Bandidos Bad Press

January 11, 2016

All Posts, News

Bandidos Bad Press

It has been clear from the beginning that the whole point of the arranged affray at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco last May 17 was to vilify the Bandidos Motorcycle Club.

You have to be simpleminded not to understand why the pole camera went up that morning at seven. What do you think the police wanted to immortalize? A bunch of guys with gray facial hair saying the Pledge of Allegiance?

Obviously things did not work out as planned. Mistakes were made. The buckets of blood, the platoons of the arrested,  the goose honking of Patrick Swanton and the amateurishness of local attorneys and officials got in the way of collecting video proof that the Bandits are, indeed, a mafia on motorcycles – which is to say that when push comes to shove many members may be found to have Colonial-Era attitudes about violence.

Fortunately for the Department of Justice, the increasingly cynical American public now has the attention span of a gerbil on acid. So, after a brief pause of three seasons, the public relations campaign against the Bandidos has been refloated. And the most interesting things about this campaign are what it says, in an election year, about propaganda and truth and gullibility and bullshit and the gelding of the Fourth Estate.

A Sense Of Justice

A lifetime ago in Havana, Ernest Hemingway – who once worked as a reporter for the Toronto Star and the Kansas City Star – remarked to George Plimpton, “A writer without a sense of justice and of injustice would be better off editing the yearbook…. The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof, shit detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.” Looking back and around, there seems to be very little remaining reason to expect that journalism can be great or that occasionally great journalism might ensure the survival of the United States. Now it is all just one long weekend to nowhere with Steely Dan – only, probably, not as much fun.

After a federal indictment was announced last week against the three top officers of the Bandidos in America, The Guardian titled its account of the arrests of Jeff Pike, John Portillo and Justin Forster, “Bandidos biker gang leaders accused of waging ‘war’ on rival Cossacks.” The Guardian told headline readers, “Biker gang leaders indicted over May incident in Waco, Texas, in which nine people were killed and nearly 200 arrested in outbreak of gang violence.” Really. The paper said gang twice in the same sentence. And it showed absolutely no skepticism when it reported, “The indictment, announced on Wednesday by the US attorney’s office in San Antonio, accuses national Bandidos leaders of running an organization that used ‘murder, attempted murder, assault, intimidation, extortion and drug trafficking” to protect the organization’s power.’”

The headline in the Daily Mail was: “Leaders of Bandidos biker gang – who were on one side of deadly Waco shootout – are arrested and face prison for racketeering after deadly turf ‘war’ with rival Cossacks.”


Dane Schiller of the Houston Chronicle reported as fact: “After 10 Bandidos and their supporters stabbed and severely beat four rival Cossacks, the president of the Bandidos’ Abilene chapter allegedly gave the injured a warning: ‘This is our town. If you come back, I will kill you.’

“The November 2013 incident is how federal prosecutors contend the Bandidos take care of business. An indictment unsealed this week paints a picture of a Mafia-like gang whose members roam the state on Harley-Davidsons and shed the blood of those who cross them.”

Schiller did not report how he knows that this actually happened except that, you know, some government lawyers say it did.

Schiller is a well seasoned journalist who was the Chronicle’s “reporter of the year for 2012.” He is a “senior reporter on the Houston Chronicle’s investigative, projects and enterprise team.”


Today, Joe Pappalardo published an article in the alternative Dallas Observer titled “The Weapons of the Bandidos Biker Gang.” Pappalardo alerts interested citizens that Bandidos are partial to Glock 27s, Canick TP9s, Hi Point C9s, Jimenez Arms .22s, pump action shotguns and .38 caliber wheel guns. Pappalardo, a product of the prestigious University of Missouri School of Journalism, has previously worked as a private investigator in New York; as a reporter for the Mexico City Times, The Associated Press and the Corpus-Christi Caller-Times; and as an editor at National Defense magazine, Smithsonian Air & Space magazine, and Popular Mechanics. He has also written a book about sunflowers.

Thor Benson, whose work has been published in The Atlantic, Wired, Rolling Stone, Slate, Vice, The New Republic and The Daily Beast, reports on “How Biker Gangs Have Changed Over the Decades” for the online publication “ATTN:.” “ATTN:” describes itself as “a social impact company with a mission to inform and empower the next generation.”

“An outlaw motorcycle gang,” Benson reports, “is defined as: ‘A group of motorcycle owners who band together and who agree to disobey society’s laws.’” He doesn’t say which laws. Although there is a truism, popularized by an attorney named Harvey A. Silverglate, that the average American breaks three laws a day

Benson does cite “James Quinn, a former University of North Texas professor who has studied motorcycle gangs.” Benson does not warn readers that Quinn was indicted on nine counts of possession of child pornography on July 24.

ABC, CBS, the New York Daily News, The Brisbane Times and various television stations describe the Bandidos as a “gang.” CNN describes the Bandidos as a “club.”

Pike had a bond hearing in Houston this morning.

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41 Responses to “Bandidos Bad Press”

  1. FF Says:

    Dane Schiller of the Houston Chronicle reported as fact: “After 10 Bandidos and their supporters stabbed and severely beat four rival Cossacks, the president of the Bandidos’ Abilene chapter allegedly gave the injured a warning: ‘This is our town. If you come back, I will kill you.’


    Luckless pedestrians…

  2. FF Says:

    HASTA LA VISTA BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Sieg Says:

    As the bullshit piles ever higher, the lack of credibility of “news” outlets plummets, and the FedCoats celebrate every day that they remain in power as a victory.


  4. NCRider Says:

    I just read the article in the Dallas Observer, and Joe Pappalardo is an idiot. That is the most unprofessional, inadequate, one sided shit anyone could write. His statements are completely too broad. He has absolutely nothing to substantiate what he says about “bikers” or “Bandidos”. The police like Glocks and bikers like them for the same reasons. Well, what about the rest of the people that purchase Glocks??? I don’t know which makes me the maddest. The so called journalists that write this shit, or the stupid ass people that believe it. Thank you Rebel. Keep it coming!


  5. Twitch Says:

    You hit it right on the money with everything you said, well done

  6. The Kraut Says:

    My Brother Mark (Buffalo-robe) told me back when we rode the LowCountry around Charleston SC, this gem of wisdom when it comes to so-called news…

    “Don’t believe anything that ya hear, and only half of what ya see”

    Fucking still holds water today…

    Respects to those who warrant respect (The Red & Gold especially)

    The Kraut

  7. xplor Says:

    Ths poltical season the Banddos are the low hangng fruit for the law and order party. You don’t want to mention cartels that brings up the imigration problem and you need the hispanic vote.

  8. Paladin Says:

    At the risk of stating the obvious, there is a very real political food chain that the ever hungry government, with its unlimited resources sits atop of. If one insists on acting like food (especially fast food), one is sure to be eaten.

    When one is not a shark, but has no choice but to swim with sharks, it behooves one to not draw the attention of sharks by doing shit that says: Eat here. If the foregoing is not to one’s liking, one had better be able to go toe to toe with the sharks. So far, very, very few come away with their ass intact. Not whimsy, just fact.

    Long May You Ride (to those that deserve to),


  9. Brad Milch Says:

    I see little difference between what I consider libelous character assassination of the entire Bandidos motorcycle club & the same that a lot of people experienced in their early school days. It’s the old ‘Hey, did you hear Becky put out to Melvin’ BS. By the end of the week the entire school was debating on how good or sloppy Becky’s alleged performance with Melvin was. Some wondered why they weren’t good enough to score a piece of Becky, some fought for her good name & a couple idiots actually went up & quizzed Becky about it (they usually ended up in the principal’s office with a tore up, paddled behind). The eager to learn the sordid details school audience often forgot that most of them had never seen a set of hooters (not to mention the little man in the boat), yet there were ‘experts’ on Becky’s supposed cargo flying around the school grounds whose qualifications were never challenged.
    As Rebel writes, it’s quite obvious someone in & feeding the MSM wants to feast on the Bandido motorcycle club & describes them as a multi-headed demonic monster that all share the same hideous head & same Satanic purpose in life.
    As with Becky back in school, the proof supposedly resides in the baseless accusations aimed at every single Bandido club member man & woman with not a shred of proof that any one of them has ever committed the crimes they are described as being experts at pulling off. It’s sickening. Maybe in time some generous soul will donate to the club the funds needed to hire gifted lawyers to clear their bad name put on Federal shit lists by select feds & MSM rumor mongers.
    Who knows, maybe Trump’s wealthy counterpart (El Chapo) might reach out to the Bandits with his wealth & get things going for them in a positive direction. It’s possible. Stranger things have happened before.
    The difference between Trump, El Chapo & the Bandidos is Trump can move about in public freely, the ones wanting to destroy or seize what the others possess have their missions in life set on preventing that basic human right at all costs.

  10. RtC Says:

    THANK YOU REBEL. FTF & all of these “so called journalists” that keep spouting
    their kool-aid derived BS! WHERE do they get this shit?!

  11. Whobe Says:

    Objective journalism and an opinion column are about as similar as the Bible and Playboy magazine. – Walter Cronkite

  12. Meh Says:

    The cops got the shootout they helped set up. Anything else they get is gravy, and if they get sued that’s what insurance is for.

    Waco government got what it wanted, Waco citizens who empower that government got what they wanted, and bikers got killed, wounded and arrested.

    Bikers are in the unenviable position of a group most of the the public don’t care about and some want destroyed. A fucktillion toy runs won’t alter that.

    What Waco proves is bacon can manipulate some bikers and “some” is enough for their purposes.

    Expect it to happen again because it succeeded.

    What remains is sussing out the rest of their game plan. The cops just ensured permanent and irrevocable mortal opposition between two target groups. Now they can exploit that victory as long as those groups exist.

    Creating irrevocable conflicts among target groups is good counterinsurgency. Done effectively it cannot be countered or reversed.

    Mass arrest gave pork opportunity to coerce more cooperation. Expect some of that coercion to pay off. The payoff may not be visible for years but with that many people under that much pressure odds are some were vulnerable to exploitation.

    Media will always be easy to manipulate because biker culture is necessarily secretive. Media get the LEO version so they sell that version. The alternative of bikers trying to spin media would be worse because very few people are good at that, What is not said can not be analyzed.

    Even if no bikers go to prison over Waco, the cops can write that off to their fanbase as the result of lawyers and continue their careers uninterrupted. They get a positive internal performance report and pork on to the next victim.

  13. justathought Says:

    The federal judge seemed to be less frightened than the Waco justice of the peace. Jeff Pike, El Presidente of the Bandidos bond was set at 250,000$

  14. ak rack Says:

    Dear Rebel,

    “Fortunately for the Department of Justice, the increasingly cynical American public now has the attention span of a gerbil on acid. ”

    I know it’s no laughing matter, but . . . I got a really good belly laugh out that line — thanks.

    With respect,

  15. Road Whore Says:

    While I agree with Paladin I worry that insignificant or even normal behaviors will come to be increasingly punished.

    “The Ministry of Education encourages schools to punish boys by caning for committing serious offences such as fighting, smoking, cheating, gangsterism, vandalism, defiance and truancy. Students may also be caned for repeated cases of minor offences, such as being late repeatedly in a term”

    I think one of the things that we may be missing is that the government seems to be increasing its march to the implementation of a nanny state at best, and a gulag state at worst.

    While refraining from obvious behaviors that will chum the sharks we must organize and resist in an efficient manner, but not merely protest…there has to be a coalition with some real teeth in it, some real power, a biker’s equivalent of the NRA that can push back with some real influence lest we be publicly caned because our pipes are too loud or our handlebars are at the wrong angle or too high.

    I’m not advocating excusing idiocy with the “boys will be boys” argument. I am saying that I believe that the fedbeast is continuing to raise the standards of what it considers to be acceptable behavior until you’ll be breaking more than 3 laws a day everyday just by going about your normal business.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: as much as bikers detest all of the bullshit we need some people to form a coalition with some real teeth and get involved in politics in the same manner that other lobbyists do. I’ve heard all of the excuses of why we can’t; I’d like to hear some folks step up and say why we can. Fuck, the AMA does it.

    As far as “criminal” behavior…well, I’ve known a lot of people in my life, from many sides of many different fences, and I’ve not known a lily-white pure person yet whether that person was a preacher, a teacher, a cop, or a business owner. Everyone winks at the law at one time or another. The fedbeast just laughs out loud when it does.

    Ride Free

  16. JB Says:

    Kudos to you. No one person or club should be treated with such disrespect but I have complete faith in The Bandido Nation. Always have and always will.

  17. FF Says:

    What gets lost in all the obfuscation ie the cops spoon fed narrative and the media sensationalist garbage is the fact that if all the parties involved just listened to the 1%ers NONE OF THIS SHIT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED.

    Some assholes just can’t leave well enough alone.

  18. Gus Says:

    I said it before. These people believe they are doing the right thing and they are the righteous ones. There can be no justice in Waco. The truth is irrelevant. Sway the minds of the sheeple and punishment will be served. Our government has become the tyranny that the Constitution was written to protect us from. How can we be surprised that they are ignoring those protections?

  19. joe bleaux Says:

    dressing up like a pirate and acting like a tough guy can be dangerous

  20. shootemall Says:

    Check out the link below. Look through the pictures and read the captions. I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or beat my head on the wall.

  21. Jim666 Says:

    So murder,attempted murder, extortion,drug dealing,theft,money laundering,etc. sounds more like a local town,state,or city police dept, than a bunch of motorcycle enthusiasts.
    It seems that if the above accusations are reason enough to indict a charge of “RICO”
    Then it only proves the fact even further that most if not all of “LE” should be charged & indicted w/ the same!

    Of course everything the feds do is overkill,has been from the very first years of the FBI
    for instance:

    one small catholic cross under dress

    red dress and red shoes

    tattoo of two hearts with arrow, above the
    right knee, names Roy on right side, and
    Bonnie on the left side

    shot in left breast, going into chest

    shot 4″ below ear

    another shot, entering above the right knee

    two shots front leg

    two shots right leg

    gunshot wound around edge of hair, 1 1/2″
    above the left ear

    another through the mouth on left side,
    exiting at top of jaw

    another at middle, just below left jaw

    another above clavicle, left side, going
    into the neck

    another entering chest 2″ below the inner
    side of left shoulder

    two shots about 2″ below left shoulder,
    fracturing the bone

    another wound on elbow of left arm

    another entering left chest above the
    heart, breaking ribs

    six shots entering 3″ on back region
    left side

    five pellet wounds about the middle of
    left side

    cuts from glass on the left ankle

    cut on top of left foot, apparently from

    cut on center of right thigh

    cut 6″ in length, about 3 1/2″ center of
    right leg

    eight metal fragments centering across
    the front of face

    exit wounds 6″ on the inner side of
    right leg

    flesh wound underside of right knee

    bullet wound right leg about middle of
    outer right knee

    wound on center of ankle about 2″ above
    back of foot

    gunshot wound to bone of first finger

    another to the middle finger

    gunshot wound entering fleshy portion of
    left thigh

    eight bullet wounds striking almost in
    parallel line on left side

    three parallel lines of bullets striking
    right side of back from base of neck to
    angular right capular to middle of back
    bone, one striking midway of back,
    breaking backbone

    note: Although not in the coroner’s report,
    it was rumored at the time, that Bonnie was
    two and a half months pregnant when killed.

    Autopsy of Bonny Parker.

    as the wheels of just-us turn.

    “Your black cards can make you money so you hide them when you’re able
    In the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table,”


  22. Justathought Says:

    Lets keep this in mind as we consider the gov’t move to steal Mr. Portillio’s property: He has owned the house since 1975, the truck is his work truck: HE WORKS FOR A LIVING ,and pays business taxes as an HAVC/Contracter, and his wife and child(ren) live in the house. His motorcycle(s) etc…, were bought and paid for legally because, well he’s out there working every day. You’d think they’d have to at least prove something before they can do this wouldn’t you??

  23. Sheera Says:

    You don’t need much of a Bullshit Detector for a LOT of these stories. That anybody would intimate that thebTop 3 Bandidos arrested last week ties into Twin Peaks doean’t work. In 23 Pages of indictments, nowhere does it mention Waco, Twin Peaks or Patios.
    The Truthbis out there if you have enough sense to put itvall together.

  24. Smitty1961 Says:

    A writer for the Washington Post named Radley Balko has been doing some pretty good work exposing police excesses for quite awhile now. I referred the Waco clusterfuck to him as needing some attention, but he hasn’t dug too deeply in to it that I’ve seen to date.

  25. NCRider Says:

    Paladin – Love it! LMAO. In other words, stupid can be dangerous.


  26. Phuquehed Says:

    FTF, FTG and fuck Reyna and his corrupt crony crowd in ‘Waco – The place where no one questions the law because it changes daily!’

  27. FXRNIT Says:

    Road Whore—We all , or those that deserve to
    ( if I may borrow the phrase), already HAVE that
    Type of Coalition.!! It’s called The COC.
    The Coalition of Clubs. It IS a political force
    For the benefit of ALL bikers & their rights.
    It’s in numerous states & works and represents
    Bikers from those states. They work speaking
    To state reps to help keep our freedoms and
    Making better laws for us, and ending the needless
    Ones. Hence: one of the reasons why the Feds
    Are going after the COC.!?!?
    The COC isn’t just in Tejas.!
    Thank you, to all who KNOW & to
    you ,REBEL, for the labor from the heart.!

  28. FXR Says:


    I think that 3 crimes a day reference in the article was a reference to the guy that wrote the book 3 ”felonies” a Day, about the over criminalization of America?

  29. Rebel Says:

    Dear FXR,

    Yeah. The book was called Three Felonies A Day. The title comes from an old Soviet idiom that said everybody was arrestable because everybody committed at least three crimes every day.

    I think I reviewed it here.


  30. FXRNIT Says:

    To Shootemall….. Thanks for the tag.!
    Really odd tho. I would have NEVER guessed
    That my Sainted G’father would have been
    Considered a criminal with the EXACT same
    And come to think of it, he’d of been charged
    with dog fighting and cruelty to animals……
    what with that mowed circle of grass and the
    burnt area on the ground, and with the deer
    heads everywhere.
    Guess that’s proof of a dog fighting ring, and
    where he burned the dogs killed in the fights.
    Man, how stupid was I to never know
    keeping a beagle hunting dog on a chain on the
    hill, and roasting hot dogs and shooting fireworks
    In the same area was ALL a cover-up for my
    G’fathers criminal activity! And that all his wood
    Chopping, brush clearing, & plumbing chores
    was just his way of practicing honing his skills.!!
    How could I have ever been so clueless.!?
    Guess we should all be grateful that we have
    Inspector KLUESO leading all these investigations.!

  31. Gandalf Says:

    I have read about 3 stories about the Big Bandit roundup. The only real info I got was, “3 top bandits were indicted in Fed Court under RICO.” THE END. WTF do I know? Except the rest of the story sounds more like Opinion and Sensationalism. Modern Media produces Heroes and Villains like Quentin Tarantino “for our viewing pleasure.” Ya never know if your going to be in the spotlight today OR if your going to be Hero or Villain. Fate decides…It’s random.
    Paladin Says: “At the risk of stating the obvious, there is a very real political food chain that the ever hungry government, with its unlimited resources sits atop of. If one insists on acting like food (especially fast food), one is sure to be eaten.” No truer words ever said. “fast food” seems more like your average PWT, Black and Mexican… By the time they get to Bandido Presidents they definitely ordered up the Surf and Turf in The French Room. Hope someone don’t know the Heimlich Maneuver.

  32. TX_Biker Says:

    This is video from outside the courthouse after the bond hearing….

  33. Road Whore Says:

    @ FXRNIT: Yeah, I know about the COC; my argument is that if someone in power were to be approached by the NRA they’d damn sure know they’d been hit. I doubt they’d have any clue if someone told them the COC was coming, and the meeting would be a brush-off. My analogy is that we need a biker’s group with the clout of the NRA.


    Ride Free

  34. Jim666 Says:

    @ Road Whore
    Donate to your local COC.
    The only reason the NRA is so influential is because they are so affluent !
    Take the millions away and the influence goes w/ it.

  35. Road Whore Says:

    @ Jim666: I hear ya, and I agree…but it seems like we got a long way to go before the COC becomes the powerful force it seems to need to be.


    Ride Free

  36. Jim666 Says:

    Road whore
    I Agree.

  37. Batchman Says:

    Why let the facts get in the way of a good story. Motorcycle clubs always make good copy for the average boring local newspaper. But in the meantime lives are destroyed and families ruined.

  38. dogbreath Says:

    The NRA has almost 5 million members. And they speak with their wallets. The AMA, by contrast, has less than 250,000. I have no idea about COC membership, but I seriously doubt that it is that high, nor is it organized to be effective at the national level. It is not even in every state. And with an agenda that denies new clubs from forming while alienating others, it seems it will never be a major force in uniting all bikers.

    If every 1% club in the US came together and stood shoulder to shoulder in solidarity, it wouldn’t make a damn bit of difference to 99% of the population, there just aren’t enough of you to have any real weight. And such a coalition could never hold together, assuming it could even be brought together.

    An organization that garnered every motorcycle enthusiast of every sort together would still be barely larger than the NRA, but it could never attain the tight focus and full support of every one of it’s individuals in the way that the NRA has.

    The NRA also has support of millions of non-members who will come out and support their stance because of the support for the 2nd Amendment as a bigger issue, constantly kept alive and in the public dialog.

  39. Kathy Says:

    I’m a housewife and have absolutely no skin in the game. FWIW, I was appalled by the carnage in Waco and was convinced that these MCs were at fault. That is, until I talked to my neighbor who is very high up in the DOJ. He was/is appalled at the actions taken by LEO in Waco and listed off reason after reason.

    He changed my mind.

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