Malcolm “Monk” Kennedy was half rattlesnake and half Scottish. He was from Prince Edward Island but had spent only a 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 house the middle of the night that he was born the first thing she did when stepping outside the door was make the sign of the cross. She hurried away under a full moon. Monk was born under a bad sign, staying a bad boy as soon as he began to crawl.
His father was superstitious to a T. He kept an American Indian head penny made in a leap year and a double six domino made long ago in a drawer. There was a rooster claw nailed to the front door and blood red prayer candles on the sills of the two front windows. Mason jars full of moonshine 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 Thomas Edison?”
“He’s the man who invented electricity.”
“Maybe he did, and maybe he didn’t, but you ain’t no Edison, whoever he is,” his father said.
“I know, that’s why I’m not going to go at all.”
“You got more nerve than a bum tooth.”
Monk’s mother left the minute she was done nursing him, not leaving a note or forwarding address. She left with some clothes and all the loose money in the house. She moved to Vancouver Island, as far away from Prince Edward Island as possible. None of the Kennedy clan ever heard about her or from her again.
His father took Monk’s declaration to heart and sent him to live with an uncle in McMasterville near Montreal. He turned 18 in 1982 without a diploma, not even a first grade one. It made no difference to him. He wasn’t planning on working in an office or supermarket. “I ain’t punching no clock,” he said. He knew his way around the world he lived in. He tied his star to Maurice Boucher, a friend of his uncle’s. He was the leader of a white supremacist outlaw motorcycle gang who called themselves the SS. His best friend Salvatore Cazzetta was the other leader of the gang.
The Schutzstaffel, who were the Nazis known as the SS, would have shot them dead on the spot if they had spotted them. They hated the French and Italians. They would have taken the gang’s motorcycles for their own use. The SS didn’t believe in the law or self-styled outlaws. They lived by their own dark rules of due process. They shot first and never asked questions.
Maurice went to prison for sexually assaulting an underage girl. In the meantime, Salvatore ran 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 to never have anything to do with the Angels after the Lennoxville Massacre the year before. Hard words and pushing and shoving led to more hard words and more pushing and shoving and finally fists. 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. If they could have, they would have encouraged the fighting. Both the Angels and the Rock Machine distributed cocaine for the Mafia. They wanted to buy and sell the drugs themselves except the kingpins of the 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,”one journalist explained, looking over his shoulder.
The men who were the Mafia were all Sicilians or of Sicilian descent. They kept their made-man business to themselves. They didn’t drive around in limousines with noisy 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 rowdy variants or simply removed the mufflers. Inside and outside their clubhouse doors the Hells Angels were jacked up.
During a Hells Angel picnic in the homeland, which was strictly RSVP, 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, you jackasses,” he bellowed, “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. “That dog is doing a lot of chopping, but no chips are flying,” he said to the others standing beside him. He fingered his handgun. “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, Butchie the Gringo who was 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 the ditch alongside the road, while doing a wheelie, Butchie said, “That’s what I call showing real 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 gone wrong five Angels in the Laval chapter were shot and killed by other Angels. One of the dead men wasn’t dead, yet. He got his face kicked in for his trouble. After that he was dead. 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. He was looking ahead to expand their thuggish empire of crime.
“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 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 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 handful of bills. “It looks damned real.”
“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 out on bail. The prison time he spent 17 years earlier was a mistake. He knew for sure that he wouldn’t be serving any more time this time. As soon as it was wrapped up, he would load up another boat.
“You done good, babe, you done good,” Monk said, giving his girlfriend a kiss and rifling the wad in his hand.
“What do you mean?” she asked
“Nuthin’, babe, nuthin’,” Monk slithered and whispered.
She didn’t know he signed and sealed her death warrant that night. He would deliver it in his own good time. Her time was just about up.