Former North Carolina biker chief William (Chains) Flamont died in a motorcycle crash this fall. The 70-year old Flamont headed the Charlotte chapter of The Outlaws Motorcycle Club in the 1970s and first part of the 1980s, but had hung up his renegade biker spurs following a federal prison sentence. He was killed instantly when his Harley Davidson motorcycle collided with a Jeep Grand Cherokee on September 26 driving on Highway 70 in Hickory, North Carolina.
For most of the 1970s, the Charlotte area Outlaws were at war with the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club for control of drugs and prostitution in the Queen City, a southeast biker hub invaded by the Midwest-based Outlaws and west coast-based Hells Angels at the beginning of the decade. Authorities chalked up at least a dozen gangland homicides to the unrest. For The Outlaws, the city of Charlotte served as a key way station for the club’s narcotics trafficking ventures, which spanned from up north in Detroit and Chicago all the way down to the vice hotbed of South Florida.
Tagged by the government as the most powerful biker boss in North Carolina, Flamont was busted in an FBI sting in November 1982 for his role at the center of a cocaine and marijuana distribution ring. A group of undercover FBI agents had infiltrated Charlotte’s biker underworld months earlier as part of a high-priority investigation into the club dubbed Operation Countervail. Flamont only ended up doing two years behind bars and retired from being president of the Charlotte Outlaws upon walking free, going to work for a local Harley Davidson dealership instead.
On an early morning in the summer of 1979, Flamont was the first person to discover the gory bloodshed in the Queen City’s notorious July 4th Massacre, the mass murder of three Outlaws, a teenage girl and a 28-year old man inside the Outlaws clubhouse in Charlotte — victims of an internal club squabble gone wrong. Traveling back to the Outlaws headquarters after a late-night of partying, Flamont found club members William (Mouse) Dronenberg, Leonard (Terrible Terry) Henderson and William (Waterhead) Allen, along with Bridgette (The Midget) Benfield and Randy Feazell, all shot to death. They had been slain in their sleep.
Benfield, days shy of her 18th birthday, was Henderson’s girlfriend. Feazell had recently met and befriended Mouse Dronenberg, the club’s designated tattoo artist, and was staying overnight at the clubhouse. Terrible Terry Henderson was the Charlotte Outlaws’ top enforcer. Waterhead Allen had fallen asleep standing guard at the clubhouse doorway when he was shot dead.
Police in Charlotte only just closed the infamous quintuple slaying in 2011, placing responsibility for the heinous crime at the feet of former Outlaws probationary member Greg (Angel) Lindaman and his best friend Randy Pigg, another biker world figure from the region. Lindaman had been cut loose as a “probie” and was feuding with Henderson in the weeks preceding the massacre. He passed away in a car crash in Texas in 1990. Pigg died of cancer in 2007.