The Outlaws

Video highlights from Outlaw Bikers

Learn more about The Outlaws Motorcycle Club

  • In 1935, The McCook Outlaws Motorcycle Club was established at Matilda’s Bar in McCook, Illinois.  They later changed their name to present-day The Outlaws Motorcycle club in 1950. 

  • In 1954, inspired by the iconic biker film ‘The Wild One’, the Outlaws adopted a skull and crossed pistons as their logo, affectionately referring to their patch as Charlie.

  • In 1963 The Outlaws MC officially became part of the 1%er Brotherhood of Clubs, making it the first true 1%er Club east of the Mississippi.

  • In 1967, members of the Outlaws nailed 18-year-old Christine Deese to a tree ‘crucifixion style’ as punishment for withholding $10 from one of the members. The girl had violated a gang rule that requires a member's "old lady" to hand over all her money to her man.

  • In 1969, they sealed their bad boy image with the chilling club motto "God Forgives, Outlaws Don't"

  • In the early 70’s the club became split between the beer drinking members and the pot smoking members. At this time, during a fight for leadership of the Outlaws, the founder, John Davis was shot by a pot smoking member.

  • October 14, 1976, 4 police officers conducted a search on the “old-biker-bar”, a Tampa address used by Outlaws members.  As they entered the property, Outlaw Harry Ruby opened fire injuring two officers and paralyzing a third. The deputies returned fire, shooting Ruby in the head.  For weeks after the shootings, the paralyzed deputy and Outlaw Ruby were kept in rooms side by side in University Community Hospital's intensive care unit.

  • In 1993, the worldwide Outlaw influence begins as the first chapter opens in France. Since then, the Outlaws have grown into a global operation spanning over 15 countries in Europe, North America and Australasia.

  • Their main rivals are the Hells Angels, giving rise to the acronym and Outlaw slogan "ADIOS" (Angels Die In Outlaw States).

  • On June 27, 2006 Outlaw Christopher Legere of Raymond, New Hampshire was arrested and charged with the murder of a man who was wearing a Hells Angels shirt. The victim, John Denoncourt, wasn’t even a Hells Angel, but paid the price for his association with members of the club.

  • On August 12, 2007 Hells Angel Gerry Tobin, who lived in Mottingham in the UK but was originally from Canada, had been returning from the Bulldog Bash festival held near Long Marston, South Warwickshire, when he was shot dead by members of the Outlaws.

  • At Outlaw president Taco Bowman’s trial in 2001, Outlaw member Slasher Maiale revealed how he got his nickname- after a bar fight in which he ended up at the bottom of a pile of men he used a knife to ‘cut his way out’. “I stabbed everyone who was on top of me.” He testified. “Thirteen or fourteen people.”

  • Country music singer David Allan Coe is a retired member of the Outlaws.

  • In what seems like a world from their violent image, the Outlaws regularly take part in charity fundraising events, often going on ‘cruise-runs’ to raise money for children’s charities.

  • The Outlaws are the subject of seminal photodocumentary, Bike Riders, published by well known photographer Danny Lyon in 1968.  The project documents the club at a time when biker clubs were developing and growing across the states and is a unique insight into the 1% culture of the time.

  • The Outlaws Motorcycle Club has nearly 200 chapters in 20 states and a dozen countries worldwide.

Discuss this article


Never miss a Nat Geo moment

Your email address