The Killer Beez (Killa Bees) are a large street gang based in New Zealand, mainly based in the South Auckland area. They were founded in 2003, as a large rogue street gang in Otara, as a spin-off of the larger "Tribesmen" gang. The Killer Beez were formerly headed by Josh Masters, a well-known kickboxer, also a former vice-president of the Tribesmen MC.
|Founded by||Josh Masters|
|Criminal activities||Drug manufacturing, Drug sales, Aggravated robbery, Assassination, Fraud, Money laundering.|
|Allies||Tribesmen, Black Power, Crips, "Bad Troublesome Ward"|
|Rivals||Bloods, Mongrel Mob|
Insignia and SlangEdit
The Killer Beez emblem or "patch" consists of the words "Killer Beez" and "AO MOJO" that act as the surrounding rockers for their Skull Fingers Up emblem of a middle finger extended upright with a partially extended thumb. Evident in all of the gangs music videos, released on the YouTube account colourwayrecords, the gang predominantly wear black and yellow, the same colours used in their logo.
Killer Beez members are commonly referred to as Killer(s) or simply as KB by those closely associated with the gang.
A common phrase within the gang's music, as well as being used in its logo, is the term AO, pronounced as separate letters, which is an acronym for the gang motto, All Out.
Notable Members and AssociatesEdit
The New Zealand Companies Office lists Colourway Records as registered from 19 February 2007 until 25 February 2014. The company was directly owned by the partner of Josh Masters, Natalie Patricia Eyles. The company address listed was a well known pad for The Killer Beez Gang.
- In May 2008, Josh Masters and 41 other members from both the Tribesman and The Killer Beez gangs were arrested in a police sting. In total 60 Killer Beez were arrested in an operation which involved 110,000 intercepted messages. Charges included supplying methamphetamine, conspiracy to supply methamphetamine and money laundering. Masters pleaded guilty and fought to have that overturned, but failed.
- In June 2008, several Killer Beez members, including leader Vila Lemanu and member Christopher Shadrock, were convicted for killing Chinese businesswoman Joanne Wang, after they ran her over in a Manukau shopping mall carpark in front of her 8-year-old son.
- In November 2008, Masters received a 'jailhouse beating' for an outburst in court, leading to complications in the trials of multiple associates.
- On 15 May 2010, Killer Beez member Latu Kepu killed prison guard Jason Palmer with a single punch at medium-security Springhill Prison. The death has been a rumoured gang hit ordered by the Killer Beez.
- On 3 August 2012, Masters was sentenced to 10 years and 5 months in prison for organising drug deals after police intercepted thousands of his coded phone conversations.
- In September 2014, Killer Beez associate Hendrix Hauwai, 17, attacked Lucy Knight, punching her in the head after she tried to intervene in a failed bag-snatch outside a North Shore supermarket. In February 2014, Huawai was sentenced to jail for 4 years and 9 months by North Shore District Court Judge Pippa Sinclair.
- In October 2016, six guards were attacked with three being injured in a premeditated attack at Auckland Prison at Paremoremo. The attack occurred on 19 October 2016 after a group of inmates in C Block at Auckland Prison attacked guards with three suffering stab wounds to their heads, necks, hands and shoulders just before 2pm. It is widely thought by inmates at Paremoremo that the attack was planned and carried out by members of the Killer Beez gang.
- On 4 November 2016, prominent Killer Bee, Rory William O'Neill, was fatally shot in Blockhouse Bay, two months after being released from prison. O'Neill was reported to have asked not to be released due to the Killers Beez ensuring his safety within the prison system.
- In October 2017, members of the Killer Beez and the 36 (Three Six) gangs were involved in a shooting, where three males in Otara were shot in a drive-by shooting. Although the assailants were not identified, the victims of the shooting identified them as members of the gangs.
- On April 26, 2019 Killer Beez head Josh Masters, a prominent gang member was shot by a member of the Tribesmen at a Harley Davidson dealership in Mount Wellington, Auckland. It was an extremely unusual event as both the Killer Beez and Tribesmen were very close gangs that were in a very strong alliance considering the Killer Beez was founded by the Tribesmen as a feeder gang for the Tribesmen.
- Bradley, Michael (31 January 2009). "Killer Beez diss stings Dawn Raid". Stuff News.
- Smith, Lawrence (31 January 2009). "Gang boss badly beaten in prison". Stuff News. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
- Johnston, Kirsty (9 June 2013). "LA-style gangs fuel problems in NZ prisons". Stuff News. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
- Smith, Ray. "Private Business, Public Failure - Inside our Prisons". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
- Bradley, Michael (31 January 2009). "Rapper Young Sid". Sunday Star Times. Stuff News. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
- Fox, Michael (7 October 2011). "Killer Beez boss on the run". Stuff News. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
- "Police on alert ahead of Killer Beez gang member funeral in Waihi". Stuff News. 9 November 2017. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
- Dennett, Kelly (13 January 2018). "Killer Beez member shot after jail release". Weekend Herald. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
- "COLOURWAY RECORDS LIMITED (1903535) Removed". www.companiesoffice.govt.nz. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
- "New Zealand Parliament - Crimes Amendment Bill, Local Government Amendment Bill, Sentencing Amendment Bill (No 3) — Third Readings". parliament.nz. 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
I ask members to consider a gang called the Killer Beez. It has its own hip-hop record label called Colourway Records. What does it do? It makes music videos—recruitment advertisements for gangs, thinly disguised as music videos, that are played on mainstream
- "44 in dock after drug raids". nzherald.co.nz. 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
During the operation, police seized $200,000 in cash, 538g of pure methamphetamine with a street value of more than $500,000, nearly 400g of cannabis, 15 vehicles under the Proceeds of Crimes Act, 12 firearms and all the assets from the business premises of Colourway Records in Otara.
- "Top Kiwi rapper works 9 to 5 to pay the bills". Stuff.co.nz. Sunday News. 17 January 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
- "Killer Beez a 'school for gangstas'". Stuff.co.nz. 13 September 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
- Laxon, Andrew (2 July 2011). "Out in force on the mean streets". nzherald.co.nz. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
But in 2008 police smashed both gangs wide open with a six-month cannabis and methamphetamine sting operation that arrested 60 Killer Beez members and put many of the gang's leaders in jail.
- Stickley, Tony (2011). "Police bugs track 110,000 gang messages". nzherald.co.nz. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
Police intercepted more than 110,000 phone and text messages between the Killer Beez and Tribesmen gang members during a major three-month drug operation in South Auckland and the Waikato.
- "Gang boss badly beaten in prison". stuff.co.nz. 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
- Gay, Edward (28 September 2011). "Killer Beez boss seeks to have guilty plea revoked". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
- "Josh Masters runs Killer Beez gang from prison". stuff.co.nz. 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
- Cowlishaw, Shane (23 August 2016). "Killer Beez president Josh Masters allegedly running gang from behind bars". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
- Smith, Lawrence (22 November 2008). "Gang boss badly beaten in prison". Sunday News. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
- "Killer Beez gang founder jailed for more than 10 years". The New Zealand Herald. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
- Field, Michael (9 February 2015). "Hendrix Hauwai jailed for attack on good samaritan". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
- Leask, Anna (21 October 2016). "Six, not three guards injured in Paremoremo prison attack". News Talk ZB. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
- Dennett, Kelly (13 January 2018). "Homicide victim released from prison just months before death". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
- Harris, Sarah (6 October 2017). "'There was too much blood': Drive-by shooting victim recounts horror". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
- "Man critically wounded at Auckland Harley Davidson store believed to be Killer Beez gang president". TVNZ. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
- "Gang expert: Concern as tension rises between Killer Beez and Tribesmen". NZ Herald. 28 April 2019. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 20 April 2020.