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Members of the Hells Angels ride from San Bernardino to Bakersfield, California. 1965. Bill Ray/Contributor/Getty Images
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A Hells Angels biker pops a wheelie while cruising through downtown Bakersfield, California. 1965. Bill Ray/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
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A Hells Angels member enjoys a risky ride near Bakersfield, California. 1965. Bill Ray/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
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An injured member of the Hells Angels is carried out by police after getting into a brawl with security at the POP Festival in Weeley, Essex, England. August 28, 1971. Sunday Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images
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Hells Angels members fight with pool cues during the Altamont Free Concert, for which the club was hired as security, in California on December 6, 1969.
One concertgoer was beaten and stabbed to death by a Hells Angels member during the event. John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
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A member of the Hells Angels shows off his tattoo while hanging out with other members. Circa 1960s.Wikimedia Commons
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Members of the East Bay Dragons, one of the first all-black motorcycle clubs, pose outside a barbecue joint near Oakland, California. Circa 1970s. Steve Sparshott/Flickr
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Hells Angels' old ladies (girlfriends) sit during a rest stop on the group's ride from San Bernardino to Bakersfield, California. 1965.Bill Ray/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
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A Hells Angels member grabs a beer during a break at a California rest stop. 1965. Bill Ray/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
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Members of the Outlaws are led away in shackles in West Palm Beach, Florida, after being accused of nailing a woman to a tree. 1967.Bettmann/ContributorGetty Images
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Donald "Deke" Tanner, of the Outlaws club, stands with bar owner Kitty Randall after several of his brothers were arrested for a violent crime in Florida. 1967. Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images
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A Hells Angels member's old lady (girlfriend) flips the bird while riding on the back of her man's bike en route to Bakersfield, California. 1965.Bill Ray/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
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An LA County Sheriff searches a Hells Angels' member for illegal items during a ride from San Bernardino to Bakersfield, California. 1965. Bill Ray/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
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Members of the NYC Hells Angels chapter gather near their Lower East Side clubhouse at the funeral of one of their members, Jeffrey "Groover" Coffrey, killed during a fight with another gang in Cleveland. March 11, 1971.
Eight would-be mourners were forced to miss the ceremony for they were seized by police March 10 on charges arising from an alleged rape.Bettmann/ContributorGetty Images
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Mourners pay their respects to Jeffrey "Groover" Coffrey as his coffin is loaded onto a hearse in New York City on March 11, 1971.Bettmann/ContributorGetty Images
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Girlfriends of the Hells Angels — one with a broken nose — hang out in the Blue Blaze Bar in Fontana, California while members have a meeting in another room. 1965.Bill Ray/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
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Oakland Hells Angels founder Sonny Barger (left) hangs out with four other members on the set of the film Hells Angels '69, in which some members played themselves. 1969. American International Pictures/Getty Images
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Members of the Galloping Goose gang talk after a traffic stop with police during a ride in California. Circa 1960s.Getty Images
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A member of the Devil's Breed club poses with a nude woman on his bike. 1980. Donna B./Flickr
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A police officer questions a group of the Satan's Slaves members during a ride through California. Date unspecified.Getty Images
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Members of the Outlaws take in the show at a strip club. Circa 1980s. Stu/Flickr
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Oakland Hells Angels founder Sonny Barger lays back as a nurse stitches him up after a crash in California. 1965. Bill Ray/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
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A Hells Angels member works on his bike on the streets of New York. Circa 1970s. New York Public Library
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California Hells Angels and old ladies hanging out outside their clubhouse sometime in the mid-1960s. Hans G. Lehmann/ullstein bild via Getty Images
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A bearded Hells Angel waves from his bike as he and other members ride toward Bakersfield, California. 1965.Bill Ray/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
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FBI agents keep lookout outside of the Hells Angels clubhouse on East 3rd Street in Manhattan following a raid. May 2, 1985. Robert Rosamilio/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
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An FBI agent leads a Hells Angels member —
one of 17 arrested as part of a narcotics and weapons investigation —
into a federal building for arraignment in Albany, New York on May 2, 1985.Bettmann/ContributorGetty Images
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Members of the Gypsy Jokers pay their respects to member Stanley "Bimbo" Simmons, who died in a traffic accident in Sydney, Australia. April 17, 1975. Fairfax Media/Fairfax Media via Getty Images
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Stanley "Bimbo" Simmons is laid to rest. April 17, 1975. Fairfax Media/Fairfax Media via Getty Images
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Members of the Gypsy Jokers raise their fists as the casket of one of their members is carried out of a church in Sydney, Australia. March 11, 1974. Fairfax Media/Fairfax Media via Getty Images
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Two members of the Hells Angels cruise down a California highway. 1965. Bill Ray/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
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An LA County sheriff questions a member of the Iron Horsemen alongside a California highway. 1965. Bill Ray/Contributor/Getty Images
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An old lady of the Hells Angels wears a gang vest while relaxing on a picnic table at a California rest stop. 1965. Bill Ray/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
33 Photos From The Underworld Of Outlaw Biker Gangs
Since at least the 1960s, with the publication of Hunter S. Thompson's Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, Americans have been both fascinated and terrified by the leather-clad mystery surrounding outlaw biker gangs.
First springing up at the end of World War II, the motorcycle club and particularly the outlaw motorcycle club, is a purely American entity. These newly formed clubs often served as a way for American veterans who longed for the camaraderie of the military to connect with a group of like-minded men and forge a new brotherhood.
Today, while there are hundreds of different motorcycle clubs around the world, the ones that fall into the category of "outlaw" clubs are those that are not sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association. These outlaw biker gangs don't abide by the AMA's rules, instead choosing to follow their own bylaws -- and often ignoring the laws that the rest of society has agreed to follow.
The AMA has said that 99 percent of motorcycle enthusiasts are law-abiding citizens, implying that one percent are outlaws. Many outlaw groups such as the Hells Angels, Mongols, Outlaws, 69ers, Bandidos, and Gypsy Jokers have embraced this label, often sporting the "1%" tattoos or patches on their cuts (vests).
The culture of these outlaw biker gangs varies from club to club, with some being highly segregated by race and others welcoming multiple races among their ranks. For example, the Bandidos, a club originally formed in Texas but now operating worldwide, is mostly made up of both white and Hispanic members. In almost all one-percenter clubs, however, women are not allowed to become full-patched members and often have second-class status.
Criminal activities among outlaw biker gangs make up a rather small portion of gang-related activity in the U.S. -- only about 2.5 percent, according to the FBI. Even still, incidents like the Waco shootout of 2015, which left nine dead, serve as a reminder of just how fearsome these outlaw biker gangs can be.
Joel Stice holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with more than 10 years of experience in writing and editing, during which time his work has appeared on Heavy, Uproxx, and Buzzworthy.
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.