The idea the FBI would not have had Stevie Flemmi as an informant but would chase after Connolly and hope that Connolly could bring Stevie into the fold just does not hold water. Of all people, Howie Carr recognizes this. As much as he makes Whitey the personification of all things evil, he knows the FBI had no need for him in 1975. Usually when Carr manufactures events he tries to make it close to the reality. Here’s one where he punts it far out of the park.
Knowing the FBI doesn’t need Whitey in 1975, he imagines a more convoluted theory which follows his script and that of the prosecutors that the true evil mastermind behind all of this is Whitey’s brother Billy Bulger. Carr says “they [FBI agents] didn’t need Whitey nearly as much as they needed his brother Billy. . . . [because] it was easier for a retired agent to find a new job if he knew somebody . . . [a]nd what was wrong with helping the brother of a rising legislator who might someday be in a position to put in a good word or a retiring, middle-aged agent?”
This is the type of fantasy the public has been fed continuously by Carr. It’s typical of his method of impugning the integrity of Billy Bulger and the FBI. A sensational idea that is truly laughable that FBI agents signed up a person as an informant because it was hoping his brother would achieve a position sometime in the future to help them get jobs. The tragedy is people believe Carr. It makes one doubt all history.
Billy by the way had been in the state senate at the time for four years. He was far from the center of power. One has to be truly amazed to think that FBI agents could look into the future and see Billy’s improbable rise to become president of the Massachusetts Senate and to plan for it by bringing on his brother as an informant.
Howie Carr at least tried to make sense out the recruitment of Whitey even if he came up with an illogical and inane explanation. No one else seems to want to try it even though they want to posit Whitey as an important informant for the FBI. If they’d recognize Stevie’s lies and look at the record they’d see that it was Stevie all along who was the darling of the FBI and met its needs. How this essential point is missed by all the authors escapes me.
The problem facing Stevie after he reestablished his relationship with the FBI was telling Whitey about it. He and Condon, and now Connolly who was going to take over for Condon, would have to let Whitey know of Stevie’s deal. This would further cement the bond between Stevie and the FBI.
Stevie had been relying on this bond. It had served him well. There was no way he was going to go on with his criminal career without it. He was willing to do anything to keep the FBI’s protection. Right up to the day he was arrested in 1995 he was of the mind the FBI would be there for him. Frank Salemme testified that the day he was arrested Stevie asked “Jack Smith. the marshall in the old courthouse, to call [FBI Agent] Charlie Gianturco for him, and Jack did.” Salemme also testified that up until 1997 Flemmi “was convinced John Connolly was going to ride him or the Bureau was going to come through and . . . ride him out.”
We’ve seen how Whitey was of a different mind. Whitey knew that the only one he could depend upon was himself. He prepared for the day he would have to go off on his own. He knew the FBI would do what was best for the FBI.
As Flemmi was getting comfortable with Connolly as a handler and with Whitey as a partner, he was making the plans to bring them together at the right time sometime in early to mid-1975.
We’ve heard of the project connection between Whitey and Connolly. Judge Wolf wrote that FBI SAC Sarhatt wrote in a report that he was told by Whitey that he became an informant because he had: “a close feeling towards SA John Connolly because they both grew up in the same neighborhood in Boston and had mutual childhood problems, as well as a deep hatred for La Cosa Nostra.”
Again, we can’t rely totally on FBI reports. It’s hard to figure out what “mutual childhood problems” Whitey and Connolly had. Whitey was in and out of trouble with the law. Connolly wasn’t. Whitey lived in the project from around age 10 to age 19 when he went off to the Air Force; Connolly lived there up until about the time he was 12 years old. Their experiences and problems would not have mirrored each others.
Judge Wolf takes this to conclude “Connolly had known Bulger since they were both children growing up in South Boston.” We’ve seen that is totally wrong. Whitey, born September 3, 1929, was not a child growing up in South Boston. When Whitey moved to South Boston in 1939 Connolly, born August 1, 1940, had yet to be born. Whitey went off to the Air Force in April 1948. John was 7 years old. There was no chance they knew each other. None. The eleven year separation was too great
The best that could be said is that Whitey and Connolly grew up in South Boston at different times. Again Judge Wolf is wrong in his findings. He presupposes a friendship that did not exist. It’s sloppy thinking indicative of reaching a conclusion and then working back to justify it. It is done so that he can put Whitey into the FBI’s nest prior to Flemmi so he can credit some of Flemmi’s testimony.
This finding will spur numerous errors which paint the unlikely scenario of the 18 year-old juvenile delinquent Whitey, a member of the notorious Mercer Street gang (not Shamrocks), hanging around with a 7-year-old child. Some realizing the absurdity have Whitey buying Connolly an ice cream cone because Connolly’s parents were from Ireland. 90% of the neighborhood was Irish, it was not a big thing.
Some of all the people who have written about Whitey know the truth but it conflicts with their predetermined outcome. They either ignore it or fashion happenings that reach to the edge of the absurd. These nonsensical ideas have become truths in the mind of the public.