The racketeering case against members and associates of the Hells Angels charter in Rock Hill, South Carolina encompasses a score of defendants and one love story.
The full list of defendants in what appears to be a spurious and malicious prosecution include: Mark William Baker, David Channing Oiler, Bruce James Long, Richard Thrower, David Allen Pryor, James Frederick Keach, Jr., Frank Enriquez, Jr., Donald Boersma, Johanna Looper, Kerry Chitwood, Carlos Hernandez, Ronald Dean Byrum, Jr., Trent Allen Brown, James Rhodus, Bruce Ranson Wilson, Thomas McManus Plyler, Jamie Hobbs Long and Somying Anderson.
The Love Story
But the love story involves only two of the alleged desperadoes. They are the lead defendant Daniel Eugene “Diamond Dan” Bifield and his wife Lisa Ellen Bifield. Their story is reminiscent of Longfellow’s Evangeline except with Nazi or Stalinist overtones. You know? Henry Wadsworth Longfellow? That dead white guy?
A couple of generations ago Truman Capote would already be in town – lisping, inviting himself to dinners, annoying the police and taking meticulous notes. As recently as the Reagan Administration this would already be at least a movie of the week. But this is post-literate America and our natural resources are becoming ever scarcer. Hard choices must be made in the publishing game. So American arts and letters must ask the question, if someone wasted paper on these tragic lovers where would we ever find the sheets we need to publish Kerrie Droban’s brilliant and indispensible books on the outlaw biker menace? Let alone Jay Dobyns eagerly anticipated Still Raising Hell.
Consequently, the only sketches and cartoons of this little, romantic tragedy appear here, on this page with its antique view of journalism. Baker, Oiler, Long, Thrower, Pryor, Keach, Enriquez, Boersma, Looper, Chitwood, Hernandez, Byrum, Brown, Rhodus, Wilson, Plyler, the other Long and Anderson matter as much as the Bifields’ but their tragedies are not the timeless, Aristotelian tragedy of the Bifields. And, in the end, their fates may depend on how much people come to care about the Bifields because everybody everywhere always cares about love. Everybody has been in love. Not everybody has ever had to stare down a RICO charge. People who couldn’t care less about the Hells Angels care about love.
Last month Lisa Bifield was subpoenaed to testify in the murder trial of a man named Joseph Ard. Ard is accused of murdering a girl on the cusp of womanhood. Her name was Madeline Coffey. She was eight months pregnant when she died in 1993. You can read a slightly more comprehensive account of Mrs. Bifield’s testimony here.
Some number of busybodies who have actually heard of the federal case have criticized Lisa Bifield for her testimony. The general implication is that Lisa Bifield was rehearsing for the time when she would testify against the other defendants in the racketeering prosecution.
On July 30, Dan Bifield asked for a chance to respond to his wife’s critics. This is what he had to say.
“I am fully aware of what Lisa did and I back her 100 percent in what she had to do.
“I do know that about 19 years ago my wife’s best friend, Madeline Coffey, was shot in the forehead and killed by her piece of shit boyfriend. She was also eight months pregnant! What kind of man kills a 17-year-old girl and her baby? This man beat this young woman, threatened to kill her and threatened to kill Lisa.
I was not with my wife nor did I know her then but if I had I would have taken care of it myself – especially since he threatened to kill Lisa. What I mean is that I would have stopped him from doing what he did and I would have tried to protect my wife.
Lisa is a good and strong woman. Madeline was her best friend. Lisa loved her and, of course, the unborn baby. Lisa did what she had to do and what she felt was right. I am proud of her for standing up for what she believed was right. I may not agree with everything but I was not around then.
As a Hells Angel – and any other motorcycle club that hangs around us – we do not call the police, make statements or testify. I, myself, never have and never will. But I do understand that if women, children or old people need to be protected or helped they may call the police and use them as they need to.
Lisa has always had my back and we are sticking together and fighting our case! She is a stand up woman and will fight for what she loves and believes in.
I won’t allow anyone to dog her or say bad things about her. She’s my wife and I love her. I will always be there for her like she has been for me.
Don’t be so fast to judge somebody by their actions. The prosecutors told her she had no choice except to testify because if she didn’t they would charge her with contempt of court and give her jail time. She has suffered enough from all that the federal government is doing and trying to do to her. What kind of man would I be if I didn’t support and back her? Especially in a situation like that? Think how you would feel if it was your wife, girlfriend, daughter, mother or sister.
I love you Lisa Bifield and I got your back!