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The Outlaws Motorcycle Club, incorporated as the American Outlaws Association or its acronym, A.O.A., is a "one-percenter" motorcycle gang and organized crime syndicate that was formed in McCook, Illinoismarker in 1935. It has approximately 200 chapters in the United Statesmarker, Canadamarker, Australia, Asia, and Europe.

There is a one-percenter motorcycle club called the "Outlaws" in New Zealand however they are not part of the international club. It only shares the name and has a different patch design.

Membership in the Outlaws is limited to men who own American-made motorcycles of a particular size, although in Europe motorcycles from any country are allowed so long as they are in the chopper style. Their main rivals are the Hells Angels, giving rise to an acronym used by Outlaws members, "ADIOS" (Angels Die In Outlaw States).


The Outlaws Motorcycle Club was established out of Matilda's Bar on old Route 66 in McCookmarker, Illinoismarker a southwestern suburb of Chicagomarker in 1935. The club stayed together during World War II, but like most organizations at that time, their activities were limited. In May 1946, the Outlaws attended the first major post-war motorcycle event in the midwest, which was held at Soldier Fieldmarker, Chicago.

By 1950, the Outlaws had expanded rapidly and most of their members were now from the Chicago area . The club re-established itself in Chicago and changed their logo; a small skull replaced a winged motorcycle and Old English-style letters were adopted. This design was embroidered on a black shirt and hand painted on leather jackets. In 1954, the Crossed Pistons were added to the original small skull. This design was embroidered on a black western-style shirt with white piping. The movie The Wild One with Marlon Brando influenced this backpatch. The Skull and Crossed Pistons were redesigned in 1959, making them much larger with more detail. The A.O.A. Logo was adopted as an answer to the A.M.A. logo.

In 1960, the American Motorcycle Association, an organization which supervises all official races in the United Statesmarker, banned the word "Outlaws" from all race clothing. Therefore all racing club members wore the sign O.M.C.(Outlaw Motorcycle Club) on their outfits until 1963. The Outlaws became an official member of the 1%er Brotherhood of Clubs in 1963, making it the first official 1%er club east of the Mississippi River . On July 4, 1964, the Cult MC from Voorheesvillemarker were patched-over by the Outlaws. During the Springfield Motor Races in August of the same year, they became associates of the Gypsy Outlaws from Louisville, Kentuckymarker. A Milwaukeemarker chapter was then established and the "Outlaw Nation" was founded with Chicago as Mother Chapter. On January 1, 1965, the American Outlaws Association (A.O.A.) was founded. The insignia of the club, a skull and crossed pistons, is named "Charlie". In July 1967, the Outlaws National President and a number of other members travelled south from Chicago and sanctioned the club's first chapter in Floridamarker. "God Forgives, Outlaws Don't" ("G.F.O.D.") became the club's motto in 1969.

In 1977, the Outlaws patched-over Satan's Choice MC in Canadamarker, to found its first foreign chapter . The club's first Iowamarker chapter was founded in 1978 when Diablo Knights MC became an Outlaws associate. A member not belonging to the Mother Chapter in Chicago became the club's National President for the first time in 1984 and in 1989, the abbreviation "MC" (Motorcycle Club) was added to the backpatch. The Outlaws' first European chapter was established in Francemarker in 1993 and the following year, an Australian chapter was founded . MC 44 of France also became a chapter. In 1995, the club's Chicago chapter was split into three groups: Mother Chapter (Southside), Westside and Northside. A second European chapter was also opened in Norwaymarker. In 1999, the Belgianmarker Outlaws MC, which already existed independently for 25 years, became a member of the AOA. The 2000s saw the Outlaws expand rapidly in Europe. The Englishmarker and Welshmarker Outlaws MC, until then independent MCs, joined the AOA in 2000. Ghost Riders MC of Germanymarker joined the AOA and chapters were opened in Swedenmarker and Thailandmarker in 2001. In 2002, the Outlaws' first support club, the Black Pistons, was founded in GermanyThere are now Black Pistons chapters in the United States, Canada, England, Polandmarker and Norway. Poland, along with Italymarker, also opened its first Outlaws chapter that year. By 2003, the Outlaws were represented in 19 US states . In late 2004, the first Outlaws chapter was opened in Russiamarker and in 2005, the club celebrated the 70th Anniversary as a Motorcycle Club and the 40th Anniversary of the AOA. A Japanesemarker chapter was opened in 2006 and in 2007, the club opened a chapter in the Philippinesmarker. The Black Pistons also started its first chapter in Australia .

Famous and infamous members

The FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitive #453, Harry Joseph Bowman, known World Leader of the AOA, in prison since 1999 for three murders, was the international president of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club. During the time that Bowman was a fugitive in 1998, it had chapters in more than 30 cities in the United States and some 20 chapters in at least four other countries.David Allan Coe was a member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club.

Legal prosecutions

United States


On the morning of August 16, 2007, Federal agents along with the Daytona Beach SWAT Team raided the Outlaws clubhouse on Beach Street in Daytona Beach, Floridamarker looking for drugs, weapons, contraband, paraphernalia, etc.; they tore the Daytona Beach Clubhouse apart for the better part of the day and found nothing, but removed as many of the club's pictures and any other possibly identifying information as they could find. Federal agents also raided a home in Ormond Beachmarker and two other clubhouses around the state. The search of the Jacksonvillemarker clubhouses netted federal agents 60 weapons including pocket and kitchen knives. U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced a Detroitmarker grand jury indictment of 16 of the Outlaws National Club's members . The Detroit grand jury indictment included various charges, including assault and drug distribution. Eleven Outlaws leaders and high-ranking members of the gang were arrested after a five-year investigation. The FBI said several gang members were charged with conspiracy to commit assault on members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in Indianamarker.


Frank Rego Vital of Roberta, Georgiamarker, an Outlaws MC member, was shot and killed in an early morning gunfight June 24, 2007 in the parking lot of The Crazy Horse Saloon strip club in Forest Park, Georgiamarker by two members of the Renegades MC in what has been described as a self-defense shooting after Vital and other Outlaws members followed the men from the club. Both Renegade members were shot several times but survived.


On July 30, 2008, several facilities associated with the Outlaws in the Chicago area were raided by agents from the FBI and the ATF. The FBI brought in a SWAT team and an urban assault vehicle to the clubhouse in the west side of the city in case violence were to break out.


On July 31, 2007 the FBI raided Brockton, Massachusettsmarker Outlaws . The Taunton, Massachusettsmarker Club house was raided, but due to immunity of the Brockton club house nothing happened. Many people were arrested, including Joseph Noe, former Taunton chapter of the Outlaws.

New Hampshire

On June 27, 2006 Christopher Legere of Raymond, New Hampshire, an Outlaws member, was arrested in the murder of a man who was wearing a Hells Angels shirt . The victim, John Denoncourt, 32, of Manchester, New Hampshiremarker, was shot and killed outside the 3-Cousins Pizza and Lounge in Manchester on Sunday June 25, 2006 after he was spotted hugging the bartender, who was Legere's girlfriend. Denoncourt, according to friends and family, was not a Hells Angel member himself but had friends who were. Legere had been involved in another incident in Connecticutmarker in early 2006 when he was charged with illegal possession of body armor by a convicted felon.


March 17, 2009, 22 people—including a correctional officer—are charged in connection with a $3.6 million cocaine distribution ring operated by members and "wannabes" of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.August 24, 2009, 15 members of the Outlaws Philadelphia chapter have been arrested in connection with a methamphetine ring. Those arrested included chapter president Thomas "The Boss" Zaroff Jr and Charles "The Panhead" Rees. According to PA District Attorney Tom Corbett the gang sold methamphetine in Phila, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, and Delaware counties in PA and in Camden and Burlington counties in NJ.

South Dakota

On August 8, 2006, four Outlaws members were wounded, three seriously, in an ambush in Custer State Parkmarker, South Dakotamarker among bikers gathered for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally . A woman acquaintance was also wounded. Two men arrested and charged with attempted murder were said to be Canadian members of the Hells Angels. A statement posted on the Outlaws' web site had announced Outlaws members would attend Sturgis but not make any "display of power," and claimed that they had given prior notice to federal law enforcement of their intention to sightsee and enjoy the rally.


On June 10, 1997, US Attorney indicted 17 members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club for racketeering, murder, narcotics trafficking, and bombing. Members were from Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Florida chapters. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms completed a 2 ½ year investigation sparked by a war between the Outlaws and Hells Angels for control over areas of Chicago and Milwaukee.

On December 19, 2000, Kevin O'Neill, president of the Wisconsin/Stateline Outlaws chapter, received a sentence of life in prison after being convicted on racketeering charges.

On May 31, 2001, Edward Anastas, one-time president of the Milwaukeemarker chapter of the Outlaws motorcycle club, was arrested after being named in a sealed indictment charging him with racketeering conspiracy, cocaine conspiracy, and participating in a bombing.

On March 14, 2003, Thomas Sienkowski, president of the Milwaukee chapter of the Outlaws motorcycle club, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for racketeering.

United Kingdom

In England and Wales the group has around 28 different chapters.

On August 12, 2007, Hells Angel Gerry Tobin, a Canadianmarker living in Mottingham, London, was shot dead returning from the Bulldog Bash festival held near Long Marstonmarker, South Warwickshiremarker. He was singled out at random by members of the Outlaws. In November 2008, seven men, Sean Creighton, Simon Turner, Dane Garside, Dean Taylor, Malcolm Bull, Karl Garside and Ian Cameron, the entire Warwickshire Chapter, were convicted of his murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. The minimum terms before consideration of parole were between 25 and 30 years - a total of 191 years.

In January 2008 there was a brawl between up to 30 of the rival gangs at Birmingham International Airportmarker. Police recovered various weapons including Knuckledusters, hammers and a meat cleaver. Seven Outlaw members and five Hells Angels faced trial as a result.


In summer 2006, Outlaw members of the Mosbach chapter attacked two members of the Hells Angels Heilbronn. In the following trial, most Outlaw members were convicted for attempted manslaughter. The Mosbach Chapter was closed thereafter.At the same time, an Osnabrück section's member was shot by trying to enter the Bandidos president's house in a small village near Osnabrück. After that, Bandidos' president was convicted to nine months on probation on charges of illegal weapon ownership. Bandidos claim they have acted in self-defense.

On March 5, 2008, fighting ensued at a motorcycle meeting in Germany between Outlaws and Hells Angels members and several people were arrested.


  2. 1000 cc engine capacity, according to the History Channel series Gangland
  3. Outlaws website
  4. Resaca biker jailed after fatal shooting
  5. FBI, ATF Agents Execute Search Warrant At West Side Club
  6. FBI, ATF raid several locations in bombing investigation
  7. - New Hampshire news, business and sports - Arrest made in murder; victim's friend says hug from gang member's girlfriend triggered deadly confrontation - Wedn...
  8. Article from the "Citizens' Voice"
  9. [1] From - website of the Philadelphia Inquirer]
  10. [2] Retrieved June 25 2009
  11. "Life for seven motorway killers of biker Gerry Tobin", The Guardian, Friday November 28 2008, [3]
  12. BBC©MMIX Biker gangs 'had airport battle'

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