by John Lee Brook
The Aryan Brotherhood: The First Woe
January 16, 1967: Nazi prison-gang associate Robert Holderman was stabbed and then battered to death by Black Guerilla Family gang members at San Quentin.
January 17, 1967: 1,800 black inmates and 1,000 white inmates clashed on the main yard at San Quentin over the death of Robert Holderman. Prison guards broke up the brawl by firing shots into the mass. Five inmates were wounded by the shots. One inmate suffered severe head trauma from the beating he received from opposing gang members. Two other inmates suffered non-fatal heart attacks.
August 27, 1967: Nineteen-year-old Barry Byron Mills was arrested in Ventura, California and held for transfer to Sonoma County, where he had boosted a car. Sonoma had issued an arrest warrant in his name for grand theft auto.
December 12, 1967: Barry Mills requested and was denied probation. Instead he was sentenced to one year in the Sonoma County Jail.
January 29, 1968: Barry Mills and Buddy Coleman escaped from the Sonoma County Honor Farm.
February 17, 1968: Barry Mills was arrested in Windsor, California, and held on a warrant charging escape without force.
March 12, 1968: Barry Mills sentenced to one year and one day in prison for escape without force from the Sonoma County Jail.
March 13, 1969: Barry Mills was released from prison.
January 13, 1970: Soledad State Prison Aryan Brotherhood leader Buzzard Harris, along with fellow Aryan Brotherhood members Smiley Hoyle, Harpo Harper and Chuko Wendekier, and Mexican Mafia members Colorado Joe Ariaz, John Fanene, and Raymond Guerrero battled with Black Guerilla Family gang members on the exercise yard at Soledad prison. Tower guard Opie Miller opened fire with his high-powered rifle, killing Black Guerilla leader W.L. Nolen, Cleveland Edwards and Alvin Miller. Aryan Brotherhood leader Buzzard Harris was wounded in the groin by a rifle bullet.
January 30, 1970: Barry Mills and William Hackworth were arrested after robbing a Stewarts Point convenience store.
February 3, 1970: Barry Mills convicted of first-degree armed robbery after co-defendant William Hackworth testified for the prosecution. Barry Mills sentenced to 5 years to life in prison.
April 21, 1972: Aryan Brotherhood members Fred Mendrin and Donald Hale murdered Fred Castillo by stabbing him to death at the Chino Institute for Men. Castillo was the leader of the Nuestra Familia gang. The Aryan Brotherhood murdered Castillo as part of a contract with the Mexican Mafia.
December 15, 1972: Aryan Brotherhood members Fred Mendrin and Donald Hale sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Fred Castillo.
1973: The Aryan Brotherhood was officially formed in the federal prison system.
October 18, 1977: Aryan Brotherhood member Little Joe O’Rourke engaged in a vicious gun battle with campus police at El Camino Community College. The gun battle erupted when the police, as part of a routine check, disrespected Little Joe by asking him for his student I.D. Little Joe was wounded and arrested.
November 25, 1977: Aryan Brotherhood members David Owens and New York Crane robbed the Bank of America in Agoura, California. They got away with $9,000.
December 2, 1977: New York Crane named as the prime suspect in the murder of fellow Aryan Brotherhood member Hogjaw Cochran.
December 29, 1977: Barry Mills released from San Quentin State Prison.
January 11, 1978: Aryan Brotherhood member David Owens arrested and charged with robbing the Bank of America in Agoura, California. Owens had $3,844 on him when arrested.
March 13, 1978: David Owens convicted of bank robbery. He was sentenced to federal prison. His co-defendant “New York” Crane was held over in Orange County Jail and charged with the murder of Hogjaw Cochran.
March 31, 1978: Little Joe O’Rourke, who opened fire on the El Camino Community College campus, sentenced to seven years in prison.
June 1978: Barry Mills sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for planning a bank robbery in Fresno, California. The bank was robbed by the Aryan Brotherhood in June 1976. Barry Mills did not participate in the robbery, but provided the blueprint for it.