April 10, 2006

Canada police probe mass killing as biker raided

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Hells Angels denied involvement and
Canadian police kept quiet about possible gang links to the
biggest mass murder in Ontario's history on Monday, even though
they raided the home of a well-known biker who lives near the
crime scene.

Authorities conducted autopsies on the eight victims, who
were found on Saturday in and around four vehicles on a farm
outside Shedden, Ontario, a sleepy town about 130 miles (210
km) west of Toronto, roughly midway between Toronto and

News reports suggested the deaths were related to a
long-simmering rivalry between biker gangs, but the Hells
Angels issued a statement saying it was not connected.

"The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, or any of (its) members,
are not involved in this crime in any way shape or form," the
gang said on one of its Web sites.

On Sunday, police raided the nearby home of a biker
reported to have past links to two local gangs, but authorities
would not provide any details.

Police said they will provide more information on
connections among the victims and the status of the
investigation at a news conference later on Monday.

"The investigators are gathering evidence all the time and
they've put together a package of evidence," said Ontario
Provincial Police spokesman Doug Graham.

Authorities have said the victims -- found in and around
three cars and a tow truck in a farmer's field and adjacent
dirt road -- were from the Toronto area and knew each other,
but have not confirmed media reports that the men were shot to

The case has shocked the rural Ontario region where the
murders took place and has reignited concerns over the issue of
biker turf wars and related drug trade in a country known for
its lack of crime.