fond of them. Something about Michael Corleone in The Godfather and Nicky Santoro in Casino struck a chord with him. They influenced Matt so much that he began to model his behavior after theirs.

A Threat Emerges

Matt fantasized about being a mafia boss, and so assumed the leadership of the Crew. Whenever they ran out of alcohol, he would plan a grocery store robbery, and the other three boys would do the dirty work. Matt slowly started changing, but it wasn’t until his crush rejected him that his interest in the mafia became an obsession.

His anger was further fueled by a fellow student’s remark about the Crew being nothing more than wannabes, with Jared being the only…




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