The Fat Mexican

March 28, 2010

All Posts, Features, Reviews

Biker books are always written by one of two categories of authors – either the “participant observer” or the “objective journalist.”

The books by objective journalists are usually the worst. Yves Lavigne and Julian Sher epitomize this style; crass and self-righteous. But some of the books by participant observers like Doc Cavazos, William Queen and Jay Dobyns are also flawed, by the dull axes those authors have to grind.

Everybody admires at least a couple of these insider accounts, for the truth they hold, even if they were obviously written to please an academic audience. If you have not already read Daniel R. Wolf’s The Rebels you should get a copy. This week I have been handing out pirated copies of William L. Dulaney’s unpublished doctoral dissertation, Over the Edge and Into the Abyss. If that is ever published you should get that one, too.

As a rule, writers do not have a thing to do except to try to tell the truth. Lavigne, Sher, Cavazos, Queen and Dobyns don’t even bother to try. Wolf and Dulaney try but they are compelled to tell their truths in a really important way to really important people.

Sometimes writers tell the truth well. Hunter Thompson’s Hells Angels – his interesting account of hanging around the Oakland Red and White in the mid-sixties – might be the best biker book ever. It night be the best because it was written by Gonzo Super Freak himself, in a voice and with a narrative power that authors are no longer encouraged to express. About a year ago John Hall published Riding on the Edge which is his memoir of riding with the Pagans during the same era. Hall doesn’t bother to lie because he is writing for an audience that already knows the truth. Maybe that is why he hasn’t sold more books. You have probably already read Sonny Barger’s memoir Hell’s Angel which is wonderful for both its truths and its lies.

Shedden Books

The Shedden massacre, the terrible mass murder of eight members of the Toronto chapter of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, fathered a couple of instant books by men on different sides of the biker author divide.

The Bandido Massacre by Peter Edwards, an objective journalist, was reviewed here a couple of weeks ago. Edwards, who might be the most sensitive newspaper reporter who ever lived – a delicate, little newsroom violet – was vexed by that review and has posted a link on this site to his site (his site is at so readers here can know where to get a more objective view of Edwards by Edwards.

The review here observed that Edwards’ book reads like it was written by a man snowed in by millions of note cards. But the story he tells is interesting even when he is not. Edwards problem is probably as simple as that he was drowning in truth. And Edwards seemed to have been meeting the people he wrote about for the first time after they were dead. He never seemed to realize that many of the men who died were clichés, and the predictability of their characters might have been what damned them most of all.

Let’s Trash Alex Caine

Alex Caine (there is a video interview with Caine at the end of this review) has been a participant observer in the outlaw world for at least a decade. Which immediately raises the question of how he has managed to stay alive for as long as he has. And the obvious answer to that is that Alex Caine is so obviously beneath contempt that nobody would ever bother to waste a bullet on him.

I know for a fact, for example, that Caine hung around the Hells Angels in Southern California in 2001 and 2002. The Angels knew him as “Q-Bob” and he wrote about some of that adventure in his first book, Befriend and Betray: Infiltrating the Hells Angels, Bandidos and Other Criminal Brotherhoods.

“Q-Bob is full of shit” one of Caine’s victims told me after his first book came out. “Some of what he says is true, just enough to have a little credibility but then he spins off and invents things that ruin it. He is a typical informant…He was universally disrespected by the Angels and the cops and they sent him packing. He turned it into a book. Good for him.”

If anything, Caine’s account of the Shedden massacre, The Fat Mexican, falls short of his previous standard. Caine is likable and ingratiating on the printed page. And he has written a much more appealing story than Edwards. But, that is only because Edwards was swamped with information. Caine doesn’t do journalism so he does not care about no stinking facts. Caine is something much worse than just a liar. Caine is a con man who has actually discovered how to write novels.

Popular Novels RIP

A couple of years before he died Norman Mailer described the death of the American novel. “I would never be published now,” Mailer said. “The American novel now is what the Russian novel was in the 1930s. People will still write novels because it is their art, because it is what they do, but the American novel is dead.”

Alex Caine, who actually is Canadian, has found a unique solution to the modern novelist’s dilemma. Caine writes novels and he sells them as journalism. Caine is a “paperback writer,” a trade that was already disappearing by the time the Beatles wrote that song. Novels used to be a way to pass the time on long train trips and writing them used to be an almost respectable way to feed a family. All you had to do was write fast and write well.

Robert Louis Stevenson, for example, wrote most of Treasure Island in 12 days aided by grams and grams of cocaine. Steven Crane wrote at least 600,000 words from the time he started at 19 until he coughed himself to death at 29. But none of the great American hacks ever actually confused fact with fiction. After Crane’s shipwreck he wrote two accounts, one for the newspaper and a fictionalized version he called The Open Boat. And just to state the obvious, this is both the first and last time that the names Robert Louis Stevenson, Steven Crane and Alex Caine will ever appear in the same paragraph.

Caine’s Interesting Life

Alex Caine’s fatal flaw is that he writes well but he lies poorly.

As he tells it, Caine had an unfortunate childhood and he was living with a whore when he was fourteen. He repeatedly identifies himself as a Vietnam Vet. And the way that happened, he has explained, is that he took a bus from Canada to the States, enlisted in the Marines, left Paris Island about two thirds of the way through Boot Camp to join the Army’s Fifth Special Forces, became part of Operation Phoenix and spent some time doing something on Highway 14. While on Highway 14 he seems to have somehow missed the Special Forces Camps at Bu Prang and Duc Lap, Ban Me Thuot, Pleiku and Kontum but he did discover Khe Sanh. After “the Marines” Caine went to prison, got a black belt in Kung Fu and became a secret agent in Hong Kong. Then he “infiltrated” the Bandidos and the Hells Angels. And then he began writing books.

If you believe all of what Caine has to say about his biography you might enjoy his books.

Caine’s stories are action screenplays that careen wildly from the perfectly plausible to the absolutely ridiculous. About once a month someone asks me about Caine’s account of the great Laughlin Biker Brawl of 2002. Caine’s story is that a platoon of ATF Undercover Agents disguised themselves as Mongols, drove to a spot on Highway 95 south of Needles, hid beside the road and ambushed an SUV carrying several Hells Angels and a small pack of bikes. And, this wasn’t something Caine heard about. This was something Caine saw with his own eyes. And that, according to Caine, is why Hells Angels went to Harrah’s that night and why there was a big, famous fight.

Arguing With Uncle Alex

Every time somebody asks me about this I am never sure how to explain the absolute impossibility of this particular yarn. If you have ever ridden a motorcycle on Highway 95 south of Needles you know why this is impossible. If you have any knowledge of either the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department or the California Highway Patrol you know this didn’t happen. If you were in Laughlin that Spring then you know it didn’t happen. If you have ever been in Laughlin for any River Run you know this could not have happened. If you have ever been to at any big biker event and observed the Under Covers in their pasted on facial hair talking to their lapels you also know this didn’t happen.

If you know anything then you know that it was not like Alex Caine said. But if you are unencumbered by any actual knowledge of the world then it might be kind of fun to listen to Alex Caine describe how things work. Caine is a crazy, drunken uncle who was once abducted by mysterious space aliens who took him to a magical portal in Arabia which led to a hidden valley on the dark side of the Moon which is where the idea for the Garden of Eden came from. And only Alex Caine knows this. This secret, hidden knowledge is Alex Caine’s alone. But he will share his secret knowledge with you for a mere $32 Canadian.

Caine Explains Shedden

Caine’s explanation for the Shedden massacre is that the Hells Angels did it and that the six men who were convicted of the crime neglected to raise this defense because they were more terrified of the Angels than they were of a lifetime behind bars. The Canadian government knows the Angels did it, Caine also insists, but the government has kept quiet because they did not want to complicate an open and shut case. Isn’t that almost plausible? Isn’t that even almost flattering to the Angels?

According to Caine, a Bandidos Prospect (who died at the massacre) named Jamie “Goldberg” Flanz, working as a tow truck operator, just happened to tow the wrong car. As Flanz was rifling through that car, looking for something to steal, he pulled out a duffle bag, “looked inside and almost fell on his ass. There looking back at him were bags and bags of white powder. He had seen enough drugs in his days as a bouncer and a biker to know it was cocaine, in a quantity that had to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

This hidden treasure, Caine states, was Hells Angels’ cocaine. The Toronto Bandidos, rather than being the odd collection of misfits that Peter Edwards portrays them to be, were “gangster bikers.” They all hoped to enrich themselves from this discovery and they soon fell to quarreling like the prospectors in Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

The Bandidos Mother Chapter in the United States eventually came to an agreement with some faction or charter of the Hells Angels over this matter of the missing treasure. The Bandidos who found it and held onto it would have to go, Caine blithely explains. And so they died.

Caine’s account is not an awful story even if it is a hackneyed one. It is just obviously not true. You might even enjoy it if you find yourself stuck on a bus or train with a few hours to kill. But this book is just as likely to annoy you as it is to help you kill a boring day.

You can buy The Fat Mexican from Amazon in Canada right now or you can wait until this fall when it will be published in the United States by Random House.

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41 Responses to “The Fat Mexican”

  1. Rock Says:

    I read this book and it was a good novel, but it didn’t mesh with any of the facts of the case. I guess I’ll try and get a free copy of the jerk-offs first book just to amuse myself on a rainy day. It might not have sold well but Riding on the Edge was the most realistic of all the books I’ve read. Thanks Rebel for another great review.

  2. chainsaw Says:

    I watched the video of Alex Caine and my bullshit detector was reading 10 out of 10. It almost seems as if the story he used in the bars to pick-up dumb blondes was so successful he decided to try the same thing in the publishing world.

    Sounds like you are recommending “The Rebels” and “Riding on the Edge”. I will try those, thanks Rebel.

  3. Grumbler Says:

    Riding On The Edge by John Hall is an engrossing book although much of it was likely embellished and/or fictionized. The old adage of don’t believe everything you read definitely comes to mind.

    Rebel, as far as HST’s Hells Angels goes, am in complete agreement with your assessment. Still, after HST got his ass kicked, he lost all credibility as an objective journalist by denigrating the club in his book. Brilliant gonzo journalism yet carried a full clip of ulterior motives.

    Have no plans to buy those books about the Red and Gold. Maybe if the local library had a copy, yeah. I don’t suppose anyone has written a book about the Sons of Anarchy. At least we’d know it was 100% fiction.

  4. Square Verbose Doc Says:

    If past history is any predictor, Alex Caine or his duly undesignated representative will be appearing here within 48 hours to provide some insults and an ineffective rebuttal.

  5. Bud Says:

    Is this clown for real? Holy shit, who wrote his responses for that interview, Ian Flemming? I can see his confusion though, he thinks hes James Bond but hears “…secret…agent man…” in his head! what a twit!

    Oh yeah, dont think Ill be reading this one. Thanks for the review Rebel


  6. Gusto Says:

    That 4’11,120 lb rat bastad Caine writes fiction!! I don’t believe a word he writes. Rebel, when are you gonna write a book?

  7. Detroit Dutch Says:

    Living across the river from this event our local media was head over heals “in love with it.” Thing is Canada doesn’t release information before or during their trials. Funny how the media will continue to hound anybody or anything in connection with it.

    Andy Warhol spoke about 15 seconds of fame and because Canadian’s watch our news coverage (over here in Detroit) they too are very much interested in their 15 seconds, even though its in another country.

    In my opinion Caine’s fame is 14 seconds too long.

    But thanks for the tip on Daniel Wolf’s book!

  8. YYZ Skinhead Says:

    Check out the number of History Channel clips in the video. (History Channel = Gangland)

    YYZ Skinhead

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Riding on the Edge has been my favorite book from this genre.

  10. RVN69 Says:

    Started to read his first book, couldn’t get past all the bullshit about his “Vietnam service”. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt! Didn’t take long to fiqure out this guy is a pathological liar, who never set foot in the Nam.

    Respect to all that have earned it.
    Si vis Pacem, Parabellum.

  11. DocB Says:

    Dear Rebel
    Thanks again, great article.

    Hey guys, check out the following site


  12. YYZ Skinhead Says:

    DocB and everyone else,

    Has anyone ever done an article specifically focusing on bikers who have PTSD? I have it (though I haven’t ever served) and I think that may be the reason that so many of my friends (bikers and non-bikers) are Veterans of either Vietnam or one of the Middle East Wars.

    YYZ Skinhead

  13. not surprised Says:

    I got a hard back copy of “Befriend And Betray” I’ll send to anyone in the community on condition you pass it along to someone else when you’re done. Media mail postage is about $3.00…

    I would prevail (once again) on Rebel to forward my e-mail to anyone interested……..I’ll send it out right away

  14. not-a-hippie Says:

    I watched that video. Three minutes seemed like 3 hours. You are correct, Rebel, that Caine would not survive 10 years. I wanted to poke his eyes out after 10 seconds.

  15. RVN69 Says:

    YYZ Skinhead,
    When me and my brothers go on a ride, we got enough meds to stock a pharmacy! As one of my closest brothers says “If it weren’t for flashbacks I’d have no memories at all”. I doubt the PTSD caused us to become bikers, I was interested in bikes long before I went to Nam. I do believe the bonds forged in combat stay with you, and the brotherhood of a true club is the closest we can get to that again.
    The fact that many of us do suffer from PTSD and can recognize and help with it in each other just makes those bonds of brotherhood tighter.

    Respect to all that have earned it
    Si vis Pacem, Parabellum.

  16. DocB Says:

    Dear YYZ
    Sorry , but I don’t know about any articles. You might run a search on the words “biker PTSD”
    Good luck

  17. Not Surprised Says:

    Ex Wives= PTSD

  18. Gusto Says:

    lol. all wives = PTSD

  19. YYZ Skinhead Says:

    lmao @ above two

  20. BigV Says:

    NotSurprised: Can I be first ?

  21. Not Surprised Says:

    Heck yeah BigV. Correction though: the postage will be paid by me. Shoulda made that clear so it doesn’t sound like I’m selling something. 3 bucks gets you almost anywhere in the lower 48………just ask Rebel for my e-mail and shoot me one with your addy and its a done deal.

  22. DocB Says:

    Detroit Dutch

    If you’re interested I’ll work the same deal with you that Not Suprised
    Is doing with BigV. I’ve got a used copy of Wolf’s book you can have
    free if you’ll pass it on when you’re done.


  23. Detroit Dutch Says:

    Ya I’m trying to find it but no luck. You can contact me through the web site

    Sure appreciate it!

    I’ll give it to another brother

  24. Detroit Dutch Says:

    Nice pic Doc!

    You should smile more… would make a good advertisement.

  25. DocB Says:


    Actually that would be a different doc in a different club……..
    he’s a lot prettier than I am if you can imagine that. It’s a high risk name.

    I’ll get on with the book deal momentarily.

    the real doc standing up

  26. YYZ Skinhead Says:

    Harassing a dentist in his office just because he is in a biker club is unjustifiable and unpardonable.

    Have any clubs or confederations ever done a class-action suit against government agencies?

    YYZ Skinhead

  27. sled tramp Says:

    “he’s a lot prettier than I am if you can imagine that. It’s a high risk name”.


  28. not-a-hippie Says:

    “YYZ Skinhead Says:
    March 31st, 2010 at 8:00 am
    Have any clubs or confederations ever done a class-action suit against government agencies?”

    YYZ Skinhead,

    I doubt it. I never thought about a lawsuit even when I got beat down and it got videotaped by a newsperson. I figure it all works out in the end.

  29. Gringo 1%er Says:

    all i can say is WOW!! excellent review Rebel!!

  30. cap'n bill Says:

    For pure unadulterated insanity, we have ‘When Bikers Meet Humans’, by J. J. Solari. It’s found on the site by the same name,
    Yes, J. J. is still alive…

  31. Joseph Says:

    Harassing a dentist in his office just because he is in a biker club is unjustifiable and unpardonable.

    Have any clubs or confederations ever done a class-action suit against government agencies?

    YYZ Skinhead

  32. Charles Says:

    Ya I’m trying to find it but no luck. You can contact me through the web site

    Sure appreciate it!

    I’ll give it to another brother

  33. Rick Says:

    “he’s a lot prettier than I am if you can imagine that. It’s a high risk name”.


  34. Christopher Says:

    all i can say is WOW!! excellent review Rebel!!

  35. Miss Krista Says:

    LMAO after watching that vid clip asian triads, russian mob, this guy? the only question is how this wanker sold even one copy of anything…too funny but maybe an idea for some income – seriously if he can sell a book who the hell couldn’t? But Rebel you’ve gotta admit SOA isn’t on the same level of ridiculous…or not…

  36. Snow Says:

    Well due to the rainy weekend that just passed down here I found myself at a Books a Million with a coffee and time to kill. After picking up and skip reading thru Caine’s book all I can say is, that’s gotta be the biggest pile of bullshit ever put in print, Caine’s me, me, I, I manner is bad enough but all of his so-called inside info and dealings would take 2-3 life times to get done. If you love fiction and can read it for free then it maybe worth an hour or two, otherwise forget it….

  37. Paladin Says:

    This guy’s a strait ass clown. I don’t know how the reporter kept a strait face during the interview.

  38. Q-Baller Says:


    If I may so so, your journalistic integrity is superlative and impeccable. Some of the best of I have read on the whole Internet – and I mean all subjects considered.

    “Over the Edge and Into the Abyss Dissertation” by Dr. Dulaney is actually posted online and availble to the public here (you probably already know this and maybe there is already a link posted and I missed it):


    Many thanks for

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