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posted 06-11-2004 10:01 AM     Profile for Poindexter     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post ( Print Post ) ( Print Thread )
Anthony Diaz convicted for role in Fort Bragg family massacre in 1986

June 11, 2004


UKIAH -- Hells Angel Charles Anthony Diaz was sentenced Thursday to 29 years to life in prison for killing a 5-year-old girl during the massacre of her family in Fort Bragg almost 18 years ago.

Diaz, who did not testify during the trial, broke his silence before the sentencing and angrily denied he killed Dallas Grondalski.

"I stand before the court an innocent man," Diaz told visiting Judge Stanley Young, speaking fast and loud while looking down at the statement in his shackled hands. "My conviction rests on a body of lies."

Diaz, 56, said the two key prosecution witnesses, Hells Angels members Mike Tankersley and Charlie Haas, were the ones who killed Dallas Grondalski, her father, William Grondalski, her mother, Patty Grondalski, and her half-brother, Jeremy Vandagriff, 17.

"Both will rob, murder and rape again," Diaz warned. "The devil will demand his due.

"Be very afraid."

Deputy Attorney General Mike O'Reilley noted defense attorneys made similar contentions throughout the trial, but jurors were able to see the truth.

"There's no question" Diaz is guilty, O'Reilley said after the hearing.

Diaz's accomplice, Gerald Michael Lester, is already serving four life sentences for the 1986 killings.

Lester and Diaz killed the family during a confrontation gone awry, O'Reilley said during the trial. He said the men went to confront William Grondalski, a former member of the Hells Angels Vallejo chapter who had left the motorcycle club on bad terms.

Witnesses said Grondalski owed money to the motorcycle club and had failed to obliterate his Hells Angels trademark tattoo. Members who leave the club in bad standing are required to obliterate the tattoo, O'Reilley said.

O'Reilley contended a struggle took place and Lester shot William Grondalski. Lester and Diaz then killed the rest of the family to cover up the homicide.

Grondalski family members were visibly relieved after the sentencing. "I'm glad it's finally over," said William Grondalski's brother, John. "We can move on and smile and get on with our lives."

The case took 17 years to investigate and prosecute, costing more than $4 million by the time Diaz's trial began in March.

Sheriff's detectives worked the tangled case for nine years before they got a break in 1995, when Tankersley and Haas, separately from each other, offered to testify.

It took three trials to convict Lester of four murder counts. Diaz was tried on only one count after several failed attempts to get multiple charges to stick.

Diaz's mother, who did not attend the trial, maintained her son is innocent during a break in Thursday's proceedings.

"He wouldn't hurt anything," said Rita Diaz.

Diaz's attorney, Ed Alvord, filed a notice to appeal the case.

Also sentenced Thursday was one of three people convicted of helping Diaz and Lester cover up the crime.

Young sentenced Robert Laurence Huffman to 20 months in prison.

Co-conspirator Sammie Louise Lester, Lester's ex-wife, was sentenced to 32 months in prison on May 27.

The third conspirator, Mary Anne Roach, is scheduled to be sentenced June 29.

You can reach Staff Writer Glenda Anderson at 462-6473 or

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posted 06-11-2004 02:33 PM       Edit/Delete Post ( Print Post ) ( Print Thread )
Ugly story.

Senseless shit.

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The Man We Love To Hate...
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posted 06-11-2004 02:41 PM     Profile for The Man We Love To Hate...     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post ( Print Post ) ( Print Thread )
Mike_B...perfect words...I was just reading this story on another site and could not think of any response,but my Friend you found the words and as always your phrase hit the bullseye Brother...Thanks...Free Rusty...
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posted 06-11-2004 02:49 PM       Edit/Delete Post ( Print Post ) ( Print Thread )
I've been reading about this story for years. I don't know what really went down. It's just a shame, man. Killing little children ain't right.

Another story:

Murder trial: 29 years to life sentence for Diaz

By PEIJEAN TSAI/The Daily Journal

The ex-Hells Angels leader convicted of involvement in the October 1986 massacre of a Fort Bragg family has been sentenced to 29 years to life in state prison and ordered to pay $20,000 toward a victim restitution fund.

Charles Anthony Diaz, 56, of Vallejo, was convicted May 5 of fatally cutting the throat of 5-year-old Dallas Grondalski. The girl was slain in her home with her family Bill, 32, Patty, 34, and Jeremy Vandegriff, 17, Patty's son from a previous marriage.

An accomplice, Gerald "Butch" Lester of Arkansas, was convicted November 1997 after three trials and is serving four life sentences. Diaz previously was accused of killing the entire family with Gerald Lester, but he was charged with one murder in this latest trial due to lack of evidence.

Three co-defendants Mary Anne Hodgson, 46, Robert L. Huffman, 62, and Sammie Louise Lester, 42 were also convicted in the same trial for conspiracy to cover up the murder.


On May 27, Sammie Lester, Gerald Lester's ex-wife, was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison and ordered to pay a $200 fine. She already was serving time for drug and child endangerment charges.

Huffman, who is in jail for two child molestation offenses, was sentenced Thursday to one year and eight months. Hodgson will be sentenced later this month.

After a judge denied a routine motion for a new trial, Diaz read a statement before being sentenced Thursday.

In the statement, the Vallejo man affirmed his innocence and repeated what his attorney Ed Alvord argued in the trial that the real killers were Charlie Haas and Mike Tankersley, two former Sonoma County Hells Angels who testified that Diaz admitted the murders.

"Both will rape, rob and murder again," said Diaz, speaking quickly with a fierce tone as he sat in an orange jail jumpsuit.

Haas is currently in prison for multi-state drug trafficking and previously was convicted of murdering a disco manager in Germany. Tankersley, who isn't incarcerated, has a long criminal past, including assaults on police officers.

"These two animal psychopaths we will exact (vengeance) for sending an innocent person to jail for life," Diaz continued.

Both visiting Judge Stanley Young and relatives of the murder victims said they felt Diaz was making a threat rather than showing remorse. The prosecutor, Deputy Attorney General Michael O'Reilley, called Diaz' attitude "cold-blooded" and "arrogant."

Even as the relatives of the Grondalski family scorned Diaz for the crime, the convicted man kept his head down, not looking at his addressors.

"We can move on; we can smile and get on with our lives," said Bill Grondalski's 53-year-old brother John after thanking the prosecution for settling a case that has plagued him for nearly 18 years.

"I want to thank the court and everybody for this: justice for Dallas," said Patty Grondalski's sister Debbie Kast, 50, holding up a T-shirt with the 5-year-old's photo and the words "Justice for Dallas."

Diaz could apply for parole after serving approximately 18 years of his sentence; however, parole is rarely granted for first- and second-degree murderers.

The Vallejo man has a criminal history, including drug and weapons offenses, but no prior felony convictions. His mother, who didn't speak before the court, quietly affirmed his innocence Thursday.

"He's not capable of doing something as bad as this," said Rita Diaz, who appeared in court for the first time during her son's legal proceedings. She briefly waved at Diaz during a court recess, but otherwise the mother and son did not appear to interact.

Shortly before the murders, the Grondalski family had moved to Fort Bragg from the Vallejo area, where Bill had been a member of the renegade motorcycle club.

Vallejo Hells Angels President Gerald Lester and Vice President Charles Diaz went after Bill because he had left the club in bad standing, owing the chapter money and sporting the club's tattoo, according to the state prosecutor.

Lester then accidentally shot Bill in a scuffle, and to get rid of potential witnesses, he and Diaz then killed the rest of the family, O'Reilley told jurors. Dallas' throat was cut by Diaz, after which, Lester shot her, O'Reilley said.

The house was later set on fire to destroy evidence.

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The Man We Love To Hate...
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posted 06-11-2004 03:05 PM     Profile for The Man We Love To Hate...     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post ( Print Post ) ( Print Thread )
this is the story i was reading,thanks for moving it here ,man can be more brutal than any animal that has or ever will walk the earth...the proof is in the reading ...thank you again Mike_B...
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posted 10-15-2005 09:51 PM     Profile for Beth     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post ( Print Post ) ( Print Thread )
I went to high school with Bill Grondalski. He was so quiet and soft spoken back then.. I can't even picture him as a Hell's Angels member. Such a horrible story!
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posted 10-16-2005 06:05 PM     Profile for popehat     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post ( Print Post ) ( Print Thread )
A despicable and cowardly murder by any standards.

Remember, Lt Calley murdered countless women and children at My Lai, Vietnam, in 1968.
Does that make the entire US Army guilty by association?

Only if you want it to.

L & R popehat

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