IT WOULD HAVE TAKEN a bunch of guys with bad intentions to take James "Black Beast" Williams down.
Williams, a veteran and longtime member of the State Burners Motorcycle Club, never had beefs with anyone, though, a longtime friend said.
But he was found dead inside a conversion van Sunday at the Southwest Philly storage facility where he did security work.
Police said Williams, 69, lay facedown in a 1986 GMC Savana, his hands and legs tied behind his back. He had been badly beaten.
At the home where police said Williams lived, in Overbrook, a friend said Williams just used the house to get mail. Williams, he said, lived out of the van at Locker Room Self Storage on 62nd Street near Woodland Avenue and worked security there.
"If he had an enemy, I didn't know it," said the friend, who asked not to be identified. "I know this, there had to be more than one of them."
The friend said Williams kept his Kawasaki motorcycle at the storage facility and was known as "Black Beast" in the State Burners, a decades-old club with chapters across the country.
"He loved to ride. That bike was his baby," the friend said. "He once drove it all the way to Kansas City."
The State Burner's clubhouse sits about a mile from the storage facility on Woodland Avenue near Paxon Street. A few people sat at the bar there last night, but a man who answered the door declined to comment.
A man behind a counter at the storage facility referred all comments to management, but no one from the company returned requests for comment.
Williams, the friend said, had been married in the past and had children.
"He didn't deserve this," the man said.
Police are offering a $20,000 reward for an arrest and conviction in the case.