Any journalist who hasn’t read Hunter S. Thompson isn’t that interested in being a journalist. And Thompson’s Hell’s Angels, while 43 years old, remains a great read and a great slice of biker history. Here’s a look at Thompson taking some heat after the publication of Hell’s Angels.
A reader points out that Boxer Muscedere was impressed by the German Bandidos’ concept of brotherhood, even if his Canadian Bandidos weren’t able to duplicate this. He also notes that those German Bandidos have just reached a truce with the Hells Angels, which they say they’ll enforce with a strong hand. I hesitate to call this enforcement “policing.” The word just doesn’t seem to fit.
The old idiom “Nature abhors a vacuum” applies to crime as well. As long as there are customers for illegal services, there will be sellers, and we shouldn’t be surprised that they’re often nasty folks. A recent crackdown on the Hells Angels – and the earlier implosion of Taz Sandham’s Bandidos – has created a predictable scramble for turf in Winnipeg, with a spate of murders. What’s particularly disturbing is the young age of many of the victims. Until control is established, we can expect things to get worse before they get better. In many ways, it’s like the escalation of violence in Montreal’s underworld, with the absence of Vito Rizzuto, who’s due to be released from an American prison in 2012 on murder conspiracy charges.
Vito Rizzuto’s crime family haven’t always been at the centre of the Montreal underworld, and by extension, most of the rest of Canada. It just feels that way. His organization certainly played a subtle but undeniable role in the war between the Bandidos and Hells Angels, while regulating the price of street cocaine like a mainstream marketing board. Now someone is killing top members of the family, and there’s no indication the killings will stop. It’s hard to believe someone in the family isn’t helping the killers. It’s also clear that the killings will only help the Rizzutos’ old partners in crime in the Bonanno family of New York. A weakened Rizzuto crime family means a strong grip by New York in Canadian mob affairs.
I’ve heard David (Wolf) Carroll called alot of things, but this is a first from an Australian newspaper: “the bikie godfather of Halifax.” I’m sure Aussie biker can crunch bones with the toughest of them, but it’s still hard not to giggle at the word “bikie,” even when it’s used for an accused serial killer.
David (Wolf) Carroll, one of the secondary characters in the book, is making headlines Down Under. The Hells Angel Nomad chapter member has been one the run from police since before Sonny Barger got his first tattoo, or at least it seems that way. Now there’s word that he might be hiding out in Australia, although Brazil, the U.S., Mexico and French-speaking countries with Harley enthusiasts are also possibilities. It’s a safe bet he isn’t hanging out in the Woodbridge, Ontario area, as he’s not on the best of terms with the Loners there.