One of 11 members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club who was to go on trial this
week for racketeering has pleaded guilty to an attack inside a Calumet City
tavern believed to have been a hangout for a rival biker gang.
James E. "Manson" Hanson, 44, of Antioch, Ill., was one of 17 Outlaws indicted
in June 1997 in the federal Eastern District of Wisconsin for crimes alleged to
have been committed in Indiana, lllinois and Wisconsin as part of a continuing
In his guilty plea, Hanson admitted to threatening to commit a crime of
violence against patrons at JR's Watering Hole, 110-155th St., Calumet City,
which the Outlaws believed was a hangout of their rivals, the Hells Henchmen
and Hells Angels. At the time of the attack in March 1994 the Henchmen were in
the middle of becoming Hells Angels, a merger which was accomplished in
The Angels have since established a Chicago chapter with headquarters in
Harvey. The Outlaws have local chapters in Gary, Joliet and three in the
Chicago area, two in the city and a third in Bensenville.
The fight in JR's began when 15-30 Outlaws from the Indiana, Chicago and
Wisconsin chapters went into the bar and began intimidating patrons. A fight
began in which a man bit off a finger of Outlaw Donald "Big Don" Fogg and the
bar ended up being trashed. Fogg was shot to death in Gary in January 1995 and
his killers have never been charged.
The bartender was the wife of a Hells Henchman, who later became a member of
the Hells Angels Minneapolis chapter. That member, Jerry Bokina, was convicted
last year along with Chicago Hells Angel Dominic "Butch" Vitro in connection
with a 1993 FBI sting in Indiana in which the two bought a "stolen" tractor
trailer rig from federal agents. Both were given probationary terms.
Pleading guilty with Hanson was William B. "Bad Bill" Brock, 40, of Skokie, who
admitted to an August 1993 armed robbery of two Hells Angels and a single count
of conspiring to unlawfully transport stolen motor vehicles in interstate and
Hanson and Brock, as part of their pleas, had to admit that they performed
their crimes in order to enhance their status as Outlaws.
Of the 17 Outlaws indicted, nine remain on trial this week in Milwaukee and six
have pleaded guilty. One, Harvey "RV" Powers, has been granted a separate trial
and one, Randy "Mad" Yager, of Gary, remains a federal fugitive.
Mark Kiesling can be reached at email@example.com or (219) 662-5330.