After a seven month trial, six members and associates of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club’s probationary chapter in Winnipeg, Canada were found guilty of 44 counts of first-degree murder and four counts of manslaughter last Friday.
And today, Monday, November 2nd, the first two books about the case have hit store shelves. Copies of The Fat Mexican: The Bloody Rise of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, by self proclaimed professional informant Alex Caine and The Bandidos Massacre: A True Story of Bikers, Brotherhood and Betrayal by Toronto Star reporter Peter Edwards both rolled off the presses over the weekend.
Edwards has described his book as, “kind of like Cain and Abel on Harleys.” Caine alleges in his book that one of the principal prosecution witnesses in the case was secretly working for the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.
Wayne Kellestine, 60, Dwight Mushey, 41 and Michael Sandham, 39 were each convicted of eights count of murder. Marcelo Aravena, 33 and Frank Mather, 35 were each convicted of seven counts of murder and one count of manslaughter. Brett Gardiner, 25, was convicted of six counts of murder and two counts of manslaughter.
The defendants were convicted of killing George Jessome, 52, George Kriarakis, 28, John Muscedere, 48, Luis Raposo, 41, Frank Salerno, 43, Paul Sinopoli, 30, Jamie Flanz, 37, and Michael Trotta, 31. The victims were killed in one massacre. The eight men’s bodies were discovered in abandoned cars parked at the side of a country road. All eight victims were members of the Bandidos Toronto chapter.
Of all the defendants, Aravena seemed most disappointed by the verdict. As it was read he stood and yelled at the jury, “You guys are fucking goofs! Pieces of fucking shit!” Then he told his lawyer, “Fuck you, Tony!”
The prosecution tried to portray the murders as the climax of a patch pulling party after the Bandidos Toronto chapter became estranged from the Bandidos Mother Chapter. In December 2005, the Toronto Bandidos were told that their patches were being pulled for not maintaining contact with their club brothers in the United States. The Toronto Bandidos complained that the heightened border security that came with the War on Terror made it impossible for them to get into the United States.
On January 6th, 2006 American Bandido Bill Sartelle emailed Toronto chapter President Frank Salerno that members from both sides of the border needed to sit down and talk in person. “There are many conversations that need to take place…in person,” Sartelle wrote.
The Long Goodbye
“What are we to do,” Salerno wrote an American Bandido named Pervert ten days later. “Since the 9/11 tragedy our borders have tightened and anyone with a criminal record is undesirable.”
Salerno complained that not even Canadian Bandidos President John “Boxer” Muscedere could get into the States. “There must be another place in this world to meet,” Salerno wrote. “We have no problem getting into Mexico, Europe…. You know getting to the U.S. is virtually impossible.” Three months later, Salerno, Muscadere and most of the Toronto chapter were dead.
The prosecution called a total of 70 witnesses. The key witness in the case was a former Bandido known only as M.H. who claimed to have seen but not participated in the killings. M.H. was given immunity and a new identity in exchange for his testimony. M.H. is the informant Alex Caine now claims is secretly a member of the Hells Angels.
The convicted men will all probably be sentenced to life imprisonment. Sales figures on the two books are not yet available.