The Outlaws MC: “God forgives, Outlaws Don’t” is the motto for one of America’s oldest and more notorious biker clubs, the Outlaws. The gang began it root in Matilda’s Bar on Route 66 in McCook, ILL in 1935. Since the start of the club chapters or local gang have spread widely across the United Stated and have established themselves in other countries such as Australia, Europe and South America. History: The Outlaws first began in 1935 prior to World War Two in McCook, Illinois just outside of Chicago. The club managed to stay intact during the war but the clubs activities were very limited.
In the 1950’s the club grew immensely in size and with new members coming from all over the Chicago area the Outlaws moved from the small town of McCook and re-established themselves in Chicago. With the new change of location the Outlaws also changes their name from the McCook Outlaws to the Chicago Outlaws as well as updating their logo. The original sign of an Outlaw was a winged motorcycle this was replaced with a small skull. But after the 1954 movie “The Wild One” starring Marlon Brando the club would enlarge the skull and add a set of crossed pistons.
In 1960 the A. M. A. or American Motorcycle Association, which supervises all official races in the United States banned the word outlaws from all race clothing. Then on the first of January in 1965 the American Outlaws Association (A. O. A. ) was born along with the first true 1%ers motorcycle club. These 1%ers differed from the rest of Americas motor cycle riders, the 99% who carry respectable careers and obey the law. The Outlaws believed in acting a pirates and mafia members. Take what you want and do whatever you have to too get it. ( outlawsmc)
Becoming a member: Outlaw members must be male, at least 21 years old and own an American-made motorcycle 750cc’s or above. You must also be Caucasian in United States to be accepted as a member. Prospective members are first considered “hang-around” or associate members. Once becoming a potential member you become a prospect. Finally in as much as 2 years time a patch member. Members may be asked to perform a certain number of tasks to prove their loyalty to the club. A full patch member is entitled to wear a leather or denim vest bearing the Outlaws emblem or “colors. ” These vests would be ecorated with the clubs logo, a skull and crossed pistons named Charlie that is always outlined in red and worn on the back of the jacket. A triangle shape patch would also be worn on the front left shoulder with the letters A. O. A surrounding a hand with the middle finger extended. Before 2000 a swastika would appear on the back side of the hand. Full patch members are also given the right to attend so called church meetings, while prospects and “old ladies” would wait outside. The female members wear the traditional OMG or Outlaws Motorcycle Gang back patch with “Property of” on the top side rocker and the owners name on the lower rocker.
The attitude of the Outlaws is once a member always a member. Currently there are over 1,700 members serving under the Outlaws MC today. (NDIC) Structure: The Outlaws MC is a very organized and disciplined organization. They used a basic military style format. The lowers level of each chapter consists of hang around members, chapter probates or prospects and chapter members or full patch members. These members are the henchmen and workers of the club. Moving up in the chain of command each chapter has a chapter president who is over seen directly by the regional president.
The regional president ensures each chapter keeps as much power in that state as possible. After the regional president there is a national president. The national president oversees each countries regional president. On the top of the chain stand the international president. He is the lord of the biker gang. The most known world leader of the A. O. A. was Harry Joseph Bowman. (NCIC) Harry Joseph Bowman Harry “Taco” Bowman began his career with the Outlaws serving as the regional president and national vise-president.
Later in 1984 Bowman became the international president and in control of over 30 chapter in the United States and 20 chapter in four other countries. He served as the international president for 13 years until 1997. While under Harry Bowman a war began to brew across the country between rival motorcycle gangs. While the Outlaws may have been allied with other groups like the Banditos and Southwestern motorcycle gangs, hatred formed around the Hells Angels, Pagans and Warlocks. The Outlaws would display slogans such as “AHAMD” or “All Hell’s Angels Must Die” and “ADIOS” or Angels Die in Outlaws States. ” The ar broke out in 1990 when Bowman ordered Outlaws prospect, Alex “Dirt” Ankerich to kill Warlock member Raymond Chaffin. Chaffin was found in his garage with 4 shots to the head. In September of 1994 Michael Quale a member of the Hells Angels was murdered during an altercation with members of the Outlaws. At the funeral, a photographer captured a photo of members of the Hells Angel’s hugging members of the Fifth Chapter Motorcycle Club. The FCMC was a family oriented club made up of men and women who were recovering from substance abuse problems, who were neutral and maintained good standing with all clubs.
Bowman saw this as a sign of disrespect and ordered the beating and near death of 15 member of the FCMC. The Outlaws used the slogan “Snitches are a dying breed”, so in 1994 when Bowman caught wind of one of their own had been talking to the police he ordered the murder of Donald Fogg. Fogg was located by authorities in a field with a single shot to the head. Besides murder Bowman was involved in kidnapping, the distribution of illegal drug and many other criminal activities. In 1997 Harry “Taco” Bowman became a fugitive of the FBI’s top ten most wanted list and was finally captured in 1999 while visiting family in Michigan.
Bowman’s indictment included ten counts. Four counts allege violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”). When in trial the jury found Bowman was guilty on eight counts and thirteen racketeering acts. Bowman was sentenced to life in prison. (USvB) Criminal Activity: The Outlaw’s MC has been involved in many different criminal activities. These include violent acts, drug trafficking, kidnapping, and illegal gambling. On March 17, 2009 22 members of the Outlaws, one being a corrections officer were arrested for running a 3. 6 million dollar cocaine ring in Pennsylvania.
Later on in August 15 more members were arrested for running a methamphetamine ring, one of the men arrested was the Pennsylvania regional president. On June 10, 1997, following a 2 ? year investigation, US Attorneys indicted 17 members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club for racketeering, murder, narcotics trafficking, and bombing. Even more recently in June of 2010, simultaneous ATFE raids were conducted in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, Montana, Massachusetts and Wisconsin. Outlaws were accused of committing more than 80 crimes ranging from attempted murder and extortion to kidnapping and weapons and drugs harges. In all, 27 arrests were made. (Gould) Current Status: In today’s society the Outlaws consist of more than 1,700 members with 176 different chapters in the United States and 12 chapters in other countries. The Outlaws continue to thrive due to their hierarchy and class structure. Under the international leadership of James Wheeler, OMC has continued to increase by a steady 2. 5% since the year 2000. The club has not only grown by their size but also in technology. They now have set up an official website containing news, photos, chapter locations and other information.
The FBI and ATF may continue their investigations of the Outlaws MC, but as long as there is more territory to gain and rival gangs to conquer this club will continue to become a greater threat to the public. ? Works Cited: Gould, Richard. “Outlaws: Feds Blasted Our Buildings. ” Hickory Daily Record (2010). Print. “History. ” The Outlaws MC Official Site. N. p. , June 2010. Web. 5 Aug. 2010. . “Drug and Crime Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Profile. ” National Drug Intelligence Center. U. S. Department of Justice, Oct. 2002. Web. 5 Aug. 2010. . United States v. Bowman. No. 01-14305 20 Aug. 2002