The 1979 disappearance of Susan Marie DeQuina

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Situated only 10 miles north of Boston lies the city of Lynn, Massachusetts, where Susan Marie DeQuina, 22, lived with her two young sons in an apartment owned by her father.

Susan dated Michele Gagnon, a member of the Quebec chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.

On October 3, 1979, Gagnon showed up with several unidentified people at Susan’s place. Gagnon told her he wanted to buy her a new refrigerator. 

Susan asked a teenage neighbor to babysit the kids. When the babysitter arrived, the apartment was full of people. At 6 p.m., Susan, Gagnon, and the others departed the residence. 

Gagnon returned at 1 a.m. without Susan. Police found her burned car near the Lynn-Saugus line shortly after her disappearance.

Two boys playing in a field on November 4, 1979, found a human torso near the area where police located Susan’s car. Authorities eventually identified the remains as Robert Garbino, Gagnon’s friend and part-time roommate. Gagnon lived half the time with Susan and the other with Garbino.

According to the Facebook page Today in Horror History, the torso was “wrapped in carpet bound with a lamp cord. Sections of the skin had been peeled off — presumably to remove a tattoo — and blood-soaked clothing was found in a nearby dumpster.”

Investigators found Garbino’s severed hands and head buried behind his garage while searching the residence he shared with Gagnon at 126 Winnepurkit Avenue in Lynn. 

Garbino had been shot in the head inside his home. Police theorized his dismemberment was either an afterthought by the killer or a warning to others.

Then-Lt. George Harney said: “Maybe Garbino violated some code. But then maybe the guy who killed him was spaced out. It’s a really bizarre thing.”

According to a November 1979 article in the Boston Globe, “Garbino was allegedly an ‘upwardly mobile’ member of Hell’s Angels.” But Boston 25 News reported in 2020 that he was a member of the Outlaw biker gang. This is not likely, as the two gangs have been rivals for decades.

Garbino was in his 20s and worked for his father at Lynn Marsh Auto Body Co. on Lynn Marsh Road.

Police attempted to locate Gagnon after Garbino’s death, but he had disappeared. However, investigators found him dead from a gun wound on November 25, 1979, in an apartment in Bridgeport, CT. His death was ruled a suicide, but current investigators are skeptical because of Susan’s disappearance, Garbino’s murder, and Gagnon’s affiliation with Hells Angels.

Susan DeQuina: photos of Michele Gagnon, Robert Garbino
(L) Michele Gagnon (R) Robert Garbino (Photo credit: The Charley Project)

Susan has never been found, and police say there is no evidence she lived beyond October 3, 1979. She reportedly threatened to break up with Gagnon after the motorcycle club used her credit cards to rent vehicles for transporting drugs.

In an interview in January 2020 with Bob Ward of Boston 25 News, Adam DeQuina, Susan’s son and four at the time of her disappearance, recalled a memory he had of his mother and Gagnon.

“My mother chased her boyfriend out of the house with a hammer,” Adam DeQuina recalled. “No one got arrested. I can remember that whole situation, just crying.”

Adam wants answers about his mother’s disappearance. Anyone with information on Susan’s disappearance can call Lynn Police at 781-595-2000.

TCD’s Thoughts

I feel like I landed in an episode of “Sons of Anarchy” with this case.

Clearly, Gagnon and the “unidentified others” took Susan somewhere, likely the HA clubhouse, and killed her over her credit cards and possible breakup with Gagnon. It was a retaliation murder, and they probably disposed of her remains in a manner they will never be discovered.

Susan likely had other info on the club because of Gagnon, and I am sure she had visited the place, too. Her refusal to allow future use of her credit cards likely pissed off the higher-ups in the club. Maybe she threatened Gagnon with the police. 

So, why was Gagnon killed? Even the police do not believe he committed suicide. I don’t either; it’s evident that the club killed him over Susan’s disappearance and/or Garbino’s murder.

Why was Garbino killed? Well, he could have been one of the unidentified people with Gagnon on the night Susan vanished.

Let’s say he was a member of the Outlaws vs. Hells Angels, as Ward reported. Maybe both clubs did not know that Gagnon and Garbino were friends and somehow found out around the time of Susan’s disappearance. Wouldn’t that friendship lead to severe repercussions for the men?

“Today in Horror History” also posted that Garbino’s killing might have been over a “drug rip-off.” But what are the chances that his murder is unrelated to Susan’s disappearance? I’d say slim to none. Those boys found his torso near the area where police found Susan’s car.

Gagnon might have been a weak link and/or couldn’t handle living with what happened to Susan. I don’t know; maybe it was because of his knowledge about her death and other club-related shit. 

HA had a nasty reputation, and its members regularly used intimidation to their advantage. For example, in 1964, “a 36-year-old widow and mother of seven children claimed she had received two telephone calls threatening her life if she signed complaints against ’15 or 20′ Hells Angels who allegedly raped her,” the Washington Post reported in November 1979. 

The newspaper covered the trial of HA member Sonny Barger’s second wife, Sharon, and several HA members, all charged with “operating illegal drug operations and using violence to protect it.”

So, imagine Susan, who wanted to break up with Gagnon over her credit cards being used by the club. What do you think they did to her? Several people showed up with Gagnon that night, and I can guarantee they were all HA members. And they were there for one reason and one reason only: to kill Susan. They didn’t give two shits that she had children and were just mad because she didn’t want them using her shit any longer.

How movie-like things were with HA. “Hey, if you don’t do what we want you to do, we’re going to f*ck you up.” It’s straight out of “Sons of Anarchy,” which used HA members as consultants and background actors on the show. 

I wonder if any longtime Hells Angels members know what happened to Susan. 

Greg Domey owns a motorcycle shop in Saugus, MA, and in Antioch, CA, called Sin City Cycles. The Saugus store was originally in Lynn.

Domey is a longtime Hells Angels member and, at one time, was president of the Salem chapter and head of the East Coast Angels. Pictures of him show a big man who likely scared the shit out of most people by his presence alone. I think he probably was good at intimidation; just saying.

Domey received a 20-year prison sentence in December 1997 on charges of “running a criminal enterprise that sold cocaine and meth,” the Boston Globe reported. 

In September 1996, the Feds raided Hells Angels Salem clubhouse near Union Place in Lynn. Police also searched several properties, including Sin City Cycles, where they found numerous guns and drugs. 

According to a tiny bit in an online article, Domey was “linked to the gruesome 1979 murder of a rival gang member.” I do not know who the victim was, but it was an unrelated crime. However, Domey was a HA prospect with the Salem chapter at the time; therefore, he likely knew the details surrounding Susan’s demise and might have participated. I don’t think it’s a crazy theory.

On his Instagram page, he posted an old pic of himself and said he was voted in as a member on 6/26/80, around age 20, less than a year after Susan disappeared. I believe he knows what happened to her, at the very least. I mean, how could he not?

But he lives and breathes Hells Angels, so any possible knowledge of Susan’s murder will die with him one day. Domey is proud to be a HA member and has claimed to be “living the dream” since 1980. Whatever floats your boat.

However, the crime blogger in me cannot ignore that he went to prison and committed many crimes back in the day, probably more than we will ever know.

If the clubhouse walls could talk… 

People glorify the Hells Angels. Sonny Barger, who died earlier this year, has a FB page with nearly 600,000 followers. His wife, the last of four, appears to run the page now. 

The man beat the shit out of his third wife and got a slap on the wrist. 

Domey has nearly 20K followers on Instagram. 

I realize the Hells Angels may not be the same today as in the 60s and 70s, but they still commit crimes worldwide. And I would wager they still use intimidation to get what they want.

Adam deserves answers about his mother’s disappearance. You’re an asshole if you know what happened to this beautiful young MOTHER and never revealed the details of her death or the location of her remains because of an oath or obligation.

It’s interesting what Adam told Ward about Gagnon chasing Susan with a knife: “No one got arrested.” His statement suggests that local police might have brushed off the horrifying incident because of Gagnon’s connections to Hell’s Angels. Or perhaps Susan was too terrified to report it for the same reason.

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True Crime Diva

True Crime Diva

I've blogged true crime since 2010, happily taking up only a tiny corner of the internet. I'm not here for attention; I'm here to tell you their stories.

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