Shooting, stabbings and killings: bikie wars cross the line
THE Gold Coast has been the stage to some of the world's most infamous bikie wars, including stabbings, shootings and all-in brawls.
Here's the moments that brought the secret lives of bikie gangs to the public's attention.
Tugun exhibition shooting
Bikies were known to be on the Gold Coast but they were out of the public eye until a motorcycle exhibition at the Tugun Seahawks Rugby League Club in November 1996 became the scene of a shooting.
Black Uhlans associate Sean Jones shot fellow club members Richard McKenna and Steve 'Bam Bam' Zaicov McKenna because of a domestic dispute.
The shots left both men with serious injuries and Zarkoff was restricted to a wheelchair.
A court heard when McKenna started a relationship with Jones's former de facto wife there was bad blood between the two men.
When media crews turned up to cover the event enraged bikies attacked them. Cameramen had tape ripped from their video cameras, death threats were given to any media trying to enter the club and Channel 9 reporter Jo Shoebridge was chased from the scene by a carload of bikies.
Jones 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.
The mystery behind Sid Collins
The former president of Victorian bikie gang the Outlaws and later a member of the Black Uhlans, Sid Collins is still on the missing person's register after not returning to his Gold Coast home in September 2002.
Collins was last seen driving his black 2001 Falcon XR8 ute in late August of 2002, heading to northern NSW from the Gold Coast.
His son reported him missing on September 1, 2002 and Collins' ute was found the next day more than 100km away near Tabulam.
Notorious bikie and author Mark 'Chopper' Reed shot Collins in the stomach in 1992, leading to an eight year sentence in Hobart's Risdon Prison for attempted murder.
Reed claimed in an interview with 60 Minutes - which aired in October 2013 after Reed's death - that he killed Collins in 2002 for telling police about the 1992 incident and buried his body near a football oval in Casino.
Despite the confession police still doubted Reed's comments and are still investigating Collins' whereabouts.
The Ballroom Blitz
It was a bikie brawl the Gold Coast had never seen the likes of before.
A kickboxing contest in the ballroom at the Royal Pines Resort turned into a bloodbath when more than 40 Finks members approached opposition gang the Hell Angles.
Former Fink Christopher Hudson, who had patched over to the Hells Angels, was targeted but the all-in brawl resulted in five men taken to hospital from being shot or stabbed.
More than 1500 people watched in horror as the violence erupted, with the hundreds of people fleeing the scene screaming or hiding under tables, including a Sydney teenager, who was also shot in the foot while under a table.
Finks bikie Shane Bowden shot Hudson in the back and jaw and was sentenced to six years' jail for his role in the incident.
Hudson's former friend and Finks leader Nick 'The Knife' Forbes was handed an 18-month sentence for assault from the event.
Hudson had his charge of affray dropped based on lack of evidence but a year later was behind bars for life following a separate incident in Melbourne when he shot and killed a man and wounded two others.
Robina shopping centre shooting
The Ballroom Blitz saw bikies brawl in a public space but the Robina shooting in April 2012 was the first case of bikies bringing their wars to such an open arena.
The incident occurred at the Robina Town shopping centre when an argument between Mongol bikie Mark Graham and rival bikie Jacques Teamo from the Bandidos broke out.
CCTV footage of the incident that has been released shows the men confronting each other before Graham pulls a gun on Teamo and shoots him in the arm and an innocent bystander Kathy Devitt was shot in the hip.
Graham was arrested for the event two days later trying to enter Melbourne and faced court for attempted murder and unlawful wounding.
His case that he acted in self defence because Teamo threatened him with a knife was dismissed and Graham was sentenced to 12 years in jail.
Three jailed over fatal Coast stabbing
Bandidos bikie Max Waller died in June 2013 after suffering six 7-11cm deep wounds to his chest and arms after a fight on the Gold Coast.
Waller was high on ice when he was fatally stabbed during a fight with fellow bikies.
The 28-year-old's body was found outside Broadbeach's Carmel by the Sea building on June 23, 2013.
Finks bikies Wade Yates-Taui, 25, and Benjamin Thomas Mortimer, 30, and non-bikie co-accused Cohen Andrew Smith, 24, were originally charged with the murder.
A court heard in November 2017 that Mortimer, who's a professional martial arts fighter, brought a steak knife from a friend's apartment before going to the fight.
He was sentenced to nine years and six months' jail for manslaughter with parole eligible after four years and six months have been served.
Yates-Taui was sentenced to seven years and six months' jail for manslaughter and was eligible for parole after serving two years and three months of the sentence.
Smith was sentenced to eight years' jail for manslaughter but will be eligible for parole after four years.
Broadbeach Brawl brings on bikie crackdown
It was the event that changed it all.
The brawl between about 60 Bandidos and two Fink associates in Broadbeach brought the toughest anti-bikie laws Australia has seen.
Bandidos bikie Jacques Teamo pulled together club members to approach two Finks associates, including former pro boxer Jason Trouchet, at the Aura lounge bar in September 2013.
It was later revealed in court to be over Trouchet's ex-girlfriend who was dating Teamo.
Police swarmed the Broadbeach bar and arrested a number of Bandido bikies.
Disgruntled members then went to Southport police station, demanding the release of their fellow Bandidos who had been arrested during the brawl.
Initially 18 "former" Bandidos pleaded guilty to charges including riot, affray, public nuisance and assault and obstruct police but all walked free from court in August 2015 with suspended jail sentences, fines and in one case a good behaviour bond.
A year later police appealed the sentences of five members involved in the brawl and had all sentences increased, including Teamo's four-month suspended jail sentence stretched to 13 months wholly suspended and former Bandidos president Adam White having his four months wholly suspended jail sentence increased to 12 months wholly suspended.
The event led to the LNP Government bringing in the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment (VLAD) laws in 2013 making huge penalties for crimes by gang members and criminalising people wearing club attire.
Former bikie's final meeting
Ex-Comanchero bikie Shane Ross was found dead at a Tallebudgera Park in October 2019, alleged by police to be at the hands of opposition bikies from the Lone Wolf outlaw gang.
According to Ross's wife, the father-of-three had turned a new leaf and had left his bikie life behind him.
Despite his change in life, the former bikie and his friend and Monstr clothing business partner Cameron Martin were killed allegedly by men who organised a meeting with the pair.
Ross was 36 when he was found dead with gunshot wounds from two different guns.
Lone Wolf outlaw motorcycle gang members Nathan Miller and Brodie Singh have been charged over the alleged premeditated double murder.
Another man, who is in jail in NSW, is expected to be extradited to Queensland and also charged with murder once he has served his sentence.
Bowden bows out
Notorious for his involvement with the Ballroom Blitz in 2006, Finks bikie Shane Bowden was shot dead in October this year.
Patching over to the Mongols when harsh gang laws hit Queensland in 2013 after the Broadbeach Brawl, Bowden had returned to the Finks and was believed to be recruiting fellow gang members across when he was gunned down on October 13, 2020 in the driveway of his Pimpama home.
Police revealed Bowden was shot in the head and chest at point-blank range, by at least two hooded men as he drove into his Pimpama unit at 12.10am.
The murder was so swift the lights on the car were still on when police arrived.
Investigations are still ongoing.
Originally published as Shooting, stabbings and killings: Coast bikie wars cross the line