§20: Re-Examining Whitey Bulger: The Learning Years: A Reflection On Murderman’s Evidence

Old Filene’s Basement
Where Non-Gansters
Bought Their Suits

Why am I analyzing these things when you know down the line that I’m going to have Whitey involved in some of the murders that he is charged with? I suppose it’s the same reason we have in our common law tradition for giving the defendant a right to confront the witnesses against her and subject their statements to cross-examination. I’m trying to get at the truth as best I can so I can answer the question how bad was Whitey? I want to know whether the Justice Department made a deal with the truly bad guys in order to gin up a prosecution of one man who has been made into a larger than life criminal by fiction writers?

When Murderman Martorano came forward to make a deal he was motivated by one great fear. He’s admitted this. He’s in a race to get a bargain for himself before someone else offers him up as bait to the prosecutors to get his own deal. The rats are all abandoning the ship. The person Murderman said he was worried about was Flemmi. He knew Flemmi could give him up on several  murders.

Murderman knew Flemmi was not a stand up guy. He knew Flemmi would fold. Flemmi never did time. Flemmi feared doing time. Flemmi was a rat since the mid-Fifties so he realized Flemmi was not a real gangster but a guy who wanted to murder people who also didn’t want to face the consequences of his actions expecting the FBI would always protect him. As I’ve written, Flemmi is the lowest of the low, lower than the belly of a snake.

Murderman wasn’t worried about Whitey. That could have been because he believed Whitey would never be captured, or that Whitey did not know much about his murders, or because he knew Whitey would never talk since he could not help himself. He feared Flemmi and wanted to get him before he became his victim.

We’ve read in Murderman’s book, as well as Tom Foley’s of the state police, how extensive the negotiations were between the prosecution team and Murderman. In these negotiations they exchange information back and forth. Murderman testified they came up with a list of murder victims and asked him what he knew about them. He said he told them what he knew.

They also told Murderman that they wanted information he could give them on Whitey Bulger, Billy Bulger, John Connolly and Stevie Flemmi. Murderman knew the more he gave them on Whitey, the better his deal. He really could offer them only those things that occurred during the time in the Learning Years of the Full Gang Murders after Flemmi had returned.  But Flemmi could also give the prosecutors that information.

Murderman had to give the prosecutors something only he could give them which was murders Whitey had committed during the Pre-Flemmi Years.  He has Whitey joining Winter Hill six months before he did so he could add him to the March 1973 murders which were done for Angiulo and then, as we’ve just seen, added him into the Spike O’Toole murder, which probably wasn’t done by Winter Hill. Remember this was one of those one-in-a-lifetime opportunities. The more murders Murderman implicated himself in, rather than being punished for them, the better the deal he would get if he included Whitey. 

Before I go on with Spike’s murder, let me digress a second. I spoke of the Constitutional right to be able to confront witnesses and cross-examine them to reach the truth. I also mentioned how the prosecutors wanted Murderman to give them something on Billy Bulger. It is that happening in the dealings between the government and Murderman that shows how much the federal government had destroyed the right to search for truth.

Murderman said and testified that Whitey said to him that FBI agent John Connolly told him that Billy Bulger said he wanted Connolly to protect Whitey. For reasons explained before, it is impossible that happened. That’s not what I’m getting at here.

I want to explain that this is what is called triple if not quadruple hearsay information. There is no way an attorney can effectively cross-examine information that is hearsay information, never mind triple hearsay evidence.

Hearsay evidence is an out of court statement offered as the truth about something. Here’s a simple example. Murderman can testify I saw Whitey shoot O’Keefe. That’s direct evidence and he can be cross-examined on it like where were you in relation to Whitey, what was the lighting, who was near by, etc. If Murderman testified Joe McDonald told him Whitey shot O’Keefe, you can’t ask those questions. You would need Joe McDonald. If Murderman testified Joe McDonald said Jimmy Sims said Whitey shot O’Keefe it’s impossible to use cross-examination to get at the truth.

It is this hearsay evidence, evidence not subject to cross-examination that is routinely used by the federal prosecutors in RICO and other criminal conspiracy prosecutions. It is a clever way the federal courts have stripped us of our rights to confront the witnesses against us.  I’ll pick up again on O’Keefe’s murder tomorrow.