August 25, 2014 - 8:09 AM
WARNING: This column contains some graphic language
I was born in a small Alberta town that wasn’t known for much and still isn’t and I remember when the little burgh made the news for the first time I was aware of.
The TV station caught B roll of my cousin and his little dog running to the Cash & Carry as part of its story on the Hells Angels yearly rally in town. Apparently some people didn’t like it.
For everyone I knew, however, what wasn’t to like? A bunch of big burly guys on loud motorcycles ripping it up for a couple of days. You stopped and stared if you saw them, probably slack-jawed and awestruck.
Back then, it seemed to me, the Hells Angels weren’t so much organized crime as disorganized crime. The good kind: Defiance, Mischief. Real men who pissed people off and didn’t care, who had their own rules, strength in numbers, their creed emblazoned on their backs to dare police and anyone else to tell them to stop.
I wasn’t the only Alberta boy seduced by the notion of a ruleless gang and loud motorcycles. And anyone alive and breathing in the Okanagan knows that hasn’t changed. See one of these guys in traffic and watch how people move out of the way. Watch young men stare at their Hummers or Ferraris or Harley-Davidson motorcycles. How many dope stars got their start salivating over the toys?
But this isn’t the late ‘70s anymore and none of us may claim ignorance about what these gangs—Hells Angels among them—do. I’ve heard all the arguments, I’ve said them myself, but it’s time to put a bullet in the idea that these gangs only battle amongst themselves, that regular civilians are under no threat and this idea there’s ‘honour’ or some kind of ‘code' among them that aligns with your values.
If you didn’t get that from Joey Verma—the man of various affiliations who shot a girl in the back—then read this. It’s a B.C. Supreme Court reasons for judgment against three men in the ‘manslaughter’ death of Kelowna’s Dain Phillips, a 51-year-old father of two boys.
Long story short: Phillips’ two sons got into an altercation with two other brothers over some comments posted on Facebook, of all the stupid things. These other two boys — Daniel and Matthew McRae — knew Norman Cocks, a full patch Hells Angel in town. The McRaes told a couple of lies to Cocks about the Phillips boys claiming to be part of the club, which is a no-no.
When Cocks threatened one of the Phillips boys, Dain got word and tried to find a resolution. He wanted to meet with Cocks and sort out the situation before things escalated. If not for the poisoned words of the McRae boys, that might have happened. Phillips and his sons stopped on McCurdy Road to chat with Cocks, the McRaes and by this time another HA named Robert Thomas and three others.
Phillips exited his vehicle unarmed. Everyone else had baseball bats and hammers. And they beat him to death.
They retreated to a friendly spot that happened to be under RCMP surveillance for something else and they all sat around talking and bragging about the incident, about hitting—killing—an unarmed, innocent civilian. I’ll leave a portion below.
So all you Dope Stars out there giving it a shot in the business, all you wannabes who aren’t privy to the inside conversation yet, all you Support HA or Support 81 guys—this is what you are supporting?
Anson Schell: …‘night, ‘night. It was funny shit. (background–noise) Hmph. (background–noise)
Norm Cocks: Oh, yeah. “’Night, ‘night.”
AS: (laughter sounds)
NC: …Rob’s like “You wanna (indiscernible) with the Hells Angels”. He’s like “I didn’t (indiscernible) nothing up. He goes (indiscernible) whack, right in the knees…
NC: …and then he’s like – one more. … Rob was goin’, “boom boom” and that was it. Poof.
NC: Did you see the way he was yelling? He’s like, “You hit my dad.”
AS: Yeah. (Chuckles)
NC: I was like who cares?
NC: He’s just standing there like fuckin’. Fuck I think there was something wrong with him ‘cause we walked up to him, he just stood there. He didn’t even move. I swung the bat. He didn’t even move. Just like “Boom”, “mmm”
(background – chuckling sounds)
NC: “Boom”, just like cuttin’ down a tree.
(background – laughter)
NC: Then he’s like, “Mmm,” and then it’s like fucking’, “Clunk.”
AS: And then he –
(background – television playing)
AS: Fuck, takin’ a dirt nap.
— Marshall Jones is the editor of InfoNews.ca
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