Hells Angel: Sonny Barger
On a typical weekend nights in Oakland. Nine hundred and sixty five. Sonny Barger had just received a call. One of his fellow hells angels was in trouble at a local bar. Sunny arrived to survey the scene at the four hundred club. He soon spotted the angel in his girlfriend being hassled by half a dozen guys from the local chrome shop. The ringleader had had just enough beers to be brave enough to trash. Talk the toughest guys in Oakland Sunny stocked over cool and collected to tell his brother that it was time to go and for good measure. He stuck twenty-five automatic in the mouth of the ringleader. Just to let him know what would happen if he didn't stop running his mouth. Shut him up sunny and the angel left but the Gulf remained doubled back inside to retrieve her through the window. Sunny spotted the ringleader. Giving her trouble he shook his head big mistake he'd already been warned once. Sunny stormed back in walked up to the guy and hits him on the side of the head with his twenty-five but the gun accidentally went off grazing. The man's skull sunny chuckled to himself. He'd been trying not to hurt the poor idiot but fate at clearly intervened so sunny grant this poor bleeding. Drunken mess bent him over the pool table and shot him again the lesson. Don't mess with a hells angel. Welcome to kingpins apar- Original I'm Alastair murden and I'm Kate Leonard. Every Friday. We journey inside the ranks of Organized Crime Rings From Street gangs to mafiosos to understand how a kingpin or Queen Pin Rises to the top of the underworld and why they full as we follow the lives of infamous crime bosses. We'll explore how money and power change them and how it changed the community around them. You can find episodes of kingpins and all other podcast originals for free on spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to stream kingpins for free on spotify. Just open the APP and type kingpins in the search bar at podcast. We are grateful for you our listeners. You allow us to do what we love. Let us know how we're doing reach out on facebook and Instagram at podcast and twitter podcast network this week with telling the story of Sonny Banga Legendary President of the Oakland Biker? Gang the hell's angels this week. We'll be exploring his club's rise to national infamy alongside the counterculture movements of the nineteen sixties. Next week we'll see how drugs and crime changed the face of the club forever in Nineteen Sixty three twenty five year old. Sonny Bono was president of the Oakland. Chapter of the hells angels. This meant he sat at the top of the burgeoning empire of outlaw motorcycle clubs known for drinking fighting and dealing drugs. Many anti-establishment organizations like these actually rose to prominence after world. War Two military veterans. Who had trouble fitting back into the square world of the nineteen fifties needed somewhere to go and shoot the breeze? Hollywood saw the appeal to the Marlon Brando movie. The Wild One introduced audiences across America to the world of leather jacket wearing motorcycle. Gangs causing mayhem. Wherever they went. But in the summer of nineteen sixty three sunny bargar had a bigger concern establishing his Oakland Charter as the dominant. Hells Angel Club even more powerful than the Founding San Bernardino Chapter. He also wanted to unite with other outlaw motorcycle clubs around the State. Sure they spent a fair amount of time beating each other up and jockeying for territory but they could put their beef aside to unite against a common foe. The cops so sunny bargar had an idea that would eventually become a hells angels tradition the Labor Day. Weekend RUN OUTLAW. Motorcycle clubs from all over the state would unite in Porterville California a medium sized town halfway between Fresno and Bakersfield there was no Setai Tin Ary. Just a plan to drink smoke weed and get up to whatever. Mischief found them. Sunny Bargar led his Oakland. Hells angels into Porterville to rendezvous with four other leading clubs the stray Satan's the galloping goose's the Coleman sheriffs and the cavaliers in all there were about two hundred bikers invading a town of about nine thousand people. At first everything went according to plan with bikers from different clubs bonding over drugs and women then an Oakland Angel Named Charlie. Magoo was having a drink in a bar minding his own business when an old townie through a beer in his face as soon as Magoo leapt to his feet. The old townie realized he'd made a grave error. There was no way he could take this guy in a fight. The townie bumbled an apology but it was too little too late. Magoo punched him in the face. The old man stumbled so Magoo punched him a second time. Then a third. The old man collapsed on the floor. Knock out but instead of settling things the townie went home grabbed. A gun came back and pointed it at Magoo. This was his town. These angels needed to go Vista Magoo had backup a group of fellow. Angels grabbed townies gun and turned it back around on him. They all took turns beating him until he had to be sent to the hospital. Meanwhile sunny was presiding over a Bachan. All that had taken over the Porterville main drag motorcycles were racing each other down the street the bikers girlfriends and female hangers on. Were having wet. T shirt contests. Everyone was drunk high or both. The angels stopped any vehicles passing through town and forced open. Their car does if they were young women in the car. They attempted to pull them out so they could join the party whether they wanted to on not not. Everyone was thrilled namely the Porterville. Chief of police. He worried he was losing control of the situation so he called out to other counties for backup by nine thirty PM over two hundred and fifty cops rolled into downtown to stop the madness. Their first move was to set up a blockade hoping to direct the bikers. Down One road out of town once was set the chief got on the Bullhorn and announce the bike has had five minutes to clear out. Meanwhile fire trucks spreads soapy water down the main streets making it impossible to race they turn their hoses on bikers. Knocking them off their harleys. Local teens even got into the action climbing to the tops of buildings and throwing bricks down onto the street faced with an army of guns hoses and bricks. The bikers had no choice but to leave town. Sunny led his bikers to the parking lot of Sports Center. A few miles outside of town to assess the situation as they counted their ranks. They realized they were missing for members who had been knocked off their bikes and arrested. Some of the other clubs wanted to give up and peel out. They trusted that lost members to bail themselves out of jail and find their way home but sunny refused to leave without all of his Oakland. Hells Angels Brothers. So at two thirty. Am they turned their bikes around and headed? Back to PORTERVILLE SEVILLE COPS had lined up squad cars to block the bridge leading into town and they were prepared to wait as long as it took for the hells angels to leave town for Good. Sunny wasn't intimidated. By the show of force. He ordered his bikers to line up in a counter blockade across the other half of the bridge. If the cops wouldn't let people into town. Then the hells angels wouldn't let anyone leave either. It was a standoff. Eventually a highway patrol officer approached sunny to try and broker peace sunny told the officer he just wanted his men back and would gladly pay the twenty five dollars for their bail. The officer took them to the portable chief of police. But the chief didn't think twenty five dollars was enough his counter-offer fifty thousand dollars. Sunny exploded in anger. He was trying to play by the rules. And these cops were trying to take advantage of him. Sensing a confrontation. The highway patrol officer scrambled to get the chief to agree to a low a bail sunny and the chief agreed to fifty dollars. And the Hells Angels. Pass the hat to raise the money. It seemed like a fair resolution. Yet by the time sunny and the bikers finally left town. They found another row of cops waiting for them. Ready to pull over any angel. Whose bike wasn't up to code and as a group devoted to customizing their rides. This was damn near all of them. This was the last Straw for Sonny. They were done being stopped by the cops. He ordered his men to outrun the police and they did in just one night sonny. Berger proved himself the undisputed leader of the hells angels and the baddest of all the outlaw bikers in California.