The Shedden Massacre, sometimes also referred to as the Bandido Massacre, was the killing of 8 men associated with the Bandidos Motorcycle Club just outside the town of Shedden, Ontario, Canada in April, 2006. Some of the men charged with the murders were also members of the Bandidos.
Shedden Massacre – The Town of Shedden
Shedden is a small town located in Elgin County, which is in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.
The bodies were found on a 40-hectare property a couple of miles from the town centre. The property was owned by Russ and Mary Steele, who by all accounts had no affiliation with any motorcycle club.
Shedden Massacre – Backstory
Those killed were related to the Bandidos Toronto chapter referred to as the “No Surrender Crew”, many of whom had patched over from the Loners MC. The Bandidos did not have a strong showing in Canada with a Toronto chapter and a prospect chapter in Winnipeg. This particular crew did not have strong ties with the leadership of Bandidos Nation.
The Hells Angels had the dominant presence in Ontario at the time of the killings. This fact would then drive some of the motive rumours that followed the event.
Shedden Massacre – Timeline
7 April, 2006 – An evening Bandidos Motorcycle Club meeting is held at the farmhouse of Bandidos member Wayne Kellestine, located in the town of Dutton/Dunwich in Elgin County, Ontario. According to trial testimony, seven of the eight victims were held captive for several hours being being taken outside, at which point all eight were executed.
8 April, 2006 – Close to dawn the bodies of the victims are placed in cars and driven 10 miles to the town of Shedden where the cars are dumped in a field.
8 April, 2006 – Russ and Mary Steele find multiple vehicles parked on the grounds of their property and call the Ontario Provincial Police to investigate. The police arrive and discover 8 bodies inside the vehicles.
- 2001 Volkswagen Golf (silver)
- 2003 Infiniti SUV (grey)
- Pontiac Grand Prix (grey)
- Chevrolet Silverado tow truck, owned by the Superior Towing company (green)
10 April, 2006 – A first round of arrests are made. Wayne Kellestine, Brett Gardiner, Frank Mather, Eric Niessen and Kerry Morris are each charged with 8 counts of first degree murder.
5 May, 2006 – Charges against Eric Niessen and Kerry Morris are reduced to being accessories after the fact.
16 June, 2006 – Michael Sandham, Dwight Mushey and Marcella Aravena are arrested and charged.
9 January, 2007 – A preliminary hearing begins. The hearing runs until 21 June, 2007.
31 March, 2009 – The murder trial begins.
29 October, 2009 – The jury returns their verdict.
Shedden Massacre – Victims
- John Muscedere – Bandidos Canada President (El Presidente)
- George Jessome
- George Kriarakis
- Luis Raposo
- Francesco Salerno
- Paul Sinopoli
- Jamie Flanz
- Michael Trotta
Shedden Massacre – Accused
Charged with 8 counts of first degree murder:
- Michael Sandham – Bandidos Winnipeg Chapter President
- Wayne Kellestine – Bandidos National Sergeant-At-Arms and former member of the Loners Motorcycle Club.
- Frank Mather
- Brett Gardiner
- Dwight Mushey
- Marcello Aravena
Also charged with 8 counts of first degree murder, but later reduced to being accessories after the fact:
- Eric Niessen
- Kerry Morris
Shedden Massacre – Motives
The following are some of the motives which were suggested at the time (most of which will obviously be completely untrue):
- Bandidos Winnipeg Prospect Chapter were ordered by Bandidos Nation leadership to take the patches of the Bandidos Toronto chapter. This then got out of hand and resulted in the Bandidos massacre.
- The Bandidos had reached an agreement with the Hells Angels to leave the territory. The victims refused.
- Victim Jamie Flanz towed a seemingly abandoned vehicle as part of his tow truck job. The car was owned by the Hells Angels and inside was a bag with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cocaine. Jamie Flanz then tried to sell the drugs.
Shedden Massacre – Investigation, Trial and Verdict
Jeff Pike, the Bandidos International President, was questioned by Canadian law enforcement about the murders as they suspected that the killings may have been ordered by the leadership of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, however he was never charged with any offences. At the time of the shooting Jeff Pike had only been the Bandidos El Presidente for around a year, after the previous President, George Wegers went to prison on federal racketeering charges in 2005. George Wegers, who was still in prison at the time of the Bandido massacre, was known for not wanting to rapidly expand the Bandidos into new territory.
A preliminary hearing began on 9 January, 2009 in London, Ontario and did not conclude until 21 June, 2009. It was determined that all charges would proceed.
The murder trial began on 31 March, 2009 in London, Ontario, with all men pleading not guilty.
A Bandido witness who was only identified as “M.H”, provided detailed information at the trial about the night of the killings. In return for the testimony they were granted immunity as well as entry into the witness protection program.
The jury returned their verdict on 29 October, 2009.
- Wayne Kellestine – 8 counts of first degree murder.
- Michael Sandham -8 counts of first degree murder.
- Dwight Mushey -8 counts of first degree murder.
- Frank Mather – 7 counts of first degree murder, 1 count of manslaughter.
- Marcello Aravena – 7 counts of first degree murder, 1 count of manslaughter.
- Brett Gardiner – 6 counts of first degree murder, 2 counts of manslaughter.
All were sentenced to life in prison with no parole for at least 25 years.
Shedden Massacre – Books
There have been a few Shedden Massacre books written, most of which were released around the time that the murder trial ended in late 2009.
Book – The Bandido Massacre by Peter Edwards.
A highly in depth review of the events surrounding the Bandidos massacre. Find out more on Amazon (link opens in a new tab).
Book – The Fat Mexican by Alex Caine.
This book covers some of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club history, their rise to becoming one of the powerhouse outlaw motorcycle clubs and also has a strong focus on the Bandidos massacre. Find out more on Amazon (link opens in a new tab).
- List of One Percenter Motorcycle Clubs
- Outlaw Motorcycle Club Books
- List of Historic Outlaw Biker Events And Massacres
- George Wegers – Former Bandidos International President
- Jeff Pike – Bandidos International President
- Waco Biker Shooting
- Lennoxville Massacre
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