Executions, public brawls: Inside Qld’s notorious bikie wars
Three bikie murders in one month last year sparked fears of a new chapter in ongoing bikie gang wars.
But the man who led the investigation into 2013's notorious "Broadbeach Brawl'', where 50 Bandidos roared into the beachside suburb assaulting police and threatening to slit the throats of onlookers, has downplayed the likelihood of a gang war outbreak.
Terry Goldsworthy, a veteran former detective inspector turned Bond University academic, said almost all of the incidents since the infamous 2006 Ballroom Blitz were tussles over membership, turf or money.
But since the Broadbeach incident and the massive bikie crackdown it generated, gangs had largely kept their disagreements out of public view.
"(Former Newman Government Minister) John-Paul Langbroek was just down the road eating a spaghetti dinner at the time of the Broadbeach Brawl,'' associate professor Goldsworthy said.
"That's what really stirred things up. After the tough Government response they (bikies) have learned their lesson about what will happen if they sticks their heads out too far.''
Dr Goldsworthy said many of the incidents of violence stemmed from "patching over'', where gang members switched to a rival club.
"Reputation is very important to these clubs. If you lose members it sends a message that your gang is weakening,'' he said.
"It is seen as weakness by other clubs so it is very frowned on.
"We don't see a lot of it now because clubs are looking for people committed to the cause - we don't know how much value they put in people who patch over.''
Dr Goldsworthy said while there would always be blood spilled over money, gangs preferred to quietly mete out punishment.
"When you're selling drugs you don't want to go around executing people because it attracts attention from the police,'' he said.
"It's simply not good for business. It's better to fly below the radar.''
Dr Goldsworthy is about to publish his detailed research into bikie crimes between 2008 and 2014, based on Right To Information records of every bikie-related crime in Queensland in that period.
He said it would show significant differences between the types of crimes each gang committed, and also dispelled the myth that bikies were the kings of the criminal world.
"They overwhelmingly commit minor offences. They're not over-represented in serious offences and commit less than one per cent of murders,'' Dr Goldsworthy said.
"Some gangs like the Finks are heavily into violence, while others hardly ever do that.''
We look at those involved in the violence since 2006, what sparked it and what happened next.
Police last week extradited Garry James Brush from NSW last week over the alleged murders of Comanchero gang member Shane Ross and his business associate Cameron Martin at Tallebudgera in October, 2019.
Brush was dragged to Southport Magistrates Court in leg irons to face two counts of murder and one count of unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
Martin died about a kilometre away in a single-vehicle crash police believe is suspicious. His body had a puncture mark consistent with a bullet would, police have alleged.
Ross' head was significantly damaged by what police alleged were gunshot injuries.
The case was adjourned until March 18.
Two other men have been charged over the deaths - Lone Wolf gang members Nathan John Miller and Brodie Singh.
Police allege Miller conducted a "dry run'' with another man before the murders and that Martin was killed only to ''eliminate a witness''.
The motivation for Ross' murder is unknown but Ross and his wife flaunted their wealth at lavish parties and spent $20,000 on meals, entertainment and luxury goods in one week while on holiday in the US.
The couple lived in a palatial riverfront home worth $2 million and Ross was a regular gambler, making bets through on-course bookmakers, the TAB, betting apps with online bookmakers, playing roulette at the casino, and the pokies at casinos, pubs and clubs.
South Eastern Police Region detective Superintendent Brendan Smith said it was a complex and difficult investigation.
"Detectives will leave no stone unturned," Superintendent Smith said after Brush's extradition.
"We will continue to investigate to ensure all of those involved in these murders are arrested and brought before the courts."
Two men dressed in hoodies ambushed the high profile bikie's BMW, pumping a "significant'' number of bullets into his body in October last year.
No one has yet been charged wit the execution-style killing.
Bowden, 48, was back with the Finks at the time after being kicked out of the Victorian-based Mongols.
He survived a survived a drive-by shooting in Melbourne in July shortly after being released from prison.
He was part of the Finks "terror team" and responsible for shooting Christopher Hudson during the Gold Coast "Ballroom Blitz" brawl in 2006.
The Finks were believed to be trying to rebuild their footprint on both the Gold Coast and in Beenleigh.
Senior police sources said at the time that the slaying of Bowden could spark a cycle of violence between the Mongols and Finks.
About eight years ago, Finks members from around the country "patched over" to become Mongols bikies, but many defected and returned to the Finks.
In February this year, as part of a 'national day of action' targeting the Mongols, police from Queensland's Organised Crime Gangs Group raided several addresses on the Gold Coast and arrested eight gang members and associates.
In 2013 the former Bandidos enforcer, who patched over to the Hells Angels, was arrested after a brawl in a Burleigh Heads gym carpark.
Fahey pleaded guilty to the fight, but told a court he was confronted by two rival gang members, one of whom was armed with a metal bar.
It is widely believed Fahey's defection to the Hells Angels led to the Broadbeach Brawl.
A former soldier who grew up in Victoria and got acquainted with a high-level Bandidos boss in the mid-1990s, according to Duncan McNab, who co-authored a book about the man in 2008.
Utah was present at the 2000 murder of a 54-year-old man, and four years later led police to the body, Mr McNab said.
He went on to become an informant for the Australian Crime Commission until a 2006 newspaper story up-ended the arrangement.
The article revealed the agency was conducting an intelligence operation into outlaw motorcycle gangs, a piece of information that led bikies to suspect Mr Utah.
Having been exposed, he was taken to a spot in the Queensland bush, surrounded by bikies and mercilessly beaten, Mr McNab said.
But Mr Utah managed to run away and hide from the gang and eventually made his way to Canada.
Jones' involvement in a shooting was the start of decades of bikie incidents on the Gold Coast that eventually led to the Newman Government introducing its controversial VLAD laws in 2013.
In November 1996 a motorcycle exhibition at the Tugun Seahawks Rugby League Club became the scene of a shooting after Black Uhlans associate Sean Jones shot fellow club members Richard McKenna and Steve 'Bam Bam' Zaicov McKenna.
Fleeing from the scene, Jones handed himself into police two days after the shooting and was charged with two counts of attempted murder and possession of a concealable weapon.
A year later his attempted murder charges were dropped and he was found guilty of grievous bodily harm and was sentenced to five years' jail.
GREG '25' KEATING
Keating was involved in bikie gangs, most notably the Finks, until many members of the club patched over to the Mongols in late 2013 following a crackdown from police.
He was alleged to be a part of the Finks 'Terror Team' in documents filed in the Supreme Court in Queensland by police, which detailed the Terror Team controlled Orchid Ave nightclubs and other small businesses.
CHRISTOPHER WAYNE HUDSON
Bowden was involved in his most infamous crime when he shot Hells Angel member Christopher Hudson during the 2006 Ballroom Blitz - considered one of Australia's worst bikie brawls.
Hudson was shot twice by Bowden, believed by police to be an attempt on the life of the former Fink who had "patched over" to the Hells Angels in late 2004 and was trying to recruit other Finks members to join him.
In 2007 Hudson killed lawyer Brendan Keilar and shot Dutch backpacker Paul de Waard in a drug-fuelled rampage.
He handed himself into police after two days on the run with his arm heavily bandaged due to blowtorch burns he endured during punishment from the Hells Angels for his actions.
Hudson is currently serving a 35-year sentence for murder.
NICK 'THE KNIFE' FORBES
The man alleged to have started the Ballroom Blitz melee, Forbes is another member of the Finks "Terror Team".
He was sentenced to 27 months in jail for grievous bodily harm related to his role in the melee, but was released on a suspended sentence after serving 18 months for the incident.
Again a brawl with the Hells Angels put Forbes in prison in 2011 when he was extradited to South Australia.
Initially acquitted over the charges, Forbes was sentenced to two and a half years prison in a retrial in 2016 after being found guilty of affray.
The president of the Bandidos during the Broadbeach brawl, White was one of 18 involved who pleaded guilty in August 2015 to charges including riot, affray, public nuisance and assault and obstruct police.
Initially sentenced to four months imprisonment, wholly suspended, White had his sentence increased to 12 months wholly suspended when police appealed in 2016.
The brawl sparked a crackdown on the Gold Coast on bikie gangs and in the following year police made 3206 arrests and laid 5000 charges.
The LNP Government launched its VLAD laws and twin task forces, Maxima and Takeback, were formed to fight the war on bikies.
The infamous Bandidos member was alleged to be the ringleader behind the 2013 Broadbeach bikie brawl.
Teamo is accused of leading a group of around 60 Bandidos to Broadbeach and threatening two Finks associates in the Aura Tapas and Loungebar.
Teamo's sentence of four months imprisonment, wholly suspended, for rioting was lifted in the 2016 appeal to 13 months wholly suspended.
A year earlier Teamo was shot by Mongols bikie Mark Graham in what would be known as the Robina Town Centre shooting.
The Bandidos expelled Teamo over the Broadbeach Brawl and Robina shooting incidents.
He fired shots at rival Teamo in 2012 during the Robina shopping centre incident, hitting an innocent bystander in the process.
Graham was found guilty of opening fire in late September 2014 and was convicted of attempted murder and unlawful wounding, earning him 12 years and three months jail in November the same year.
BRETT 'KAOS' PECHEY
The heavily tattooed former president of the West End chapter of the Bandidos fled to Thailand after the 2013 Broadbeach bikie brawl, but returned to the Gold Coast in 2015.
He was ordered to serve nine-and-a-half months behind bars in a hearing in January 2016.
Pechey returned to the public eye early 2018 when he started a feud with former Hells Angels and Finks member Ben "Notorious" Geppert, who accused Pechey of being a "dog", or police informant - accusations that Pechey denied.
RICKY STEVEN CHAPMAN
A notorious former Gold Coast Bandido, he came under fire from a sniper who shot and killed his girlfriend's stepfather as they watched the drag racing in Perth in 2020.
Another participant in the Broadbeach brawl, before the shooting he left the Rebels after acting as the club's president for many years.
He fled Queensland to Western Australia, after the Newman government introduced tough bikie laws.
Originally published as Executions, public brawls: Inside Qld's most notorious bikie wars