Sunday, October 19, 2008

Popeyes vs. Devil's Disciples: Montreal biker war of 1968-70

Here's a photo from La Patrie of a meeting of early biker gang leaders in Feb. 1969, in the midst of a biker war that had been intensifying between the Popeyes and Devil's Disciples.
    Cops ordered them to have a sit-down after a top Devil's Disciple named Fidel was killed by Popeyes after 50 DD's blocked the Jacques Cartier bridge while seven Popeyes were trying to cross.  
   Fidel  got cocky and one of the Pop's killed him in self defence. At least that's the explanation provided by the not-yet-famous Yves Trudeau.  
   The sit-down was aimed at quelling the war between the DDs and Popeyes.      
The Anges de la Route attempted to keep teen bikers out of trouble
   The Disciples attended the meeting and were represented by Jose Martin, surely the same Jose Martindale involved in the 1974 Montreal meth war documented on Coolopolis.   
   At the meeting the DDs and Popeyes vowed to keep their war going.
   The earlier incidents were also quite significant.
   In late May 1968 a DD biker named Jean-Yves Picquet, 18, was stabbed to death while his group of eight bikers tried to drive by a roadblock made by 10 Popeyes after the two sides had a chance encounter outside 820 Taschereau.    
  And in June the two sides clashed again.
   On March 1968 give Devils Disciples were charged with raping a woman they had picked up on Papineau and brought back to their Casgrain bunker. At least one, Clermont Lemire, 23, was convicted and sentenced to seven years. 
   March 7, 1968, 68 DDs were placed into jail cells in an east end police station after causing a disturbance at the Blue Lagoon nightclub. The bikers vandalized the prison by jamming doors and smashing walls. 
 - Fall 1968, 300 bikers from both sides clash at the Hotel Bonaventure.
  On Jan. 5, 1969, Jacques "Coco" Mercier, a DD leader, went into a restaurant at 3784 Mentana and shot up two Popeyes. Both survived. Mercier was sentenced to 24-years in in prison for trying to kill two Popeyes. He escaped and was recaptured in 1970.   
 - March 22, 1969, Popeye Henri-Paul Houle, 20, was shot in the back on Ontario, as were two innocent bystanders. It's not certain whether it was part of the biker war. They all survived.
   In May 1970 three DDs stabbed a Popeye, named Pierre Boucher, 26, to death. They were arrested and tried. 
   - The Devils Disciples had a longstanding feud with the Dubois Gang, who eventually prevailed and took over their east end turf (possibly the same legendary story of how Ellefsen gave up the St. Louis Square).
 Aug. 1983, onetime DD boss and hardened criminal Guy Filion was shot dead at his brother's restaurant on St. Hubert. 
Cop John Delzell
attempted to persuade the
bikers to get along
   The bikers attempted to take over various parts of town in those years, aggressively parking their motorcycles in every possible spot on Crescent. The overburdened police were helpless to fight so they reverted to laneway beatings and tearing up biker registrations then towing the vehicles and other illegal tactics. 
   The conflict was slowly resolved although we lack specific information on how this got done. 
   The DDs eventually faced stiff competition from the Dubois gang who ended up taking over a big chunk of their territory. 
   Both gangs gave way to the Hells Angels in about 1977 and various members ended up joining, including DD boss Rejean Lessard who later took over the Laval branch of the Hells and extended his clean living philosophy to the no-drugs policy that eventually led him to organize the coup against the Lennoxville branch
---
   Soon after attending that original meeting, Yves "Apache" Trudeau committed the first of his 43 murders the next year, offing Jean-Marie Viel, who stole a bike from the Popeyes. 
   Trudeau's most famous murder might've been in exploding the McGurnahan-mobile in Westmount on orders of Dooney Ryan. 
   He also beat an old lady to death, taking care of her kids soon after. He was only 5'6" but the other biker leaders look even smaller in comparison. Proving that biker teen smoking stunts growth. Trudeau became an informant but was sent back to jail for having gay sex with an underaged male. He is now free and expected to die of cancer soon.
--
   The biker problem was considered a youth issue. The provincial government gave $3,000 to form the Anges de la Route, which consisted of eight clubs, five of 'em in St. Henry. 
   The Road Angels was run by a council of seven which gave fledgling bikers aged 14-18 activities, such as fund raising for charity.   
   In April 1969 police chief Jean-Paul Gilbert forced all bikers to unite into something called the Motocyclists Unis de Quebec. 
   British Petroleum donated a site at 9000 Henri Bourassa where the bikers could practice riding maneuvers. 
   Even cops were members of the Anges de la Route, as proven by the bottom photo of officers John Detzell (Delzell?).

4 comments:

Wayne Dayton said...

John Dalzell, after retirement joined CN.

Flow said...

That picture threw me, my father still has his Hot Pistons vest.

Thunder said...

Amazing! I've been looking for pics of old Quebec motorcycle clubs and pics of club patchs for years. This is a great find. Thanks for posting. If anyone has anymore pics please contact me.
Thank you.
greasedaddythunder@hotmail.com

Rick Stick said...

I became good friends with a former DD named Jean Menard in Calgary about 1997. He died about 4 years later. Did anyone know him?