Why Biker Gangs Are Fascinating

The Hell’s Angels

Repeatedly…Assaulted                    Hell’s Angels Rape Teenagers
Aged 14 and 15 …                             4,000 Cyclists Invade Monterey
Stinking, Hairy Thugs

The Red and White

The Red and White

These are just a few of the headlines in 1964 when summarizing acts committed by the most notorious biker gang, the Hell’s Angels.  Hunter S. Thompson’s book titled “Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga” recounts his experience traveling with the gang back in the early 60’s and gives a firsthand account of the Angels.  Here are few passages taken from the book to give an idea of who the Hell’s Angels are.

  • a_rare_glimpse_into_hells_angels_motor_gangs_life_640_24The powerful stench they are said to exude is not so much body odor as the smell of old grease in their crusty uniforms.  Every Angel recruit comes to his initiation wearing a new pair of Levis and a matching jacket with the sleeves cut off and a spotless emblem on the back.  The ceremony varies from one chapter to another but the main feature is always the defiling of the initiate’s new uniform.  A bucket of dung and urine will  be collected during the meeting, them poured on the newcomer’s head in a solemn baptismal.
  • The Hell’s Angels will continue to be arrested for rape with monotonous regularity.  It has come to be known as one of their specialties.
  • Not published in LIFE. Hells Angels, California, 1965.

    Not published in LIFE. Hells Angels, California, 1965.

    “I have seen them try to amuse an outsider by telling stories which they consider funny – but which generate fear and queasiness in a listener whose sense of humor has a different kind of filter.  Some of the outlaws understand this communications gap, but most are puzzled and insulted to hear that “normal people” consider them horrible.”

  • When an Angel punches a non-angel, all other angels will participate
  • Very simple rule of thumb, “a fellow Angel is always right”.  To disagree with a Hell’s Angel is to be wrong – and to persist in being wrong is an open challenge.
Hunter S Thompson on a bike

Hunter S Thompson on a bike

Hunter’s findings also highlight runs he does with the Angels where a few hundred members gather at a specified location and simply party.  Every law enforcement personnel is notified of the angels traveling and does their best to confine them within the agreed upon area.  Their parties typically include alcohol, weed, LSD, and more pills than a pharmacy.  The parties last days and the city is always holding their breath until it’s over.  Let’s not forget this is the 1960’s and news travels a bit slower which is how stories get exaggerated.


The Mongols

The Black and White

The Black and White

“In order to become a prospect, I had to complete an official Mongols application.  I was a little stunned when Rocky handed it to me one day at his house;  it was 3 pages long, and more intense – and personal- than applications I’d filled out to become a law enforcement officer.  The mongols wanted to know everything from your Social Security number to how long your dick was.” – Bill Queen from Under and Alone

This passage is from an undercover officer named Bill Queen who spent 2 years of his life with the Mongols and eventually went from a prospect to a full patch or official member of the group.  His operation led to 42 arrests in 2000.  It was the most successful investigation into an Outlaw Motorcycle Gang at the time.

  • Billy Queen - Undercover Agent in the Mongols

    Billy Queen – Undercover Agent in the Mongols

    A biker wears his colors like a neon sign, announcing to the world precisely who he is.  And make no mistake: Outlaw bikers want you to know who they are.

  • Among outsiders, the Hells Angels may have the most famous name, but within the world of the 1 percenters, there’s not a gang more feared than the Mongols.  Their motto is “Respect few, fear none.”
  • For gangs like the Mongols, membership means a 24 hour a day commitment to The Life.  They despise legitimacy and have no desire to look like anything other than who they are.
  • “I began to realize that Easy was so brave in the face of danger because he wanted to die.  Like a terrorist who straps explosives to his own body, Easy had that conflation of suicidal and homicidal impulses.  He was going to kill his sisters’ two children slowly in front of her.  Beside me, Easy pulled his knife out and gripped it tightly in one hand, saying that was going to hold the kids by their hair and cut their throats while his sister watched them struggle for their lives.”


Twin Peaks Shootout

Waco police officers walk along the perimeter of Twin Peaks restaurant during an investigation Wednesday, May 20, 2015 in Waco, Texas.  A deadly weekend shootout involving rival motorcycle gangs apparently began with a parking dispute and someone running over a gang member's foot, police said Tuesday.  (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune Herald, via AP)

Waco police officers walk along the perimeter of Twin Peaks restaurant during an investigation Wednesday, May 20, 2015 in Waco, Texas. A deadly weekend shootout involving rival motorcycle gangs apparently began with a parking dispute and someone running over a gang member’s foot, police said Tuesday. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune Herald, via AP)

On May, 17th 2015, a shoot-out in Waco, Texas left 9 bikers dead and 171 arrested.  The biker gangs involved were from the Bandidos and the Cossacks.  The incident developed because the Cossacks members were refusing to pay Bandidos dues for operating in Texas and for claiming Texas as their territory by wearing the Texas bottom rocker on their vests, or ‘colors’.

  • A Confederation of Clubs meeting was occuring – All authorized and recognized clubs come together to talk about the social and political events that effect the biker community as a whole. These events are held regionally all over the state of Texas.  The Bandido’s were hosting the meeting and The Cossacks were invited in order to make peace.
  • Crime scene at Twin Peaks

    Crime scene at Twin Peaks

    Eyewitness Report –  the Cossacks arrived first and were on the restaurant patio when approximately 100 Bandidos arrived. One of their motorcycles struck a Cossacks member in the parking lot, knocking him down. A brief fistfight between a Cossack and a Bandido ended when the Bandido fatally shot the man in the head. Within seconds, two other Cossacks were shot and killed. The Cossacks ran away, and some who tripped and fell were also shot.

  • Twin Peaks blew it –  the “breastaurant” featuring scantily clad female waitresses, was aware of the biker meetup and refused to cooperate with police, authorities said. Peakstastic Beverages, LLC is the owner of the franchise. That company released a statement denying it was advised by police or Twin Peaks against holding the event, and contending that the violence (without specifying fighting or shooting) began in the parking lot, rather than in the building. 
  • People being unarrested

    People being unarrested

    The police were also aware of the meeting – they were outside when it began due to the history of the clubs and potential danger a meeting like this may have.  It’s still unknown how many victims were shot by police but early reports suggest 4.  This blogger isn’t so sure all the story is being told factually.  Awesome dissection here.

This is truly a bizarre scene that still has many details open to the public.  Why wasn’t the restaurant cooperating with police?  Was the entire sit down a set up by the Bandidos to attack the Cossacks and were the owners of Twin Peaks aware of such details?   Do police just start shooting the minute the gangs are fleeing for safety?

Waco Mugshots

Waco Mugshots