June 20, 2003

So how do you say "feeding frenzy" in french?: This morning's Journal de Montreal -- the biggest tabloid in Quebec; think the New York Post en francais -- reported Montreal Canadiens goalie Jose Theodore has friends who just happen to be Hells Angels.

posted by Cap'n Swing to hockey at 09:36 AM - 9 comments

The linked article is also in the language of Moliere, so here are the general points: - Jose Theodore knew Hells Angels before 1998. - Sometime in 1998, Quebec cops raided a Hells bunker/club house outside Montreal. They found pics of some bikers and our boy, Theo. They told NHL security, but Theo kept on hanging out with his friends. - Theo had a joint account with his father, the alleged loan shark, which was investigated by the cops. - Yesterday, Theo released a statement saying he was shocked by the allegations against his family. Other developments: - A local pizza chain has dropped Theo from their ads. - This is a very good, sympathetic look at the situation.

posted by Cap'n Swing at 09:36 AM on June 20, 2003

Good post Cap'n Swing, thanks. The follow up link there is definitely worth a click.

posted by vito90 at 10:26 AM on June 20, 2003

This sounds like an all-around shitty situation. Where does the Hell's Angels thing fall in, though? Are his father, uncle, and half-brothers the Hell's Angels? There wasn't anything listed in the follow-up link (which is a great article) about HAs. That part has me stymied. I do think that his relatives could feasibly be running an operation without his knowledge, especially since his relathionship with them has not been established (if he's close to them, sees them once a year, etc.). If he is truly innocent, and I've yet to see a reason that would lead me to believe that he's not, then I truly hope the best for Jose.

posted by Ufez Jones at 12:09 PM on June 20, 2003

Is being friends with Hell's Angels necessarily that bad? Sorry, I'm not sure how bad a gang they are supposed to be. It's not as if he's frequently seen out with murderers, is it? Seems that the father/brothers issue is separate from that, though the joint account can't help. But I'm sure he's completely distanced from the situation, given that he makes a bunch of money legally and is a national (provincial?) hero... I wish I remembered enough french to read that article...

posted by Bernreuther at 12:13 PM on June 20, 2003

The Angels in Quebec are not just a bike gang. They run a lot of the drug trade, and have been having a war with rival gang The Rock Machine over turf for the last few years, resulting with a lot of shit being blown up and some people killed. So yes, Bernreuther, it almost *is* "as if he's frequently seen out with murderers". As with any gang like this though, there are peripheral members who don't really do anything illegal, and I'm sure that Theodore was probably hanging out with these types. I've got no proof, just a gut feeling.

posted by sauril at 02:12 PM on June 20, 2003

Ufez: Sorry, I don't know if I was clear: the HA stuff is in the first link, in the article posted on rds.ca. That's the one in French. That article refers to the front-page article in Le Journal -- le Journal puts few of its articles online -- which alleges Theo has friends who are Hells. There are very few details given, just that he had "liens socials" (social links) before 1998 and continued these links afterwards. Do they continue now? Who are they? That's not revealed. And I should have given some background: the Hells may be crusty old bikers in most parts of the world but they are the dominant criminal syndicate in Quebec, more powerful, it is said, even than the Italian, Russian and Irish mafias. (Which are declining, growing and declining, respectively.) They control the drug trade in Quebec, meaning they buy in large quantities from the producers and control the distribution network. They are also big into prostitution (which is big, big business in Montreal) and own beaucoup de strip clubs, etc. Their power and what to do about it has been one of the big issues in Quebec in the last decade. See this for an okay background. The so-called biker war (between the Hells and their rivals the Rock Machine (!)) has cost hundreds of lives, including many innocent bystanders who were killed by car bombs. They've tried to have lawyers, prosecutors and prison guards whacked; they even tried to kill the country's top crime reporter, who is also the guy who wrote the Theo story. So bringing together the Hells and the Habs is almost unthinkably huge news here.

posted by docgonzo at 02:37 PM on June 20, 2003

Have you smelled what the Rock Machine is cookin'?

posted by vito90 at 02:43 PM on June 20, 2003

Thanks for the clarification, all. I'm sure there are areas in the states where biker gangs are more involved with organized crime and drug trade, but I've not heard of anything regarding biker gangs in the States as large and as violent as what appears to be happening up there in a very long time. And here I thought canada was all happy people and clean streets and good beer. Who knew?

posted by Ufez Jones at 03:01 PM on June 20, 2003

And here I thought canada was all happy people and clean streets and good beer. Who knew? For the most part, we are. The Hell's Angels rode through my little nook in this fine, fine country a couple of years ago and it made first page news. Not the murders, drugs, etc. Just the ride through. The problem I have with this entire issue is the unsubstantiated media lynch mobbing that goes on when someone an athlete knows does something wrong. Jose hasn't been implicated by the police yet; until he is, he's innocent. Unfortunately, the media always spins it so he seems less than innocent because it sells better, but it's a really sleazy way of making money. Frankly, I wish the police would do a much better job of not giving so much information (who they are investigating, what leads they have) to the press. Police leaks ruin lives these days in our global media environment, and I'd hate for that to happen to Jose if he really is innocent.

posted by therev at 09:18 AM on June 21, 2003

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.