Biker hitman confesses to 27 murders
A biker hitman-turned-informant who killed various organized-crime figures but also some innocent bystanders pleaded guilty in Quebec City Tuesday to 27 murders that happened between 1978 and 2003.
Gerald Gallant, 58, carried out executions for the Rock Machine, who were bitter rivals of the Hells Angels during the deadly biker war in the 1990's. Most of the killings involved outlaw bikers, street-gang members and mobsters.
But some of Gallant's victims had nothing to do with crime, including Helene Brunet, a waitress who was wounded by Gallant in 2000 while being used as a human shield by Robert Savard, a close associate of Hells Angels kingpin Maurice (Mom) Boucher.
And in 1999, Gallant fatally shot Luc Bergeron, a private detective who happened to be living in an apartment formerly occupied by his intended target, a Hells Angels associate.
Gallant apologized on Tuesday as he read out a prepared statement in front of survivors and relatives of victims.
"I regret the hurt I have caused the victims and their families," Gallant said. "I understand that forgiving will be difficult, maybe even impossible. I accept that.
"I agreed to co-operate with police in order to repair the damage I caused and to seek forgiveness."
Crown prosecutor Martine Berube said she believes the case "will possibly go down in history."
"We have rarely seen in the annals of history this many murders and attempted murders committed by one person and which resulted in guilty pleas," Berube said outside the courtroom.
Gallant also pleaded guilty Tuesday to 12 charges of attempted murder.
Gallant was already serving a life sentence for a murder in Ste-Adele, in the Laurentians, in 2001.
He has since become an informant and his evidence led to the arrests last week of 10 people linked to the murders to which he has confessed.
The 10 suspects were arrested in raids throughout Quebec last Thursday morning.
One person arrested was charged with 16 murders.
The majority of the crimes occurred between 1994 and 2002 during the biker wars.
The raids were carried out in Quebec City, Donnacona, Warwick, Saint-Jerome, Trois Rivieres.
The arrests were made as part of Operation Baladeur (Walkman).
Some high-profile names among the arrested include: Raymond Desfosses, a high-ranking member of Montreal's West End Gang and Frederic Faucher, former leader of the Rock Machine.
- With files from The Canadian Press -