Waco Biker Massacre: Inconclusive Autopsy Reports, Absurd Court Decisions, Gag Order Maintained


I've reported at length before about various reasons to question the official government narrative surrounding the chaotic and violent incident that resulted in nine people shot to death and 18 wounded and 177 arrested outside the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas, on May 17.

It all happened outside a planned meeting of a mostly political biker club coalition, the Confederation of Clubs and Independents. See here for the most recent, and here the most thorough, of that reporting.

The gag order on people involved in defending the arrested, keeping information from flowing to the public on this controversy, was successfully challenged, then alas reinstated earlier this month.

A set of autopsy reports have been issued about the dead. They are available in full at the Waco Tribune.

The Aging Rebel website, which has featured a lot of interesting reporting and speculation casting doubt on the police story, sums up the somewhat vague basics in this post.

While they do not authoritatively state any judgment on to exactly what type of bullets from what type of gun did the killings—important to discover how many of the deaths and woundings were caused by police themselves as opposed to out of control feuding bikers—the Aging Rebel web site sums up what they don't tell us:

They do not….disprove the notion that all, or at least most of the dead men were killed by police using M-16s and FN P90 machine guns.

Thirteen of sixteen entrance wounds were .25 inches in diameter or smaller.

FN P90s fire a round with a diameter of .224409 inches. M-16s fire slightly smaller rounds with diameters of 0.218898 inches. All but one of the victims had wounds fired from a downward trajectory. Six of the nine dead had head or neck wounds. None of the wounds contained gunshot residue which indicates that the shots were fired from at least three feet away and probably five feet or farther away. The absence of residue casts doubt on claims by prosecutors of "Bandidos executing Cossacks, and Cossacks executing Bandidos." Two of the dead had large wounds consistent with a 12 gauge shotgun slug. Ten of 16 wounds were in the back, indicating that the victims were running away when they died. Seven of the wounds were fired from right to left. Six were fired from left to right.

Nine millimeter bullets have a diameter of 0.35433 inches; forty caliber handguns fire a bullet that is four tenths of an inch in diameter and 357 magnums fire rounds that are about .357 inches in diameter…

Most of the recovered bullets were either highly deformed or fragmented which indicates they were fired by high velocity …..

Most police ammunition in the United States is designed to penetrate a human body to a depth of 12 inches and for that reason that ammunition is usually copper jacketed. Most of the bullets that killed at the Twin Peaks were copper jacketed….

None of the autopsies include ballistics information. Notations by eight pathologists involved in the autopsies describe bullets and bullet fragments in very general and inconsistent terms….

In other Waco news, the "examining trial" hearings have been happening for various of the arrested. Those proceedings are meant to ascertain whether there was sufficient cause for an arrest in the first place such that the arrested's cases should go to a grand jury for actual indictment. The results have not been encouraging about the judicial system's attitudes toward this whole mess.

A 65-year-old Bandido (one of the two biker gangs most blamed by police for the chaos) chaplain, Lawrence Yager, was found justifiably arrested, mostly because he had (legally owned and carried) guns in his possession and in his truck, although, as the Waco Tribune reported:

Yager's attorney, Landon Northcutt, of Stephenville, argued after the testimonies of Department of Public Safety Lt. Steven Schwartz and Waco police Detective Sam Key that neither officer could offer evidence that Yager conspired to commit murder, assault or any crime that day.

Yager was not wearing his cuts or colors that day and serves as chaplain for the Bandidos, a VFW post and the Texas Association of Vietnam Vets, Northcutt said.

"He was wearing a Christian T-shirt. He was there to minister to people who need him. That is what he does. He is retired. That is all he does," Northcutt told the judge.

The Waco Tribune's reporting from the examining trial (where standards for keeping the defendant in the system are far lower than probable cause) of married couple William and Morgan English is a good window into the standards that went into many, likely most, of the arrests that day:

Department of Public Safety Lt. Steven Schwartz, a 17-year department veteran, testified at the morning hearing that William and Morgan English wore patches that identified them as members of a group called Distorted….

He said he thinks the Englishes were aware of the rift between the Cossacks and Bandidos and they were there that day as a show of support for the Bandidos.

But under cross-examination from [the Englishes' lawyer Paul] Looney, Schwartz said neither he nor other DPS investigators were aware that the seven-member Distorted group existed before May 17…

Schwartz said they wore patches that said they support the Bandidos, so that tells him they are at least "somewhat involved in criminal activity."

He said he saw nothing that day and has developed no subsequent evidence to show the Englishes are involved in criminal activity…..

Schwartz agreed with Looney that the Englishes were cooperative and agreed to talk to investigators after the shooting.

"He said they told police that one of their friends brought a gun with him, but they left it locked up in the car.

"Other than that, all we have is that they were merely present at a murder. Correct?" Looney asked.

"Correct," Schwartz said.

Only two of the 177 bikers who were arrested on engaging in organized criminal activity charges remain jailed in McLennan County.

Texas Lawyer magazine sums up the grand jury process at work in this case, which won't see any of the arrested having any chance to clear their names until October, five months after the arrest.

Former Reason intern Jeff Winkler, writing in Texas Monthly, reports on various biker theories as to what was really up at Twin Peaks that day, reported from a planned rally in support of the arrested bikers that was shut down by a bomb scare last week.

Winkler's story ends with a touching scene of various bikers visiting the scene of the crime, treating it like an eerie combination of war memorial and live crime investigation, speculating on what sort of bullets from whom could have taken down biker comrades. (Many are quite sure a sniper was on the roof of a nearby restaurant shooting into the crowd.)

And two non-biker patrons on the scene are suing the restaurant for damages, claiming they were emotionally traumatized and received cuts and bruises at the scene, and that Twin Peaks was negligent for allowing the biker meeting to occur there in the first place after receiving warnings from police not to do so.

I talked briefly on the phone today with lawyer Clint Broden, who represents three of the people arrested that day. Besides confirming the history of the gag order being overturned then reimposed, when asked for any opinions about the relevance of, say, the inconclusive autopsy report, this lawyer representing clients in a matter of intense public interest involving possible criminal malfeasance by police could only beg off.

He's under a gag order.

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  1. M16s fire a bullet of .223 – .224 inches. A bullet as small as they suggest wouldn’t reliably engage the rifling and would be very unstable.

    Also, finding .219 caliber bullets is near impossible.

    Schwartz said they wore patches that said they support the Bandidos, so that tells him they are at least “somewhat involved in criminal activity.”

    So, if I wear an American flag lapel on my shirt that must mean I’m at least “somewhat involved in criminal activity”. Don’t even get me involved on what a police uniform would mean!

    1. Don’t even get me involved on what a police uniform would mean!

      That you are above the law.


    2. Most of the bores of 22 long rifle (rimfire) guns are .219

  2. “Other than that, all we have is that they were merely present at a murder. Correct?” Looney asked.


  3. “Died from some sort of bullet wound.”
    The epitome of LEO professionalsm.

    1. You gotta admit is sound better than ” he had some sort of leaky holey thing in his upper back and one in his lower stomach.”

      If it had happened in Dallas the survivors would be deaf from the excessive use of flash bangs.
      If it happened Los Angeles there would not be any survivors.
      if it happened in Oxnard there would be a bunch of confused bikers wondering why all the cops shot eachother.

      1. If it had happened in Canada no one would have been shot but all the criminals would have lawyers paid for by the government and all would be seeking and receiving compensation for their PTSD as a result of seeing a SWAT team.

  4. I’d bet money that the first person to fire was a cop, and that most of the firing that ensued was cops. It has all the “this is all wrong” hallmarks of cop fuckery. It has that feel when you can smell that they’re lying, because cops lie in a very…particular…way. It’s almost…contemptuous. In fact, is is contemptuous.

    1. “I’d bet money that the first person to fire was a cop,”

      Haven’t you seen the photos of the cops displaying all of the firepower they confiscated from the bikers?

      1. As a Texan I can say that the hardware confiscated is the average haul they would get from raiding any random 10 homes. Most of them were probably legal ccw holders otherwise those in possession would already be charged with multiple felonies. The fact that they aren’t speaks volumes.

  5. He said he thinks the Englishes were aware of the rift between the Cossacks and Bandidos and they were there that day as a show of support for the Bandidos.

    But what does he think about global warming? And the Bilderbergs?

  6. I’d bet there is enough security cam footage from enough angles to identify anybody armed with a .223.
    Too bad about that “accident” in the evidence room.

  7. “Thirteen of sixteen entrance wounds were .25 inches in diameter or smaller.”

    The cops are guilty of somethin’.

  8. Who wants to take a bet?: Cops massacre some people. Unjustifiably charge with felonies some other people. And nothing else happened. MERICA!!!

    1. Not even 25:1 would I take that bet.

  9. If someone were to analyze the autopsy reports of the previous 10 or so deaths involving gunshot wounds from these ME’s, do you think they would read differently?

  10. Holy shit. Shot in the back, shot by either assault rifles or shotguns.

    I didn’t see anything on a quick read that made me think anyone had been shot by a handgun.

    So, unless they’ve got bikers carrying assault rifles or shotguns to this party, they were all killed by police, many of them shot as they fled, and many of them shot by cops in elevated positions.

    This is a straight up massacre. And nobody will go to jail, because they can’t tie a specific shot to a specific weapon.

    Many are quite sure a sniper was on the roof of a nearby restaurant shooting into the crowd.

    Given all those killed by bullets fired down at them, this sounds extremely plausible.

    On the plus side, this should mean all the bikers currently in jail or indicted for murder should be released, right?

    Oh, who am I kidding. They arrested a chaplain who didn’t even have any guns on him, and the arrest was upheld pending indictment.

    1. nobody will go to jail, because they can’t tie a specific shot to a specific weapon.

      Can’t, or won’t?

      1. I’m assuming the bullets were all fragmented (plausible, since they sound like M-16 rounds).

        If so, they can’t tie any of them back to a specific gun or shooter.

        1. So it seems that the dream of piecing this case together

          [dons Fist’s sunglasses]

          has been shattered…

    2. What would be the motiv’n for such a massacre? Did Twin Peaks have enemies in high places? Did the CoC? The shopping center?

      Or do you think they were after one particular person, and all the other deaths were to obscure that? (Hey, that’s how it usually is in the detective stories when there’s a massacre.)

      1. Panic.

        Cops are scared of bikers. They were already on edge and something set them off. They all went into panic fire mode.

        I think one of the witnesses said that two bikers got into a fight and one shot the other with a little pocket pea-shooter of some sort. I bet that was the only gun any of the bikers had on their persons but it was enough to send our heroes in blue into a panic fueled killing frenzy.

    3. Maybe all those bikers were carrying FN Herstal Five-seveN’s and fired them from above their heads gangsta style!

    4. In such circumstances it is a natural reflex for people to crouch. Had those entrance wounds been in the front then the crouch could explain the descending angle of the wounds.

      But they were shot in the back.

      That, combined with a descending wound angle indicates that they were likely shot from well above street level.

    5. a chaplain who had two legal, licensed, open carry handguns on him


      Seriously, when the cop on the stand says, “we didn’t know then, and have uncovered no evidnece since that date, that these two people were involved in any crime. But they have a patch that says, “I support the fat Mexican,” they must be involved in the conspiracy to get shot at.”

      And the judge agrees, that there is enough to hold over for trial … really? I mean, REALLY?

      What, exactly, would qualify for immediate release?
      “Yes, your honor, we arrested this couple, but it turns out they’re actually your cousins, so …”

      We know five people who were innocent enough to be released: The Waco cops call them “unarrested”

  11. I’d be genuinely curious to know how other cases, where it was not possible to confirm which of a group of shooters fired the shots, were handled. I’m thinking there’s probably more than a handful of gang/drivebys where that’s the situation, and people were convicted nonetheless.

      1. +1 “standin’ on the corner mindin’ my own bidness”

    1. If someone is killed in a bank robbery, everyone involved, including the driver of the getaway car who never fired a shot, is charged with murder.

      So I would think that had this massacre been perpetrated by peasants instead of king’s men, they would have all been charged with murder.

      1. That’s how this started; The cops arrested every single person within view and charged them all with murder.

        Unfortunately, nobody can prove who killed anybody. So at least the bikers should (“should”) all walk. As will the cops, of course, but we knew that.

        Now, however, the DA has to be thinking “How do I take any of the bikers to trial, without it turning into a trial about the police massacre? That’s their defense, after all: that the cops shot everybody, for no good reason. And they are going to have a lot of evidence to put on, and a lot of cops on the stand.”

        Honestly, I don’t see any trial ending well for the po-po.

  12. The only thing going for the cops as far as I can see is the implausibility of this sort of accuracy and the lack of civilian casualties.

    1. the lack of civilian casualties

      You mean, not counting all the people they killed?

      1. No, not counting them. They’re BIKERS, RC. Not people. Certainly not “civilians”.

    2. Considering that they were far away, shooting with scoped rifles, and no one shooting at them, it was like another day at the range. Plus living targets.

  13. Wow – too bad SAMCRO doesn’t have Jax to help logic through this….


    /I cannot clear this image from my mind…I fucking hated that show

    1. Can I have a minute ?

      I liked the show but I heard that exact same line at least 50 times.

  14. I recall reading somewhere that only something like 12 pieces of brass were recovered
    that were attributed to the police. So who is the dummy on the Waco PD who forgot his brass catcher that day?

    1. “brasscatcher”

      Is that what you kids are calling it these days…

    2. So what you’re saying is, the cops policed their brass?

      1. Looks like the cops

        [dons Fist’s sunglasses]

        got brassed off…

  15. It seems like innocent people are gunned down in this country every day. How many needless gun deaths do we need before common sense will prevail? How many more mass shootings and murders of innocent black men do we have to witness before we’ll take action to keep guns out of the wrong hands?

    I was talking about police… What did you think I meant?

  16. be it ever so humble…

  17. So you are a journalist but don’t know what this was all about? Listen up, dipsticks. The Hells Angels are backing the Cossacks moving into Bandido territory. This has been an ongoing war for 2 years already. The monthly “meet up”, a sit down between various MCs in the area is also attended by some wannabe outlaw bikers who aren’t 1 percenters but like to hang with them because it makes them feel tough. The Bandidos weren’t even supposed to be at the meet but they decided to do so as an escalation. The cops knew all this and were ready as it was a volatile situation.

    A fight breaks out inside, some guys take it outside, knives are already out and then guns are drawn. The cops are in the right place at the right time for once and take out almost everyone who is involved who is brandishing a deadly weapon (knife or gun). Perfect outcome.

    What do you call 9 dead outlaw bikers? A good start…Who do you dingbats think these guys are? They are career criminals and extremely violent, the fact that they are off this earth is a net benefit to society. And perhaps some of these wannabes who mix with them from non-outlaw MCs will learn their lesson. This isn’t a game, these lowlifes play for keeps.

    1. Scribbler….but you get this more than most of us here because you write for Hollywood. And, that is truth writ large on the big screen.

      Or, do you write police reports for a living?

    2. Fuck off.

    3. Who do you dingbats think these guys are?

      I have no idea. Reading up on it, it seems to be that they are into drugs, prostitution, and occasionally killing each other. From a libertarian point of view, none of that is particularly scandalous since participation appears to be voluntary.

      And perhaps some of these wannabes who mix with them from non-outlaw MCs will learn their lesson

      But of course! Anybody who even stands near a suspected criminal is automatically fair game for the police! People need to be more careful about where they are standing!

    4. A fight breaks out inside, some guys take it outside, knives are already out and then guns are drawn.

      Non-cop testimony that this is what was happening would be nice. Got any?

      1. I think there was one witness that said two bikers got into a fight and heard two small shots.

    5. This isn’t a game, these lowlifes play for keeps.

      No kidding. Those lowlifes killed a bunch of people.

      1. I like the comment that Scribbler is a writer for Hollywood. It was funny and accurate.

        While I think that Scribbler is full of crap, John Galt, your comment was … well, one time I was engaged in what I thought was a low-key political discussion, sitting at a bar chatting with a liberal, big surprise, and the guy directed that word, that stupid moronic word in your oh-so-eloquent post, twice at me in exactly the same way you do here, to express disagreement.

        The first time I let it pass, the second time I neatly socked the guy in the face hard enough that he ended up being half-way knocked off his bar stool, looking at me in surprise, then began to whine to the bartender at how I had assaulted him.

        Too bad for the mouth-breathing lop, the bartender hadn’t seen a thing. :^)

        You’re stunted and do our side no favors if the c-word is the only way you can express yourself.

    6. From preliminary reports it would appear the police killed everyone. Many of the victims dying were shot in the back.

      I can only assume you are in favor of summary execution of suspected bad people, and those who might be standing close by.

      Is this so? Do you actually think this is a good thing?

    7. Scribbler’s just angry because his daughter got turned out.

  18. They do not?.disprove the notion that all, or at least most of the dead men were killed by police using M-16s and FN P90 machine guns.

    I’ll go out on a limb and guarantee that zero people were shot with m-16 and FN P90 machine guns.

    1. That limb you are on is destined for the chipper so I’d climb on down about now.

    2. So the cops popped off a bunch rounds with M-16s and FN P90s, and a bunch of people died from fragmented bullets leaving M-16/FN P90 sized entry wounds, but none of them were shot by cops?

      1. No, those are not machine guns.

        1. M16, no, it is not. As it only fires in either semi-automatic or 3-round burst, technically it is not a machine gun.

          A P90 on the other hand can be a machine gun because they are produced in fully-automatic variants. IIRC, they are only produced in semi-automatic and fully-automatic variants, so it would depend on which variant the officers were using.

  19. Anybody have a list of other weapons confiscated/recovered at the scene?

    Maybe bikers are prone to carrying Raven .25s or Tokarevs, but I kinda doubt it.

    1. I doubt that a round fired by a pistol would have fragmented the way these bullets all seem to have done.

      I am not seeing one bit of evidence in this autopsy that indicates anyone was shot by anyone other than a cop.

    2. Tokarevs are roughly .30 caliber.

      The Soviets were only good at one thing: devising implements to murder other Soviets.

  20. So for those of you who think this was an unprovoked massacre, like Wounded Knee, what was the motive? Just to watch them die?

    1. Panic fire.

      Roided up cops on adrenaline highs and full mags looking at a target rich environment, who hear a gunshot.

      1. Bulls-eye!

      2. ” on adrenaline highs”
        on legal immunity highs as well

      3. 100% correct RC.

        They had talked themselves into thinking they were walking into a life and death situation, where real danger existed – for them. First ‘pop’ they heard and they fired wantonly for 30 seconds.

        There was real danger, but it was from them.

  21. The cops shot a bunch of citizens exercising their right to peaceably assemble. The fact that days after the shootings they were still trying to decide whether they were going to charge any of the citizens with murder makes that perfectly obvious.

    Bikers: The last group of Americans who can be executed by law enforcement and no one will raise an eyelash.

    1. Biker is the new black.

  22. Who do you dingbats think these guys are? They are career criminals and extremely violent, the fact that they are off this earth is a net benefit to society.


    1. Even the death squads had the decency to do their killing at night, and (mostly) out of uniform.

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  24. “While they do not authoritatively state…exactly what type of bullets from what type of gun did the killings?important to discover how many of the deaths and woundings were caused by police themselves”


    That’s why it was not authoritatively stated.

  25. “The Waco Motorcycle Massacree” is my favorite Arlo Guthrie bootleg tape.

  26. It’s gag orders all the way down.

  27. I guess that unless you believe “every cop is a criminal and all the sinners saints”, you are a fascist.

    Maybe bikers need to form a civil rights organization.

  28. Mass murder by police and nothing will be done. Someone better start holding police accountable for their actions.

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