Morbid Curiosity


Dai Huen Jai – See Big Circle Boys .

Dark Circle: Hit Squad – This group of Montreal bar owners wanted to take back drug-trafficking turf in their establishments from the Hells Angels in the mid-1990s. They also set up a biker club, the Palmers, to fight the Angels’ puppet club, the Rockers. The Dark Circle became the hit squad for the Alliance, an association of independent drug gangs, bar owners, and the Rock Machine.

See also: The Alliance, Cazzetta Brothers, Hells Angels, Nomads .

Davidson, Ian: Reputation Ruined – Detective Sergeant Ian Davidson’s reputation was impeccable when he retired from the Montreal police in January 2011 with thirty-three years of public service. A year later, Davidson was dead from an apparent suicide and his good name was in tatters, amidst reports that he had attempted to sell a police list of informants to the Mafia.

The previous October, Davidson was stopped and arrested by police while boarding a flight from Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport to Costa Rica. With him was a list of underworld informants.

During his time in the force, Davidson was one of a select few police officers with access to the confidential list of names.

Four months after his retirement, Davidson contacted a lawyer who often represented organized crime figures and tried to make a deal. To show he wasn’t joking, he gave the names of four informants to the lawyer. For the rest of the list he wanted a hefty lump sum, reportedly six or seven figures. Instead of buying the list, the lawyer contacted police, who immediately launched an investigation.

When his story was leaked to the press, Davidson checked into a hotel and slashed his throat, ending his life at age fifty-seven. The hotel was just a few kilometres from Davidson’s two-storey, detached house in Laval. Davidson, who was twice divorced, had re-mortgaged it the previous summer for $214,000.

“We’re talking about a straightforward person who seemed to have a very spotless career who, for diverse reasons, at the end of his career, decides to take this action,” Montreal police chief Marc Parent told reporters.

Davis, Harry: Corrupter of Public Officials – His headquarters at the White House Inn in the southwest Montreal suburb of Lachine was Montreal’s biggest illegal gambling joint in the early 1930s, and his nightclub, Frolics, did nothing to tone down Montreal’s gaudy image for vice.

The fun came to a crashing halt in April 1932 when Davis was arrested for trafficking 852 kilograms of opium, morphine, and heroin. Some of his operations involved diverting drugs from legal manufacturers. In addition to the drug charges, he was also accused of corrupting public officials. It took a jury less than an hour to find him guilty, and then a judge hit him with a prison sentence of fourteen years, plus ten strokes of the lash. This shocked the Montreal underworld, as no one in their ranks had ever received so tough a sentence unless he had pointed a gun at someone.

Among Davis’s associates was Louis “Lepke” Buchalter of New York, who killed seven witnesses before turning himself in to police in 1939 after underworld associates Albert Anastasia and Meyer Lansky tricked him into believing they had made a deal for leniency with the government. In fact, they had simply grown weary of the heat that the police hunt for Buchalter had created for the underworld. Buchalter’s sentence was far tougher than Davis’s: he was found guilty of murdering a talkative witness and executed in the electric chair.

Davis walked free from prison in 1945, and within the year, someone tried to kill him with a bomb. On July 25, 1946, eleven days after the bomb attack, a gangster murdered Davis for refusing him permission to set up a gaming house. Montrealers weren’t too shocked about vice, but the violence revolted them, and, in the midst of public outrage about the police corruption that had allowed Davis to flourish, lawyer Pacifique “Pax” Plante was appointed head of the Montreal police department’s morality squad. He did an effective job and was fired eighteen months later.

See also: Vincenzo “Vic the Egg” Cotroni, Harry Davis, Luigi Greco, Frank Petrula .

Harry Davis

Daniel Desrochers

Desrochers, Daniel: Innocent Victim – The eleven-year-old boy was killed by a bomb on August 9, 1995, during the Hells Angels–Rock Machine war, which ignited public opinion and sparked the institution of a tough new police biker squad, codenamed Wolverine. Daniel’s mother, Josée-Anne, campaigned for a new anti-gang law, and refused a Hells Angels honour guard for her son. She also turned down their offer to pay for his funeral or her silence, and gave the same answer when the Rock Machine tried to buy her off.

“A life has no price,” she said. “No one can buy Daniel from me.”

See also: Michel Auger, Maurice “Mom” Boucher, Serge Hervieux, Dany Kane, Diane Lavigne, Nomads, Rock Machine, Wolverine .

De Serres, Claude: Computer Glitch – When the Ontario Provincial Police officer returned to his hotel room, the only thing missing was his laptop computer. Unfortunately, it was the most valuable thing there.

The police officer had just gone for dinner, taking a short break from surveillance of Hells Angels members in Sherbrooke, Quebec. When he saw what had been stolen, he quickly realized that, while he was spying on the bikers, they were also watching him. This is just one example of how the Angels and other outlaw biker gangs have grasped the advantages of the information age – and how they put that information to use.

In February 2000, within months of the computer theft, police agent Claude De Serres, who was undercover among the bikers, was dead.

According to information revealed during the murder trial of Angels president Maurice “Mom” Boucher in 2003, the stolen OPP laptop landed in the hands of Normand Robitaille, one of the closest confidantes of the Angels leader.

When Robitaille read through the confidential files stored on the computer – including some personal information about him – it didn’t take long to figure out that fellow biker Claude De Serres was talking to police.

Robitaille arranged a meeting with De Serres in February 2000 through one of his closest friends, a man who had vacationed with him in the Dominican Republic just days earlier. Police tried to follow their informant as he drove to the meeting in the Joliette area, about eighty kilometres outside of Montreal. Tragically, they lost him, and ended up hearing Des Serres’s final words on his hidden body-pack recorder.

An unidentified voice said, “Listen, why do you work for the police and how long have you worked for police?”

“I have a problem,” De Serres replied.

“You’re not going to say anything,” the unidentified voice said.

De Serres had an instant to think about his fate. Then there was a gunshot and he was dead.

See also: Maurice “Mom” Boucher, Serge Boutin, Webmasters .

Diefenbunker: There Goes the Neighbourhood – Former prime minister John Diefenbaker had the Russians and not the Hells Angels on his mind when he had underground bunkers constructed between 1959 and 1961 at the height of the Cold War – including one in Penhold, Alberta, just south of Red Deer.

Built as a refuge for political leaders in the event of an A-bomb attack, the Penhold bunker caught the eye of the Hells Angels long after the Russian threat had passed.

It seemed like easy money for Ottawa when the federal government sold the Penhold Diefenbunker in 1994 to two Red Deer–area businessmen for $312,000. However, thirty months later, the federal government scrambled to buy the structure back for $750,000 after the Hells Angels and a paramilitary group expressed interest in buying it. In 1999, Ottawa decided it would be best simply to destroy the structure.

Dorion Commission – See Lucien Rivard .

Dosanjh, Gerpal “Paul”: Second Time Unlucky – His family was well known to Vancouver homicide investigators by the time a gunman shot the twenty-seven-year-old to death around 5 a.m. on Saturday, March 6, 2004, in a restaurant on East Hastings.

His older cousins were gang-leaders Ranjit “Ron” and Jimsher “Jimmy” Dosanjh, who were shot to death in separate attacks in 1994. Paul Dosanjh survived being shot in the head on August 16, 2003, in a clash at Vancouver’s Loft Six nightclub between Hells Angels bikers and Indo-Canadian gangsters. Three people were killed and six were wounded, including several innocent bystanders, in the crossfire that night.

His murder remains unsolved.

See also: Ranjit “Ron” and Jimsher “Jimmy” Dosanjh, Peter Gill, Bhupinder “Bindy” Johal, Lotus Gang .

Dosanjh, Jimsher “Jimmy”: Foiled Revenge Plans – Police surveillance first spotted him in the late 1980s, when they monitored the multi-ethnic Los Diablos street gang in Vancouver. He was arrested and charged with the March 14, 1991, murder of Teodoro Salcedo, who represented a Colombian cocaine cartel in Vancouver.

Witnesses refused to co-operate with police, and Dosanjh was soon back on the streets. During his absence, however, his associate Bhupinder “Bindy” Johal had taken over his drug turf. Soon, the word on the street was that Dosanjh had put out a contract on Johal.

Dosanjh thought he was going to buy stolen goods when he stepped out of his truck into an alley on February 25, 1994. Someone shot him dead. Six weeks later, his brother Ranjit “Ron” was murdered, after threatening to kill Johal. Johal and five others were picked up and charged with killing the Dosanjh brothers, but acquitted.

On December 20, 1998, Johal was shot down in front of three hundred people at the Palladium Club in downtown Vancouver. That murder was never solved.

See also: Ranjit “Ron” and Gerpal “Paul” Dosanjh, Peter Gill, Bhupinder “Bindy” Johal, Lotus Gang .

Dosanjh, Ranjit “Ron”: Politics and Drugs – He was a suspect when, on March 14, 1991, Sikh moderate leader Bikar Singh Dhillon, sixty-seven, was shot and wounded outside his Vancouver home. Drug dealer Ranjit “Ron” Dosanjh, also former head of the Vancouver branch of the International Sikh Youth Federation, was a political opponent of the wounded man.

Dosanjh threatened revenge after his brother, Jimsher, was murdered on February 25, 1994. He told a television reporter he would shoot Johal “right between the eyes” if he ever showed up at the Dosanjh home. Just six weeks later, however, Dosanjh was fatally shot in the face, when gunmen pulled up beside him and opened fire in a busy east Vancouver intersection in rush-hour traffic.

See also: Gerpal “Paul” and Jimsher “Jimmy” Dosanjh, Peter Gill, Bhupinder “Bindy” Johal, Lotus Gang .

Dubois Brothers: Brutal Clan – The Quebec Crime Commissions of the 1970s weren’t sure whether the Dubois brothers were more powerful than the Mafia. The fact that this was even up for debate was quite a statement on the power of the Dubois family. This crime family from Montreal’s working-class neighbourhood of St. Henri ranged in age from thirty to late forties at the time, and consisted of brothers Raymond, Jean-Guy, Normand, Claude, René, Roland, Jean-Paul, and twins Maurice and Adrien. There was also a white sheep of the family, who worked for years as a civil servant, never straying into crime.

Normand Dubois

Roland Dubois

Their father was a poor bartender from south-end Montreal, but his criminal sons gained infamy after Montreal’s 1975 Valentine’s Day massacre, in which they fatally shot four rivals from the McSween gang at the Lapiniere Hotel.

A Quebec Crime Commission probe of organized crime dedicated almost a hundred pages of its final report to the Dubois clan. The report called the gang the most important criminal organization in Quebec, so vicious that it was feared by both motorcycle gangs and the Mafia.

The French-Canadian toughs had emerged from St-Henri in the early 1950s and, two decades later, controlled most of the city’s racketeering, drug-trade, and prostitution business.

Claude and Adrien were particularly active, running their own gangs of several dozen members. Family rackets ranged from burglary, extortion, and armed robbery to drug importation and loansharking. One early victim, a Greek restaurateur, refused to make extortion payments and his body was found with a cross carved into his chest. By the mid-1980s, the Dubois brothers had lost their power.

See also: Vincenzo “Vic the Egg” Cotroni, Claude Dubois, Jean-Guy Dubois, Raymond Dubois, Claude Jodoin, Donald Lavoie, Paolo Violi .

Dubois, Claude: Singing Killer – The former nightclub singer was the acknowledged leader of the Dubois clan of Montreal and was convicted of the 1973 slaying of two relatives of Mafia boss Frank “Santos” Cotroni.

During his younger years, he worked as a doorman in a Mafia-controlled nightclub, and his rise in the underworld was later aided by the weakening of the Violi-Cotroni Mafia group, which allowed him to expand into the strip-club business and bars.

He ran his empire like a feudal despot, meeting his up to two hundred workers at his headquarters on St. Catharine Street East in downtown Montreal on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 7 to 9 pm.

Claude Dubois

At the same time that he was conducting a reign of terror in the Montreal underworld in the 1970s, he also enjoyed singing in cabarets. (Quebec had another singing Claude Dubois at the time, but that rock star’s only hits were in the music world.)

Brought up for sentencing in March 1989, the same week that his brother Raymond took his life, the Quebec Court of Appeal reduced the minimum sentence he would have to serve from twenty-five years to ten years.

See also: Dubois Brothers, Jean-Guy Dubois, Raymond Dubois, Claude Jodoin, Donald Lavoie .

Dubois, Jean-Guy: Another Family Killer – One of the notorious Dubois clan, he was convicted of the 1975 murder of a bartender, whose body was dumped in the Lachine Canal.

See also: Dubois Brothers, Claude Dubois, Raymond Dubois, Claude Jodoin, Donald Lavoie .

Dubois, Raymond: Deadly Big Brother – The eldest member of the infamous Dubois brothers died of an apparent suicide in March 1989 at age fifty-seven. His wrists were cut and his body surrounded by empty pill bottles in a suburban Montreal hotel room.

Dubois had had a criminal record stretching back to 1947, and Pierre Tremblay, a McGill University professor who specializes in the study of organized crime, called the death “most unusual and fascinating.” “Those types of people don’t usually die of anything as peaceful as suicide,” he said.

According to testimony before the Quebec Crime Commission, Dubois’s specialty was extortion. He was a suspect in hundreds of crimes but, despite his brash tactics, was rarely convicted.

In November 1976, he drove his limousine through twelve consecutive red lights and, after his arrest, managed to grab a police officer’s finger, which he twisted slowly until it broke.

Dubois faced murder charges in 1974 but was acquitted.

See also: Dubois Brothers, Claude Dubois, Jean-Guy Dubois, Raymond Dubois, Claude Jodoin, Donald Lavoie .

Raymond Dubois

Duhre, Sandip “Dip”: Last Supper – People in his world knew where to find Sandip Duhre many evenings and that’s where he was on January 17, 2012, when he sat down for the last meal of his life.

Duhre was seated at a corner table at Cafe One in the Sheraton Hotel in Downtown Vancouver when someone – most likely someone he knew – pumped a number of shots into his face, in a scene that seemed torn out of The Godfather .

It’s always shocking when someone is shot, but it wasn’t too surprising in this case, considering how Duhre had lived. He was known to police for years as a mainstay of the B.C. illegal drug trade and had once been close to the late Bhupinder “Bindy” Johal, who was murdered in a nightclub in December 1998. Duhre had also been an associate of Abbotsford’s notorious Bacon Brothers, reportedly acting as a mentor of sorts.

The previous fall, Vancouver police warned the public about tensions between Duhre and his associates in the United Nations and enemies in the Independent Soldiers, Red Scorpions, and Hells Angels. In their warning, police cautioned that anyone hanging out with Duhre or his associates was putting their safety at risk.

Duhre had been shot at before, escaping injury from an attack in Surrey that killed his friend Dean Mohamed Elshamy in May 2005. The summer before Duhre’s death, mobster Aleksandar Radjenovic was sentenced to eighteen years in prison for plotting to murder Duhre and two other men for the Red Scorpions.

At the time of the Sheraton attack, hotel guests included both the American and Cuban national women’s soccer teams. Shortly after the shooting, American goaltender Hope Solo tweeted, “Saved by our instant yoga session. Was about to walk to starbucks when all hell broke loose in the lobby of our hotel! Life is precious …”

See also: Bhupinder “Bindy” Johal, Red Scorpions, United Nations .

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