Published by: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Release Date: January 16, 2012
On the morning of April 8, 2006, residents of the hamlet of Shedden, Ontario, woke up to the news that the bloodied bodies of eight bikers from the Bandidos gang had been found stuffed into cars and trucks by a local farm. The massacre made headlines around the world, and the shocking news brought a grim light to an otherwise quiet corner of the Canadian province. The day after the bodies were discovered, Bandido Wayne (Weiner) Kellestine was arrested for the murders of their own crew in what remains as one of the worst mass murders in Canadian history and the largest one-day slaughter anywhere in the outlaw biker world.
The story of the biker massacre is alternately frightening and pathetic. Like other outlaw bikers, Bandidos portray themselves as motorcycle enthusiasts who are systematically misunderstood and abused by police and feared by the public. Highly disorganized, prone to petty infighting and sabotage of fellow members, and—fatally—dismissive of the warnings of the powerful American leadership, the Canadian club, known as the No Surrender Crew, imploded over one dark night when, one by one, the former brothers were led to slaughter.
Peter Edwards was on the scene as the story broke and has followed the proceedings from the arrests in 2006 to the highly publicized court case in 2009, when all six defendants were found guilty of first-degree murder. He spoke with mass murderer Wayne (Weiner) Kellestine hours after the murders and interviewed outlaw bikers and cops, on the streets and behind bars, to research this story. He also covered the trial of the killers and related trials, from start to finish.
The Bandido Massacre tells, in chilling detail, how Nazi-loving Kellestine betrayed his fellow Bandidos at his farm outside of quiet Iona Station, Ontario; and how Michael (Taz) Sandham, a former theology student and police officer turned biker, found himself in the rafters of Kellestine’s barn with his rifle trained on his former comrades.
The Bandido Massacre also tells the very human side of the story, of John (Boxer) Muscedere, the head of the Toronto Bandidos, who laughed even as he ordered Kellestine to kill him first in a vain attempt to save his brothers; George (Crash) Kriarakis, wounded in the opening volley and shot dead as he sat in a car awaiting a ride to the hospital; and Jamie (Goldberg) Flanz, the only Jewish member of the Canadian crew, made to wait at the end of the line and suffer longer as his brothers were marched out of the barn into the early morning darkness.
As gripping as any crime novel, The Bandido Massacre is the shocking inside story of a crumbling brotherhood bent on self-destruction and betrayal. The Bandido Massacre was a national bestseller. For more in-depth information on The Bandido Maccacre, visit the book’s dedicated website.
“Making sense of…evil is something Edwards does extremely well… Edwards is tenacious in his research and has spun a gripping tale.”
—The London Free Press
“Peter Edwards is one of the best crime writers in Canada.”
—Michel Auger, author of The Biker Who Shot Me: Recollections of a Crime Reporter
It is now dead midnight.
Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh.
William Shakespeare, Richard III, Act 5, Scene 5
Kill ’em all, let God sort it out.
Sign in the window
of Wayne (Weiner) Kellestine
Jamie (Goldberg) Flanz didn’t suspect a thing when the surveillance car slipped behind his luxury sport utility vehicle as he drove out of Keswick, north of Toronto. With him in the grey Infiniti FX3 was Paul (Big Paul) Sinopoli, a gargantuan full-patch member of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, and when Big Paul was around, it was hard to notice anything or anybody else, since he all but blocked out the sun.
Flanz had just been a prospect member of the Bandidos, the lowest rung on the club’s ladder, for six months. His lowly status meant he was required to be on call for round-the-clock errands like fetching hamburgers and cigarettes or chauffeuring full members like Big Paul. Prospective members like Flanz generally performed such grunt work without complaint, in hopes that they too would someday be allowed to wear a “Fat Mexican” patch on their backs to announce that they were full members in the second-largest motorcycle club in the world, behind only the Hells Angels.
Given their difference in rank, it made sense that Flanz had the chore of driving Big Paul to the emergency club meeting at Wayne (Weiner) Kellestine’s barn in tiny Iona Station (population 100) in rural southwestern Ontario on the evening of Friday, April 7, 2006. Club meetings were called “church,” “holy night,” “the barbecue” or “dinner,” and attendance at this particular gathering was mandatory, much to Big Paul’s chagrin. Weiner Kellestine’s barn was a couple hours’ drive from the Greater Toronto Area, where most chapter members lived, and Big Paul was only attending because senior members had made it clear that if he didn’t, he would likely be kicked out of the club.
The York Regional Police surveillance team had been quietly tailing Flanz and Big Paul for almost four months, since shortly after a man walking his dogs in neighbouring Durham Region on December 8, found the body of a small black male bound, gagged and badly burned in a forested area near the York-Durham Region Line. The grisly corpse was all that remained of small-time drug dealer Shawn Douse. The reason Flanz and Big Paul were on the police radar was a simple one: the last time Douse was seen alive, he was stepping out of a cab late on the night of Saturday, December 2, to attend a party at a townhouse in Keswick owned by Flanz.
In many respects, Goldberg Flanz seemed an unlikely target for a police surveillance crew probing a particularly grubby and violent murder. With his shaved head, goatee, pirate-styled hooped earring and muscled-up football lineman’s physique, Flanz looked intimidating enough. However, if you stopped to look into his eyes, the tough-guy effect quickly evaporated. Once you saw his smile and his eyes, his bruiserish appearance seemed nothing more than a carefully constructed persona, much like the performance of his namesake–the professional wrestler Goldberg. He was only playing tough.
Flanz was the rare Toronto-area outlaw biker who didn’t have blue-collar roots or a trade that involved soiling his hands. In real life, he had far more money and social status than his biker mentor, Big Paul. Flanz’s father, Leonard, was a senior partner in a prestigious Montreal law firm, specializing in insolvency cases, while Goldberg ran a small computer consulting business that provided on-site technical support to companies. While most of the Ontario Bandidos didn’t qualify for credit cards and lived on the brink of having their cellphones cut off, Goldberg owned a couple of properties, one for his real family and another as a hangout for his Bandido friends. His “Goldberg” nickname was a not-so-subtle reminder that he was Jewish, which also made him an odd fit in his circle of friends in the outlaw biker work. It was hard to think of any other Jews in Canada’s outlaw biker world, but there were hardcore anti-Semites, including the man they were going to visit that night, Weiner Kellestine, who once ran a gang called the Holocaust.
Weiner Kellestine was under two lifetime weapons bans, but remained an enthusiastic collector of Nazi memorabilia and military weapons, including machine guns, pistols, bayonets, knives and explosives. He encouraged rumours that he was a biker assassin by signing his name with lightning bolts resembling the insignia of Adolf Hitler’s Schutzstaffel, the Nazi murder squad more commonly referred to as the SS. Lest that not be unsettling enough, Kellestine surrounded himself with skinhead white supremacists and once cut a massive swastika onto his farm field with a scythe. He ran a business called Triple K Securities, a not-so-subtle nod to the initials of the Ku Klux Klan. Triple K offered “complete electronic privacy,” “telephone taps,” electronic sweeps for hidden recording devices and “discreet professional service.” When he gave Goldberg a business card, Kellestine wrote “SS” on the back with his phone number.
Many members of the Bandidos are considered by police to be criminals, but there was no sound business purpose for Flanz to be cozying up to the Bandidos. Truth be told, the Toronto Bandidos may have had the ambition, but most of the profitable crime was being committed by other groups, who worked hard at being criminals. Part of Goldberg Flanz’s appeal to the Toronto-area Bandidos was that they could borrow money from him. The attraction the Bandidos held for Goldberg was harder to define. He might be a whiz with computers and have solid business sense, but he saw himself as more complex than that, and something about the dangerous image of an outlaw motorcycle club appealed to him in a way he couldn’t fully understand.