Hell’s Angels ride, from Nanaimo to Langford, in memory of slain prospect

Hell's Angels ride, from Nanaimo to Langford, in memory of slain prospect

Nearly a hundred Hell’s Angels and associates take part in ride

Their Harley Davidson’s make a deafening roar.  Their parade, in full colours, is a show of unity.

The rare occurrence is reason for a Nanaimo photographer to document the procession.

“I think it’s a great thing to shoot,” says Photographer Mike Woodworth. “People are interested in those people, regardless of what they think about them.”

And BC’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement unit are also taking pictures.

Before the ride begins biker’s arrive at the Hell’s Angels Victoria road headquarters late Saturday morning.

Most are from across BC but some represent chapters from other provinces.

They’re meeting right beside Nanaimo’s former clubhouse. Seized by BC’s Civil Forfeiture Act nearly a decade ago. It’s still in a legal battle with a civil trial expected to start next month.

But today the ride is in memory of a recent prospect Michael Gregory Widner.

His body was found March 12th by a hiker along the Pacific Marine route a few kilometres from Port Renfew.

“We were well aware of Mr. Widner’s involvement with organized crime,” said Sooke RCMP S/Sgt. Jeff McArthur in a March interview. “Well aware of the fact he was a prospect for the Nanaimo Hell’s Angels and as a result he had our full attention here.”

A criminology professor who monitors what’s happening with the Hell’s Angels doesn’t expect much will come from today’s ride.

“They usually pass quietly and that’s it,” says Dr. Robert Gordon, a criminology professor at Simon Fraser University. “This one ,of course, is coloured by the fact that the prospect was killed under unusual circumstances, the precise nature of which has not yet been fully revealed.”

And information about who’s responsible for Widner’s death may come from what happens next.

“Whether it was an outside group that actually was responsible will be whether or not over the next little while there’s a series of apparently retaliatory actions,” says Gordon.

Today the ride ends at the Devil’s Army Clubhouse on Spencer Road in Langford.

The Hell’s Angels declined comment for this story.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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