A display currently at the Mob Museum here in Las Vegas gives us a closer look at the world of outlaw motorcycle gangs.
The display features motorcycle gang-related artifacts and a movie featuring Jay Dobyns, author of "No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey To The Inner Circle Of The Hells Angels."
Dobyns told KNPR's State of Nevada that when he rode with the Solo Angeles, which is a support club of the Hells Angels, he saw crimes ranging from assault to gun running to rape and murder.
He said motorcycle gangs want people to believe the old idea that they're just guys who all like to ride motorcycles.
“They want the public to believe they’re this mischievous rascals who have a common love of motorcycles,” Dobyns said, "They are full-blown organized crime involved in every type of scheme to make illegal money and legal money for that part."
Geoff Schumacher with the Mob Museum said that is exactly why they wanted a display about motorcycle gangs.
“For us, it is a form of organized crime," he said, "We try to explore all different kinds of organized crime.”
According to the display, these are the big six of outlaw motorcycle gangs: The Bandidos, Outlaws, Mongols, Pagans, Sons of Silence, and the Hells Angels.
Schumacher said the gangs are very territorial.
In 2002, Nevada became well aware of how territorial they could be when The Mongols and the Hells Angels got into a fight at Harrah's Laughlin during the Laughlin River Run motorcycle rally. Three people were killed.
"What made that unique was that it was on a casino floor filmed by hundreds of security cameras," Dobyns said.
Also on display at The Mob Museum beginning this week is one of Al Capone's revolvers. It's a Smith & Wesson .38-caliber revolver, which was confiscated when Capone was arrested in Miami in 1928. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service owns the gun, and it's on-loan to The Mob Museum for two years.
"In the business of mob artifacts, the top of the heap is something that you can link to Al Capone," Schumacher said, "He’s the most famous and infamous mobster of all time.”
Geoff Schumacher, Director of Content at The Mob Museum; Jay Dobyns, author (with Nils Johnson-Shelton) of "No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey To The Inner Cihrcle of The Hells Angels" (2009).
You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for. If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.