The Warlocks Motorcycle Club has captured the curiosity of many with its mysterious and somewhat infamous reputation. Established in 1967, this fraternity of riders carved a niche for itself, distinct from other clubs with its heraldry and traditions.

If you’ve ever found yourself rummaging through tales of biker brotherhood or flipping through gritty road lore, chances are you’ve heard of this band of bikers. Known by their monikers — from the Philly Warlocks to the Harpy Warlocks — their presence is marked by an indelible cultural footprint in the American motorcycle scene. Here are 7 things to know:

1. Origins and Navy Connection

You may find it intriguing that the Warlocks Motorcycle Club has a unique foundation story tied to the US Navy. This connection highlights the club’s core identity and the significant role that naval service played in its inception.

Founding on USS Shangri-La

The Warlocks Motorcycle Club was founded in 1967 by ex-US naval servicemen. Their common bond formed while serving on the aircraft carrier USS Shangri-La. This shared experience provided the foundation for the principles and brotherhood that the club stands for today. Here’s more on the club’s founding.

Phoenix Logo Symbolism

As for their emblem, the Phoenix is more than just a mythological bird; it symbolizes rebirth and new beginnings. The club adopted this potent symbol to represent their new chapter in life—rising from the ashes of their naval service to embrace the freedom of the open road and form a close-knit community. The emblem’s significance is deeply rooted in their origins and reflects the transformative journey of its members.

2. Mother Chapter in Florida

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Your curiosity about the Warlocks Motorcycle Club might naturally lead you to its roots—the Mother Chapter in Florida. This is where the story begins, and where the original ethos of the club continues to pulse to this day.

Lockhart Origins

In Lockhart, a neighborhood in Orlando, the foundation stone for the Warlocks Motorcycle Club was laid. It’s here where the group first revved their engines back in 1967, carving out a space for themselves in the rugged landscape of motorcycle clubs. You can trace the continuous line of the club’s history straight back to this Orlando suburb, known prominently for its significance to the Warlocks.

Tom “Grub” Freeland’s Legacy

The legacy of Tom “Grub” Freeland is as enduring as the pavement beneath a biker’s ride. As the club’s founder, his spirit and perspective shaped what the Warlocks Motorcycle Club would become. He initiated this brotherhood after serving on the USS Shangri-La, establishing it as a one percenter motorcycle club. His moniker, “Grub,” is one that commands respect within the club’s lore to this day.

3. Tragic Incident and ATF Raid

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In delving into the shadowy corners of the Warlocks Motorcycle Club’s history, you’ll come across a mixture of tragedy and run-ins with the law, illustrating the darker side of this infamous biker brotherhood.

Death of Raymond “Bear” Chaffin

Raymond “Bear” Chaffin, once a respected member of the Warlocks, met an unfortunate end in what was a significant violent event in the club’s history. His death signaled internal strife and rival tensions, emphasizing the treacherous life within outlaw biker gangs.

Negotiation Conflicts

Amidst their operations, the Warlocks faced negotiation conflicts with other clubs and authorities. These tense engagements often escalated, showing the volatile nature of gang diplomacy and the potential for deadly outcomes.

ATF Sting Operation

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) orchestrated a sting operation that targeted the Warlocks. The operation uncovered various illegal activities, leading to a raid that would cement the club’s menacing reputation and impact its structure moving forward.

4. International Presence

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The Warlocks Motorcycle Club is not just a local phenomenon; you’ll find its influence reaches across oceans and national borders.

Chapters Abroad

The club has extended its brotherhood beyond American soil, fostering a global network that includes chapters in Canada, England, and Germany. These international chapters echo the club’s ethos, maintaining a unified identity despite the geographic distances.

Domestic Expansion

Within the United States, the Warlocks’ presence is sizable. You’ll come across extensive domestic chapters, each contributing to the club’s overall reputation and influence within the motorcycle community. From its roots in Florida, the club has branched out to form numerous chapters, growing significantly since its inception in 1967.

5. Involvement in Crime

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Their involvement in criminal activities has been well-documented over the years. Here are some incidents:

  1. Michael J. Karnuth’s Conviction:
    • Michael J. Karnuth, also known as “Billy Goat,” was the 34-year-old president of the “Heavy Hitters” chapter within the Warlocks Motorcycle Club.
    • He faced trial for his role in a 2021 shootout death of a member of the Pagans Motorcycle Club.
    • Karnuth was convicted of murderattempted burglaryattempted robbery, and obstruction of justice.
    • The incident occurred during a planned attack on a man who was sporting fake tattoos and patches without being an actual member of their clubs.
    • Tragically, it was a Pagans member, Dustin B. “Kutter” Lindner, who was shot and killed during the shootout.
    • Other accused individuals involved in the incident were identified as members of the Warlocks.
  2. Undiscovered Remains at Mount Moriah Cemetery:
  3. Sentencing of Michael Karnuth:
  4. Michael DiMauro’s Conviction:

6. Membership Policy

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Here’s a concise breakdown of what you need to know:

  • Exclusivity: The Warlocks MC maintains a strict “whites only” membership policy.
  • Identity: This racial exclusivity is not just a rule but a part of the club’s identity.
  • Colors: Be aware that they have a signature red-and-white color scheme represented in their patches.

The policy isn’t advertised as hateful towards other ethnicities, but it’s certainly a controversial aspect that differentiates them from various other clubs.

It’s crucial to recognize that such a policy reflects the club’s history and traditions, and membership is seen as a matter of pride among the Warlocks. If you’re considering an affiliation with them, this policy is unmistakable and integral to the group’s identity.

7. Warlocks’ Iconic Logo:

When you look at the Warlocks Motorcycle Club’s patch, you’re not just seeing an image; you’re witnessing a declaration of the club’s staunch beliefs. Their logo is immediately recognizable—a colorful and detailed depiction of a creature straight out of myth.

The Mythical Harpy:
At the heart of the Warlocks’ emblem is a winged harpy. This creature from Greek mythology symbolizes protection and transformation, a fitting mascot for the motorcycle club’s ethos.

Color and Meaning:

  • Multicolored: The Warlocks’ logo comes alive with vibrant colors, each carefully chosen to represent various aspects of their heritage.
  • Red and White: These colors dominate the logo’s palette, mirroring the club’s historic connection to its roots.

Symbol of Resilience:
The Phoenix, although not explicitly depicted in their actual logo, can be seen as a metaphor for the Warlocks’ enduring spirit. Your understanding of the club deepens when you grasp that the fiery Phoenix signifies rebirth and resilience, echoing the club’s capacity to ascend beyond obstacles.

Trademarked Identity:
This emblem is not simply artwork; it is the club’s sanctioned insignia. When members wear the logo, they carry the Warlocks’ reputation, pride, and collective identity. It’s a badge of honor that denotes allegiance to their brotherhood and ideals.

In essence, the Warlocks’ logo is a vivid banner that marks their presence and broadcasts their unity. When you spot a member donning the emblem, you’re glimpsing into the solidarity and perseverance that forms the foundation of their shared journey.