The Mob Museum in Las Vegas, which calls itself “The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement” on its tax returns, has “unveiled a new temporary display and video about outlaw motorcycle gangs.”
“The display features artifacts obtained from Jay Dobyns, a retired ATF agent who went undercover with the Hells Angels in Arizona in the early 2000s. The video includes interviews with Dobyns, author of No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels” and Tom Barker, an emeritus professor of criminal justice at Eastern Kentucky University who specializes in outlaw motorcycle gangs and who is the author of Biker Gangs and Transnational Organized Crime.
In promotional materials for the exhibit Geoff Schumacher, who is the Mob Museum’s director of content, claims “Outlaw gangs grew and evolved in the 1960s after Ralph ‘Sonny’ Barger became the leader of California’s most notorious outfit, the Hells Angels. Barger moved the gang into drug trafficking and other organized criminal activities.”
The special exhibit will be on display through Spring 2017,
Waco Of Course
Schumacher also references more recent biker history when he tells prospective customers, “Biker gangs are often involved in brawls and shootings, but rarely do these conflicts reach the magnitude of what went down in 2015 in a restaurant parking lot in Waco, Texas. A territorial conflict between the Bandidos and Cossacks turned into the most deadly biker battle in American history – and it started with an argument over a parking space.”
In addition to video recorded insights from Dobyns and Barker, the exhibit features biker “artifacts” including a Hells Angels belt buckle identified as “one of Dobyns’ belt buckles” and “a leather vest worn by a member of the Pistoleros biker club.” The cut once belonged to a Pistoleros vice-president named “Bird.”
Bird can visit his old cut if he travels to the Mob Museum at 300 Stewart Avenue in Las Vegas and pays the man who sells the tickets $23.95. If Bird is over 65 or a cop, a soldier or a teacher, he will only have to pay $17.95. If, by some miracle, he can pass for a child under ten he can visit his old vest for free.
According to promotional materials, “The Mob Museum cost approximately $42 million to construct and was funded through local, state and federal grants. Of the total amount, approximately $12.4 million came from general fund sources with $8.3 million coming from matching local, state and federal grants that were awarded following the city’s financial commitment from both its general fund and Redevelopment Agency funding source that can only be spent on projects located in the city’s redevelopment area. General funds were allocated for the Museum in 2004. Grants of note include a Save America’s Treasures grant from the National Park Service, multi-year grants from the Nevada Commission for Cultural Affairs and local grants from the Commission for the Las Vegas Centennial and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.”
So you paid for this thing, but you still have to pay more to get inside.
Big Close And Video
Kerrie Droban, the poet and prosecutor who became a biker authority once said that her intention was to give daydreamers the “vicarious experience of being a Hells Angel.”
The Mob Museum brags that it brings “real stories…to life with engaging, multi-sensory exhibits and unparalleled insights from those on the front lines of both sides of the battle. The Mob Museum offers a provocative, contemporary look at this fascinating topic through hundreds of artifacts and immersive storylines. We bring Mob stories to life so completely, you’ll feel like you’re part of them.”
So if you have heard of Kerrie Droban and you would like to read her books so you can have the vicarious experience of belonging to a motorcycle club but you are an illiterate moron, the Mob Museum might be just the thing for you.