§38: Judge Wolf’s Twisting of The Facts: [Re-Examining Whitey Bulger: The Learning Years]

The Alligator Waiting For Someone To Jump The Shark
The Alligator Waiting For Someone To Jump The Shark

The last time I wrote about Whitey’s life was on March 26. We’ve read about his release from prison, his involvement in the South Boston dustup between the Mullens and Killeens and how what was happening in South Boston was small time compared to the interactions between the rest of organized crime in the Eastern Massachusetts area.

The real power was in the hands of the North End or “In Town” which was the Italian Mafia. Outside of that most of the fighters in the Irish Gang War of the 1960s had gone to see their Maker leaving a small core group of Irish gangsters in Somerville just north of Boston under the leadership of Howie Winter and a Mafia-connected Roxbury Gang that had fought in the Irish War on the side of Winter’s group.

The Winter group and Roxbury group united and opened up a garage called Marshall Motors in Somerville located in the Winter Hill section of that city. The garage served as a front for their gangster business. The location gave the gang its name: Winter Hill gang.

The Mullen/Killeen battle put Whitey at risk. The Mullens had gained the ascendency in that matter after a handful of them gunned down Whitey’s sidekick Billy O’Sullivan on Savin Hill Avenue as he ran toward the Woods. Whitey sought the protection of the Winter Hill Gang by approaching John Martorano one of the Roxbury gang.

A shaky peace was arranged between the Mullens and Whitey who was pretty much all that was left of the Killeens. The terms of the peace was that Whitey would split the Killeen’s illegal income with the Mullens 50/50. Neither party was really happy with less than 100%.

Whitey became part of Winter Hill but was still an outsider.  Howie Winter had his old friends as did the guys in the Roxbury gang. He was more tolerated than accepted. The others had murdered many others; Whitey had yet to kill anyone.

Judge Wolf in his 661 page opus tells about what was happening at the time. He writes: “The written record of what the FBI knew about Bulger in 1974 is sparse. . . .  “ This is full support for my asseveration that FBI Agent John Connolly was not brought back to Boston in 1973 to handle Whitey or that Whitey was even looked at by the FBI as someone of importance.

Wolf goes on, “At a minimum the FBI recognized that Bulger was deeply involved in a violent gang war.” There was no gang war going on at the time. The big Irish gang war of the 1960s was over before Whitey got out of prison. So was the Mullen/Killeen dustup which ended in 1972 which was hardly a violent gang war. Judge Wolf had no evidence in front of him about the Mullen/Killeen affair.

Judge Wolf could not have been referring to the Notarangeli murders which no one had connected with Whitey until Martorano falsely stated in 1999, after Wolf’s decision, that Whitey was in a crash car. Wolf had no evidence about this in front of him about it. For him to say Whitey was deeply involved in a violent gang war and the FBI knew about it is a total misstatement of the facts.

Judge Wolf next writes:  “The FBI had also been advised the Bulger was involved in extorting money from shylocks and bookmakers.” That refers to the FBI Agent Dennis Condon memo that we already discussed where Condon had unsuccessfully tried to recruit Whitey as an informant in 1971.

Then Judge Wolf stretching to do all in his power to make Whitey into the personification of all that is evil person writes: “Morris’ actions, however, make it vividly clear that the FBI was well-aware that Bulger was widely regarded as brutally violent when Connolly sought his cooperation.”  Morris, as we know, is corrupt FBI Agent John Morris who tried to have Bulger murdered by breaching his security and telling the Boston Globe he was an informant.

He’s hardly a reliable source upon whom to depend for a conclusion that Whitey was “widely regarded as brutally violent” when FBI Agent John Connolly sought his cooperation. In late 1972 the gangsters themselves, the Boston Mafia and the Winter Hill gang had hardly heard of Whitey. John Martorano tells us he’s a “ham and egger” from Southie.  Why is Wolf making this extraordinary conclusion against the facts. Tomorrow I’ll explain how he jumps the shark by distorting the facts to justify this.


9 thoughts on “§38: Judge Wolf’s Twisting of The Facts: [Re-Examining Whitey Bulger: The Learning Years]

  1. Another good post. Great point in regards to the assertion the FBI had little info on Bulger pre – 1974. By then he had allready provided info to Condone regarding the Killeen/Mullen dispute.

    The only part I have to respectfully disagree is your label of that gang war as “hardly violent”. When you consider that gang war took on the the form of an old school gang fight (Mickey Dwyer getting the tip of his nose bit off) as well as a shooting war with at a minimum of 3 murders (Donnie Killeen, Billy O and Donnie McGonagle) and an equal amount of other attempts (Buddy Roache, Kenny Killen) during the actual gang war. Then consider as I do that the Paulie McGonagle, Tommy King and Buddy Leaonard (all ex Mullens gang killed within 3 years of the actual war) were directly related to Bulger’s animosity from the dispute.

    The one thing I can never understand (nor could any other source) is how Bulger was the obvious loser (considering The main muscle and the boss of his gang were both killed) yet comes out on top as boss of Southie and an equal 1/6 the partner of the second formation of the Winter Hill Gang. I wish the real story on the breakdown of the Mullens came about and how people such as Nee not only accepted but allegedly aided in the murder of at least King and Leonard and most likely McGonagle as well. According to Nee and many others, Nee was very close and was truly friends with King and McGonagle as opposed to just business partners as he was with Bulger.

    One other point I’d like to make is the Mullens shear size as opposed to the Killeen group. According to a Boston Police report the Mullens had as many as 60 members at one time. Grant it I find that number greatly inflated, according to my count they still had many more than the Killeen group. The list of Mullens I can come up with is as follows

    Paulie McGonagle, Tommy King, Pat Nee, Jimmy Mantville, Buddy Leonard, Buddy Roache, Bobby McGonagle, John Robichaud, Jimmy Kelley, Leo Lentini, Jerry Shea, Jackie Nee, Jimmy McNally, Tommy Sullivan, Jerry Roake and Jimmy Lydon.

    Obviously there are quite a few more, my point is that group alone compared the Killeen group (to the best of my knowledge consisting of Donnie and Kenny Killeen, Whitey, Billy O, Bobby Ford, Red LNU and Jack Curran) sounds more formidable.

    Sorry to ramble on, any feedback is greatly appreciated.

    1. Boston,

      I called it a dust up when comparing it to the Irish Gang War. You are right it was a lot more serious than that especially if you consider, as you point out, that the deaths of King, Paulie McGonagle, and Buddy Leonard were a continuation of it.

      Whitey won by buying his way into Winter Hill and getting its manpower to back him. Pat Nee had no problem turning on his former buddies, he was waiting at the Neponset River to bury Tommy King. Nee the double agent did his former Mullen friends in.

  2. Matt, Andi, and N: Someone said, “Early to bed, early to rise?” Now, it’s better to be happy to be than not to be/ So, be happy to be and happy b, and hava happy day, regardless how early! Signed, Andre Calli, the adopted one a.k,a, Andy Gomer a goffer, a,k,a, just another Savin Hill Billy. Also 2. Everyone read Mac the Dog: It answers all questions: http://www.macthedogthenovel.com READ IT AND WEEP, or not weep!

  3. If the defendant denies his guilt should the prosecution terminate? Jamar Tsarnaev’s claim of no foreign involvement is meaningless. Totally self serving. He was working with his brother in a conspiracy to kill Americans. His brother was a foreign national trained abroad and associated with Muslim radicals( the Russians told us so). Nothing could be clearer than Tsarnaev falls within the definition of an enemy combatant. However if you have an administration that wants to hide the foreign connection, then you arraign him and tell him to keep quiet. He’ll probably serve less time for killing four and maiming two hundred than Connolly got for writing Wolfe a letter. 2. Connolly’s letter purportedly interfered with Wolfe’s hearing and obstructed justice. It prevented Wolfe from writing a seven hundred page decision full of falsehoods instead of the six hundred one he penned. 2. Surprising to see Tsarnaev arraigned at the hospital without Deborah Davis’ brother there to denounce and curse him. Thought it was part of Federal Criminal procedure to have a non victim denounce the defendant at all stages of the proceedings ( see Catherine Grieg matter) 3. Hope Probation Chief O’Brien calls Congressman Tierney as a witness. Have him explain what patronage is. Ask him to detail who he hired for his staff and if he knew any of them or their families. Ask if any were contributors or supporters. Ask his opinion of the reputation of the prosecutor. 4.When Flemmi testifies Carney should ask him to describe the bomb he used against Fitzgerald. Was it a pressure cooker bomb? How did it differ from the Tsarnaev device? Flemmi was able to keep half his assets when he made his deal with the Feds. Would he have been able to keep all of them if he had blown all of Fitzgerald’s leg off instead of just half.

    1. In reply to this comment, it’s very important to point out that while the prosecution does not terminate even should “a defendant denies his guilt,” the prosecution, I believe, would not proceed if there is a lack of evidence. To do so would jeopardize the ability for justice to be served; it comes down to the evidence.

      In an earlier post, Matt cautioned us about trusting the Russians too closely and warned of the political consequences of becoming entrenched in the ongoing conflict between Chechnya separatists and Russia. Recall that Tsarnaev stands accused here, NOT his brother, Tamerlin Tsarnaev; Tamerlin is deceased. To what extent do we know for a fact, at this point, that Tamerlin was, indeed, trained abroad and associated with “foreign radicals”? We simply do not know that.

      If there was evidence of this, then surely, as you assert, the legal definition of “enemy combatant” could arguably be met. Ultimately, this comes down to the proof. And here, based on available facts, there is a lack of proof; clearly, there is a search for evidence, and the investigation continues. There simply is no evidence, based on what we know so far, that either Tamerlin or his younger brother were “associated with foreign radicals” — that’s the whole point.

      While it is true that the statements of the suspect in custody should not be taken at face value, when it’s the probative evidence at the moment, in the absence of more, then what are the alternatives? That, I think, is the thrust of your argument; that we should not believe the words of this suspect. Yet, without more, the prosecution must still prove its case.

      Is it easier to prove that he is an enemy combatant, or is it easier to prove that he is guilty of using a weapon of mass destruction, murder, and a host of other violations of the State and Federal Penal Law? THAT is the question.

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