Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (or OMGs, in police shorthand) have a reputation for violently protecting their turf, upholding their rules, and punishing those who step out. When multiple clubs who live by these credos bump up against each other, things can turn bloody and that's exactly what happened in these most brutal and violent biker gang fights in history.
In the six decades since the first motorcycle gangs formed, different groups have fought each other over turf, respect, perceived slights and sometimes just as a result of everyone being really drunk. Other incidents have involved members who ran afoul of club rules or tried to start their own branches - with members brutally killing bikers who they'd normally be riding with. Some of these fights, such as brawls at charity events, can seem humorous and ironic. Others, like the execution of dissenting members or the shooting of bystanders, are nothing to joke about.Here are some of the most well-known and infamous biker brawls, shootings, and stabbings in history.
Hells Angels vs. Vagos Starbucks Brawl
Two years of tension between San Jose chapters of the Hells Angels and Vagos broke out over, of all things, who would get the right to congregate at the local Starbucks in sleepy Santa Cruz. When it all died down, a war that started over a coffee klatch had left dozens arrested and two people dead in different incidents, including a murder on the floor of a Sparks, NV casino.The deputy police chief of Santa Cruz summed it up blithely, saying, “It was all about who would be allowed to hang out at the Starbucks downtown... Only in Santa Cruz would you have biker wars over who's going to control pumpkin spice lattes.”
Great Nordic Biker War
Many of the biggest biker conflicts in history have taken place outside the United States. Probably the longest running of these was the “Great Nordic Biker War” lasting three and a half years and involving OMGs in four countries. Over a decade of tension between clubs in Scandinavia (related mostly to the drug trade) finally turned violent when Hells Angels and Bandido members opened fire on each other, killing one Hells Angel. The Bandidos turned things up a notch by firing an anti-tank rocket at a Hells Angels clubhouse, and the Angels retaliated by killing the president of a Bandidos support club.The two clubs kept fighting for three years, using guns, explosives, rockets, and car bombs. Finally, the presidents of the two clubs' European chapters shook hands on live TV and put the thing to rest - but not before there had been 12 deaths, nearly a hundred injuries, and countless arrests.
A rare case of inter-chapter violence, the Lennoxville Massacre saw the Quebec branch of the Hells Angels brutally purge their northern chapter, ostensibly because its members were wild and out of control. When the Hells Angels think you’re too wild and out of control to be a Hells Angels member, things probably won’t end well for you.For five members, including the founder of Hells Angels Canada, they didn’t - they were shot dead, execution style, with their bodies wrapped in weighted sleeping bags and thrown in the Saint Lawrence River. Four of the shooters got life sentences, though all were released early.
Shedden MassacreIn June 2006, eight Bandido members were taken to a barn in rural Shedden, Ontario and executed - by fellow Bandidos, no less. The motive for the massacre remains unclear, but it’s thought that the killers wanted to expand the club into other parts of Canada, and the victims stood in their way. Six men, including the owner of the decrepit barn, were found guilty of murder in the aftermath.