It did seem that Whitey and Stevie came together quite quickly for two guys who did not know each other before they met in May 1974. The first outside sighting of them being together that I know of comes from Kevin Weeks. He said he was a bouncer during the summer of 1974 at Flix’s which was in the Somerset Hotel on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. After the bar closed both Whitey, who he knew, and Stevie, who he was seeing for the first time, showed up and were let in by the owner.
Pat Nee tells us that in 1974 he told Whitey he wanted to do more to help the IRA. He wrote: “At first Whitey couldn’t warm to the idea of something that didn’t involve Southie and didn’t put money in his pocket.” This pretty much follows along with the theme we’ve developed that Whitey still was more concerned with Southie than what was happening at Marshall Motors or anyplace else.
He said at the time he and Whitey were in complete control of South Boston but “One day it just seemed to happen — Stevie became attached to Whitey’s hip” But he also said something curious, “Gerry Angiulo had given Whitey the nod on Stevie.” This is extremely doubtful.
Nee’s story about Anguilo giving Whitey the OK on Stevie runs contrary to what Nee told us about their relationship in late 1972. He said Howie Winter never heard of him but told him one of Gerry Angiulo’s lieutenants, Joe Russo, asked Gerry to call Howie to set up a truce between Whitey and the Mullen gang. Whitey couldn’t approach Angiulo himself so it’s unlikely he’s depending on him for information on Stevie.
We’ve also seen in 1973 Angiulo arranged for the murder of the Notangelli people who presented a threat to his empire only by meeting with Howie Winter and John Martorano and not Whitey. Whitey’s relationship with Angiulo for what it was always ran through Flemmi, Neither Whitey or Angiulo liked or trusted the other. There always was bad blood between Southie and the North End.
I’ve suggested they immediately bonded even though Stevie had another love. That, of course, was the FBI. Here for me is the big question no one has adequately dealt with up to this point in time: how did the trio of the FBI, Stevie and Whitey come together?
People have skirted this issue because they are not willing to think it through. Those who touched on it use a Stevie tale about a Newton meeting that really makes little sense. To figure it out we should look at the things that we know for certain: Stevie and the FBI had an ongoing relationship at the time Stevie came back in May 1974 which would continue; Whitey had an FBI relationship as of September 18, 1975 when Connolly opened him on the books; and the FBI records are unreliable when it comes to the status of informants and their relationship with them A person may well be providing information and not be carried on the books as an informant as Stevie suggested he had done throughout his career and as Judge Wolf pointed out in his findings.
Here’s the enigma we have to unravel: how does the information that Stevie is an informant get to Whitey or vice versa? If one believes an FBI agent’s sacred oath requires that he keep secret the identity of informants we have to believe that the FBI did not tell one or the other.
The author Ralph Ranalli believes Whitey stayed as an informant since 1971 and spells out several reasons for his belief. None of them are persuasive to me. Others in the media want to make Whitey an informant as far back as the time he went to prison in the 1950s. I’ve shown they have no case for that.
The only thing that points to Whitey being an informant when Stevie came back is the sudden partnering-up with him. But further examination indicates to me that is not the case. I mentioned the way I saw it they were both outsiders and each one saw himself in the other guy. As Salemme said, and as John Martorano confirmed, they were like twins in their habits. That makes them a match but it still doesn’t address the question of how one knew the other was an FBI informant. The explanation of that will put their relationship to the FBI, to Winter Hill and to each other into proper context.