Angels of Death

Inside the Bikers' Empire of Crime

Publisher: Vintage Canada
The award-winning authors of The Road to Hell: How the Biker Gangs Are Conquering Canada bring us a definitive, up-to-the-minute account of the Hells Angels and the international biker network.

Marsden and Sher explain how the expansion of America’s foremost motorcycle gang has allowed this once ragtag group of rebels, outcasts and felons to become one of the world’s most sophisticated criminal organizations. While the media has continued to toast the Hells Angels California leader, Sonny Barger, as an American legend, the facts tell another story – they are America’s major crime export. With an estimated 2,500 full-patch members in 25 countries, the Hells Angels have inspired a global subculture of biker gangs that are among the most feared and violent underworld players.

Angels of Death takes readers to Arizona, inside the biggest American police undercover operation to infiltrate the bikers; to British Columbia where wealthy bikers dominate the organized crime pyramid; to Australia where the “bikies” shoot it out with police; to Curaçao where terrorist organizations funnel drugs to Dutch bikers; and to the streets of Oslo, Copenhagen and Helsinki where a murderous biker war saw rocket attacks and bombs turn Scandinavia into a war zone.

For the first time, police officers who have infiltrated biker gangs tell their secrets – revealing the challenges, fears and horrors they’ve discovered going undercover. Sher and Marsden take the reader behind the latest headlines to tell the story of how the Hells Angels became so powerful, and how the police – with only a few successes – have tried to stop them.

Excerpt from Angels of Death:

Three murderous evenings, three different continents, three faces of the Angels of death: the killing of innocents, the killing of fellow bikers, and the killing of cops.

Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of lives ruined, brains fried, bodies withered by the methamphetamines, cocaine and other drugs pushed by the bikers.

And yet while the body count kept mounting, Sonny Barger, the Californian patriarch and international leader of the Hells Angels, was being feted by the international media as he promoted his latest bestselling book. Even the usually thoughtful British press fell for the rebel Yankee. The Times called him, “affable, big-hearted, warm.”

The Independent labelled him an “American legend.”

And in many ways he is.



From the Hardcover edition.

READ AN EXCERPT

Prologue


“American ­Legend”



Hells Angels will continue to ride to the ends of the earth.
The sun never sets on a Hells Angel ­patch.
–Hells Angel Sonny ­Barger

They had not planned on beheading ­her.

But Cynthia Garcia needed to be...
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PRAISE FOR

“An action-packed read.… With Angels of Death you get taken on a long and interesting ride…. [The] writing is fast-paced, at times thrilling and never boring–altogether, a remarkable accomplishment…. Canadian readers will be relieved to find out that Marsden and Sher retell the history of this country’s bikers in a new, updated way, so page-skipping isn’t an option…. There’s so much fascinating information you won’t want to miss any of it.”
Toronto Star

Angels of Death is as contemporary as it gets. Its most recent case studies are scarcely weeks old; its intense analysis of this evil empire as current and finely tuned as a newly minted Harley chopper. The narrative is multilayered and global in scope.”
The Globe and Mail

“A couple of brave Canadian investigative journalists, William Marsden and Julian Sher, have tied together police campaigns against the bikers in America, Australia, Holland, Scandinavia and Britain, and come up with a devastating inventory of international violence and drug-running…. In what sometimes read like blood-soaked pages, the authors have built a devastating indictment of the gangs’ drug-running and racketeering across three continents, and the terrifying methods they use to protect what they see as their territories for drug distribution.”
London Daily Mail (UK)

“The veneer of civilization runs very thin, and the Trojan horse at our gates looks disturbingly like a Harley chopper.”
–The Globe and Mail

Praise for The Road to Hell: How the Biker Gangs Are Conquering Canada:

• # 1 National Bestseller
• Winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Non-Fiction Crime Book
• Finalist for the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing

“An investigative tour de force. . . A riveting look inside the most powerful organized crime syndicate in Canada.” –Edmonton Journal

The Road to Hell is a triumph on several levels. . . . Sher and Marsden have managed to write an important book that moves with the power and style of a Harley Electra Glide.”
Toronto Star

“A true crime book that reads like a fiction thriller.”
The Canadian Press

“Brings into sharp focus why sophisticated out-law motorcycle gangs must be a concern for everyone, from the suburban soccer mom to the Bay Street broker.”
National Post

“The idea that the Angels are simply a fun motorcycle club is nonsense, as anyone who has ever seen these extreme Rightwing, swastika-bearing, racist, bullying hoodlums riding menacingly in packs will know...And now a couple of brave Canadian investigative journalists, William Marsden and Julian Sher, have tied together police campaigns against the bikers in America, Australia, Holland, Scandinavia and Britain, and come up with a devastating inventory of international violence and drug-running.”
Daily Mail (UK)