Gang violence is not an unfamiliar concept in Canada but the brutality of the Bacon Brothers -- Jonathan, Jarrod and Jamie -- has become legendary. They planned and carried out a 2007 massacre in Surrey, B.C. that took the lives of four rival gang members and two innocent bystanders. The Notorious Bacon Brothers: Inside Gang Warfare on Vancouver Streets chronicles the rise of the three men as well as the gangs they infiltrated on their way to the top, the catastrophic wave of violence they brought and their chilling legacy. Here is an excerpt from the book available in bookstores March 11.
The sudden shifts of alliances in the Lower Mainland's underworld were not limited to those gangs in league with the Hells Angels. The Bacon Brothers, perhaps sensing the impending legal trouble with the UN, switched alliances.
Instead of getting product from the Hells Angels, they started getting close to their rivals, the Red Scorpions.
In fact, they became very close. While the Hells Angels/UN ties had been discovered through wiretaps, informants and arrests, the Bacon Brothers' ties with the Red Scorpions were more obvious than that.
Under scrutiny from police and neighbors, the Bacons left Abbotsford on Feb. 21, 2007, and moved into a rented but very luxurious house at 15830 106th Avenue in Surrey. It's interesting to note that while much smaller than Surrey, Abbotsford has a distinct police force, while Surrey is patrolled by an RCMP detachment. The feeling among many youth in the area was that it was easier to get away with crime in Surrey because the RCMP were fewer in number and more transient, caring less about the community than their career options.
Often in either house's driveway when the Bacon family was in residence, one could see a gigantic GMC Suburban. At least, police did. It was owned by Dennis Karbovanec. The same Karbovanec who was not only a convicted killer, but also one of the longest-serving members of the Red Scorpions.But he had been in jail since a Dec.14, 2006, drug and weapons arrest, a week aft er his appearance at the suspicious Castle Fun Park meeting.
Knowing the massive SUV belonged to Karbovanec, the RCMP were watching it and even managed to get a judge to agree to allow them to covertly install a tracking chip in it. While Karbovanec was behind bars, police frequently saw it driven around variously by Jamie and Jarrod Bacon. And in the spring of 2007, they found it at the site of a crime not committed by Karbovanec.
Jamie Bacon didn't even see the two guys on the street in front of the Surrey house at about one in the morning on April 13. He was just returning home in his Corvette and was more intent on getting home to his girlfriend, Chalsi Sylvestre, and his parents than anything else. But as he drove into the driveway, the two men sent a cascade of .45-caliber shells at him. Five shells hit the Corvette, seven penetrated the garage door and one of them ended up in one of the Suburban's tires.
Jamie instinctively leapt from the car, which continued to roll until it hit the house. As the two assailants ran away, Jamie pulled out a Glock handgun and fired four shots at them.
His mother, awakened by the noise, called 9-1-1. She later reported that she could hear her son screaming "I've been shot!" over and over again. She then ran to her son, who was bleeding from where a bullet grazed his scalp, and tried to help him. She later reported that Jamie told her, "Tell Dad not to go outside," before everything "blurred for [him] after that."
An eyewitness reported that two figures -- he could not identify them, but they appeared to be male -- came out of the house's front door to see what was going on. According to later testimony, the only two men in the house at the time were David and Jonathan Bacon. Th e eyewitness then said the two men appeared to be looking for something, returned an object to the Corvette and reentered the house through a different door.
Police arrived aft er neighbors called 9-1-1, searched the house for potential victims (without a warrant) and took Jamie to the hospital to be checked out.
Susan Bacon was shocked at the way the officers treated her sons. "They didn't treat Jamie like a victim at all or Jonathan," she said. "When we were leaving the house, I made the boys put them [bulletproof vests] on. I was terrified."
Actually, thanks to the fact he was wearing level-3 body armor at the time of the attack, Jamie was bruised and had a gash on his head, but was not severely hurt. One of the officers who rode with him in the ambulance, helped remove his bulletproof vest and then later drove him home from the hospital, Const. Byron Donovan, had an informal conversation with Jamie that shed some light on how gangsters operate.
When Donovan asked him about the shooting and how he felt about it, Jamie just shrugged and told him it was "part of the lifestyle." Donovan then asked him about his bulletproof vest. "Mr. Bacon made a comment that he was lucky to be wearing his level-3 vest that night, otherwise he'd be paralyzed," Donovan later said. "Mr. Bacon told me that it was a level-3 vest. He learned that these are the best type of vests to have and that he learned that from watching the Military Channel. And from watching that, he got all the specs of these level-3 vests." He also mentioned, without being asked, that he had purchased 10 such vests -- at a price of $1,600 apiece -- from Dave's Surplus in New Westminster.
And that wasn't all he had coming. Jamie bragged to the young cop that he had ordered a fully armored Ford SUV and also pointed out that he would have been driving it that night, but a CN Rail strike had delayed its arrival from Ontario.
While Jamie was being examined and talking with Donovan and his partner, other cops who had returned with a warrant were investigating the crime scene, the house and even the Bacons' cellphones and computers. They quickly found Jamie's Glock in a hidden gun compartment in the Corvette and determined the gun inside had been fired four times that night. Th at was backed up by the presence of four matching Smith & Wesson shell casings found near the Corvette. Interestingly, Jarrod Bacon's DNA was later found on the Glock's magazine. He was not present at the house on the night of the shooting.
The following day, a forensic specialist searched the SUV owned by Karbovanec and shared by the Bacons, and found four other loaded semiautomatic handguns inside their own custom-made, hydraulically operated gun compartments. He and others marveled at the sophistication. All of the guns were unregistered and had their serial numbers altered or removed.
One of the guns inside, a Sig Sauer .45, was found to have Jamie's fingerprints on the handle, and Jarrod's fingerprints were found on the device that activated the gun compartment. Jamie was arrested the night of the attack, and Jarrod was also arrested aft er his fingerprints were discovered.
News of the incident spread quickly. Most interpreted it as, if not the opening salvo in a UN war against the Bacon Brothers/Red Scorpions alliance, at least a warning shot to intimidate the Bacon Brothers back into the fold.
Excerpted from The Notorious Bacon Brothers: Inside Gang Warfare on Vancouver Streets. Copyright (c) 2013 by Jerry Langton.
Excerpted with permission of the publisher John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd.