Young biker of the modern times, be welcome on Skull Factories! Here, we talk about bikes, tar and skulls. And today, we're going to talk about a subject that is particularly close to our hearts: biker gangs and everything that represents them.
Biker gangs are groups of bikers found in the United States. Each gang has its own colors and values. They are known for their criminal activities and their passion for motorcycles.
In this article, you will discover :
- The history of these gangs
- The origin of these groups
- Their activities (legal and illegal)
- The most famous of them
After reading this article, the myth of biker gangs will no longer be a secret for you. You will know everything about them... Ready to ride hard? Let's go !
History of Biker Gangs
Biker gangs have been part of American culture for almost as long as motorcycles themselves, sometimes demonized, sometimes glorified. The Department of Justice calls them OMGs, short for "outlaw motorcycle gangs". There are about 500 major gangs in the United States, with as many different names. If you count the smaller organized gangs, the number rises to 2,500.
When you add them all up, the FBI estimates that some 44,000 Americans belong to OMGs. Here's a look at the history and violence of American motorcycle gangs... 👇
1947: The Hollister Riot
In the 1930s, the American Motorcyclist Association held motorcycle rallies in Hollister, California. The influx of bikers was good for business. After a break due to World War II, the rallies returned. Bigger than ever and with a flood of veterans drawn to the excitement and freedom that motorcycles provide. After the war, life in traditional America had become too mundane for many.
From July 3 to 6, 1947, the small town of 4,500 people was invaded by 4,000 bikers. This large number of guys with tattoos from head to toe was out of control for the Hollister police. The state police were called in to clean up the town. The event was featured in Life magazine and inspired the 1953 movie "The Wild One". With Marlon Brando in the lead role, in his leather jacket displaying bad-boy behavior.
1969: The Hells Angels at the Rolling Stones concert
This incident engraved the Hells Angels in the memory of motorcycle gangs. Hired to provide security at a Rolling Stones concert in Altamont, California, a gang member killed Meredith Hunter. A man who had rushed to the scene with a gun to get away from an earlier confrontation with the Hells Angels. 😵
The stabbing was caught on video. Witnesses reported that several gang members stomped on Hunter. Hells Angel Alan Passaro was charged with murder, but was later acquitted on the grounds of self-defense. The promoters paid off the gang and the members had numerous scuffles with concertgoers throughout the day of the concert.
1972: Murder of a drug dealer
Bandidos Motorcycle Club, or Bandidos for short, has secured a place in hell. After two brothers conned them into a drug deal, selling them baking powder instead of methamphetamine, the gang kidnapped Ray and Mel Tarver and drove them to the Texas desert. Before forcing them to dig their own graves to shoot them.
2002: Brawl at Harrah's Casino
This brawl between the Hells Angels and the Mongols took place in the middle of a Harrah's casino in Laughlin. Nevada, as members of the rival gangs tried to use the same entrance to the casino (at the same time). The incident resulted in three deaths. ☠️
More than 80,000 motorcycle enthusiasts had descended on Laughlin. A town of 8,000 about 50 miles southeast of Las Vegas, for the 20th annual "River Run." The 1,700-room hotel-casino was sold out for the event.
2006: The Shedden Massacre
In another stunningly brutal crime, the Bandidos slaughter eight of their own on a farm. The farm is located near London, Ontario, northeast of the village of Shedden. The murders were intended to take control of the Canadian gang, but the members were imprisoned.
2013: chasing a Range Rover
A video shows bikers fighting with a driver. This incident did not involve an OMG, but it did include what a district attorney called a "motorcycle mob." 🏍
Alexian Lien was driving his SUV in New York City when he was surrounded by motorcycles swerving in traffic. After being surrounded, he ran over a few of them while trying to escape. They then chased the man, pulled him out of his SUV and beat him. In the presence of his wife and two year old child. The events were caught on video.
2015: Waco Twin Peaks shootout
Rival motorcycle gangs clashed at a North Texas restaurant. After weeks of warnings about escalating tensions between the Bandidos and Cossacks motorcycle gangs. The shooting left at least nine people dead and 18 hospitalized. 170 people were arrested and charged. More than 100 weapons were also confiscated.
Authorities prepared after learning that gang members were arming themselves and heading to Waco. The FBI also notes that several gangs are "actively recruiting new members into the military."
Origins of Biker Gangs
Soldiers returning from World War II formed gangs with names such as the Market Street Commandos. A riot involving them and other biker groups in Hollister, California in 1947 attracted national attention. Thus, it gave the bikers an "outlaw image." The troublemakers represented ''1%'' of the otherwise law-abiding biker community according to the U.S. State. 🙏
Yet, according to the FBI's National Gang Intelligence Center, outlaw motorcycle gangs make up about 2.5% of gangs in the United States. They are involved in drug manufacturing and distribution, motorcycle theft, prostitution and gun trafficking...
Unlike motorcycle clubs, so-called "gangs" are not accountable to anyone. And are not under the auspices of any other association other than their own.
To give you a better idea, in the United States, there is the American Motorcyclist Association. This association is in charge of gathering under its aegis all the clubs and has the task of realizing or helping in the organization of events and sporting events. They are also the ones who, in a way, govern the associated clubs. ⚖️
However, motorcycle gangs are not under the auspices of the AMA or any other association. In addition, they are against any form of regulation that is not internal to the gang itself. Both at the level of motorcycle clubs and civil laws. Only one law is respected: their own.
Characteristic of the Members
Each member has a characteristic outfit in which a patch with the initials MC or MCC indicates their status as "official member". In addition, on the back, they display another identification sign called "Colors". This consists of three parts: a top part where the club name appears, the logo in the center and its place of origin in the bottom part. 🛡
There are also several signs of identity. Like a rhomboidal patch with a 1% inside indicating that it is "outlaw". Apart from the patch, there is mention of rank and other designations or medals.
The vast majority of people associate the term "biker gang" with something illegal and against the law. And this is true, because as we have seen earlier, biker clubs almost always carry out illegal and criminal acts such as: drug trafficking, arms trafficking or prostitution and with which they manage to finance themselves internally.
What are the activities of the gangs?
It is not practical to list all the actions committed by criminal gangs. But let's take a look at the various accusations that are regularly levelled at these unusual bikers...
Gang members often seek confrontations with rivals, which often results in innocent victims. Although gang violence often makes the headlines, it also creates havoc among the people around... Restaurants get trashed after a fight, children get orphaned by stray bullets, and much more...
Vandalism, in the form of graffiti and wanton destruction of public and private property, is often done to promote a gang's reputation. This form of vandalism is a problem that affects cities in many ways. There is no doubt that it diminishes property values in residential areas. It also negatively affects industrial and commercial areas. 🧐
2) Intimidation and Fame
Gangs thrive on intimidation and notoriety. They find violence not only glamorous, but also necessary to establish their reputation as a gang to be feared. Gang activities are designed to attract large numbers of youth to join. In effect, they push youth into drinking, drug use, disorderly conduct, and property vandalism as a form of pleasure. 👿
Partying, getting high, bullying people, and stealing from designated targets are just part of the fun and enjoyment for them. Pro-gang attitudes are linked to breaking the law.
3) Drive-by shootings
Drive-by shootings are the most common crime of violence committed by gangs. Gang members seek out the homes, vehicles or meeting places of a rival gang. Using an assortment of weapons, they will drive by and shoot enemy members... 🔫
Normally, members shout their gang's name or a slogan so that the attacked gang knows who is responsible. Although most of these groups are racially or ethnically constituted, the violence between them is normally intra-racial.
4) Drug Trafficking
Drugs are at the heart of the activities of these groups. It was very present in the 1980s, and the increase in the number of drug addicts benefited these bikers who did not hide from selling as much merchandise as possible. Cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine are the most commonly sold drugs.
The 10 Most Famous Biker Gangs
We have seen together the different activities of the biker gangs, their histories and their origins. Now let's find out together the 10 most famous biker gangs in the United States, and why they are. 👇
Just before we begin, let's clarify the fact that most motorcycle fanatics are not as criminal as the members of these groups are. The reality is that most bikers are not trouble makers. They are in fact honest, law-abiding, hard-working people. The biker gangs that we talk about are self-proclaimed "1%".
These 1% clubs ignore the laws and live life like there is no tomorrow. This usually involves extremely criminal actions. This list features 10 biker gangs highlighting several alleged criminal actions of each gang.
10) Abutre's MC
Home base: Brazil 🇧🇷
Criminal activities: extortion, drugs (transportation and distribution) and prostitution.
Brazil's main biker gang is a fairly small group at its core, having been formed just 20 years ago. But the gang's power seems to be dispersing. Indeed, the group has exploded not only across Brazil, but also in Argentina. It is suspected that other essentially homogeneous Brazilian arrangement groups have formed in the United States, Japan and Spain.
9) Rebel MC
Home base: Australia 🇦🇺
Criminal activities: counterfeiting, drugs (transportation and distribution), extortion, firearms, money laundering, tax evasion and trafficking in stolen goods.
They are considered Australia's largest motorcycle gang with 2,000 affiliates and 70 chapters nationwide. The Rebels have been linked to a variety of execution-style murders over the past decade. Including the murder of three affiliates of their Australian rival, the Bandidos.
8) Solo Angeles Club De Motocicletas
Home base: Tijuana, Mexico 🇲🇽
Criminal activities: drugs and weapons (transportation and distribution), extortion, human trafficking, murder and prostitution.
Formed in the Mexican border city of Tijuana in 1960, the Solo Angeles have spread throughout the American Southwest. But, they remain deeply connected to the road gangs of Southern California. Including one of the world's leading terrorist gangs: Mara Salvatrucha, or called MS- 13.
The "Lone Angels" enjoy good press every year during their Tijuana Toy Drive. They are one of the enemy groups of the Hells Angels with whom they have a fierce and bloody competition. They are related to the Mongols.
7) Sons of Silence MC
Home base: Colorado, USA 🇺🇸
Criminal activities: drug trafficking, extortion, intimidation, money laundering, murder, prostitution, and arms trafficking.
Considered one of the top 5 U.S. motorcycle gangs by the FBI, the Sons of Silence Motorcycle Club (SOSMC) has a huge membership. The gang is growing in Germany and they are believed to have close to 300 bikers (halfway around the world for the US). The Sons of Silence are well known to the local population.
6) Vagos MC
Home base: San Bernardino, California, USA 🇺🇸
Criminal activities: drug trafficking, arms dealing, extortion, insurance fraud, kidnapping, money laundering, murder, prostitution, rape, robbery and intimidation.
Vagos Motorcycle Club was formed in San Bernardino, California in 1960 and gradually expanded to neighboring states and Mexico. Now, the gang consists of both Hispanics and whites. It probably has 300 full affiliates, and their criminal actions seem to increase every year. Vagos MC is also called Green Nation, because that is the color they rob with.
5) Warlocks MC
Home base: Pennsylvania, USA 🇺🇸
Criminal activities: extortion, drugs and weapons (transportation and distribution), money laundering, murder and prostitution.
The Warlocks' 100+ tough affiliates make up 1/5 of their southern membership, the Florida Warlocks. Their criminal actions are very similar to other motorcycle gangs in the state.
4) Bandidos MC
Home base: San Leon, Texas, USA 🇺🇸
Criminal activities: arms trafficking, drugs (production, transportation and distribution), extortion, money laundering and murder.
The Bandidos display a simple saying: "we are the people our parents warned you about" translation: "we are the people our parents told us to watch out for". The multi-racial motorcycle gang has been supported since its inception in 1960 by a large membership. They have 2500 affiliates worldwide in approximately 14 nations on 4 continents...
The Texas-born Bandidos are the Hells Angels' main violent opponent. The U.S. Department of Justice has called them two of the most dangerous motorcycle gangs in the United States.
3) Outlaws MC
Home base: McCook, Illinois, USA 🇺🇸
Criminal activities: arson, assault, drugs (production, transportation and distribution), extortion bombing, fraud, intimidation, money laundering, kidnapping, murder, robbery and prostitution.
Also known as the American Outlaws Association (AOA) and Outlaws Nation, the Outlaws Bikers Club claims approximately 1700 members in the United States. They have been present in 12 other foreign countries since 1976, and have been known to be present since 1930.
2) Mongols MC
Home base: California, USA 🇺🇸
Criminal activities: drug trafficking (transportation and distribution), extortion, intimidation, money laundering, murder and robbery.
The Mongols Bikers Club was formed in 1970 and encouraged in name by the huge Mongolian kingdom of Genghis Khan. It is believed to have about 70 groups worldwide, most of which are Latino.
But many are former street team affiliates from the Los Angeles area. The most dangerous and violent biker gang currently working in the United States is associated with: the Outlaws, the Sons of Silence, the Bandidos and the Mongols.
1) Hells Angels MC
Home base: Fontana, California, USA 🇺🇸
Criminal activities: drug trafficking, production and distribution, extortion, money laundering, murder and motorcycle theft.
Generally the most honored motorcycle gang in the world, the Hells Angels work in no less than 27 countries. They represent a criminal danger on 6 continents. They have about 4000 members, both male and female.
To know more about them
We have just seen together who are the 10 most famous biker gangs, what are their activities, their reputations, the history of these unusual groups and their origins. Now you know exactly what we're talking about, and whether you're a biker yourself or not, you'll know how to answer your buddies if they ask you what you think about these groups! 👊
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