Extended Chronology

1936—Outlaws Motorcycle Club forms in Chicago area as a racing, touring and partying fraternity.

1947—After a biker riot claims headlines, the president of the American Motorcycle Association tells the press that 99 percent of motorcyclists are law abiding. The Pissed Off Bastards of Bloomington, a California motorcycle club, love the quote and immediately sew badges on their leather jackets which read “1 %er.” Other particularly rebellious biker clubs join in, also adopting the patches. A year later, the Pissed Off Bastards change their names to Hells Angels, adopting the moniker of American World War II bomber crews.

Summer 1965—Former U.S. Marine Donald Eugene Chambers and fellow dockworkers in the small Texas fishing village of San Leon form a motorcycle club. The next summer, they began calling themselves the Bandidos. Chambers is originally an admirer of the Hells Angels, who have no chapters in the Texas Gulf area.

Friday, July 1, 1977—The U.S.–based Outlaws Motorcycle Club become the first international biker gang to move into Canada, patching over four chapters of the Satan’s Choice club in Ontario and Quebec.

Monday, December 5, 1977—The Hells Angels move into Canada when the Montreal-based gang the Popeyes patch over—or switch allegiances—to their club. Hells Angels and Outlaws have a sometimes bloody rivalry.

Sunday, September 2, 1984 (Father’s Day in Australia)—Three members of the Australian Comancheros motorcycle club, three Bandidos, and a fourteen-year-old girl are killed in brawl involving guns and machetes at at the Viking Tavern in the Sydney suburb of Milperra. The violence flowed from the decision of some Comancheros to leave their club and form the first international chapter of the Bandidos.

Sunday, March 24, 1985—Guy-Louis Adam, Guy Geoffrion, Laurent Viau, Jean-Pierre Mathieu and Michel Mayrand, formerly of the Montreal North chapter of the Hells Angels, are invited to a “church” or club meeting at the Angels’ Lennoxville compound in Sherbrooke, Quebec, only to be slaughtered and dumped in the St. Lawrence River, wrapped in sleeping bags. Their crimes were excessive drug use, violence and stealing money from the club. After the killers go to prison, the compound is renovated and improved. Because of the high level of violence in the province, Quebec becomes known in the Canadian biker world as a “red zone.”

June 1997—The Rock Machine Motorcycle Club is locked in a bloody war with the Hells Angels over drug-trafficking turf, and is badly outnumbered. Rock Machine founders Johnny Plescio, Fred Faucher and Robert (Tout Tout) Léger fly to Sweden to meet with Scandinavian members of the Bandidos, hoping to gain support from the international club. They’re immediately ejected from the country by police.

July 1997—Hells Angels open new chapters in Alberta, based in Calgary and Edmonton, giving them a coast-to-coast presence in Canada.

Thursday, September 25, 1997—A truce is announced in the three-year-old Scandinavian war between the Bandidos and Hells Angels, after eleven people were killed and ninety-six were injured. Canadian Rock Machine members are impressed that the Bandidos stood up to the Hells Angels and survived.

Monday, September 7, 1998—Hells Angels open a Saskatchewan chapter, based in Saskatoon.

April 1999—The Rock Machine bolsters its strength, as the club is given hangaround status with the Bandidos Motorcycle Club. It is sponsored by European Bandidos, who are sometimes at odds with the club’s Texas mother chapter. It is a complicated relationship, as the Canadians are still considered under the wing of Texas, even though their sponsors are from Scandinavia.

June 1999—The tiny Annihilators Motorcycle Club of southwestern Ontario folds into the much larger Loners club of Richmond Hill, north of Toronto. The Annihilators were led by Wayne (Weiner) Kellestine of Iona Station, and members included Kellestine’s longtime friend, Giovanni (John, Boxer) Muscedere of Chatham.

April 2000—Notes from Dany Kane, a Quebec member of a Hells Angels support club and police agent, record that David (Wolf) Carroll of the elite Hells Angels Nomads wants him to kill members of the Loners Motorcycle Club in the Greater Toronto Area, and has given him photographs of Loners to identify his targets. Shortly afterwards, Kane says that Carroll has aborted the plan, saying too many people know about it.

Friday, December 1, 2000—Ontario Rock Machine chapters become a probationary Bandidos chapter during a ceremony at a banquet hall on Jane Street in Vaughan, north of Toronto. The Loners provide security as forty-five probationary Bandidos patches are handed out. Shortly afterwards, Canadian Bandidos president Alain Brunette extends an olive branch to the rival Hells Angels, saying he and his Bandidos “want the situation to stay quiet for a long time.”

Friday, December 22, 2000—The Hells Angels open a Manitoba chapter, patching over an existing club, the Los Bravos. This anchors their status as the dominant club on the Prairies.

Friday, December 29, 2000—Some 168 members of Ontario motorcycle clubs—including the Satan’s Choice, Para-Dice Riders, Lobos, Loners and Last Chance—arrive at the Hells Angels’ bunker-like clubhouse in Laval, outside Montreal, to be granted membership in the Hells Angels. The Greater Toronto Area suddenly vaults from having no Hells Angels clubhouses to having the largest concentration of chapters in the world, with a half-dozen within a fifty-mile radius. Canada now has the second-highest number of Hells Angels in the world, behind only the U.S. Not all of the Toronto Loners or Para-Dice Riders are included in the “patchover.”

Tuesday, May 22, 2001—In what is considered a hostile move against the Hells Angels, twelve members of the Loners chapters in Richmond Hill and Woodbridge, Ontario, become probationary Bandidos.

Saturday, December 1, 2001—Probationary Loners and Rock Machine members become full-patch members of the Bandidos, including Giovanni (John, Boxer) Muscedere, Luis Manny (Chopper, Porkchop) Raposo, George (Crash) Kriarakis, Frankie (Bam Bam, Bammer) Salerno and Wayne (Weiner) Kellestine.

Sunday, March 10, 2002—Police pull over a car on Highway 401 near Kingston, Ontario. One of the passengers, career criminal Daniel Lamer, opens fire and is killed. With him is Marc Bouffard, of the Hells Angels support club the Rockers, who is unharmed. In their car, police find four handguns, a bulletproof vest, silencer, balaclava and pictures of Bandidos Canada president Alain Brunette and his vehicle. They also find photos of several members of the Bandidos from southwestern Ontario, suggesting they were targeted for murder as well.

Spring 2002—Muscedere is promoted to vice-presidente of the Ontario Bandidos.

June 2002—Severely depleted by police raids, the Bandidos promote Muscedere to Canadian presidente. He has only been an outlaw biker for five years.

July 2004—Muscedere tours western Canada, hoping to pave the way for expansion.

August 2004—Kellestine is freed from prison after serving time for gun and drug charges, and is given the title of Bandidos Canada national sergeant-at-arms, or sargento de armas. He’s uncomfortable that he now holds less power in the club than his former sidekick Muscedere.

Thursday, June 9, 2005—As part of a massive sweep, George (Bandido George) Wegers, El Presidente of the Bandidos Nation, is arrested in Washington State and charged with a long list of crimes, including kidnapping, drug trafficking, extortion and witness tampering.

Saturday, June 25, 2005—Michael (Taz, Tazman, Little Beaker) Sandham, president of the Winnipeg probationary chapter of the Bandidos, attends a party at Kellestine’s farm near London, Ontario. Sandham, an ex-cop, goes home frustrated, after failing to elevate his chapter above probationary status.

Thursday, December 8, 2005—The badly burned body of drug dealer Shawn Douse is found northwest of Toronto. Shortly afterwards, police begin surveillance of Bandidos and associates in Keswick, north of Toronto.

Friday, February 3, 2006—Réjean Lessard is given temporary leave from minimum-security facility in Laval, Quebec. Lessard, who had been known as “Zig-Zag” during his Hells Angels days, was serving five first-degree murder sentences for ordering the 1985 Lennoxville Massacre, in which five former members of the Laval chapter were murdered and dumped in the St. Lawrence River in sleeping bags. Lessard says he is now a vegetarian and a devout Buddhist, telling the National Parole Board, “You can’t be a Buddhist and be in that milieu.”

Saturday, April 8, 2006—Bodies of eight bikers connected to the No Surrender Crew of the Toronto area are found in vehicles abandoned off a farm laneway, near the hamlet of Shedden in southwestern Ontario. They had all been shot in the head, execution-style.

Thursday, September 28, 2006—Remond (Ray) Akleh, of the Hells Angels’ elite Ottawa-based Nomads chapter, and Mark Cephes Stephenson, president of the Oshawa chapter, are charged with conspiring to murder Frank (Cisco) Lenti, who had been trying to restart the Bandidos Motorcycle Club in Canada after the Shedden Massacre. Police allege that the would-be hitman is Steven Gault, a Hells Angel who secretly received more than a million dollars as an undercover agent for police.

Friday October 6, 2006—Bandidos presidente George Wegers pleads guilty to conspiracy to commit racketeering and is sentenced to twenty months in custody. With credit for the time he has already spent behind bars, he is released in less than a month.

Saturday, December 2, 2006—Fearful that he’s targeted for murder, Lenti opens fire on four bikers connected to the Hells Angels at Club Pro Adult Entertainment in Vaughan, where he provides security. He kills David (Dred) Buchanan and critically wounds Carlo Verrelli.

April 14, 2008—Lenti pleads guilty to manslaughter for killing Buchanan and to two counts of aggravated assault, for which he receives a six-year prison sentence.

Sunday, January 18, 2009—Akleh and Stephenson are each acquitted by a jury of all charges of plotting Lenti’s murder.

Monday, February 23, 2009—Jury selection begins for the trial of six Bandidos and associates charged in the April 2006 massacre. There is a pool of two thousand prospective jurors, the largest jury pool in memory in Canada.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009—The trial of six men for the Bandido massacre begins, with Elgin County Crown Attorney Kevin Gowdey telling a jury: “There was no gunfight. There was no flurry of bullets… One by one, the Bandidos were led to their deaths.”

Friday, October 20, 2009 – Each of the six men charged in the Bandido massacre is sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years after being found guilty of first-degree murder.

All of the sentences are under appeal.