Grim Reapers MC USA (Motorcycle Club)

Grim Reapers MC is a one percenter motorcycle club founded in Louisville, Kentucky, USA in 1965.

There is a second club who use the same name of “Grim Reapers Motorcycle Club” who were founded in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1967. The two clubs are not related. You can find their article at Grim Reapers MC (Canada).

Grim Reapers MC Patch Logo Louisville Kentucky USA
Grim Reapers MC Patch Logo Louisville Kentucky USA

Grim Reapers MC History

The Grim Reapers Motorcycle Club was founded in Louisville, Kentucky, USA in 1965.

The motorcycle club has rumoured links to the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), however no solid proof of this could be found for this article.

Grim Reapers MC Clubhouse Louisville Kentucky USA
Grim Reapers MC Clubhouse Louisville Kentucky USA

Grim Reapers MC Patch / Motto

The Grim Reapers Motorcycle Club patch consists of a depiction of the Grim Reaper, also known as “Death”. He is dressed in a red robe and holding a scythe. The Grim Reaper is a common element in human cultures and history. The popular depiction of Death as a skeletal figure carrying a large scythe and clothed in a black cloak with a hood first arose in 15th century England, while the title “the Grim Reaper” is first attested in 1847.

One of the Grim Reapers Motorcycle Club mottos is “FTW”. This motto can be seen on a patch that they often wear. There are a few different interpretation available. The most common in outlaw motorcycle clubs is “Fuck The World”, however “Forever Two Wheels” has also been seen many times by Harley Davidson motorcycle riding clubs. Because of the rumoured connection with the Ku Klux Klan, the motto of “Forever Truly White” must also be considered as a possibility.

Grim Reapers MC FTW Kentucky USA
Grim Reapers MC FTW Kentucky USA

Grim Reapers MC Chapters

There are four main areas where the USA based Grim Reapers MC operate at present, which are as follows:

  • Grim Reapers Illinois chapters
  • Grim Reapers Indiana chapters
    • Grim Reapers Evansville chapter
  • Grim Reapers Kentucky
    • Grim Reapers Campbellsville chapter
    • Grim Reapers Louisville chapter (Grim Reapers Mother Chapter)
    • Grim Reapers Meade County chapter
    • Grim Reapers Owensboro chapter
  • Grim Reapers Tennessee
    • Grim Reapers Lafayette chapter
    • Grim Reapers Murfreesboro chapter
    • Grim Reapers Nashville chapter
    • Grim Reapers Oak Grove chapter

At one stage the Grim Reapers Motorcycle Club had many other chapters in states all across the USA for example Iowa and Ohio, however in more recent times these have been scaled back, due in part to Operation Iron Horse. More information on Operation Iron Horse can be found in the “Crime / In The Media” section further down in this article.

Grim Reapers MC Clubhouse Evansville Indiana USA
Grim Reapers MC Clubhouse Evansville Indiana USA

Famous Grim Reapers MC Members

There are no members of the Grim Reapers Motorcycle Club who would be considered as “famous” in a celebrity sense.

Grim Reapers MC Crime / In The Media

Book – “Breaking The Code: A True Story By A Hells Angels And The Cop Who Pursued Him”, by Pat Matter and Chris Omodt. This book covers the life of Pat Matter, who started out in the Grim Reapers MC Fort Dodge chapter, before moving on to become a Hells Angels President. View this book on Amazon (link opens in a new tab).

Grim Reapers MC Breaking The Code Pat Matter
Grim Reapers MC Breaking The Code Pat Matter

1968 – Grim Reapers Santa Rosa President Johnny Sommerhalder, along with member Kenneth Allen Preston murder a couple in their trailer home in San Rafael in a burglary that went bad. Curtis Ackley, 28, was bound at the hands and feet, blindfolded and shot four times behind his left ear. Shirley Ackley, 34, was shot through the shoulder, strangled and tortured, raped, shot through the head and then stabbed twice in the back. A 6-inch hunting blade was found embedded in one of her wounds. $225, jewelry and guns were taken in the robbery. Two days later they were arrested by police in Santa Rosa after a shootout.

They were both given the death sentence, however in 1972 the death sentence was removed. Johnny Sommerhalder also pled guilty to a seperate murder that he committed in 1967, where a 19 year old student from Sonoma State College wrestler. Charles Kaufman was ordered out of his car, where he was sitting with a female passenger in a parking lot in the hills above the Flamingo Hotel, he was then attacked by Johnny Sommerhalder as well as others. After being able to fend off some of the attacks he was shot in the head. His female passenger was then driven to a secluded area and sexually assaulted. Johnny Sommerhalder was given an additional life sentence for this murder.

In May 2013 Johnny Sommerhalder was eligible for parole, however this was denied on the basis that he was still a risk to society, so left him in Solano State Prison in Vacaville. He has had over a dozen parole attempts denied. He is next eligible for parole in 2016.

Note: Evidence that this Santa Rosa chapter is the same Grim Reapers Motorcycle Club founded in Kentucky was unable to be found. There is the possibility that this could be a seperate club.

Johnny Sommerhalder
Johnny Somerhalder. Circa 1968.

1999 – November, 1999. Operation “Iron Horse,” a four-year state and federal investigation of motorcycle clubs in the Midwest charges 4 members of the Outlaws MC with distributing over 200 pounds of cocaine, with a street value of $3 million to members of the Grim Reapers MC between 1998 and 1998. 18 Grim Reapers members, including the Grim Reapers National President, are also charged with various offences as part of the investigation.

Grim Reapers MC Enemies and Allies

Grim Reapers enemies:

  • None identified.

Grim Reapers allies:

Read More:


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