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Yves "Le Boss" Buteau (1951–1983) was a Canadian criminal and outlaw biker, known for being the first president of the Hells Angels in Canada, and was murdered by a drug dealer with ties to a rival gang, the Outlaws. He began his life of organized crime as a member of the Montreal-based motorcycle gang called the Popeyes Motorcycle Club. By the mid-1970s, he became president. Buteau would soon play a significant role in establishing the Angels as a major criminal force in Quebec.
The Popeyes began working as "muscle" for the Dubois Brothers in the early 1970s, initially as assassins and later on as drug dealers. Buteau, a charismatic tall man with blonde hair and blue eyes, inspired much affection and loyalty from his fellow Popeyes, who were seen as the most violent of Quebec's 350 outlaw biker clubs. Buteau and the Popeyes fought an especially brutal biker war with the Devil's Disciples biker gang starting in 1974, who were considered to be the most powerful outlaw biker club in Montreal. By January 1976, after 15 of the Devil's Disciples had been killed by the Popeyes, which caused the Devil's Disciples to disband themselves. On August 14, 1976, at the age of 25, Buteau was among the many arrested at a hotel in St-Andre-Avellin when almost fifty Popeyes entered and trashed the place.
While president of the Popeyes, Buteau was personally courted by Sonny Barger, the leader of the Hells Angels and the most famous Hells Angel of them all, to persuade his fellow Popeye members to join the Angels. Initially, the Hells Angels had planned to "patch over" the Devil's Disciples, but as the Popeyes had eliminated them, Barger switched over to courting Buteau. The Popeyes, Montreal's strongest outlaw biker club, become Canada's first Hells Angels chapter on December 5, 1977. Barger, a legend with the Hells Angels, awarded Buteau his colors and respected him so much that he was the only Canadian authorized to use the title of "Hells Angels International". Barger praised Buteau and the Popeyes as the most "hardcore" outlaw bikers in Canada, thereby making them the ones most worthy of becoming Hells Angels. Shortly afterwards, in January 1978, the Montreal chapter of the Satan's Choice biker gang "patched over" to become Outlaws, thereby importing the traditional rivalry between the Outlaws and Hells Angels into Canada.
Buteau changed the chapter from a group of beer drinking brawlers to an organized criminal empire. He aspired to have his members to appear clean-shaven, keep lower profiles, and avoid hassles. In 1978, a biker war broke out between the Montreal chapters of the Hells Angels and the Outlaws. The immediate cause of the biker war was the shooting of two Outlaws outside a Montreal bar popular with the Angels by Angels' ace assassin Yves "Apache" Trudeau on 17 February 1978, causing one death, but the more proximate cause was the desire of the Angels to expand into Ontario. By 1980, it was estimated that Angels-Outlaw biker war had caused about 20 murders in Quebec and Ontario, while between 1981 to 1984 another 42 were killed.
As part of his efforts to expand into Ontario, Buteau recruited one Wolodumir "Walter the Nurget" Stadnick, who had been the leader of a biker gang in Hamilton called the Wild Ones who were engaged in a biker war with the Outlaws. Both Buteau and Stadnick were lucky to survive the Le Tourbillon massacre of 1978, when at the Le Tourbillion bar in Montreal, the Outlaws killed 1 Hells Angel and badly injured another 2 while killing 2 of the Wild Ones. Stadnick was the only Wild One to survive the Le Tourbillion massacre. Upon learning that it was the Outlaw leader Roland "Roxy" Dutemple who organized and led the Le Tourbillion massacre, Buteau dispatched his "wild man" killer Trudeau after him, saying that Trudeau's number one job was to kill Dutemple. After killing a man named William Weichold who just happened to look like Dutemple on 8 December 1978, Trudeau finally killed Dutemple with a car bomb on 29 March 1979. Upon returning to Hamilton, Stadnick had been forced to disband the Wild Ones after 5 of its members had been killed by the Outlaws, and had fled to Montreal as a "refugee" as to remain in Hamilton was too dangerous. Stadnick joined the Hells Angels in 1982 and became the Angels' national president in 1988.
In the spring of 1982, at a meeting of Quebec Hells Angels, he demanded group members quit the use of cocaine but the ban was widely flouted especially by the North chapter based in Laval. In 1981, Buteau visited British Columbia, where he contacted a gang with three chapters in the Lower Mainland called Satan's Angels, and whom he persuaded to "patch over" to become the first Canadian Hells Angels chapters outside of Quebec in 1983.
On September 8, 1983, Buteau was shot and killed while he was the Hells Angels Canadian National President. The shooter was a 22-year-old drug dealer named Gino Goudreau. Also shot and killed was Guy "Frenchie" Gilbert, the president of the Kitchener chapter of the Satan's Choice gang, who traveled to Montreal to discuss "patching over" to become the first Hells Angels chapter in Ontario. Goudreau was a "prospect" with the rival Outlaws outlaw biker club, who believed he would be a "full patch" Outlaw if he killed the national president of Hells Angels Canada. Goudreau's brother was a member of the Quebec Outlaws. After the shooting, Goudreau went into hiding but was arrested a few months later. He was charged with two counts of second degree murder but was acquitted after claiming self-defense due to situations leading up to the event. He claimed Buteau had threatened him on many occasions and in this situation they had both pulled guns but Goudreau beat Buteau to the draw.
A day after Buteau's funeral, a young boy discovered a bomb on the route where the funeral procession, consisting of Hells Angels bikers had gone past. Police theorized that it was placed and camouflaged the night before the funeral. Buteau was replaced by Michel "Sky" Langlois as the Hells Angels national president, who fled Canada to Morocco in 1988 to escape charges of first-degree murder relating to the Lennoxville massacre of 1985 .
- Stephen Schneider (9 December 2009). Iced: The Story of Organized Crime in Canada. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 395–. ISBN 978-0-470-83500-5.
- Paul Cherry (2005). The Biker Trials: Bringing Down the Hells Angels. ECW Press. pp. 7–. ISBN 978-1-55490-250-7.
- Langton, Jerry Showdown: How the Outlaws, Hells Angels and Cops Fought for Control of the Streets, Toronto: John Wiley & Sons, 2010.
- Yves Buteau at Oocities.org