According to federal prosecutors, four California members of the Hells Angeles motorcycle club may have been clandestinely cremated at a funeral home after they were murdered by other members of the group.
The claims revolve primarily around the Sonoma and Fresno chapters of the Hells Angels. Prosecutors say that in 2014, three Hells Angels living in Santa Rosa and Tulare believed fellow member Joel Silva was "creating problems" for the Sonoma County chapter and that "he had to be killed." They arranged for Silva to visit the Fresno Hells Angels clubhouse where he was shot in the head, prosecutors say. His body has never been found.
As part of the investigation into Silva's death and subsequent cover-up, federal investigators came to believe that Fresno Hells Angel Merl Frederick Hefferman, 54, was involved in arranging a secret cremation. Levi Phipps, a manager at the Yost and Webb funeral home in Fresno, testified that in the leadup to Silva's death, Hefferman asked for keys to the funeral home and spoke of a "fascination with the crematory" and a desire to make "something disappear."
Prosecutors wrote, "Common sense dictates that the only reason Hefferman wanted that access was to make bodies disappear without a trace."[…]
Three additional men associated with the Hells Angeles also went missing and prosecutors believe they may have suffered the same fiery fate. Hefferman pleaded guilty only to the charge of obstructing justice and hasn't been charged in the other cases. His sentencing is Thursday.