Spike O’Toole was in and out of prison. The first newspaper reference I found relating to him was on July 13, 1965, in the Boston Globe. It read that a Quincy man named John Flannery was shot and dumped from a car at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Tremont Street at 2:56 a.m. He “staggered to a nearby taxi stand and cried: “Help me. I’ve been shot. Spike O’Toole dit(sic) it.”
Dick Connolly of the Globe, another columnists with good FBI and Boston police connections wrote the next day on July 14, 1965, that “O’Toole who . . . harbored McLaughlin while the latter was among the FBI’s 10 most wanted criminals, has been marked for death since last December . . . [he was just about to be released from state prison] when he received a telegram [indicating that he’d soon get what Harold Hannon received who was found garroted and floating in Boston Harbor]” Connolly went on to write: “O’Toole . . . has not tried to hide his fear. He has conceded that he probably is number one on the current “hit parade” but he claims he does not know who is trying to eliminate him.”
Whitey is involved in none of these ongoing disputes. He’s just out of prison in 1965.
Spike was arrested at the end of September when he came back from the Cape to visit his mother at her Dorchester home. She was seriously ill. He was next mentioned on October 25, 1965, when he was convicted of being an accessory after the fact to murder by helping McLaughlin hide out.
Six years later on September 25, 1973, two masked men carrying revolvers shot Spike on Linda Lane in Savin Hill putting him in the Boston City Hospital for a month. Murderman knows nothing of this for if he did he would have told us in his tell-all book. One would think those who tried to kill Spike in September returned to finish the job a month after he was out of the hospital. As I mentioned, Spike was murdered around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 1. 1973, at the intersection of Dorchester Avenue and Savin Hill Avenue.
Howie Carr in his 2006 book had already decided on a theory for his killing. He wrote that Whitey “still needed to eliminate some of his old rivals in Town.” Like other things in Howie’s books he made that up. Whitey was not around during the McLaughlin wars and Spike had nothing to do with Southie’s rackets. He wasn’t a Whitey rival.
Carr had it that Eddie Connors, the owner of Bulldog’s, a bar on Savin Hill Avenue, “was tight with Howie Winter” who was gunning for Spike. One night Spike was “tying one on at the Bulldog.” Connors called Winter to tell him he was there for the taking.
Carr went on with his fiction writing, “Sitting in a black car . . . Johnny Martorano waited for Spike to stagger out of the Bulldog, then machine-gunned him in front of the Avenue Laundry.” For that to make sense Spike would have had to stagger past Sydney Street, walk a block past stores and St. William’s school and cross Tuttle Street, continue another block and cross Saxon Street, then go on past the next block to Sagamore Street where he was reported living, pass that and amble the next block to Auckland Street, and finally traversing over the final block to Dorchester Avenue. He’d have perambulated closing in on if not passing a 1/2 mile, perhaps the longest drunk staggering walk in history, something for the Guinness record book. It’ also amazing Murderman could sit in a car and watch this long stagger.
This would be picked up by Murderman in his recital of the murder. Their problem was Spike was not in Bulldog just before he got killed. He was in a bar at the corner of Dorchester and Savin Hill Avenues, Gavin’s. Carr put him at Bulldog because he wanted to pretend he knew why Eddie Connors was hit eighteen months later.
Howie Carr wrote Connors was murdered because “he fingered Spike O’Toole, a year or so earlier . . . [and] he had taken to bragging about setting up O’Toole for Howie Winter.” But as we saw, that never happened. Connors did not set up Spike since was not in Connor’s place but another bar near his Auckland Street address. Carr just throws things out without any basis to support them. Sadly, his fictions become fact.
Murderman agrees somewhat with Howie Carr. He says they “watched Spike unsteadily leave the Bulldog, and he reeled down to the corner to wait for the bus. . . .” A Boston Globe report on December 3, 1973, two days after the Saturday night murder puts Spike in the correct bar room. It has him leaving the Gavin Grille on Dorchester Avenue right next to that intersection of Savin Hill Avenue.
Spike was in a bar within a short walk of his home and a long walk to Bulldogs. Murderman has him without a car waiting for a bus. The cops report he was heading for his car. The cops said as Spike walked from Gavin’s an unidentified man walked up to him and stared an argument. That man backed away. Spike was then gunned down by a nearby parked car.
The more these events are studied and the patina of fiction is peeled away, it seems that Whitey had no involvement in any of the murders during the pre-Flemmi days in the Learning Years. It also seems Winter Hill had nothing to do with O’Keefe’s murder. Them that did Spike in were the same guys that tried in September. It wasn’t Winter Hill. Martorano involved himself in this, tossed in Whitey so he could make his deal; Carr makes up things to sell his books.
Neither man ever thought Whitey would be caught and their stories subject to scrutiny. Sort of gives one a creepy feeling thinking how their lies are believed by others, especially the prosecutors.