The Pesce Family Murders – Billy Wadd’s Awakening

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William Smith was born and raised in Detroit, around the Seven Mile Road and Brightmoore area. As a teenager, his family moved out of the city and into the downriver suburb of Taylor. Even though he enrolled in Taylor Center High School and eventually became a football star, Smith continued to spend time in his childhood neighborhood, running with a primarily-black street gang known as “The Seven Mile Dawgs” and selling drugs. It was at that time he was tagged with the street handle of Billy Wadd, since the black gangbangers he was running with had never seen a white kid be able to make so much money selling drugs so fast.

During his senior year at Taylor Center, around the same time college recruiters were sniffing around, interested in possibly extending a scholarship offer, he blew out his knee in an early-season home game. Suddenly his dreams of playing football at the next level were destroyed and without much thought, he turned to the streets to start making his living as an adult.

A few months out of high school, Smith got into riding motorcycles and joined the Detroit Drifters, a local “family-style” club which took weekend trips throughout the Midwest and was ran with communal, rather than a criminal intent. After spending some time with the Drifters making a name for himself as someone who knows how to make a lot of money in a variety of illegal endeavors despite the nature of his club, Smith left and declared himself a free agent. Because of his reputation, he quickly started getting offers to join some of the most fearsome motorcycle gangs in the city. It was like he was a college athletic recruit again with each club trying to entice him by any means necessary to join their ranks.

While attending a party at the Mt. Elliott headquarters of the Devil’s Diciples, a nationwide outlaw biker gang, the club’s president Jeff “Fat Dog” Smith, was so impressed with Billy Wadd and the potential leadership and earning potential he could bring to the gang, he offered him full-membership without having to go through any probationary or initiation period.

“We were all partying at the clubhouse and Fat Dog took me back into a separate room away from everyone else, removed the “DD” patch off his own jacket and gave it to me,” Billy recalled. “I was respected enough that I automatically became a full-patch member.”

The Diciples, who intentionally misspell their name, were founded in California in 1967 but by the 1980s the gang had re-located its national headquarters to the Metropolitan Detroit area. The gang’s most famous alum is popular television reality star Duane “Dog” Chapmen, who left his life as a biker to become a bounty hunter. Significantly smaller in size and membership than some of the area’s more widely-known and higher-profile gangs, its alleged that the Diciples make up for their lack of roster length by sheer fearlessness and smart business practices.

Within less than a year of joining the Diciples, Billy was named boss of the club’s entire West Side operations. It wasn’t long, however, until the glamour of running with an Outlaw biker gang lost its luster. Billy was quick to realize the much-preached staple of biker life, brotherhood, was really nothing but a myth.

“People who are enamored with the life and want to join a gang have no clue what the whole things is really about which is putting money in certain people’s pockets, nothing else,” he said. “If you think brotherhood has anything to do with the life, you couldn’t be more wrong. Any and all brotherhood in that life comes with a price tag. There’s no loyalty and you’re only as valuable for what you can do for

The feds might not have known it at first, but Billy Wadd’s defection to Team America would serve as a jumping off point for three major investigations, indictments and convictions. While building criminal cases, especially high-profile organized crime ones, access is everything. Billy Wadd might not have been the biggest biker boss in town. Heck, he might not have even made the Top 10. Not to mention, his gang’s local powerbase paled in comparison to those of the Outlaws or Highwaymen. However, he had the ultimate access to both.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Billy, that took great courage to turn your cousin in. You did the right thing. Your past is your past. Thanks for doing the right thing for this family.

  2. I agree , it did take great courage. What is so disgusting is only one man had that courage. In those circles its obviously okay to murder little kids.

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