This Anonymous Blogger Loves to Out Western Canadian Gangsters
Eleven days before Halloween someone near Ranfurly, Alberta—a place so minuscule Google Maps doesn’t bother labelling it—cut a man’s head off and left him in a ditch. The rest of him was discovered the following Wednesday, two hours west in Edmonton, inside a garbage bag in the middle of an alley.
Initially, police withheld the identity of the victim. Then, on the following Friday morning, an anonymous bloggerreleased it himself. Hours before media would confirm the victim was 54-year-old Bob Roth, a quiet, soft-spoken manual laborer, the blogger hadn’t just identified Mr. Roth, but posited that a gang called the White Boy Posse had killed him over a drug debt.
It would be another six weeks before media and the Edmonton Police Service would confirm the allegations against the White Boy Posse (WBP), a white supremacist drug gang who embraces Nazi symbology that’s found some form of acceptance, or at least tolerance, in small Northern Alberta towns. WBP recently made international headlines after four alleged members were linked to the decapitation of Roth, the murder of Bryan Gower, and the front-door shooting of Lorry Santos, an innocent mother of four. Lorry Santos’ only mistake was answering the front door of her home. The White Boy Posse thought that her place belonged to someone else, which leads gang experts to believe they’re not the brightest Nazi medal at the flea market.
A couple of mean looking White Boy Posse members.
“They’re a bunch of whacked-out, socially awkward kids with these bizarre, racist ideas who want to sell drugs. So they go to Hell’s Angels and say, ‘We’ll kiss your butt, we’ll kiss your feet, and sell your drugs to make commission,” says Tom Jones, (not his real name, luckily) the Surrey-based blogger and creator ofGangstersout.com, which he founded in 2009 as a safe place for Canadians to out neighbors suspected of being in organized crime.
Tom Jones (or “Agent K,” named after the Tommy Lee Jones character from the Men in Black series) believes WBP is a puppet club for the Hell’s Angels. He also thinks that they entered Roth’s hometown, Lloydminster, after another Hell’s Angels farm team got busted. They’re called (seriously) The Baseball Team, and they pretend to be—so says the blogger—“just a group of guys, playing baseball.”
The White Boy Posse Are Canada’s Hell’s Angels
On September 12 of this year, a mother of four named Lorry Ann Santos opened her door to find three members of a Western Canadian gang called the “White Boy Posse” at her doorstep. They shot her dead. The police believe that this was a case of “mistaken identity.” Last week, three White Boy Posse members were charged with her murder along with the killing of two others. Two of those men were also charged with the murder and decapitation of a man named Bryan Gower, who the police believe knew members of the White Boy Posse.
In 2008, the White Boy Posse was subject to a major sweep of arrests and seizures by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Organized Crime Unit. The gang associates themselves with white supremacist Nazi iconography, and along with swastika flags, the RCMP seized 28 firearms, $500,000 in cocaine, over $300,000 in cash, 3,000 ecstasy pills, and a bunch of stolen stuff, according to an Edmonton Sun report. At that time, the RCMP said they had “crippled” the White Boy Posse.
According to the most recent numbers the overall crime rate in Canada has dropped, though the homicide rate is on the rise. Getting more specific, Edmonton has the third highest homicide rate behind Winnipeg and Halifax. Saskatoon also rates second on a chart of crime severity, just behind Winnipeg.
I spoke to Michael Chattleburgh, the founding president of Astwood, a “strategy corporation” that works with the RCMP and crime prevention organizations to provide research and information. He is also the author of Young Thugs: Inside the Dangerous World of Street Gangs.
Regarding the rising problem of gang related homicide in Western Canada, Michael told me that it all stems from the demand for drugs in the Western provinces; “There’s been a lot of gang members moving over to the Alberta area because of the oil sands projects. Those young guys that are working 12-hour shifts… what do they want when they’re done? They want their booze, they want their girls, and they want their drugs. So, it’s been a little bit of a ‘go west young man’ right now. Certainly in Edmonton, the population of gangsters is growing, I would say faster than Toronto.”
Evidently, both because of its major infrastructure for drug production and its positioning as a port city, a lot of these drugs come from Vancouver, which “acts as a port for both the Mexican cartels who bring drugs up in fiberglass submarines and also from the Asian continents. It’s a victim of its geography in terms of where it sits, but being a port city matters because a lot of those ports are allegedly controlled by the Hell’s Angels.”
Yesterday these photos washed up on Reddit, which is where I imagine the photos on all the phones I’ve lost would have washed up if they weren’t just pictures of pizza and bad action shots of dogs taken from 300 yards away. These photos tell of a life far more interesting than my own – but is it a real life? Did someone really just find a phone belonging to a slightly overweight and effeminate Triad, or are they just bogus stills from some DIY Chinese gangster movie? Let’s decide.
Continue: Triads or Try-hards?
Before he abducts someone, Zurdo likes to get high: a little weed, maybe some lines, a few shots, pills, whatever. After that he puts on black clothes, gets his guns together—an AK-47 and a 9-millimeter—and climbs into a Chevy Tahoe with four other guys. Then they creep around the streets of a town a few hours southwest of Ciudad Juárez that I’ve been asked not to identify. By sunrise they’ll have nabbed some poor bastard and delivered him to “El Patron,” Zurdo’s boss.
During the day, Zurdo (“Lefty” in English) works at a Mexican restaurant across the street from a halfway-crumbled building, near a bar where leather-skinned drunks hold court all day on the sidewalk. Kidnapping for the Juárez Cartel is his side job. He mostly abducts small-time drug dealers or their relatives. They all know how it works: If you sell narcotics without El Patron’s permission, or break his rules, Zurdo and his crew (or another group of masked men) will chauffeur you to one of the boss’s many ranches or houses. There you will either be tortured and released—in exchange for money—or tortured and killed, your body tossed into the street like a cigarette out a window. Most go easily, Zurdo tells me. He says to them: “They’re calling you. Get in the car,” and they usually comply. Only a handful of times has he been asked to dispose of bodies, and in those cases he’ll drop them at the edge of town for the cops to find later. By his estimate, about half of the people he abducts are eventually murdered. But that’s none of his business—he’s only a forceful courier. Besides, he’s needed back at his other job, where there are endless tables to be clean and burritos to roll.
Zurdo lives in an apartment connected to the back of the eatery where he works from 5:30 AM to 11 PM almost every day (except when he’s been snorting lines all night). He’s about 5’ 7” and 38 years old. Our meeting was arranged by a friend of mine who somehow persuaded Zurdo, one of his best and oldest amigos, to grant me an interview.
Read the rest at Vice Magazine: WRAP ’EM UP TIGHTLY - Burritos and Kidnapped Juárez Drug Dealers, That Is - Vice Magazine