§31: Putting Whitey Before Flemmi Doesn’t Work (Re-Examining Whitey Bulger: The Learning Years:)

Standing Guard While The Arrangements For Night Owl Whitey Are Being Finalized

Keep in mind for the FBI Stevie Flemmi was the lynch-pin. It got him out of a murder, a major felony (blowing up a lawyer’s car) and a fugitive from justice charge after he got back from being on the run in May 1974. It knew he was the one with access to the Mafia. Black Mass noted: “Flemmi . . . knew all the leading [Mafia] players and was frequently in their company.” Howie Carr had it Whitey was a small timer.  

Whitey’s value to the FBI paled in comparison to Stevie’s. No one would expect Whitey to help the FBI in its nationwide fight against the Mafia  Recall Agent Dennis Condon tried to recruit him in May 1971 writing “he could be a very valuable source of information relative to the organized criminal activities in South Boston, Mass.” Whitey from Southie and the Boston Mafia were like the Hatfields and McCoys.

Condon’s job after Stevie returned was to pass him on to another agent since he was retiring. He held his hand and helped him break in with his new handler who happened to be Connolly. Stevie at the time is also developing his relationship with Whitey.

Black Mass has Connolly lining up Whitey by asking him to inform on the Mafia. It’s totally wrong. Connolly from Southie would know he could give him nothing on the Mafia. Black Mass later says that after Whitey became an informant, he “blended in Flemmi, and a package deal was forged.”  Aside from the order being wrong, Flemmi was already the informant,  the use of the term “blending in,”whatever that is supposed to mean, is pretty much an admission these authors have no idea how that would have happened.

Ranalli’s book Deadly Alliance  suggests Whitey was an informant since 1971 but was kept off the books because of the Notangelli murders. That makes little sense. Those murders didn’t start until 1973. Why keep him off the book a year and a half before the murders even are conceived. Also, that doesn’t account for Flemmi, or that Whitey was only being recruited as an informant in 1971 but rejected the overtures.

Howie Carr and Judge Wolf follow Stevie’s testimony that Whitey came up to him in 1974 in the garage in Somerville. Stevie said Whitey told him Connolly wanted to talk to him. Stevie gave him the OK to do it thinking it a good idea. He then testified Whitey set up a meeting with him Condon and Connolly at an “obscure” coffee shop in Newton. Flemmi said Connolly told him the FBI wanted to get information from him again. That doesn’t fit. Stevie is already on board. Why else did the FBI have all the charges dropped against him.

John Martorano tells a different story. He says Whitey called everyone together in the garage and announce that Connolly wanted to sit down with him. He said his brother Billy set it up because he wanted Connolly to keep Whitey out of trouble. Connolly owed Billy so he wanted to help Whitey.(Martorano said Connolly said Billy helped him get him into BC and onto the FBI and that’s why he “owed” Billy. Truth is, as we’ve seen Billy did neither, not being in a position to do this.)

What makes Martorano’s story even more unbelievable is Whitey would never mention anything about his brother Billy, especially to a gathering of gangsters joined in a confederacy of corruption. If you think he’s going to give them something against his brother you have no idea what world these guys lived in. No one has produced an iota of evidence that Whitey ever spoke of Billy as it involved his criminal activities. He was intent on not letting Billy know anything about his life. Assuming, something averred to by others which I don’t believe and for which there is no proof, that Billy knew of his heinous crimes, Whitey would not be telling criminals about it knowing they’d gladly use it as a get out of jail card.

Martorano went on saying we told him OK. Martorano said Whitey did this because he knew if anyone saw him talking to an FBI agent that would be lights out for him. We are supposed to forget that Stevie had been talking to the FBI for over ten years and was alive and well. Martorano then went on to say that later Whitey told them he wanted to introduce Stevie to Connolly and they all agreed to that. The nonsense flows like green beer on Saint Patrick’s day.

If you live in a bag you might believe all that stuff the gangsters add and the writers mindlessly spin out. Stevie testified to the reverse story of Whitey being the informant and himself not being one because he was in court facing his gangster buddies. He wanted the gangsters to believe that somehow he was forced, or as he told Martorano and Salemme blackmailed, into becoming an informant. He wanted Whitey as the one who set up the meeting with Connolly and the FBI as far fetched as that seems.

The FBI did not bring Stevie back and get the murder of Bennett and attempted murder of Fitzgerald charges dismissed without getting something back from Stevie. These agents wanted his help in going after the Boston Mafia. He was the only one who they had who could give that help. Stevie would prove his worth time and time again right up to the Mafia induction ceremony in the late 1980s. Truth is the FBI did not need Whitey when it had Stevie.

Stevie, as mentioned, had two very important aspects of his life that he had to bring together in order for him to achieve his goals of money and women: Whitey and the FBI. He needed to bring them together so he could work with both of them. Stevie had  became close to Whitey because their habits were identical and their basic desires similar. He and the FBI had to figure out a way to bring him on board. The FBI wanted to keep him happy.

16 thoughts on “§31: Putting Whitey Before Flemmi Doesn’t Work (Re-Examining Whitey Bulger: The Learning Years:)

  1. Matt. Thanks for continuing to dissect the many fabrications by Carr, Cullen, Lehr and O’Neil. Carr and the Globe writers’ numerous outright lies and misrepresentations have been pointed out before by you and others who post on your site. Carr, Lehr and O’Neil’s intent is to paint John Connolly and all the Bulgers in as black a light as possible. Kevin Cullen has cravenly and falsely tried to paint John Connolly as both an accessory to murder and a terrorist (alleging based solely on Flemmi’s delusion that he supplied C4 explosives to the IRA) Carr, Cullen, Lehr and O’Neil record the self-serving stories of the serial killers as if they were Gospel:their four Apostles: Flemmi, Martorano, Weeks and Salemme. Holy Hell! It’s a very sad day when the history of Boston is being written by serial killers, known perjurers and ethically challenged yellow journalists. One last point: Kevin Cullen’s column yesterday told us “what Jesus would do” in managing the Catholic Church. What hubris! What an egomaniac! He thinks he’s got a pipeline to Jesus. We know one thing that Jesus wouldn’t do: He wouldn’t bear false witness against his neighbors. Bearing false witness is the stock in trade of Carr, Cullen, Lehr and O’Neil, and their toady prosecutor Fred “the Puddinghead” Wyshak. It’s ironic and pathetic: the press purveys prevarication and propaganda. Whatever happened to honesty and objectivity in reporting? Whatever happened to telling the whole story in the search for truth, to informing the public about all aspects of a controversy? David Boeri is one of the very few reporters in the Bosto area who actually try to see both sides.

    1. Bill:
      Agree. Boeri even falls into the trap with his articles alleging Father Drinan was a made member of the Bulger Crime Family along with John McCormack and every other person who ever shook Billy Bulger’s hand from South Boston. Boeri also messed up in not seeing that Whitey when arrested in 1956 was protecting his 20 year old girlfriend from being charged by giving her the OK to cooperate while he took the rap. Boeri called him an informant. Never heard that a person confessing to a crime was called an informant. But other than those two times last summer, he’s been the most objective journalist.
      Lehr, of course, is out of control. Whenever I read that he told Boeri that when Whitey reached out to Father Drinan in the first three months of his 20 year sentence that the Bulgers were establishing a connection with Drinan to assist their future criminal enterprise.

      A good post today by Jim. He’s right on the mark as to where Carney goes now. Cullen has said that Connolly was his main source of information. For years he had been living off him and then he turns. Not such a good guy to have in your corner.

      I wasn’t surprised Cullen would use the Globe as a forum to write about, or should I say bash, the Catholic Church. it’s the old bullshit of the bishops are bad but here one or two priests who are good. It’s an old story by now but it is told by those seeking to damage the Church and approved by the Globe. Has that paper ever said anything nice about the Church?

      His idea of what Jesus would do shows his remarkable lack of knowledge. Prescription one reminds me more of the Taliban or radical Islamists who wish to tear apart history by destroying past treasures. What would become of the art work if it were sold? Right now all the world can enjoy the beautiful works from talented artists signing the praise of God and his saints. Is all beauty to be taken out of the world and put into the hands of the rich. Should we tear down all the beautiful cathedrals. If he understood Jesus he’d know he said the poor will always be with you. I’m sure through the ages millions of the poor were enriched more by seeing the beautiful works dedicated to God and images of him than they would ever had been had the Vatican sold everything.
      Second, Jesus would never have judged Cardinal Mahony or any others like Cullen suggests. How is it Cullen is able to look into the souls of these men and judge them? When weighing the good Cardinal Mahony did compared to the errors he made, I’m sure the balance is greatly in the cardinal’s favor.
      Finally, Jesus would little question the male composition of his church’s leadership. It was He after all who had 12 guys as his core group. Hardly would he be surprised at historic makeup. Perhaps Cullen out to look at all the past editors of the Globe and ask where are the women? Or, look at the Globe’ News Room Leadership now and ask where are the African Americans?

      The Catholic Church is an easy target. What Cullen doesn’t get is the priests he talks about are supportive of the organization that he likes to attack. He also doesn’t get it that Jesus welcomed all to His church, saints and sinners alike.

      1. Matt, great posts and great posts by you and JimP yesterday. Excellent legal research and strong, viable legal theories.

      2. Matt, a second comment on the jury nullification concept you and JimP raised yesterday. I think about these things when I first wake up and am lying in bed. You’re right: There’s much work yet to be done.
        Here’s my Comment: Jury nullification is as American as apple pie. There are inversions, perversions of that time-honored American practice, which is embedded deeply in the history and traditions of the American people. Those inversions are called judicial nullification and prosecutorial nullification of the Constitution.
        JUDICIAL NULLIFICATION OF THE CONSTITUTION: This occurred most dramatically in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Case where a unanimous, 9-0, Supreme Court said the entire Massachusetts judiciary for four years running had “acted without lawful authority” in crushing the First Amendment, Free Speech rights of the Veteran Parade Organizers. Recently we’ve seen Judge Blakely in Miami nullify the Constitution by ignoring cherished defenses: the statute of limitations, ineffective assistance of counsel, and failure of the prosecution to prove an essential element of the second degree murder by gun statute John Connolly was charged with. The three-member panel of the Appeals Court in Florida also nullified the Constitution by ratifying Blakely’s unconstitutional rulings. In Boston, we’ve seen federal judge Wolfe ignore the time-tested legal nostrum to “find only those facts necessary to decide a motion” and instead go on a fishing expedition for sundry scattered facts to his liking and then turn a fishing trip into a witch hunt, with the de facto indictment of 18 FBI agents, who weren’t really being defended by Wyshak, who knew a Grand Jury behind Chinese Walls was convened to seek indictments against agents. We’ve seen the Federal Appeals Court correctly cite its duty to give due weight to a jury’s decision, then totally ignore the factual underpinnings of that decision by ruling a continual racketeering continued despite over five years lapsing between predicate acts. We’ve seen a federal judge in a jury-waived civil trial allow both the plaintiffs and defendants to single out one FBI agent as a culpable rogue, when no one in his courtroom was representing the agent. Even O.J. Simpson was represented at his civil trials.
        PROSECUTORIAL NULLIFICATION OF THE CONSTITUTION: We’ve Wyshak and Durham et al put on the witness stand serial perjurers who were serial killers. They knew they were putting proven perjurers on the witness stand; they knew these men had lied under oath before. We’ve seen Wyshak twist and mangle Supremacy Law, Double Jeopardy Law and fair trail jurisprudence. We’ve seen Wyshak help hurl the full weight of the federal government, the state of Florida, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (in the person of five state cops whom I’m told spent every day for two months in a Miami courtroom); and Wyshak hurled the full weight of these three governments against one bankrupt defendant who was represented by a public defender in a Miami courtroom, not by a jury of his peers, but by a jury removed by time, place, language and culture from Connolly’s hometown. Take a “witch” from Barbados and try her in Salem, take an Irish nanny with a brogue and try her, too, as a witch in seventeenth century Salem, and you’ll get the drift of what is meant by not trying a person by a jur of his peers. These are Wyshak’s versions of “fairness”. Those are my versions of prosecutorial abuse and prosecutorial nullification of the due process and fair trial provisions of the Constitution. We all know Connolly was tried in Florida by Federal prosecutor Wyshak, with the assistance of other Feds in Boston and Miami, and that Wyshak prepared all the witnesses, and the Feds paid for the whole sordid enterprise violative of double jeopardy jurisprudence and we all know that the Feds tried John Connolly for the same crime he was acquitted of in Boston: leaking information that led to John Callahan’s death.
        Remember the concepts: Judicial and federal prosecutorial nullification of the Constitution. Your erudite readers and commentors may be interested in perusing the book on the Parade case: “From Trial Court to the United States Supreme Court: Anatomy of a Free Speech Case.” (Branden, 1995) Walkowsi and Connolly.
        Judicial and prosecutorial nullification of the Constitution are pathognomic symptoms of tyranny.
        By the way: Who was Judge Blakely consulting with in Boston when the jury was out in Miami? Why did he fly up to Boston, as Shelley Murphy reported he did in the Boston Globe. Who was ultimately behind the twisting of the Constitution. We know Harvard Professor Dershowitz was silent during the four year debacle of the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Case. Did Blakely consult with him, Stearns, Sterns, other federal judges, or federal prosecutors when he flew to Boston, or was that just a coincidence? Maybe he came to visit Cape Cod in December, to get out of the stifling December heat in Miami. Just asking questions, because something is very rotten about all these proceedings! Why haven’t we found out who leaked William Bulger’s grand jury testimony or who sent two agents to William Bulger’s house to intimidate his wife and daughter, while he was testifying before Congress? Why hasn’t Congressman Steve Lynch issued his report on his investigation of the FBI’s TE informant program? Why do we get the sensation that something is very much amiss, way off-base, wrong, rotten, un-American in the Federal Courthouse in Boston and beyond, and that the stench reaches the offices of the Justice Department in Washington D.C.? Why is Stearns still sitting on this case when Carney has said he’ll call him and other judges as witnesses?

        1. Bill:
          Stearns as you know if off the case. So perhaps you’ll start thinking maybe things aren’t as bad as you set out. I assume the good faith of all these people involved who may at times appear to be over zealous. I like to stay away from conspiracy theories because they rely too much on conjecture and not on the facts.

  2. In the “RICO” book the term they used for Barboza was “cooperating subject”. Is this merely a term of art, or is this an official contractor category like Top Echolon Informant? And, if an official category, is this what Whitey could be classified as? With Barboza, it appears that FBI had very little cooperation from him. In other words, no control, yet FBI was found liable by Judge Wolf.

    1. Jean”
      Missed this comment. I explained in another post it is a word used by the FBI for a person who will cooperate with the FBI and testify against his associates. Whitey is not cooperating at all. The FBI had a lot of cooperation from Barboza. They worked with him as he testified in three trials. One against Raymond Patriarca for the feds (I believe) where Patriarca got convicted; one against Gerry Angiulo for Suffolk where Angiulo was found not guilty and then the Barboza case. FBI agents Condon and Rico along with then US Attorney Harrington (now a federal judge) flew out to California to be character witnesses for Barboza they were so pleased with his help. It’s a little unclear how much control the FBI had over Barboza’s testimony in the Deegan case. Rico says he turned it over to the Suffolk prosecutors and it was their job to make sure he told the truth. Wolf and others suggest that if Rico knew he was going to put some people into the murder and leave Jimmy Flemmi out then the FBI should have prevented this. Rico washes his hands of this knowledge. By the way, it is not clear that the four who are alleged to be innocent long after the trial were in fact innocent. But that’s another story.

  3. “Never heard that a person confessing to a crime was called an informant.”

    As I continue to read the RICO book, I am struck with the use of the word ‘informant’ vs ‘cooperating suspect’ (which appears to have been dropped from the government’s vocabulary), as just one example. As you have pointed out in past posts, the work ‘informant’ carries different meaning to different people. And, its possible that a jury could be confused. For example, the term ‘cooperating suspect’ is clear. The person testifying was at one time a suspect, but now is cooperating with the prosecutors. That person may have even confessed to a crime, as you have suggested. The jury knows that the person testifying is not an innocent.

    But, the word ‘informant’ to those who are not in the business of law, or crime, can merely mean that the witness is just being helpful to the prosecutors, instead of helping himself, which is the reality of the situation.

    In the early Barboza trials, it appeared that the juries did not grasp the implications as to whom Barboza was. And, the prosecutors relied upon that fact. However, today with blogs such as yours that are being Googled and carried by some main stream media, the jury pool is better educated. And, therefore, jury nullification is, as JimP points out a realistic defense.

    And, that brings me back to the real question of a prosecutor’s role to do justice. Given all that has come out to date in pre-trial discovery, the prosecutors must recognize that this trial is being covered more closely than the Barboza trial, or even the Connolly trial in Florida. One would think that the possibility of jury nullification would make the risk of future liability for the government something to seriously consider. And, my speculation is based merely upon what we the public think we know, at this time. The rest of the story has yet to be told to us, but my guess is that the prosecutors know it already…

    1. Jean:
      The prosecutors are immune from any liability. They are too far down the road to do other than they are doing which is to present to a jury a handful of murderous liars, express their displeasure at doing it, and ask the jury not to get too sick listening to them and the deals the Government made with them.

      Back in the Barboza days the juries were more prone to convict. The jury pools often sat for a month at a time and the jurors got to know the prosecutors and leaned toward them. Now it is different. The big problem now is getting an impartial jury. We thought the Appeals Court was impartial but as I showed they had inferred things that were not correct.

      The FBI always differed between informant and cooperating witness. That is why Paul Rico could tell the Congressional Committee that Barboza was not an informant which seemed to confuse the committee. The big difference is the identity of an informant is supposed to be kept secret while the cooperating witness is known because she will testify.

      1. “The record likewise includes enough to justify a reasonable belief that the defense’s claim probably portends an enquiry into just those dealings.”

        “Given the institutional ties described here, the reasonable person might well question whether a judge who bore supervisory responsibility for prosecutorial activities during some of the time at issue could suppress his inevitable feelings and remain impartial when asked to determine how far to delve into the relationship between defendant and Government, and to preside over whatever enquiry may ultimately be conducted. On this record, that question could not reasonably be avoided.”

        The above quote has been taken directly from yesterday’s First Circuit Order. I was particularly encouraged to see this statement being made as part of the RECORD, and perhaps even the basis for the Decision itself.

        I would be interested in your comments. And, again thank you for this interactive opportunity.

        1. Jean:
          It was obvious to all except Judge Stearns that he should not have been presiding at the trial. That’s been my point all along is that even if he thinks he’s impartial there will always be a valid public perception that was not the case. The Court of Appeals takes it a little further. It notes that subconsciously he’d be affected by any attack launched against his workmates. I didn’t go that far not seeing the need to determine whether he “could suppress his inevitable feelings.” The plain fact is that he was in a command position in an office which is going to be the subject of an inquiry and any average person would be believe that it would be extremely difficult for that person not to be affected by that past association.

    1. Jim P:
      Yes it is going to be interesting spring especially trying to reconcile the decision with footnote three which I hope to talk about, time permitting. I’d have to guess there was some gnashing of teeth before the Appeals Court came down with that order.

  4. I’m really confused. How can one use jury nullification when I’ve read attorneys can be disbarred for using it? I’ve also read the following ….

    ” Throughout the United States, judges have forbidden defense attorneys from informing juries that they have a right to nullify the law based on their dislike of the law.”

    But here several people suggest Whiteys defense use it, so is it allowed in Massachusetts? If it’s a constitutional right then why would judges forbid attorneys from informing juries of that right?

    1. Confused:
      Attorneys are called “officers of the court.” They are not supposed to tell the juries to ignore the judge and the law. Judges don’t like to hear attorneys tell juries to ignore them and their instructions on the law. As an attorney you cannot come out and say “don’t pay attention to what that woman in the black robes sitting high up behind that bench is going to tell you.” Attorneys that do are usually chastised.
      So what does an attorney do when he wants the jury to nullify the law or to come in with a verdict of not guilty even if they are convicted beyond a reasonable doubt the person committed the crime. They argue the jury should not believe the witnesses because of the Government misconduct and that if our system of justice is to continue we cannot let the Government misconduct as shown in this case be allowed to stand. In other words, you argue for nullification without coming out directly in saying it. Here you point out how the guys testifying against Whitey have all received great deals have admitted to committing much more vile crimes and some are back on the street bragging about their exploits and you ask the jury if that is what they think the government should be doing in making these deals and isn’t it time a message be sent that these are revolting.

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