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Motorcycle Outlaw Clubs Going Global

NCJ Number
Crime & Justice International Volume: 18 Issue: 64 Dated: July/August 2002 Pages: 9-10,30
Nathan R. Moran
Date Published
July 2002
3 pages
This article provides the history of motorcycle outlaw clubs and comments on current issues facing law enforcement in their struggle to control these clubs.
The author recounts how the outlaw motorcycle club called Hell’s Angels formed. The group began under the name Pissed Off Bastards of Bloomington (POBOB) and consisted mainly of veterans of World War II. They earned their reputation as outlaws in 1947 after one of their members was arrested. In response to the arrest, the members of the POBOB wrecked havoc on the town when the sheriff refused to release their club member. After this incident, a small group of the POBOB broke from the group and gave themselves the name “Hell’s Angels.” The article then explains how the group grew and spread across the country, and eventually around the world. Hell’s Angels groups began sprouting outside of California due to the publicity surrounding their exploits. Eventually, these groups began splintering off and forming separate motorcycle clubs that spread not only across the country, but around the world. These clubs would frequently feud over illicit markets of revenue. They continue to carry on these feuds today, with increasing violence. The author concludes by noting the problems that law enforcement agencies are having in their efforts to squelch these outlaw motorcycle clubs. These problems are exacerbated by the limited resources that are available to investigate transnational crimes. 8 Notes