In this definitive, up-to-the-minute account of the Hells Angels in Canada, two veteran journalists investigate why the recent imprisonment of feared biker leader, Maurice “Mom” Boucher, is too little, too late.
By the spring of 2002, Boucher was safely in prison but the Hells Angels had grown to 37 chapters with close to 600 members across the country. They had taken over the drug trade and continued their rapid expansion into Ontario with a recent, high-profile enlistment -- or patchover -- of 168 members from other gangs. In Winnipeg, gang warfare turned ugly as the Hells muscled out the competition and firebombed a policeman’s home. In Vancouver, they secured a stranglehold on smuggling in the all-important West Coast port.
The Road to Hell is the story of how the Hells have taken over the Canadian crime scene: how politicians dithered while overburdened prosecutors burned out and lost major cases; how police brass squabbled while a handful of dedicated cops worked years to amass their evidence; how a few citizens stood up the bikers and paid for that bravery with their lives. Murder plots, drug deals, money laundering and assassinations are brought to life through never-before-revealed police files, wiretaps and surveillance tapes. In gripping prose, the authors tell all about Boucher’s war on the justice system; how he finally lost in Quebec, thanks in part to Danny Kane, a reluctant biker turned informer; but how across Canada the Hells have succeeded in building a national crime empire.
The RCMP and then the police in Montreal would run Danny Kane as one of the most successful -- and most secretive -- agents ever to infiltrate organized crime. Kane would climb all the way to the top: from a lowly hangaround to a trusted confidante of the Quebec Nomads, the elite chapter led by the top Hells Angels lieutenants of Maurice “Mom” Boucher. And through his entire six-year-career as a spy, few people -- even inside the police -- would ever know about his dangerous double life. -- from The Road to Hell
Julian Sher is the author of the award-winning, national bestseller, “Until You Are Dead”: Steven Truscott’s Long Ride into History. For 10 years he was investigative producer with CBC’s the fifth estate, where his work garnered a Gemini and the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service. He lives in Montreal.
William Marsden is the senior investigative reporter for The Gazette in Montreal. He has won two National Newspaper Awards and three Judith Jasmin Awards -- Quebec’s highest award for journalism. He recently co-produced an hour-long documentary on the Hells Angels for CBC’s the fifth estate. He lives in Montreal.
"(A) tremendous work on the Hells' Angels .... that will raise needed public awareness and denunciation of this threat to our communities."
—Honourable Gord Mackintosh, Minister of Justice/Attorney General, Manitoba
“The Road to Hell … brings into sharp focus why sophisticated outlaw motorcycle gangs must be a concern for everyone, from the suburban soccer mom to the Bay Street broker.”
“Julian Sher and William Marsden present a thorough, colourful, enlightening account of how various missteps by the justice system helped the Hells [Angels] become the first organized crime organization to operate coast to coast... . With a cast of characters that includes blunt-talking police investigators and dozens of bikers, the book offers a multi-faceted perspective of what was going on behind the scenes among the bikers and those working to bring them to justice during the past decade.”
“Surprisingly detailed…. Chilling.”
—The Daily News (Halifax)
“Pulling no punches…[a]uthors Julian Sher and William Marsden detail Nova Scotia murder plots, contract killings and twisted revenge-filled biker politics, fuelled by the gang’s insatiable desire to control turf.”
—The Chronicle-Herald (Halifax)
“The Road to Hell: How Biker Gangs Conquered Canada by Montreal journalists Julian Sher and William Marsden…is clearly a case of…truth being stranger than fiction, and Sher and Marsden tell [the] story very well. … Road to Hell is a triumph on several levels. The authors are clearly comfortable with their topic and there’s a sense of indignation and zeal that fuels their story. … Sher and Marsden have managed to write an “important” book that moves with the power and style of a Harley Electra Glide.”