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Angels of Death: Inside the Biker Gangs' Crime Empire Hardcover – March 27, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf; 1st Carroll & Graf Ed edition (March 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786717440
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786717446
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,099,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Taking direct aim at the avuncular persona head Angel Ralph "Sonny" Barger promotes himself as embodying, Sher and Marsden reveal the worldwide crime cartel constituted by the Hell's Angels motorcycle club. Chronicling worldwide misdeeds and mayhem, they focus on how Barger personally directs a crime organization that has successfully represented itself as a bunch of hard-drinking mischief makers guilty only of loving freedom and hedonism too much. Telling tales of murder and revenge at the hands of chopper pilots in the Netherlands, Australia, the U.S., and elsewhere, they cite control of the drug trade as the root of a criminal empire that also embraces prostitution and sundry other interests. After a confrontation including collateral damage and nonbiker casualties between the Angels and their archrivals, the Mongols, erupted on Harrah's casino floor in Laughlin, Nevada, in 2002, a more coordinated law enforcement effort against the gang has purportedly been mounted. Sher and Marsden bring readers up to speed with an ace true-crime saga whose last chapter is far from written. Mike Tribby
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

“An action-packed read.… With Angels of Death you get taken on a long and interesting ride…. [The] writing is fast-paced, at times thrilling and never boring–altogether, a remarkable accomplishment…. Canadian readers will be relieved to find out that Marsden and Sher retell the history of this country’s bikers in a new, updated way, so page-skipping isn’t an option…. There’s so much fascinating information you won’t want to miss any of it.”
Toronto Star

Angels of Death is as contemporary as it gets. Its most recent case studies are scarcely weeks old; its intense analysis of this evil empire as current and finely tuned as a newly minted Harley chopper. The narrative is multilayered and global in scope.”
The Globe and Mail

“A couple of brave Canadian investigative journalists, William Marsden and Julian Sher, have tied together police campaigns against the bikers in America, Australia, Holland, Scandinavia and Britain, and come up with a devastating inventory of international violence and drug-running…. In what sometimes read like blood-soaked pages, the authors have built a devastating indictment of the gangs’ drug-running and racketeering across three continents, and the terrifying methods they use to protect what they see as their territories for drug distribution.”
London Daily Mail (UK)

“The veneer of civilization runs very thin, and the Trojan horse at our gates looks disturbingly like a Harley chopper.”
–The Globe and Mail

Praise for The Road to Hell: How the Biker Gangs Are Conquering Canada:

• # 1 National Bestseller
• Winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Non-Fiction Crime Book
• Finalist for the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing

“An investigative tour de force. . . A riveting look inside the most powerful organized crime syndicate in Canada.” –Edmonton Journal

The Road to Hell is a triumph on several levels. . . . Sher and Marsden have managed to write an important book that moves with the power and style of a Harley Electra Glide.”
Toronto Star

“A true crime book that reads like a fiction thriller.”
The Canadian Press

“Brings into sharp focus why sophisticated out-law motorcycle gangs must be a concern for everyone, from the suburban soccer mom to the Bay Street broker.”
National Post

“The idea that the Angels are simply a fun motorcycle club is nonsense, as anyone who has ever seen these extreme Rightwing, swastika-bearing, racist, bullying hoodlums riding menacingly in packs will know...And now a couple of brave Canadian investigative journalists, William Marsden and Julian Sher, have tied together police campaigns against the bikers in America, Australia, Holland, Scandinavia and Britain, and come up with a devastating inventory of international violence and drug-running.”
Daily Mail (UK) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Julian Sher is an award-winning investigative journalist and the author of six books. He is currently a writer for Canada's national newspaper, the Globe and Mail.

His most recent book, "Somebody's Daughter: The Hidden Story of America's Prostituted Children and the Battle to Save Them," was hailed by Norma Ramos, director of Coalition of Trafficking Against Women, as "the most definitive account of sex trafficking of children in the United States." Ernie Allen, the president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) called it "riveting and disturbing ...also uplifting and helpful."

His previous book, "Caught in the Web: Inside the Police Hunt to Rescue Children from Online Predators" was praised by Senator John Kerry as "a must-read for parents, policy makers, prosecutors, and anyone who cares about our kids."

His analysis and reporting on child abuse has been featured in the New York Times, USA Today and Readers' Digest. He has addressed conferences of educators, parents, child care advocates, prosecutors, police and judges.

He also co-wrote two best-selling books on biker gangs.

Julian has also filmed, written and produced major documentaries across the globe, covering wars, corruption and human rights in Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, Russia, Europe and the Middle East. In 2006, he directed a New York Times-CBC TV investigation called "Nuclear Jihad" which won the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, the broadcast equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize.

For more information, see www.juliansher.com
Follow Julian on Facebook at www.facebook.com/juliansher
And on Twitter @juliansher

Customer Reviews

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Seems the evidence wasn't there.
BikerDoc
This is a great book - -there are a lot of facts so it isn't an easy read but very interesting just the same!
Bobby Hibbs
No more reliable than an episode of Gangland.
Dave-O

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on May 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Studies show that criminals are more than twice as likely to commit violent acts when acting as members of a gang. "Angels of Death" details murders and other mayhem committed by Hells Angels members in the U.S., Australia, and Europe. With an estimated 2,500 members in 25 countries, they are among the most feared and violent underworld players.

The book's first major section relates how a group of four Mesa (Arizona) bikers beat and stabbed to death a woman who had insulted them. One of the perpetrators then decided to become an informant and connects with the ATF. (The crime still has not been resolved in the courts.) Then comes the Laughlin (Nevada) melee between Mongols and Hells Angels.

Sher and Marsden then move on to Australia, and later Europe for similar tales. The book also makes clear the difficulty of infiltrating and prosecuting a biker gang.

Somewhat interesting, though I much preferred "Under and Alone" by William Queen - about the tense and dangerous infiltration of the Mongols by an undercover ATF agent.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Lynda Zacks on May 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is meticulously researched by one of the leading experts on biker gang crime. Contrary to the reviews above, probably written by a couple of hangers-on hoping to score brownie points with the full-patchers, Sher tells it like it is. The exclusivity of the Hells Angels and the fact that all of the crimes are actually perpetrated by the hangers-on and associates, so that none of the full-patchers ever see jail time is what constitutes the threat. An excellent read for anyone who has ever wondered about the Angels.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sven Isaksson on July 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Angels of Death is riveting book about the Hells Angels quest for global domination. Reads like a thriller where the most exciting part is about ATF's undercover operation. Well recommended and hard to put down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Driver on September 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I find it hard to take these writers seriously. They write that the world's largest and oldest biker rally is held in Sturgis, COLORADO! Nope, it's Sturgis, South Dakota.They also write about a ride from the Phoenix area to Florence, Colorado and describe it as 80 miles. Fact is, it's closer to 800 miles! Makes you wonder how many other mistakes slipped by BOTH of the authors AND proofreaders, as both these facts are pretty easy to confirm.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By G21 on May 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
When I first read the news reports of Operation Black Biscuit, I knew that someone, somewhere, was gonna write a book about it. This was the first book to come out on the subject and it will have to hold us all over until Jaybird (Special Agent Dobyns) retires from the ATF and writes his autobiography. This is a great book, but it is filled with alot of rehashing about Canada and Norway and other subjects that have already been written about extensively. I found myself skimming through some of the chapters so I could get to the next chapter on Jaybird and his crew. All in all, a good read though.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Anderson on September 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A first glance you would think this book is about the Hells Angels in particular. However, it is more of a primer about several of the major outlaw clubs here in the US and internationally. I found it interesting to see how all of the clubs tear into each other in their expansion for "market" or territory. If the ATF accounts are true and the book is accurate, then you will be amazed at just how organized these clubs have become in the past 20 years. No longer are they just the rowdy "good ol' boys" tearing down the highway looking for some good times. They have basically become international corporations with trademarked branding only a lot more dangerous than Sam Palmisano and the IBM "blue crew". Although, sometimes I wonder...
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Wheeler on July 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for my boyfriend and he said he could not put it down - when I awoke the next day he was still in the living room reading!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dave-O on April 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As other reviewers have pointed out, this book features several claims in regards to Sonny Barger and the Hells Angels MC that are false, over blown, Hollywoodized, and at times just plain made up. The account regarding Jay Dobyns and Operation Black Biscuit is similar to Dobyns own account in his book about the case. One sided, glamorous to Dobyns and the ATF, misrepresentational of the actual facts of the case, and devoid of the end result, which were allegations that Dobyns and his team broke the law and behaved in a currupt manner in their quest to nail the Hells Angels MC as well as the fact that the entire case fell apart when the prosecution refused to hand over evidence to the defendant's lawyers that may or may not have shown that the law was broken on several occasions by Dobyns and the ATF during the operation.

The authors go on to paint a bloody portrait of the Hells Angels MC as dope dealing, women murdering, rapeing, derelicts that remsemble the mafia. Im not saying that some of the things written in this book are true, but all of it is made out to be fact with little or no evidence of it indeed being true. There is no rebuttal at all in regards to the Angels. The book is completely one sided and very little is said about Michael Kramer, the informant used by the ATF that helped murder Cynthia Garcia and was given immunity despite having nearly beaten a man to death with a baseball bat while high on meth and killing another biker involved in Garcia's death "accidentally". He did these things after he began working for the ATF as an informant. And the ATF knew about it. Again, I'm not saying the Angels arent bad guys, but based on what wasnt included in the book, in this case were the ATF agents really good? A highly fictionalized and one sided account of the history of the Hells Angels MC that may or may not have some truth to it. No more reliable than an episode of Gangland.
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