This is the second book by retired Canadian contract informant Alex Caine, so I guess he has a multi-book publishing deal going. In his previous book Befriend and Betray, Caine discusses his undercover life with a chapter of the Bandidos, one of the “big four” outlaw motorcycle clubs. Presumably those experiences has given Caine the sufficient expertise to write this book about the history of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club in Canada, with a particular focus on the “Shedden Massacre”, the 2006 murder of 8 Toronto Bandidos on a farm in Southern Ontario.
The Fat Mexican is another contribution to the enormous body of true crime literature on the Outlaw Biker subculture. The book is not particularly good although it is one of the few biker books that is not entirely focused on the Hells Angels or one of its members. Instead its focus is one of the HA rivals, the Bandidos, who use a beer bellied Mexican bandit as their patch symbol and once challenged OMC traditions by explicitly claiming ‘gang’ rather than ‘club’ status. The Bandidos are Texas centered but have chapters through the United States and, in the 1990s to the present, in Canada as well. Caine discusses the history of the Bandidos push into Canada; first in Quebec as part of a strategy by the Rock Machine (perhaps the only international MC to originate in Canada) to reinvigorate their fight against the Hells Angels during the Quebec Biker Wars by patching over to a larger club. The Quebec Bandidos failed and reclaimed their Rock Machine patch, but the Bandidos moved west across Canada to compete with the Angels patching over of small Canadian clubs.
Caine describes the push from the Bandidos into Canada as somewhat incompetent, with little support and no oversight provided by the American Bandidos network. The Quebec Bandidos reformed the Rock Machine after a couple of years, and then in 2006, the Shedden Massacre occurred. According to Caine, the massacre happened due to a biker-world scandal over a Toronto Bandido member who just chanced upon a Cocaine shipment in Toronto’s Rexdale neighborhood that coincidentally belonged to the Angels (rather than one of a zillion other Toronto based gangs). Through a chain of connections, the Winnipeg Bandidos traveled to Southern Ontario farm of Wayne Kellestine, one of those Nazi fanatics (see also Lemmy Kilmeister), where they lured the Toronto Bandidos for their execution. That, in effect, was the Shedden Massacre, a gruesome event that saw Bandidos killing bikers from their own club.
There’s not much else to say about this book, like all true crime texts, The Fat Mexican dwells on any details that might heighten the reader’s sense of pleasure at the cruelty of others while maintaining a strong sense of moral indignation. Little details like the banter between killings are emphasized (and almost certainly invented) by Caine. Caine repeatedly calls Kellestein a Neo-Nazi on the grounds that he owned a large collection of Nazi paraphernalia. Like many people, I consider the accumulation of Nazi junk to be distasteful but as someone who studies the nuances of subcultures, I know that it is possible to be 1) a collector of Nazi garbage 2) bigoted 3) not a Neo-Nazi - a designation which involves a particular kind of political commitment. Many countercultural groups adopt the use of Nazi symbols because it establishes them as ‘the adversary’ using symbolic forms of recent history. Furthermore, Nazi symbolism can also be fetishized to suggest a fascination (a fetishistic fascination) with violence and cruelty.
All of that is only to offer a critical counterpoint to Caine’s accusations of Kellestine as a Neo-Nazi-Biker. Kellestine was obviously an awful person and, Neo-Nazi or not he is still guilty of 8 murders and of rupturing the notion of MC club membership as being intrinsically tied to concepts of brotherhood.
Furthermore it wasn’t difficult to find evidence of Kellestine bigotry as a simple google image search brought up photos of him taunting gay pride marchers with a confederate flag in London Ontario.