Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The Rock Machine War

When it comes to truly bloody warfare between rival biker gangs, it does not take place in the States, but in Canada and Scandinavia.  There have been two bloody wars; in Scandinavia, it was between the Hells Angels & The Bandidos, and in Canada, it was between The Hells Angels and The Rock Machine.  This war ran for eight years from 1994 to 2002, and resulted in more than 140 deaths, more than 140 wounded and nearly a dozen people missing.  What was the cause of this bloodbath?  Greed!  Pure and simple.  The origins of the Rock Machine go back to the mid 1980`s when an OMG called The SS dissolved with most of the gang joining the Hells Angels.  One of them was Maurice "Mom" Boucher who ended up as the leader of the Montreal Angels and attempted to become the crime boss of the city.

    Another former member of the SS was Salvatore Cazzetta.  He did not share the Angels` method of business and with a brother, Giovanni, whom was a member of the Outlaws, but persuaded him to leave them, decided on their own club called The Rock Machine.  They hit on an idea that wearing colours like all other gangs, would make them identifiable targets, so they eschewed colours.  They preferred to wear a gold ring that had the name and a black eagle on it.  Rings worn by prospects did not have the club name.  The Cazzettas were criminals through and through, and importantly, they made contacts with the Montreal Mafia and a powerful Irish gang.  They were friendly with the Bandidos.  Other members were drug pushers and club owners.  They, like the Angels had puppet gangs that did their dirty work for them.  Clubs like the Devils Disciples, the Dark Circle & the Palmers MC.  The Angels used the Rockers, the Death Riders & the Evil Ones, amongst many.

    The Rock Machine had considerable allies on which to call for support which ensured the Angels would not start any trouble but some years on, both Cazzetta brothers were jailed, effectively removing the leadership.  The Angels decided to move in and take over their criminal and drug empires but the Rock Machine were not to be intimidated.  They hit back.  And the result was eight years of shootings, bombings, knifings and general mayhem that saw over 140 deaths.  But one act of violence did bring the ordinary citizens of Canada to loudly protest to the Government and Police that they had to act.  It was on August 9th 1995 when a bomb was planted in a jeep that belonged to an alleged drug dealer, aligned with the RM.  When it was detonated, the blast killed the driver, but debris also killed 11 year old Daniel Desrochers.  The general public were outraged and demanded action.  Truth emerged later, that the bombers had put the device in the wrong car and so killed the wrong man.  The intended target had a car the same make and colour.

    The Rock Machine announced in 1999 that it was now an official OMG and years later, had expanded into the States and Australia, by recruiting former Bandidos members.  The war ended in 2002 but violence between OMGs will always go on as they battle over turf and drugs.  You do not see the body counts in the States like in Canada and Scandinavia, but the battles rage between the HA, Outlaws, Bandidos, Pagans, Mongols, Warlocks and many others.