Otto Friedli

Otto Friedli was a former President of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club San Bernardino chapter and previously a member of the Pissed off Bastards of Bloomington who attended the 1947 Hollister Riot.

Otto Friedli Early Life / Family Life

Otto Friedli was born 28 June, 1931 in Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin. He grew up in Los Angeles and then moved to Santa Barbara when he was in his teens.

He spent some time in the Army, working as a mechanic. He was later discharged after it was found out that he had a criminal record.

Around 1980 he married his wife, Carol, who already had a daughter, Laura, at the time around 10 years, from a previous relationship. Otto also had two children from a previous marriage, Otto Jnr. and Lisa. He also had a child who drowned at age 6, named David.

Otto Friedli Hells Angels POBOB MC
Otto Friedli

Otto Friedli Pissed Off Bastards of Bloomington MC

Otto Friedli was a member of the Pissed off Bastards of Bloomington Motorcycle Club.

While with POBOB MC it is believed that he was one of the members who attended the 1947 Hollister Riot, which also included other prominent groups including the Market Street Commandos. In the years following the riot he left the club and went on to join the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.

Otto Friedli POBOB MC

Otto Friedli Hells Angels Motorcycle Club

Although Otto Friedli is often credited with being one of the founders of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, he has stated that this was not the case and that the was invited to a club meeting by the partner of a former girlfriend of his. He is listed in many sources to have joined the club in 1948, but the date may have been a year or two later, with other sources stating as late as 1951.

Many of the same sources that list him as being the founder of the club in 1948 also list him as a World War II veteran, which is not realistic as he would have been 14 at the end of the war in 1945.

According to Sonny Barger, Otto Friedli became the Hells Angels San Bernardino President after Bobby Zimmerman was killed in a motorcycle accident on the way home from Bass Lake in 1961.

Otto Friedli also acted as the National President up until he went to prison (see the “Crimes/Prison” section below) and Sonny Barger, the Hells Angels Oakland chapter President, took over as National President and moved the headquarters from San Bernardino to Oakland.

Otto Friedli Hells Angels

Otto Friedli Crimes / Prison

In the 1950s he was charged in connection to a robbery of the Miramar Hotel.

In the late 1960s he was convicted of possession of a firearm during a raid on a Rancho Cucamonga ranch which was used by the Hells Angels. As Otto Friedli already had a prior conviction from the robbery above he was sentenced to 3 years in prison.

During his 3 years in prison he began reading the bible for several hours a day. His “finding of religion” significantly changed his life from this point on.

Otto Friedli Life After Prison

After leaving prison he decided that the Hells Angels no longer represented the sort of life that he wanted to live, so he instead joined the Santa Barbara chapter of the Black Sheep Motorcycle Ministry, who are Harley Davidson riders club aiming to spread the word of Christ.

He found a job as a mechanic at a Harley Davidson dealership in Whittier, California which he held for a few years before becoming involved in swimming pool construction, a career which he had until his retirement in around 2003.

Otto Friedli Death

Otto Friedli died on 17 March, 2008 in Santa Barbara, California. He was age 76 at the time of his death.

At his memorial the following quote was provided by him to be added to the handouts:

“Bye bye suckers, see you in Heaven”.

He was buried in Goleta Cemetery in Santa Barbara County.

Otto Friedli death burial Goleta Cemetery Santa Barbara
Otto Friedli – Goleta Cemetery

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