Charlie and the Angels
The Outlaws, the Hells Angels and the Sixty Years War
By Alex Caine
Random House Canada, Hardcover, 9780307358943, 272pp.
Publication Date: December 7, 2012
List Price: $27.95*
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Right down to their signature logo (a skull known as "Charlie"), the McCook Outlaws Motorcycle Club, formed in 1935, defined the look and sensibility of the twentieth-century biker. In the 1950s, a rising gang of toughs in California threatened to steal their thunder. But, recognizing an opportunity for expansion, the Outlaws reached out. The nascent Hells Angels sent them home to Chicago, beaten, humiliated and forever bent on the Angels' destruction.
Sixty years and thousands of maimed and murdered later, the Hells Angels are a dominant criminal empire. The Outlaws, loosely allied with the number-two club in the biker universe, the Bandidos, sit contentedly as the number-three power, though they rule in places like the UK, the Great Lakes, Florida and the US Midwest. Less concerned with making money than the Angels, they continue to define the vicious biker character like few of their peers.
Working undercover, Alex Caine witnessed the buffering of the big clubs' US turfs in a Bandidos-mediated truce between the Outlaws and Angels in the 1980s. But like every deal between bikers, that one soured, and a storm of unimaginable violence and scope is brewing. The alliance is expanding and determined to unseat the Angels for once and for all.
“It is rare for someone to infiltrate this mysterious, often romanticized world, and live to tell about it. That alone makes the book well worth reading.”
“Charlie and the Angels is an interesting and detailed look into the history of these two gangs, and a rivalry that dates back over 60 years…. [Caine] offers a comprehensive overview of the violent biker brotherhood subculture.”
—Winnipeg Free Press