Malcolm “Monk” Kennedy was half rattlesnake and half Scottish. He was from Prince Edward Island but had spent less than a small part of his life on the island. He was born on Point Prim near the lighthouse, off Route 209 in a fishing shack that had nothing to do with fishing and everything to do with smuggling, especially drugs, most of it weed.
When the midwife left the first thing she did stepping outside the door was make the sign of the cross.
His father kept an American Indian head penny made in a leap year and a double six domino in a drawer. There was a rooster claw nailed to the front door of the shack and prayer candles on the sills of the two front windows. Mason jars full of lye were buried at the four corners of the house.
By the time he was ready to go to school Monk decided he wasn’t going to school.
“Thomas Edison only went to school for three months his whole life,” he said.
“Who’s Tom Edison?”
“He’s the man who invented electricity.”
“You ain’t no Edison,” his father said.
“I know, that’s why I’m not going to go at all.”
“You got more nerve than a bum tooth.”
His father knew full well Monk was his father’s son. His mother left the minute she was done nursing him, not leaving a note or forwarding address. She left with some clothes and all the money in the house. She moved to Vancouver Island, as far away from Prince Edward Island as possible. None of the clan ever heard about her or from her again.
His father sent Monk to live with an uncle in McMasterville near Montreal. He turned 18 in 1982 without a grade school or high school diploma. It made no difference to him. He wasn’t planning on working in an office or supermarket or anyplace that made him punch a clock. He knew his way around the world he lived in. He tied his star to Maurice Boucher, a friend of his uncle’s. Maurice and Salvatore Cazzetta were leaders of a white supremacist outlaw motorcycle gang who called themselves the SS.
The Schutzstaffel, an elite Nazi corps of combat troops who were known as the SS, would have shot them dead on the spot if they had spotted them and appropriated their motorcycles for their own use. The SS didn’t believe in the law or outlaws. They lived by their own dark rules of due process.
Maurice was on his way to prison for sexually assaulting an underage girl. In the meantime, Salvatore would run things. Four years later Maurice was a free man and was hooking up with the Hells Angels. It didn’t take long before he was president of the Quebec branch. Salvatore didn’t like it and said so. He had sworn off ever having anything to do with the Angels after the Lennoxville Massacre the year before. Hard words and some pushing and shoving led to more hard words and more pushing and shoving. Salvatore stomped off and formed his own gang with his brother Giovanni. They called themselves the Rock Machine.
Before long Quebec was known as the Red Zone among bikers far and wide. The RCMP didn’t call it that, but they knew all about the blood being spilled. So long as it was biker blood, they didn’t worry overmuch about it. Both the Angels and Rock Machine distributed cocaine for the Mafia. They would have bought and sold the drugs themselves except the kingpins of the drug trade didn’t trust any of the biker gangs.
“The Mafia are in charge of importation and the Hells Angels are the distributors. The Mafia has a better reputation than the bikers because the Colombians don’t trust the Hells Angels, but they do trust the Mafia,”the journalist Andre Cedillot explained.
The made men of the Mafia were all Sicilians or of Sicilian descent. They kept their business to themselves. They didn’t drive around in limousines without mufflers. The bikers were mostly French-Canadian, with a sprinkling of assorted misfits. Their Harleys were loud. They either replaced the stock exhaust pipes with variants or simply removed the bike mufflers. Outside the door The Hells Angels were dangerously jacked up men with dangerously jaundiced minds.
During an RSVP Hells Angel picnic watched over by the San Mateo, California Sheriff’s Office, Terry the Tramp hooked up a microphone to speakers and addressed the lawmen parked on the other side of the road.
“Remember this,” he screamed, “just remember that while you’re standin’ out there on that cold road, doin’ your righteous duty and watchin’ all of us sex fiends and dope addicts in here having a good time, just think about that little old wife of yours back home with some dirty old Hells Angel crawlin’ up between her thighs! What do you think about that, you worthless fuzz? You gettin’ hungry? We’ll bring you some chili if we have any left over, but don’t hurry home, let your wife enjoy herself.”
One of the policemen spit in the dirt, his eyes twinkling viciously. “That dog is doing a lot of chopping, but no chips are flying,” he said to the policemen standing beside him.
“Yeah, that smart boy has got a mind like a steel trap, except it’s full of mice.”
“The Hells Angels try not to do anything halfway, and anyone who deals in extremes is bound to cause trouble, whether he means to or not. This, along with a belief in total retaliation for any offense or insult, is what makes the Hells Angels unmanageable for the police,” is what Hunter Thompson said about Terry the Tramp and the rest of the Red & White.
Chico Jones was a Mexican who cut his own finger off during a statewide Angel run. One of the other Hells Angels, Butch the Gringo from Cleveland, Ohio said to Chico, pointing to the man’s hand on the handlebar, “What would you do if I cut that finger of yours off?”
Chico said, “You don’t have to cut it off, I will.”
After he cut his little finger off and threw it in a ditch beside the road, while doing a wheelie, Butch said, “That’s what I call showing class.”
The Hells Angels came to Quebec in 1977, prospered in their own way, but shot themselves in the foot eight years later. During a pow-wow five Angels in the Laval chapter were shot and killed by other Angels. One of the dead men wasn’t dead. He got his face kicked in for his trouble. None of the gunmen made any apologies about what they had done. It came to be known as the Lennoxville Massacre.
Michel “Sky” Langois, the national president of the Canadian Angels, fled to Morocco after a warrant for his arrest on charges of first-degree murder was issued by the RCMP. Maurice Boucher was fully patched two years later and became president of the Montreal South chapter. He decided the Angels would turn a new page on his watch.
“We’re going to expand into the Atlantic provinces the next couple of years,” Maurice told Monk. “We’re going to start with New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. You go to PEI, scout out Summerside and Charlottetown. Keep it on the quiet side, don’t ride a Harley, and don’t wear colors. Don’t tell anybody what you’re all about. We’ll talk every few months.”
He gave Monk a thick envelope full of fifty-dollar bills.
“Don’t live it up and don’t come back to me for more,” he said.
As the end of the next year approached, Monk had gone through almost all the cash living it up. He knew he couldn’t go back to Maurice for more. There would be hell to pay. He hadn’t recruited anybody to the Red & White, not that he tried, although he had found a girlfriend. When he found out she was going to Montreal for a few days, he asked her what it was about.
“I have to make a delivery.”
“What kind of delivery?”
She showed him a briefcase stuffed to the gills with cash.
“Two million, but it’s not real.”
“It looks real,” Monk said after inspecting a wad.
“It’s the best in the world,” she said.
The money was going to Montreal. It was going to Vito Rizzuto, who imported and distributed most of the hashish heroin and cocaine in the eastern half of Canada. He ran gambling and laundered hundreds of millions of dollars, dollars that included payments for contract killings. Everybody called his gang the Sixth Family.
Vito’s father and grandfather were both murdered in turf wars. His mother was the daughter of a Mafia chieftain. His wife Giovanna was the daughter of a mobster.
The only time he served time was in 1972 for arson but he was on the hook for a boat seized by the RCMP off the coast of Newfoundland the year before. The boat was loaded with 16 tons of hashish. He was free on bail. The prison time he spent 17 yeasr earlier was a mistake. He knew with certainty that he wouldn’t be serving any time for the loss of his hash. As soon as it was wrapped up, he would load up another boat.
“You done good, babe, you done good,” Monk said, giving her a kiss and rifling the wad in his hand.
“What do you mean?” she asked
“Nuthin’, babe, nuthin’,” Monk slithered and hissed.
She didn’t know he signed and sealed her death warrant that night. He would deliver it in his own good time.