The Biker Trials: Bringing Down the Hells Angels

Description

404 pages
Contains Photos
$22.95
ISBN 1-55022-638-X
DDC 345.71'0277'0971428

Author

Publisher

Year

2005

Contributor

Reviewed by Geoff Hamilton

Geoff Hamilton is a Killam Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of
British Columbia.

Review

Paul Cherry, a crime reporter for Montreal’s Gazette, examines here
the bloody struggle for control of the drug trade between Quebec-based
chapters of the Hells Angels and rival biker gangs in the 1990s, along
with the police investigation that decimated their ranks and the recent
“Biker Trials” that brought many gang members to justice. Cherry
looks closely at important players in the gang wars and the dynamics of
the police investigation of them, describing events up to the summer of
2005. Numerous black-and-white photographs are included, as well as an
appendix containing thumbnail biographies of prominent gang members.

Though The Biker Trials comes a little late to the table (a half dozen
or so books have already been published on the subject), this gives it
the advantage of being able to discuss recent legal developments. The
outcomes of trials of gang members, such as Richard Mayrand, André
Couture, and several others, receive exceptional, detailed coverage.
Moreover, Cherry does an excellent job setting the context of the trials
in the bloody—and often comically inept—operations of the gangs in
the 1990s.

Though for the most part accessible and engaging, the book can at times
read like a (fairly dull) textbook. The drama of the subject, of which
there is plenty on tap, is sometimes lost beneath the cataloguing of
relevant individuals and their roles in the complicated history of the
gang wars. Cherry’s conclusion notes how routine gang violence had
become to many Quebecers, but the overall social impact of the biker
wars and the subsequent series of trials warranted more attention within
the main part of the text. Nevertheless, this is certainly a
well-researched, authoritative book, which should serve well anyone with
an interest in the history and outcome of the biker wars.

Citation

Cherry, Paul., “The Biker Trials: Bringing Down the Hells Angels,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 21, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/16988.