PHOTOS VIDEOS Warlocks MC boss Thomas “Contender” McGarry of Warlocks Rising

Contender Warlocks Rising

Tonight on Discovery the Warlocks Motorcycle Club will be providing viewers a rare inside glimpse at a 1% biker club on the show Warlocks Rising.

Here’s part of the official press release for the show that helps explain the 1% moniker:

WARLOCKS RISING goes inside The Warlocks, one of the country’s most infamous 1% motorcycle clubs.  The 1% moniker stems from a controversial quote from the American Motorcycle Association stating that 99% of all motorcycle riders are law-abiding citizens, implying that 1% were not.  Today, 1% motorcycle clubs are considered outlaws by law enforcement and the government.

While the notorious club with a violent history has clubs in various locations, the focus of the mini-series is on Florida, in particular the Mother Chapter out of Orlando. The current boss of the Mother Chapter is Thomas “Contender” McGarry and his story is a legendary one that reads like something scripted from a TV show (Sons of Anarchy for instance).

Here’s Contender’s brief video intro followed by his bio from Discovery:

Contender, the Boss of the Mother Chapter, has been with the Warlocks for 24 years. Being Boss of the Mother Chapter, the first Warlocks chapter, carries both notoriety and added responsibilities. It is frequently watched by the Feds and requires more security personnel and equipment due to being a constant target.

Contender has lived through rival club wars, clubhouse bombings, ATF infiltration and takedowns, as well as personal tragedies including the deaths of his best friend George and his first wife Kathy.

George was murdered on Contender’s first day probating for the Warlocks. Stabbed by two members of a rival club.

Contender’s best friend George

Contender and Kathy were riding one night soon after George’s death and, at 80 mph, ran into the rear of an unlighted truck. Kathy died instantly. Contender would spend the next 12 months in recovery. Initially comatose and breathing off a ventilator, he would have to relearn who he was, have his hip replaced, pins placed in his legs and steel plates to rebuild his face. He would eventually learn that he was married only to then be told his wife was dead.

He also learned that, at the time of the accident, he had a 3-month-old daughter at home. Knowing he had a little girl became his motivation to recover.

Contender later re-married to Melanie who has now been with Contender just over 20 years. Contender has two daughters. His first, Miranda, daughter with Kathy, is now 23. He and Melanie have a daughter, Madeline, 19, who wears a ‘Daughter of Contender’ patch.

Contender with his wife in a vintage photo
Melanie and Thomas “Contender” McGarry of Warlocks Rising

In March 1991, the Orlando Sentinel reported that McGarry was accused by agent Bill Mrock with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as being the driver of the “war wagon,” a truck allegedly used by the Warlocks as part of a wrecking crew that was used to beat, kidnap and even shoot enemies. McGarry’s lawyer denied the claims. This testimony came after an undercover sting called “Operation Easy Rider” resulted in the arrest of 41 people, including McGarry.

The ATF actually executed the take down of those arrested during the funeral of one of the club’s members, Raymond ”Bear” Chaffin, who was found shot to death execution-style in his home.

The boss at the time, John ”Spike” Ingrao, was said to have told undercover agents that he had a ”select group who were members of the wrecking crew to take care of business.”

Thomas "Contender" McGarry Warlocks Rising
Contender with his daughter Madeline

To help the defense’s argument that the charges were trumped and overblown, they brought in McGarry’s mother, Angela, to comment on the support and charitable nature of the Warlocks. ”Before my son’s accident, I didn’t know much about them, but they are good businessmen and stick with each other and help each other,” she said.

Part of the defense in regards to the weaponry found during the bust was that the members needed them to defend themselves from rival gang, The Outlaws. McGarry testified that he had been shot at 6 different times by members of The Outlaws.

During a 2008 episode of Gangland, the Warlocks were covered in detail and in the following portion of the clip you can see Contender talking about the stabbing death of his friend George:

Warlocks Rising premieres tonight on Discovery at 9/8c.

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