"Do me. Do me first. I want to go out like a man."
John 'Boxer' Muscedere, 48
Luis 'Porkchop' Raposo, 41
George 'Pony' Jessome, 52
George 'Crash' Kriarakis, 28
Frank 'Bam Bam' Salerno, 43
Paul 'Big Paulie' Sinopoli, 30
Jamie 'Goldberg' Flanz, 37
Michael 'Little Mikey' Trotta, 31
Six members of a Canadian motorcycle gang have been convicted of murdering eight fellow bikers found shot to death in deepest Ontario. John "Boxer" Muscedere told his killers: "Do me. Do me first. I want to go out like a man." Muscedere, who was betrayed by his best friend Wayne Kellestine, was one of eight men shot dead in a barn in Ontario. Their bodies were found on 8 April 2006 in three cars and a tow truck which had been dumped in a field near the town of Shedden, 14km (10 miles) from where they had been killed. Ironically several of the men - suspects in another murder case - had been under surveillance by the Ontario Provincial Police only hours earlier. All eight were associated with the Bandidos, one of North America's most notorious biker gangs and second only in power to the Hells Angels worldwide.
The motive for the bloodshed lay in a deep schism that had developed within the Bandidos' Canadian chapters. The victims were members of the Toronto chapter, who were sponsored by the gang's Scandinavian wing but were not recognised by the Bandidos' head office in Texas. Peter Edwards, a journalist with the Toronto Star and expert on the case, explained: "There was a chapter based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, who came under the auspices of Toronto. "But Winnipeg were not granted full patches by Toronto. They effectively had no job security and they grew really frustrated." The killers were led by Michael Sandham, a former soldier and police officer who became president of the Winnipeg chapter. He tried to claim that he had actually been working undercover for the police, but was unable to explain why he had initially denied being at the scene. Sandham was helped by Kellestine, an Ontario native who was allied with the Winnipeg chapter. The victims were lured to their deaths in his barn, after being told they would meet to settle their grievances. When police arrived, they found blood smears and pieces of flesh amid the detritus of a biker party - beer bottles on a table and Confederate and Nazi flags hanging on a wall. Kellestine and five of his buddies were arrested. Three years later they finally went on trial. The star prosecution witness was another Bandido, known only as MH, who testified about the events leading up to the killings. MH, who hailed from Winnipeg, told the court the original plan was to "pull the patches" of the Toronto members, effectively throwing them out of the Bandidos.
But Kellestine then decided they would have to kill all eight.
MH described a messy and farcical situation in which Kellestine frequently changed his mind about whether or not to let his rivals live and at one point allowed Muscedere to call his wife as long as he "didn't say anything stupid". He broke down as he described the stoic reaction of one of the men, Frank "Bammer" Salerno. "Bammer went to shake my hand. I didn't do it," said MH.

Wayne Kellestine, 60
Michael Sandham, 39
Dwight Mushey, 41
Marcelo Aravena, 33
Frank Mather, 35
Brett Gardiner, 25
MH said Kellestine had been promised that in return for carrying out the killings he would be named Canadian president of the Bandidos and could start up his own chapter based in nearby London, Ontario. But Mr Edwards, who has covered the trial, said the killers were disorganised and bungling. "They were at the very bottom rung of biker gangs. Some were in their 40s but still lived with their parents. They were not making any money, many of them had been rejected by the Hells Angels and half of them didn't even own a motorbike," he said.
Mr Edwards says they were forced to dump the cars with the bodies in because they were "too cheap to buy enough gasoline". "They didn't even set fire to the bodies or the cars," he says.
The massacre, and Thursday's convictions, have left the Bandidos effectively defunct in Canada. According to Mr Edwards, there is very little public sympathy for the victims because they were bikers, and Canada has seen a lot of biker wars in the past.
November 10 2009

Four Men Convicted in Bandidos Murder Trial Launch Appeals

Four men convicted in the mass slayings of eight men associated with the Bandidos biker gang have declared their intent to appeal their ``unreasonable'' and ``perverse'' convictions.

Wayne Kellestine, Dwight Mushey, ex-police officer Michael Sandham, Marcelo Aravena, Frank Mather and Brett Gardiner were convicted late last month of 44 counts of first-degree murder and four counts of manslaughter.

Kellestine, Mushey and Sandham were all found guilty of eight counts each of first-degree murder. Mather and Aravena were found guilty of seven counts each of first-degree murder and one count each of manslaughter and Gardiner was found guilty of six counts of first-degree murder and two counts of manslaughter.

They were all sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Sandham, Mushey, Mather and Aravena have each filed inmate notices of appeal. Sandham and Aravena indicate they want to appeal their convictions, while Mushey and Mather write they wish to appeal their convictions and sentences.

``The 48 verdicts were perverse and make no sense,'' Sandham wrote in his notice of appeal, dated the same day the six men were sentenced in London.

Sandham also alleges the trial judge, Ontario Superior Court Justice Thomas Heeney, made several errors, including in his charge to the jury, the use of circumstantial evidence and not allowing self-defence.

Sandham admitted shooting one of the men, Luis Raposo, and Sandham and his lawyer suggested it was an accident, or alternatively, self-defence.

He also appears to take issue with the jury's deliberations, noting in his notice of appeal that although the judge's charge to the jury spanned two days, and that jurors heard from more than 70 witnesses and saw more than 500 exhibits, they returned verdicts after 1 1/2 days.

The six men were portrayed at trial as power-hungry schemers or wannabes gunning for status in the outlaw motorcycle club. The killings were preceded by months of rising tensions between the Toronto Bandidos, to which the deceased men belonged or were associated with, and the probationary Winnipeg chapter.

The bullet-ridden bodies of the eight men were found on April 8, 2006, stuffed into four vehicles on and around a rural property near Shedden, just kilometres down the road from Kellestine's farmhouse.

It's believed to be Ontario's largest mass slaying.

``The verdict was unreasonable and unsupported by the evidence,'' writes Mather, who also alleges he was ``wrongfully'' deprived of his lawyer of choice, when that person had to be recused.

In his inmate notice of appeal Aravena suggests several grounds of appeal.

``The trial judge erred by ruling that I could not advance the defence of duress,'' he writes.

In addition, Heeney erred by ``improperly restricting the cross examination of the main Crown witness,'' Aravena alleges, likely referring to a man who can only be referred to as MH.

MH was a Winnipeg Bandido who made the trip to Kellestine's farm with Sandham, Mushey and Gardiner and was present on the night of the killings. As the only person there during the massacre who isn't now dead or in jail, MH is an informant in witness protection.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Four men convicted in Bandidos biker gang murder trial launch appeals

Last Updated: 10th November 2009, 1:29pm

Four of six men convicted in the mass murder of eight Toronto-area Bandido bikers have made the first steps toward appeals.

The Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that three Winnipeg Bandidos — probationary president Michael Sandham, 40, secretary-treasurer Dwight Mushey, 41 and Marcelo Aravena, 33 — along with Frank Mather, 36, of Dutton-Dunwich have filed inmate appeal notices.

They, along with Wayne Kellestine, 60, of Dutton-Dunwich and Brett Gardiner, 25, who lived in Winnipeg, were convicted on Oct. 30 after a seven-month trial at the Middlesex Courthouse.

They were found guilty in the shooting deaths of eight members of the "No Surrender Crew" — the name given to the Toronto chapter of the Bandidos motorcycle club — on April 8, 2006.

All eight were shot at Kellestine's farm before their bodies were left abandoned in their own vehicles along a quiet rural road in Elgin County.

The men died because of an internal power struggle within the club. The Toronto group, which doubled as the national chapter, had fallen out of favour with its American world headquarters and was in conflict with the fledgling Winnipeg chapter it had sponsored.

Mather, who was living at Kellestine's farm at the time of the shootings, was first out of the gate with his appeal notice, placing it on file Nov. 3, just five days after he was found guilty of seven counts of first-degree murder and one count of manslaughter.

Mushey, found guilty of eight counts of first-degree murder filed his notice on Nov. 4.

Sandham, who was found guilty of eight counts of first-degree murder and Aravena, found guilty of seven counts of first-degree murder and one count of manslaughter, both filed their appeal notices on Monday.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009
News Bandidos trial
Bandidos trial
Four serve notice of murder appeals

Last Updated: 11th November 2009, 11:35am

Four of six men convicted for the mass murder of eight Toronto-area Bandidos have made the first steps toward appeals.

The Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that three Winnipeg Bandidos -- probationary president Michael Sandham, 40, secretary-treasurer Dwight Mushey, 41, and Marcelo Aravena, 3 * -- along with Frank Mather, 36, of Dutton-Dunwich, have filed inmate appeal notices.

They, along with Wayne Kellestine, 60, of Dutton-Dunwich and Brett Gardiner, 25, who lived in Winnipeg, were convicted on Oct. 30 after a seven-month trial at the Middlesex Courthouse.

They were found guilty in the shooting deaths of eight members of the No Surrender Crew -- the name given to the Toronto chapter of the Bandidos motorcycle club -- on April 8, 2006.

All eight were shot at Kellestine's farm before their bodies were left abandoned in their own vehicles along a quiet rural road in Elgin County.

The men died because of an internal power struggle within the club. The Toronto group, which doubled as the national chapter, had fallen out of favour with its American world headquarters and was in conflict with the fledgling Winnipeg chapter it had sponsored.

The appeal notice forms were filled out at the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre. Sandham and Mushey, both found guilty of eight counts of first-degree murder, dated their paperwork the day after the convictions.

Sandham wrote that the verdicts were "perverse and made no sense." Mushey simply indicated to contact his Toronto lawyer.

Mather's paperwork from the jail is dated Oct. 31. In his grounds for appeal, he says he was deprived of his lawyer of choice and the verdicts "were unreasonable and unsupported by the evidence."

He directed any questions to a Toronto law firm.

Aravena's paperwork was dated last week.

He wrote that Superior Court Justice Thomas Heeney made errors in his charge and in his rulings.

No paperwork has been filed with the court for Kellestine or Gardiner.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009
News Bandidos trial
Bandidos trial
5th man to appeal Bandidos murders conviction


A fifth man convicted in the mass slayings of eight men associated with the Bandidos biker gang has declared his intent to appeal.

Brett Gardiner was convicted last month of six counts of first-degree murder and two counts of manslaughter.

He has filed his inmate notice of appeal, on which he writes the verdict was “unreasonable and contrary to the evidence.”

Four other men convicted along with Gardiner — Dwight Mushey, Michael Sandham, Marcelo Aravena and Frank Mather — have already filed their inmate notices of appeal.

Wayne Kellestine, the man portrayed at trial as the mastermind of the murders, has not filed one, though the deadline has not yet passed.

The bodies of the eight men were found on April 8, 2006, stuffed into four vehicles on and around a rural property in southwestern Ontario, just kilometres down the road from Kellestine’s farmhouse.
Friday, November 20, 2009
News London
Kellestine to appeal Bandidos conviction
By Free Press news services

All six men convicted of multiple murder in the deaths of eight Bandidos bikers will appeal.

Wayne Kellestine, 60, convicted of eight counts of first-degree murder last month, filed an inmate notice of appeal this week.

He is taking issue with evidence allowed at his trial.

Kellestine is one of six men charged and convicted with the murders of eight Bandidos bikers. The murders took place on Kellestine’s farm in Shedden in April 2006.

Kellestine’s appeal notice says Nazi paraphernalia he owned shouldn’t have been used against him during the murder trial.

During the trial, the jury was shown videos and pictures of the barn in which the eight men were held and then eventually led out of and shot.

A large Nazi flag hanging in the barn was prominent in many of the pictures shown before the court.

The jury also heard that during the murderous night, Kellestine sang a German anthem and danced.

In the notice filed with the Ontario Appeal Court, Kellestine writes that the judge erred in allowing “the German swastika flag” to be used as evidence of his character.

He also alleges the judge erred in “refusing to give a warning on the dangers” of co-accused Michael Sandham’s evidence.

Sandham, a former police officer from Manitoba, testified to his version of events on the night of the murders, placing the lion’s share of the blame on Kellesteine.

Sandham admitted on the stand that he’d previously lied to police when he told them over and over again – more than 200 times – that he wasn’t at Kellestine’s farm on the night of the murders.

The other five men convicted for the murders have already filed notices of appeal.



CAN)Lessons Learned from Tweeting a Biker Gxxx Trial


We fell into Twitter somewhat accidentally in our newsroom at the London Free Press in Ontario, Canada.

The Bandidos biker gang trial was going to be a big one for the Free Press. We'd extensively covered the crime when it first happened: eight bikers from Toronto found dead on a rural road near London, and six men charged with eight counts of first-degree murder. None of us was likely to see a trial of this caliber again anytime soon, and it turned out we also got to be groundbreaking in the live-tweeting arena as well.

When I first signed up for Twitter, about a month before the Bandidos trial started, I was riveted by the Winnipeg Free Press' in-courtroom tweeting of the trial of Vince Weiguang Li, the accused in the case of the Greyhound bus beheading. Call me morbid, but I thought the Bandidos trial would be just as perfect to tweet. It had a compelling cast of characters, a judge who was willing to let media use the Internet in one of the courtrooms, plenty of visual evidence, and all kinds of drama built right in -- the biker gang lifestyle is a big draw.
Planning Coverage

We decided our regular court reporter, Jane Sims, would cover the trial from the main, high-security courtroom. Members of the media had already asked and been approved to use electronics in the overflow courtroom. This room wasn't quite as secure, and the proceedings were available for viewing on two television screens. One showed the jury and witness box, and the second showed the six accused bikers and the lawyers. A third screen was hooked up to the computers that were used to display evidence, such as photos and videos.

The only time journalists weren't allowed to tweet from the overflow courtroom itself was during the testimony of M.H., the [prosecution] witness who is in the witness protection program. Electronics weren't allowed at all during his testimony. During his week on the stand, I'd listen to the evidence and then run out of the courtroom with my BlackBerry to type a tweet. It was exhausting, and my coverage wasn't as in-depth as it could have been.

At first, I tweeted the opening arguments on my BlackBerry. The tiny keyboard made for lots of typos and mistakes, though, so the newsroom invested in a Rogers Rocket Stick, which enabled me to use a laptop for the rest of the trial. As the trial progressed, more people started paying attention, and more and more followers started interacting with me and John Miner, another Free Press reporter, who tweeted in my absence. Sims, our court reporter, also occasionally tweeted, but she was usually in the main courtroom, and working on the daily stories.
Response to Tweets
Twitter users responded to the tweets, especially those that put them right inside the courtroom. I couldn't tweet actual pictures of evidence, but I could get people as close as possible. If the [prosecution] was talking about a particular caliber of gun, for example, I'd Google the gun, find an image, and tweet a link to it. Being limited to 140 characters, tweeting links was often a good way to let people know what was going on in the courtroom. We also used links to direct people to the Free Press' website, where we had videos and picture galleries that showed things we couldn't put in the print product.

Eventually, I started corresponding with bikers from New Zealand, British Columbia, Australia and Texas. (The latter is the Bandidos' North American headquarters, and a lot of the evidence related to Texas.) A lot these followers knew the accused and the dead, and others were just curious observers.

Sims has since done interviews with some of the bikers who were mentioned during the trial but were never arrested. It was really interesting to be speaking to guys who knew the ins and outs of the organization that was being exposed on the stand.
Consistency a Challenge, Lessons Learned

The biggest problem we encountered was consistency. I went from a couple dozen followers at the beginning of the trial to more than 1,000 by the end. (Of course, I'm not sure how many people were following the day-to-day of the trial.) Sometimes, I just couldn't be in court. I had other assignments or I had days off. It was a lot for the Free Press newsroom to lose two reporters from the daily rotation. But if the editors and reporters decided we wouldn't tweet a certain part of the trial, the followers would get very angry that we weren't there.

I felt bad that we couldn't always be there to cover the proceedings. Telling them to "go follow John for the day" didn't really work and, in retrospect, next time we'll create a trial-dedicated Twitter account, even though the personal aspect of interacting with a reporter with a name would be lost.

Having one reporter covering a trial and another sending the tweets is essential, though. I thought of myself as the play-by-play announcer and Sims as the analyst after the game. Thinking of how to write something quickly, coherently and engagingly in 140 characters is enough of a challenge without having to analyze the overall picture for the next day's paper, too.

At first I took notes, then typed them into the BlackBerry. But as I got a feeling for what 140 characters looked like, and learned which words I could cut out and what I could abbreviate, I just typed the tweets directly into Twitter. (I used TweetDeck on the laptop.)

Eventually, I knew what would make a good tweet -- a lot of information, written succinctly. Followers would often ask for specific information: what the accused were wearing, their facial expressions, etc. I couldn't really see their faces, so I got Sims to fill me in on breaks, and then I'd tweet the info.

Having someone tweet an entire trial is certainly an investment -- you have a body that is producing for the web, but not for the next day's paper. It challenges the traditional way of thinking about court reporting.
Huge Potential

In my view, the potential for Twitter is huge. By using it, we were first to report the verdicts, for example. It offers a way to get people into the courtroom (or City Council chambers) in a way that you can't with print. We interacted with people we never would have tracked down if it hadn't been for tweeting the trial, and we interviewed them for more in-depth stories after the court case.

A final note: anyone from London could have come into the courtroom and tweeted their hearts out. Not a soul did. It takes time, it takes effort, it takes knowledge of the law (knowing not to tweet developments that occur when the jury isn't there, for example).

In my opinion, it's another way that journalists and media outlets can differentiate themselves from the pack.

Kate Dubinski is a reporter and occasional columnist for the London Free Press in Ontario, Canada. She is @KateatLFPress on Twitter.

MJF | 16 Dec : 14:46
Comments: 1339

Well Kate, sounds like you are trying to be responsible, and keep people informed so I will give you that, but lessons learned ? How about this one .....IT"S NOT A FUCKING GANG !

HELLRAISER | 16 Dec : 16:30
Comments: 410

Registered: 01 Mar : 23:18

I can't get into that Twitter shit.

I think I just found a good use for it though. Kate can shove her gxxx tweets up her twat.


Cold blood among Canadian Bandidos

Slideshow image

Wayne Kellestine (centre) seen in this picture entered as a Crown exhibit in the Bandidos trial. (Peter Edwards / The Bandido Massacre)

By Geoff Nixon, CTV.ca News Staff

Date: Sunday Feb. 7, 2010 7:16 AM ET

Imagine an outlaw motorcycle club whose members can barely afford to pay their cellphone bills.

The Toronto president is a Jenny Craig client and an elder member is a terminally-ill cancer patient looking for companionship while he waits to die. Another guy is too fat to ride a conventional motorcycle.

Other clubs turn down the chance to join this crew and several members take it upon themselves to quit. Existing members squabble to the point where they can't agree on how they should design their club Christmas card. The group is so inept, that it is on the edge of being kicked out of its parent organization -- one of the biggest biker clubs in the world.

These are descriptions of the same Bandidos chapter which saw eight of its members slaughtered at an Ontario farmhouse nearly four years ago, in the worst mass-killing in provincial history.

The story of how they came to die is detailed in "The Bandido Massacre," a newly released book by Peter Edwards, a Toronto Star reporter who covered the story since it hit the front page in April 2006.

Their quest to wear what Edwards describes as "leather sandwich boards" with Bandidos logos, is a story that is both sad and compelling for readers trying to understand how they became involved in such a dangerous situation.

In a recent interview, Edwards told CTV.ca that it's a story of a group of grown men "who should have stepped away and didn't."

Bandido living

Four years ago, the rollcall of the doomed Bandidos members sounded like the line-up card of a beer league softball team: Bam Bam, Big Paulie, Boxer, Crash, Chopper, Goldberg, Little Mikey and Pony.

Most of these guys were relatively new to the biker scene and they didn't have much luck drumming up respect, despite the Bandido logo they wore on their backs.

Some of them were catching the wrong type of attention, with police frequently watching the crew for their suspected involvement in the murder of a Keswick, Ont., drug dealer.

They were on the verge of being kicked out of the worldwide biker club and were the target of frequent email rebukes from upper-level Bandidos in the southern U.S.

Several of the eventual victims had grumbled about getting out of the rag-tag biker crew, the types of guys Edwards said had the potential "to grow out of" the biker lifestyle.

But they didn't.

"These guys totally brought it on themselves," said Edwards, noting that it was not the police, nor the Hells Angels, who brought them down. Instead, it was members of their own club, who were supposed to be their friends.

The farm

The demise of these eight men took place at a farm property in Iona Station, a small Ontario hamlet located more than 200 kilometers southwest of Toronto.

The property was owned by Wayne "Weiner" Kellestine, a long-time biker and fellow Bandido who was well-known to police by the time the eight murders took place in his barn.

Bodies had twice turned up near his property over the years and Kellestine had served time in prison. He'd also survived an assassination attempt.

In his personal life, Kellestine once shot his ex-wife with an air gun "for a joke", Edwards reports in his book. On another occasion, Kellestine threatened to shoot a DJ in the foot for playing rap music instead of Lynyrd Skynyrd at a Toronto club.

His home had a similarly creepy vibe, according to Edwards' description.

Inside the main floor of his farmhouse in Iona Station, Kellestine decorated a room with Confederate and Nazi flags and other racist memorabilia, a collection Edwards describes as "a shrine of sorts to violent losers." It was also filled with weapons, which Kellestine was banned from possessing.

It was in his junk-filled barn where his eight brother Bandidos would be ambushed and marched to their deaths.

But overall, Kellestine's farm was a place where his biker friends had travelled many times before, where they felt safe, and where they would let down their guard.

A day of death

The Bandidos converged on the Iona Station property on the night of April 7, 2006.

The bikers travelled to the farm to attend what they called a church session -- a mandatory meeting for club members, where they hashed out club business.

But they didn't know that other Canadian Bandidos had made their way to the farm from Winnipeg. They were hiding at various points around the property, waiting for their Ontario brothers to arrive.

An ambush ensued, the eight Toronto Bandidos were caught off guard and within hours, they were marched, one-by-one, to their deaths in the cars parked outside the barn.

By the end of the night, Jamie Flanz, 37; the terminally-ill George Jessome, 52 ; the recently-married George Kriarakis, 28; Luis Raposo, 41; Frank Salerno, 43; young father Paul Sinopoli, 30; recent recruit Michael Trotta, 31; and their leader, factory worker John Muscedere, 48, lay dead.

Their killers drove down the road and parked the cars carrying the victim's bodies in a farmer's field about 14 kilometres away from Kellestine's farm. They didn't drive very far because one of their makeshift hearses -- a vehicle that victim Flanz drove to the farm while being trailed by police -- ran out of gas and it was already past dawn by the time they went to cover their tracks.

The bodies were found by mid-morning and police began an intensive investigation that eventually saw six suspects convicted of 44 counts of first-degree murder.

The aftermath

With so much wasted life and wanton violence in the Bandido massacre story, it's a tale of an unfortunate brotherhood with violent members.

"I didn't set out to write a cautionary tale," said Edwards. "In the end, that's where I ended up."

The bottom line is that for the eight slain Bandidos, they joined a club they thought would bring them brotherhood.

Instead, the slain bikers' membership brought them less freedom, unnecessary stresses and tickets to an early grave.

The people who killed them wanted to gain control of a dysfunctional club, in what was described in court as an internal cleansing. But it's still hard to understand how eight people could be wiped out in a single night by people they thought were their friends.

"This one, here, you have to get to the core of madness to understand what happened," said Edwards, summing up a mass murder that served little benefit to the biker world.

For now, the six men convicted of killing eight of their so-called brothers wait to return to court. Each one -- Marcelo Aravena, Brett Gardiner, Frank Mather, Dwight Mushey, as well as Sandham and Kellestine -- has appealed their convictions on eight counts of first-degree murder.

A seventh member of the killing party became a Crown witness and now lives under a new name. He was identified only as M.H. at trial.

Kellestine based his appeal in part on the judge's decision to allow Crown prosecutors to show jurors a picture "the German swastika flag" hanging at his house.

Edwards said he considers Kellestine "a joke" whose image he did not want to build up when writing his book.

"I wanted people to laugh at Kellestine, not fear Kellestine," he said.