Breaking the Outlaw Biker Code of Silence: A Comprehensive Literature Search on the Outlaw Biker Subculture
by Karen Katz
"We can't be infiltrated, no cops can get inside of us, they don't have the resources, the manpower or the time to wait. We're unbeatable and ... Show synopsis "We can't be infiltrated, no cops can get inside of us, they don't have the resources, the manpower or the time to wait. We're unbeatable and untouchable." (Hells Angel, Ralph "Sonny" Barger, quoted in Droban, 2007, p. back cover) "There's nobody lower in this world than someone who rats on our club...and that includes Anthony Tait." (Barger, 2000, p. 229) Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs as organized crime bodies are considered to be the single most serious threat to North America-the enemy within. Members of Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs have been deemed "criminals without borders"-they are known and feared the world over. Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs close their world to the outside; outlaw bikers tend to be highly suspicious of outsiders, and they are extremely concerned about being infiltrated by undercover police officers. Members of the outlaw biker subculture do not want to be studied and, consequently, refuse to engage in formal interviews, fill out questionnaires, or have any statements tape-recorded. There is a rigid code of silence that cloaks their world in secrecy-the punishment for breaking this code is death. Nonetheless, there are literally hundred of works written on the outlaw biker subculture. Many of these works are polarized between two extremes, being probiker or anti-biker. Myth, legend, and reality overlap in the history of the outlaw biker. A researcher needs to become completely familiar with the topic they are investigating. This means seeking out, obtaining, and then reading as much as possible. The literature on your topic under investigation will be made up of many different kinds of sources, including scholarly literature, popular literature, newspaper articles, and magazine articles. Until now there has only been one attempt to compile a comprehensive literature search of the diverse sources on Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. That attempt, published in 1996, was a valuable addition to the literature and an excellent source for those studying the outlaw biker subculture; however, it is out-ofdate and did not include many sources. Breaking the Outlaw Biker Code of Silence fills in the gaps and provides one of the most comprehensive compilations of sources on the outlaw biker phenomenon. This literature search is unique because it includes sources written by academics, law enforcement officials, former and current outlaw bikers, females associates, authors of popular literature, and journalists. The dissemination of the literature is important because the purpose of research is to contribute in some way to our understanding of the outlaw biker subculture. This cannot be done if information is not shared. The sources in this book are organized in a manner that attempts to make the bibliography a user friendly tool for a variety of possible readers ranging from academic researchers and students, journalists, authors of popular literature, lawyers, judges, law enforcement personnel, members of the outlaw biker subculture, and members of the general public.