|Birth name||?or?e Mi?kovi?|
|Born||16 September 1955|
Pe?, FPR Yugoslavia
|Died||15 September 1991 (aged 35)|
Gospi?, SFR Yugoslavia
Bezjovo, Podgorica, Montenegro
|Years of service||1991|
Bo?ovi? was born ?or?e Mi?kovi? on 16 September 1955 in Pe? to father Gavrilo "Gavro" Mi?kovi? (1888-1964) from the Ku?i clan and mother Milena (1927-2012) from Istok in Metohija. His father Gavro was involved with underworld activity and after killing a German man in Cologne, the family decided to change their surname to Bo?ovi? after Gavro's father, Bo?o. Together with his mother and younger sister, Slavica, young ?or?e lived in In?ija until 1964. That is when his father got murdered and the family moved to Belgrade, settling in the Vo?dovac neighbourhood. His arrival to Vo?dovac at age eight shaped the rest of ?or?e's life.
Growing up in a neighbourhood full of poor working-class families like his own, he often found himself a target of taunting and bullying by older kids. He fought back, earning respect and street credibility. He became lifelong friends with Branislav "Beli" Mati? who got him into boxing at Radni?ki boxing club. Proficient at street fighting, preteen ?or?e already had run-ins with the police. Growing up, his nickname around the neighbourhood was Debeli (Fatso) due to his chubby frame. He got his famous nickname Gi?ka apparently due to resemblance to a bear of the same name at the Belgrade Zoo.
At age thirteen, he illegally crossed the border into Italy just to show that he can. Upon coming back, he befriended Boris Petkov a.k.a "Bugarin (The Bulgarian)" and Ranko Rube?i?. Together with Beli, the foursome formed a basis for the mafia clan originating in the neighbourhood.
Gi?ka had close ties to the Serbian mafia (he was friends with Ljubomir Maga?, whose respect he earned when he crossed illegally to Italy for the second time when he was 17 years old, to match Maga? in a fist fight) and Montenegrin mafia in his youth where he reached the rank of Boss. Gi?ka's relationship with other prominent members of the Belgrade underworld was marked by alternating periods of close friendship and vicious feuding, often with deadly consequences.
In the late 1980s, together with gangster ?eljko "Arkan" Ra?natovi? and painter Dragan "Tapi" Male?evi?, Gi?ka ran a nightclub called Amadeus located in the Belgrade neighbourhood of Ta?majdan. According to security operative Bo?a Spasi?, they were allowed to open the club with the blessing of Yugoslav State Security (UDBA) as a reward of sorts for Gi?ka's and Arkan's service to UDBA over the years. However, after discovering that in addition to regular activities the club was also being used for drug running, UDBA shut it down.
Bo?ovi?, as well as the rest of the Yugoslav underworld, was frequently contracted by the SDB for the elimination of the political dissidents and state enemies. Gi?ka was among the best agents service had, along with Arkan, because of his skills, knowledge of foreign languages and wits. He was often marked as the Mastermind behind the ?urekovi? operation, although these rumors were never confirmed. One of his famous actions involves planting a remotely controlled exploding phone at the door of the certain Albanian emigree in Switzerland as the warning sign. Bo?ovi? apparently had a change of heart in 1986, when he was sent to Australia to assassinate Mom?ilo ?uji?, a controversial WWII military leader and an influential figure among the Serbian emigration. Bo?ovi? was impressed by the speech ?uji? gave in Sydney and aborted the mission acting on his own hand. Yugoslav secret service never officially admitted tasking him with the mentioned assassination, but later severed all contacts with him. From then on, Bo?ovi? became a public enemy, and quickly enrolled into opposition politics.
Bo?ovi? returned to Belgrade in late 80s and quickly positioned himself as the leader of the Vo?dovac gang in his childhood neighbourhood. Among the rising stars of Belgrade's underworld, such as Aleksandar Kne?evi? "Knele" and Goran Marjanovi? "Bomba?", Gi?ka was perceived as a legend. Gi?ka often acted as a negotiator, settling feuds between his own and other gangs. He held passionate speeches at gangsters' funerals, warning them that a bloody war in Yugoslavia is coming and that they have to stick together. He became highly involved in politics, admiring the then informal leader of the opposition Vuk Dra?kovi?. Bo?ovi?, with his gang, actively participated in the 1991 riots in Belgrade. He is widely remembered for preventing the crowd to enter People's Republic Assembly saying, 'We will not allow for the loss of any Serb life'. During this period he also became a bodyguard for Dra?kovi?. He and Mati? "Beli" started financing Dra?kovi?'s SPO and became pivotal in consolidating its voters.
The Guard faced many difficulties while being organised. State Security obstructed it from the very beginning, preventing its financing and pressuring its members to join the rival state-controlled Tigers. The Tigers were led by Arkan, with whom Gi?ka parted in the mid '80s. Mutual friend, Serbian rock star Bora ?orba, in an interview in 2013 stated that he tried to consolidate the two, claiming Arkan was willing to do so, while Gi?ka refused. The reason being that, apparently, Arkan abandoned Gi?ka during the heist they were pulling together in Sweden when the police showed up.
The paramilitary unit's training camp was located near Bor Lake in SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia. It participated in clashes in the strategic Krajina area of SR Croatia near Serb-held town of Gospi?.
Elements of the unit also participated in the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bo?ovi? was the unit's first commander, but was killed in action near Gospi?. Some have alleged that Bo?ovi?'s death was orchestrated either by the Republika Srpska or Republika Srpska Krajina government. The unit's chief financier Branislav Mati? was gunned down in August 1991 in Belgrade.
Bo?ovi? had one daughter. He also had a sister named Slavica. In October 2017, his remains were exhumed from the Central Cemetery in Vo?dovac and re-buried in a family plot in the Martinika Cemetery in Bezjovo, Podgorica Municipality, Montenegro.
the establishment of the SPO's own paramilitary unit - the Serbian Guards (Srpska Garda), which attacked the Croatian town of Gospi? in 1991