Thursday, June 30, 2022

Sonny Barger Dead at 83

Oakland, California, U.S.A. (June 30, 2022) - Sonny Barger, founding member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club has died at 83.

The announcement of Sonny’s death came on his official Facebook page with a post containing a farewell message written by Sonny.

“If you are reading this message, you’ll know that I’m gone. I’ve asked that this note be posted immediately after my passing,” the post says. “I’ve lived a long and good life filled with adventure. And I’ve had the privilege to be part of an amazing club.”

Sonny died of cancer, according to the Facebook post, which says he was surrounded by his wife, Zorana, and other loved ones.

Born Ralph Hubert Barger, the Modesto native moved to Oakland as a kid, enlisted in the U.S. Army as a teen, and gravitated toward motorcycles at a young age. In his autobiography, Sonny wrote that the Hells Angels were a small San Francisco club that almost gone before he joined. He and other bikers picked up the name and started the Oakland Hells Angels, which is now known as the club’s most significant charter.

“As a street tough, I looked the part. I wore my Levi’s jeans with one-inch-wide cuffs at the bottom, smoked Camels, had the attitude, and rode a motorcycle,” Sonny wrote in his autobiography, describing his formative years in Oakland before joining the Hells Angels. 

Barger was often a target of law enforcement throughout his life, he spent lengthy period in prison. In the early 1980's, Sonny was diagnosed with throat cancer and required the removal of his vocal chords. After surviving that health scare, Sonny began to publicly advocate against smoking, tailoring his message with the Hells Angels’ textbook anti-establishment attitude: “Want to be a rebel? Don’t smoke as the rest of the world.”


Sonny moved to Arizona in the late 90's for health reasons, but reportedly returned to Alameda County in 2016. In his final years, he largely kept a low profile, though his 81st birthday in 2019 was a major event that was hosted at the Hells Angels Oakland clubhouse.

His farewell message says he died peacefully and, despite his public persona, valued time with his family and friends the most.

“Keep your head up high, stay loyal, remain free, and always value honor,” Sonny wrote.

Our deepest condolences the Hells Angles Motorcycle Club, loved ones and family of your loss, 
MLH&R  from The Biker Trash Network   

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Prez of Gypsy Jokers MC Wants Harley Returned

Portland, Oregon, USA (June 1, 2022) - The president of the Portland chapter of the Gypsy Joker Motorcycle Club, Mark Dencklau, went to trial and was convicted and sentenced to life for planning the kidnapping, torture and killing of ex club member Robert “Bagger” Huggins Jr. in 2015.

As he appeals his sentence, he’s urging a judge to order the government to give him Robert's 2011 Harley-Davidson motorcycle back. Robert was outbad in the club in 2014 and beaten after he stole money from the Portland clubhouse to support a heroin addiction, prosecutors said. Club members took Robert’ motorcycle and truck as well, and Mark eventually obtained the title for the Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Inside Gypsy Jokers MC Portland Clubhouse - Photo: Court Exhibits

When police raided Marks’s home, they seized the bike. Mark argues he’s the lawful owner of the Harley and police unlawfully took it from his home. But prosecutors say Mark has it all wrong. He stole the motorcycle from Robert and doesn’t deserve to get it back, they argue. The government plans to return the bike to Robert’s family, prosecutors told the court.

Mark’s lawyer cites testimony from his co-defendant, Earl Fisher, who said at trial that Robert signed over the title as part of  “paying the debt for the money he had stolen” from the club. Fisher, who was treasurer of the Portland chapter, said he deposited the title into the club’s treasury.

Mark later approached the club about trading another bike for it, which he did, according to Erik Eklund, Mark’s lawyer. He submitted to the court a copy of the title in Mark’s name, dated June 6, 2014, with what appears to be Robert’s signature. The date of transfer shows June 6, 2014, when the bike’s odometer read 18,500 miles.

“This Court should issue an Order compelling the government to return Mr. Dencklau’s property to him or his designated representative,” Eklund wrote to U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman. According to prosecutors, Robert bought the Harley Davidson motorcycle on July 18, 2013, for $21,638 from Columbia Harley Davidson.
Inside Gypsy Jokers MC Portland Clubhouse - Photo: Court Exhibits

In June 2014, the Gypsy Joker club booted Robert out for stealing from the club. Mark testified he suspected Robert had taken about $18,000 from the club. In response, Mark and other club members beat Robert in the club basement for several hours, using batons, weight plates and fists. Members and associates also forced Robert to turn over his motorcycle and truck to the club, according to prosecutors.

“Even if Huggins owed the Club a debt, stealing property from Huggins by force is not a lawful form of recourse,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah Bolstad wrote to the court. “Dencklau stole this motorcycle. He was not then, and is not now, a lawful owner of this motorcycle.’’

As payback for getting kicked out of the club and forced to relinquish his bike and truck, Robert later robbed Marks’s Woodburn home in June 2015, prosecutors argued at trial. Later that month, club members kidnapped Robert, 56, from a home in Portland, drove him to a shed in Washington state and beat and killed him on June 30, 2015, before dumping his body in a remote field, prosecutors said.

According to Mark’s lawyer, however, co-defendants Tiler Pribbernow and Fisher both described how Robert signed over the title to his motorcycle to satisfy a debt to the club and Mark later exchanged another motorcycle for it with the support of other club members.

“Registering this motorcycle in defendant’s name does not change the facts about how it came into defendant’s possession – he and other club members forced Huggins, during a brutal hours-long beating in the clubhouse basement, to sign over title,” Bolstad responded in her filing.