An El Lay Story

July 6, 2018

All Posts, News

An El Lay Story

The smart way to traverse man-sized rides in the southwest in summer is to travel at night. You can die from the heat on an air cooled motorcycle in the desert in July. That is only one of the ways you can die.

The three riders on the two Harleys probably left Tooele, Utah about eight last night, They took a straight shot down the 15 through St. George, Vegas and Barstow. After about eight hours, 635 miles into the pilgrimage, one of the bikes broke down. The police say that. The Harleys stopped in the broad, paved median next to the far left lane to look and talk.

They might have just stopped to look at a map. About 12 miles or so back up the road, the 15 Freeway had split into the 15 and the 215. It is an easy intersection to miss. It is not usually a fatal mistake. Both the 15 and the 215 intersect with the 210 Freeway. Politicians call the 210 the Foothill Freeway. The 215 carries a rider a little farther east, into the city of San Bernardino. When they stopped the two bikes were on the 210 headed east into the baffling immensity of Los Angeles. They were about 80 miles from the Pacific and about 70 miles from its cool breezes. It was 85 degrees in Berdoo at four this morning.


Shortly after they stopped somebody opened fire on them. Maybe it was bangers. Maybe not. The number of evidence cones at the crime scene suggests that somebody stopped next to them and opened up. A good Samaritan reported two riders laying in the far left lane. Paramedics and a California Highway Patrol cruiser arrived, according to the official account, minutes later.

By the time the paramedics got there, one of the Utah riders was dead. The other was wounded. The passenger on the dead man’s bike was his wife and she was physically unharmed. About six hours after the shooting police identified the dead man as “Shawn Fowler from Utah.” The only Shawn Fowler who fits is Shawn Roy Fowler from Tooele, a little town south of the Great Salt Lake. His wife is Denean Fowler.

Police Remain Silent

San Bernardino police investigators took over the murder investigation and closed the freeway. They acknowledged that Fowler’s wife was cooperating in the investigation but refused to name her. They also refused to name the wounded man.

The spot where the two men were shot is approximately the center America’s biker motherland. The men were riding beautiful, customized Harleys. They had just covered more than 600 miles which is something a very experienced biker is more likely to do than a novice.

According to multiple published reports, investigators “found an insignia of an outlaw motorcycle club.” Crime scene photos do not show any club indicia on or near the bikes.

San Bernardino Police Department Lieutenant Mike Madden gave reporters an official statement. He said, “it is “unknown at this time” if “there’s involvement with any kind of motorcycle clubs or outlaw gangs.”

The 210 stayed closed for hours. People who already didn’t want to go to work had to detour south a couple of miles to the 10, the Santa Monica Freeway, which averages about eight miles an hour on a good day.

The sun rose. The crime scene cleared. And all that was left was the usual impossible traffic and another burning day.


29 Responses to “An El Lay Story”

  1. David Torres Says:

    I thought Mongols were made up of Patriotic Vietnam War Veterans, why are some of them in ANTIFA?

  2. Hangaround Says:

    Helmet has a support sticker on it. Most likely just a friend of the club. Lame.

  3. Hero Says:


    Just read the excerpt and I didnt even think about it like that. Much respect to you for pointing that out. Cops framing a club to cause problems they can further lock MC memebrs up for. Thank you. Respect.

  4. Hero Says:


    I dont own the book but will find a copy. What am I looking for?

  5. Dasein Says:

    A few thoughts. It’s 4 am, on the freeway, quite dark, and whatever traffic there is is no doubt moving swiftly. The assailant(s) would’ve needed to slow down in advance of the encounter, in order to stop at the scene, and in that case, probably wouldn’t have had any idea of club signage at that distance, unless the bikes had previously passed the assailant, which is somewhat likely. So the assailant may or may have not known of the bikers’ club affiliation in advance of pulling over, but if already aware, had been following for some time before the fateful stop by the bikes. If the assailant wanted the bikers dead so badly he (?) pulled over to shoot them, in what was a very otherwise unlikely stop on their part, why wouldn’t the assailant simply have already shot them off their bikes as they rode? In other words, in order for the bikers to have been shot because of who they were, the shooter either had a chance earlier, probably in his mind his only chance, to shoot them as they rode, or the shooter just happened to find an “enemy” pulled over up ahead that he chose to shoot as soon as he could possibly slow down and stop next to, and then identify who up until then had been unknown to him. The first didn’t happen, and the second , mortal enemies in such a chance encounter, seems statistically unlikely. So, I’m venturing they weren’t shot because of who they were.
    Because there was no robbery, that isn’t a motive, nor kidnapping, so, either this was a crime of random opportunity, my some psycho with no discernible motive, or the killing was done precisely because of who the bikers were, and that is the motive. The possibility of that motive makes this second option seem the more likely, but the other circumstances seem to outweigh the value of that motive. The survivors will shine a lot of light on this, either by what they say, or don’t say.

  6. Snow Says:

    This is some seriously fucked up shit.
    Condolences to the family, friends and everyone else who mourns this man. RIP, keep riding while flying.

  7. Stevo Says:


    Read the opening chapter of Out Bad by an esteemed journalist named Donald Charles Davis.


  8. Hero Says:

    This shit has got to stop. After what happened to the fellows in Texas you think people would be a little bit concerned about Rico, whoever was in that car doesn’t seem to care about anybody else in this lifestyle.

  9. Penguin Says:

    Is Capitalism a form of government? I thought it was supposed to be a form of economic organization.

    I swore to defend the US Constitution. There is not any expiration date on the Oath, is there?

    I have said this before – but to make it precisely clear, I favor the basic US Law, the US Constitution…

    The trouble begins when some people fail to support it… And then loot the Country…

    Marx was not good at proposing solutions, as we have seen. But as we have also seen, Marxist analysis is often quite accurate…

    Michael Hudson speaks to this problem, so did Alistair Cooke, in 1973…

  10. Filburt Says:

    What is your suggestion for another form of government other than Capitalism?

  11. Diamond Eye Says:

    Did some digging, got a pretty good idea what club he is in based on his father’s affiliations. Also found out he worked for the Union Pacific Railroad out of Utah.

  12. Penguin Says:

    El Lay is a third world city now..why? What happened, and what’s going to happen? People shot dead on the highway…every day I think about my Country and what happening…to us.

    I know we’re supposed to hate the commie ruskies an all that stuff…but I also know that the Country is falling apart along social lines…and so I ask why the MoCo makes crap and why people like us are getting poorer while a few are filthy rich, and also why cops have become an army…


  13. Old & Jaded Says:

    @Penguin – Enjoyed your post. I left too.

    So CA. became too much in many senses of the word – the traffic, the number of people, the amount of crime, the ever increasing taxes, the too far to the left politics, etc.

    I grew up in El Lay and as memory serves, there were typically about four months that were pretty hot. By the time I moved a few years ago, the heat was starting sooner and was hotter. It was 117 degrees in Van Nuys just a couple days ago.

    Miss the friends but this shooting reminds me further that it’s sure not the place I once knew.

  14. Austin Says:

    About a year ago – after 40 years of driving Cajon pass 3 or 4 times/year – Construction wrapped up and CalTrans has switched the traffic flow – for some undoubtedly magnificent reason. Southbound 15, going to LA- which is west, you used to stay right. I am usually headed to IE/Palm Springs, so I always stay to the left, to swing east. Only the last time – the ramp makes this big wide loop over, and I was suddenly going to HellA. Even if you know about that, after an all night 600 miles, with probably several trouble-free pullouts down, mechanical problems are no reason to die.
    The only predator I am aware of- likely to be armed and hunting at that time, belongs to an agency. This is just a Damn shame. Sincere condolences to the widow and survivors. Arrowhead Regional does a lot of trauma – maybe they will have recovered some bullet fragments.

  15. Austin Says:

    If you came that way before – like maybe only two or three years ago – that split was (logically) stay west/right for LA & stay east/left for IE/Palm Springs. Whenever the latest round of construction stopped, (just last year?) I got totally surprised the first time I went through it. Now – if you stay left you are going west to LA. I had a few choice words for CalTrans when it happened to me, but I just drove to the next exit. If you haven’t done it in a while – you would definitely be confused. Honestly I don’t know how pepple make it home from Vegas….

  16. Sieg Says:

    Have zero knowledge of this, beyond what’s here and in the news.

    That said, it wouldn’t be the first time a couple scooter-tramps got blown away on the road for whatever cash and/or stash they were packing. Many moons ago, it was almost a thing. Guys by themselves, on a run, you know they got some loot.


  17. Penguin Says:

    Condolences to family and kin.

    Maybe the fellas knew the SoCal arena, and maybe not…Tooele UT is very different from SoCal.

    I lived in SoCal many years. In the mid 70’s the bike shop I favored blew up and “my” bar caught fire a few days later…then some cat tested his new full auto from the nearby apartments, (slugs over my head), then the Mexican cat who ran my favorite gas stop and quickmart got shot dead for no reason in a robbery (on camera!), then two wannabee (or maybe real) fellas got shot dead in the parking lot at “my” other favorite bar (they went outside to see about a rock thrown through a window). Cops pulled guns on me a few times too…anything seemed not only possible, but probable…

    I had a straight corporate gig and zero “club affiliations” beyond a few casual acquaintances and weekend rides up Mullholland (where you;ll meet everybody and his friends)…..this stuff was coincidence, and getting to be “normal”. People had started crapping on the sidewalks, homeless women with kids began to be seen…

    When my third favorite bar got closed down because of a turnout that…well, the lady changed her mind…a turnout that went wrong (I was not there)…after all that I decided SoCal was not a place to be, or visit.

    I figured that the man upstairs was trying to tell me something.

    I left.

    Getting attacked on the 210 and murder on the highway…oh man! Standards have fallen.

    What times!

  18. Neuro Says:

    Los Angeles Times: “One motorcyclist was killed and another was wounded Friday on the 210 Freeway while wearing the insignia of a motorcycle gang, police said.”

  19. Stevo Says:

    Always us.

  20. G-Dog Says:

    Sorry, I fucked up. Delete my post rebel. Respect

  21. Old & Jaded Says:

    Don’t expect it to happen but it would be nice for men to return to the day where a dispute was handled eye to eye, as opposed to the cowards who shoot from a moving car and flee like a thief in the night.

    Sincere condolences to Mr. Fowler’s friends and family.

  22. Anonymous Says:

    “Look, Daddy. Teacher says every time a bell rings…”

  23. Rebel Says:

    Dear OklaYounger,

    I am trying not to throw gasoline on this.


  24. DH350nWo Says:

    Enough digging and you’ll find the club affiliation.

  25. Drifter Says:

    Godspeed Mr. Fowler… Condolences and Sympathies to his Family and Friends…

  26. OklaYounger Says:

    Says Mongols on the helmet

  27. Paladin Says:

    Those passing the scene reported elsewhere that the cuts were black and white. Unfortunately; not io.

    My sincere condolences to the family, friends and Brothers of the fallen.


  28. Oregon Moose Says:

    RIP Shawn Fowler from Tooele, UT. Condolences to family and loved ones.

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