Gus Henry Hoffman Jr.

Endangered Missing

Missing From: San Jose, California

Missing Since: July 4, 1978

Age: 20 -- Height: 5'8" -- Weight: 120 lbs -- Hair Color: Brown -- Eye Color: Brown

Gus' nickname is Gussie.

Gus was not a biker, but one of his hobbies was restoring vintage motorcycles. In October 1977, Gus bought a 1966 Harley Davidson and spent eight months restoring to mint condition. He planned to sell it when finished.

On July 4, 1978 he finished the work on the bike, showed it off to his brother, and took the bike for a ride. He never made it back home. When Gus didn't return, his mother reported him as missing to the police. Since the police couldn't do anything for 48 hours, his mother started canvass the neighborhood. A witness reported seeing Gus with two other men on motorbikes. The men were later identified as bikers from a motorcycle gang. The bikers had argued with Gus, threatened him with chains, and when he left on his bike, they had followed him.

Gus' mother worked for many years to try to find out what happened to her son. She went undercover to biker hangouts and hired a private investigator. An informant told her Gus had been killed, and that he was tortured for days. The informant feared for her life, and would not talk to the police. After one of the bikers was killed, people who had been too afraid to talk to the police before, started to cooperate. Investigators found out that Gus had been forced to go to the residence of the leader of the motorcycle gang. He had been forced to enter the garage, where acts of violence toward him took place. This resulted in his death, and the disappearance of his motorcycle.

More than ten years after Gus' disappearance, three suspects were charged with Gus' homicide and sentenced to life in prison. No trace of Gus was ever found.

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