A Sick System of Justice: Where’s Stevie?

justice weepsStephen J. Flemmi was sentenced on January 27, 2004. He had been charged with several murders among them the murder of two young women with whom he had sexual relations; one was his step daughter and the other a young, attractive woman who was his girlfriend from the time she was 17 years old. He murdered his step daughter because as a result of his abuse of her as a young girl she could not confront life other than blotting out the memory of it through the use of drugs and becoming a sexual victim who was embarrassing him; he murdered his girlfriend because she wanted to have a better life than being abused by a criminal having found another man who she fell in love with and was leaving to join him. The girlfriend’s sister probably also became a victim on him.

According to the Clerk’s Notes here is his sentence:

Counts 1sss and 2sss: LIFE.  Counts 3sss, 5sss, 27sss and 28sss: 240 months to be served.  Counts 29sss, 31sss, 32sss, 33sss, 41sss and 44sss: 120 months to be served.  Counts 30sss and 47sss: 60 months to be served, all to be served concurrently. (As you know when a sentence is served concurrently it doesn’t amount to anything.)

Count 36sss: 60 months to be served; Count 37sss: 120 months to be served; Count 38sss: 360 months to be served, concurrently to each other and consecutively to terms imposed on Counts 1-3, 5, 27-33, 41, 44 and 47.

Supervised Release for 5 years on Counts 1 and 2, and 3 years on Counts 3, 5, 27-33, 41, 44 and 47, all such terms to run concurrently.  Special Conditions of Supervised Release: 1. deft. shall not purchase or possess a firearm or any other dangerous weapon; 2. deft. shall pay a Special Assessment of $1550. Court enters Order of Forfeiture previously entered by the Court as part of the criminal judgment. AUSA’s Wyshak, Kelly and Owyang were present for the Government (my emphasis)

As I read it Flemmi got life and 240 months; then another 120 months following the life and 240 months. I’m not sure that life means life because there’s talk about him being on “supervised release for 5 years.” How that will happen is somewhat baffling especially along with the life he has 240 months plus 120 months to be served which totals to 360 months or 30 years.

Flemmi was born in 1934 which means at the time he was sentenced in 2004 he was 70-years-old. He had been in prison since 1995. So assuming life doesn’t mean life, and assuming you count the time in prison from 1995, he’d be eligible to be paroled around 2025 at the age of 90-years-old.

He made the deal to do this time by pleading guilty so he could avoid the death penalty in Florida and Oklahoma. It was also a good deal for him because he was allowed to keep half of the property he owned at the time. As part of the deal, he agreed to testify against Whitey Bulger.

But there is something very strange here that I cannot figure out. He has not gone to prison. You get that, he is not in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons. You can Google the prison locator and put in his name and you’ll see that they have him listed under a number but not in any of their facilities. That has been the case since at least 2011.

I have to guess he is in the custody of the U.S. Marshalls; they, as you know, run the witness protection program. So for all we know Stephen Flemmi is living large despite all his murders under another name at the expense of us taxpayers.

I’ve written before how the only thing I can compare him to is a benji ditch because of his vileness. To think he is being given a special deal by the Department of Justice and may be a free man is enough to turn one’s stomach especially when you consider all the other presents that have been given out to murderers by the DOJ in the case.

What makes it even more astonishing is that former FBI agent John Connolly who never murdered anyone. He has been in prison longer than any of the people who did many murders. Connolly was doing what he was charged to do which is to operate top echelon informants. These hardened criminals in order to save their skins and to ingratiate themselves with a prosecutor turned on him. That this could happen in America where multi-murderers walk the street freely with the connivance of prosecutors and cops is beyond belief.






23 replies on “A Sick System of Justice: Where’s Stevie?”

  1. Personally, and I can only speak for myself, what fascinates me is that the criminal underworld in some ways is a completely different world. What I mean is that everything criminals do has to be kept as secret and quiet as possible so they dont get caught by law enforcement. The working man has routines, patterns, modes of communication, ways of thinking etc that , and I am assuming, is quite different than the criminal world. Its almost like a different language, sleep patterns, hangouts etc.

    You bring out a great point. Of course I agree someone is distributing drugs, the bookmaking, guns etc in Boston area but who it is, where they hang out, etc will probably only come out to the public in 5-15 years, no? No different than Whitey and Stevie flying under the radar for what, decades? Am I right to assume there are some in Boston law enforcement who are aware who the key leaders and players in Boston organized crime. Takes years to build cases and flip guys it seems from all the reading I have been doing the last few years.

    I wish there was a definitive book on the Boston gang wars of the 50s-70s because the enormous amount of murders among them is similar to the Chicago Mafia of the 30s.

  2. Matt
    It might be something to do in the future as many of us “citizens” who don’t work in law enforcement typically only have the books as sources for the Whitey bulger and Steve Flemmi era. I for one would highly appreciate learning all the errors and discrepancies that I have been fed by the media.

    On a side note, are there any Boston Organized Crime cases that will be tried in court anytime soon? Cases involving drug distribution, racketeering, loan sharking, etc? Finally is there a source on the internet that discusses who’s who in today Boston Organized Crime world that are active? Thanks again Matt.

    1. Jerome:

      I’m trying to work on that which you mention in the first paragraph.

      You ask about Boston Organized crime cases that are upcoming. That’s a good question. I don’t know of any major ones. I’ve been out of the business for many years but it is hard for me to believe once Whitey left town in 1995 there have been no people running the rackets. Don’t you think drugs are being distributed in Boston and the bookies are paying tribute and some gangsters are running the show at the present time or do you believe none of that exists any more? If the former, who are in charge and what is being done about it?

      I could have asked you the same question around 1990. You would have known the Mafia groups were put ut of business in the 1980s since that was covered in the media but for the rest of the stuff as one not involved in law enforcement you would not have known of Winter Hill, etc. That’s why when you heard Whitey terrorized the city it is so much nonsense because whoever has taken Whitey’s place, and there has to be someone his equivalent out there now, we don’t even know or care about. One reason we may not be on top of this is the guys running the rackets are all FBI top level informants who are being protected.

      I’m not aware of any internet source on who is active today in Boston’s Organized crime. You may remember Mark Rossetti was said to be the leader in Eastern MA and he was an FBI informant. Here is an article that you may want to read and then Google some of the people mentioned. http://patch.com/massachusetts/peabody/east-boston-mobster-at-center-of-north-shore-organize567624b2a5 but the Rossetti stuff is old going back some years.

  3. What is mind boggling to me is for all of Whitey Bulger scheming, planning, manipulations, mental preparations, and his well read knowledge of leaders etc that he could not avoid ending up in court. He is considered one of the smarter, craftier, and more cunning criminals within the Mafia and organized crime YET he ended up like so many other criminals, in prison again. The way the books portray Whitey Bulger you would think he would have had his own exit strategy. Its hard to fathom to think he really thought he could pull off being on the “lam” the rest of his living life.

    Also, I still have a hard time comprehending why Whitey didnt try to murder Kevin Weeks, Steve Flemmi, and John Martarano since those 3 could all implement him in murder. Actually as sneeky and cunning as Whitey is portrayed by the media I am surprised he didnt go back to the places where they buried bodies and move them somewhere else by himself. Things just dont add up to me regarding how the media portrays Whitey and what actually took place in reality. I feel there are certain pieces to this puzzle missing yet I cant put my finger on what those specific pieces are and look like. Have you put everything together for yourself so it ALL makes sense?

    1. Jerome:

      You give Whitey too much credit. His great attribute was his discipline and meanness; but he really had little going for him other than that. Keep in mind he had the FBI carrying him for many years which makes others give him far more credit than he is due.

      His plans for going on the lam were to be blunt stupid. Sure he spread money out in various banks in the U.S. that he could get access to had he needed to flee but beyond that he did nothing and he made some major mistakes. Whitey was basically a guy who could not exist outside of his South Boston mentality and could not exist by himself.

      A smart criminal with his money would have had several fake passports, a couple of getaway homes in foreign countries, and a willingness to keep all of that information to himself. Whitey could not go away without taking a woman with him. The first, Theresa Murray, knew about his fake identification which she would eventually tell the FBI about; the second, Catherine Greig, lived with him for the 16 years but her identity was known and that was a weak link in his plans to get away.

      Whitey could not leave the U.S. which limited his options. He should have gone to Brazil or some place in Europe by himself, altered his appearance, and with his money began life anew with another woman. Had he done that he would never have been caught.

      He could not murder Martorano (who actually knew very little about him) or Flemmi because from the time he was indicted they were in federal custody; he needed Weeks because he used him to stay in touch with what was happening in the area and he needed him to help him get fake identification because he had not prepared himself well enough for his flight. He also thought since Weeks had not been named in the original racketeering indictment he would be all right. I’m sure he never could have comprehended Weeks folding like he did; what Whitey failed to understand was Weeks had never done time and when he faced time he could not do it.

      Get Whitey off the pedestal and you’ll see he had little cunning and was incapable of doing anything by himself. The media has made him into something he isn’t; in his mind he had become what the media has said he is. You have taken a hard look at him and have figured out that there is so much more he should have done had he been all that he is cracked up to being so that he must be a lot less than he is portrayed. That is what I have been preaching for years.

      I feel I’ve got a good grip on all of it. Whitey was just an ordinary thug with a streak of barbarity who is able to have a nice protected life because the FBI covered for him. He associated with guys who were equally evil if not worse who had no trouble killing and intimidating others. Whitey did little that was noteworthy in his life and mostly preyed on other criminals and always with sufficient backup. He made poor plans for his getaway. The media and the prosecutors pumped him up because they had a bigger story in his brother Billy.

      It all fits into place for me. I always felt he was just another criminal who ran a criminal gang and if I could have gained the evidence against him would have prosecuted him but my inability to do so was because the FBI protected him. You have figured the thing out but you give Whitey too much more credit than is due to him so you believe you are missing something.

      Whitey, Martorano, Flemmi, Weeks and their ilk are all depraved cowards without their guns because none of them could do the time without becoming a rat but even worse they all have their excuses for doing that. Whitey is a rat even if you believe he was not an informant because he turned on FBI agent John Connolly who protected him all those years by having his lawyer tell the world that he paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars. Flemmi was informing on others since the 1960s.

      Step back a bit as you are doing and you will find all the pieces fit.

      1. A very well explained analysis. You make an excellent point in that the perception I have of Whitey is based on the media image and way off from reality. I agree that is why I couldnt put the pieces together. All your suggestions on how Whitey could have left is right on target too. So for all the reading on leadership, war ,etc it didnt do Whitey much good regarding getting out.

        But there is a complexity. Assuming Whitey didnt do any more crimes once on the lam and able to live for 16 years keeping a low profile does indicate he “could” have done exactly what you suggested to get away scott free. He could have gotten passports and plastic surgery and left USA. Why would he stay in the States and not have fake passports is mind boggling. Thats a no-brainer, no? I also agree that his inability to leave the 2 women Stanley and Grieg shows another fatal weakness. Thats a strange fact to this story.

        THANKS Matt for all your detailed explanations.

        1. Jerome:

          If you have read some of Whitey’s letters you would see that he is not that well educated. He may have read a lot but you have to wonder how much he absorbed.

          I think it is fair to assume Whitey did not do any more serious crimes while on the lam; he might have done some minor stuff but he had a big stash of cash to carry him over. Had he really planned an escape by himself with proper documentation he should never have been captured. All of that should play into the analysis of Whitey when determining what made him tick.

          1. Matt
            Do you have a post or series of posts that detail all the inaccuracies in all the Whitey Bulger book and media reports?

            1. Jerome:

              I don’t think I do. I am working on that but have not put it together yet. I know I have mentioned errors in the books in past posts but in my present disorganized state it would be hard for me to set them out for you. I hope to do some day.

  4. Matt
    One thing that is not clear to me is the events that led to the Bulger/Flemmi indictments. At the time the two were Top Echelon Informants who were only being “protected” by the FBI, no? Also, once John Connolly retired that left Bulger/Flemmi both vulnerable from other branches of law enforcement (probably too simple an explanation)? What is complex to me is how were Bulger/Flemmi able to stay active for 25 years and avoid ALL indictments and being prosecuted and then one day its all over. That doesnt make sense to me at all. It seems to me that once Bluger/Flemmi usefulness was all used up they were left high and dry, no?

    Finally, is there a “best” case scenario in which Bulger and/or Flemmi could have walked away scott free by walking away from a life of crime once they had enough money. I do not have your expertise but would you agree that greed and a sense of entitlement and thinking one truly is untouchable that FINALLY catches up to darn nearly all professional criminals. Because in Whitey Bulger case he could have gone on the lam long before the indictments and possibly come out unscathed.

    1. Jerome:

      1. Whitey had two things going for him: his discipline and the FBI. The FBI has set it up that anyone who is a top echelon informant is protected. Any information requested about the person is given to the handler of the person: for instance, if Whitey was seen by one of my guys driving a car and an inquiry went into CJIS asking about the car or Whitey then Connolly would be notified of the inquiry. The FBI’s goal was to keep their top echelon informants in a position to feed the FBI information and if it was necessary to tip them off that other police departments were on to them that it what it will do. Having that type protection is enough to keep a person safe because the FBI pretty much had an eye into what everyone was doing. Whitey was active from 1975 to 1994.

      2. Connolly retired in 1990, it is clear that Whitey and Stevie did not have another handler in the FBI, it is not known whether the FBI continued protecting them by giving Connolly the information that he would have always received.

      3. Bulger and Flemmi were indicted by keeping the FBI out of the loop of the investigation into their doings. They were indicted when cases were built against them through bookies who were pressured by the new investigators into giving information against them. During that investigation there was no evidence sufficient to charge either Flemmi or Bulger with any murders.

      4. It is not clear the FBI left them high and dry prior to them being indicted as I said. When Flemmi was arrested he still expected the FBI to come in and help him. He held on to that belief for almost two years. What is clear is that after they were indicted the FBI tried to scrub its involvement with them.

      5. Being gangsters, Bulger and Flemmi would never have had enough money. I do not see that either one would have walked away from their lucrative lifestyle. They both felt that they had beaten the system and having gone on so long they could not imagine life being other than what it was. You put it better than I could:“greed and a sense of entitlement and thinking one truly is untouchable that FINALLY catches up to darn nearly all professional criminals.” Both men had enough money to walk away years before they were indicted.

      But there is also another side of that, once they walk away they loosen their grip on their underlings. If they are no longer around to keep people fearful, they then become subject to people offering them up to get deals for themselves. In a sense they were trapped because if they left there was no one around to enforce silence on the people they controlled.

      6. In this case there is another factor that must be kept in mind. The real target of the prosecutors was when they started out was Billy Bulger who they figured was involved with Whitey. The only way they believed he could have been gathered in was by getting evidence against Whitey and his associates in the hope they could prove Billy was part of the mob. Realizing that, Whitey really had no chance once the prosecutors with that mindset took on the case.

      1. A very thorough and much appreciated explanations. A few quick thoughts. What I dont understand about law enforcement is the following: The FBI had Flemmi and Whitey as informants BUT because of that its a “secret” ONLY the FBI handler is aware of no? So from the 70s to 90s no other branch tried to build cases against these 2 professional criminals? And for arguments sake, lets say that other LE agencies tried to build cases, how would the FBI get rid of those investigations? Am I jumping to the wrong conclusion that members in other LE agencies were well aware of criminal activites by Bulger and Flemmi for years?

        So it sounds like neither Flemmi nor Whitey had an “exit” strategy. With Flemmi who from what little knowledge I have read was not as disciplined nor the planner Whitey was, I could see him getting tripped up. But with Whitey it would seem like once John Connolly retired and not having another agent to work with he would have left sooner? I wonder if Whitey tried to get another FBI agent to handle him and keep protection.

        What I am missing is how it all collapsed for them finally. What happened at the end that hadnt happened during their 25 years?

        1. Jerome:

          The FBI informants are known only to the FBI. The program in which Whitey and Stevie were enrolled was the Top Echelon Informant program that was also supposed to be secret. More people than the handler would know about the identity of the informant; the co-handler, the supervisor and the ASAC and SACs that passed through. In Whitey’s case a witness testified that everyone in the Boston office including some of the clerks knew Whitey was an informant.

          Other people outside the FBI tried to build cases against them but these people would often coordinate their investigations with the FBI and Whitey or Stevie would be tipped off. Here’s and example where another FBI squad was investigating a guy (Bavarian) who worked for Flemmi and planning to go up on a wire. When Agent Morris found out about it he told Flemmi to stay away from any telephone connected to that guy. So Flemmi and Bulger knew the guy was being wired (and we don’t know who else they told) so there was no way they would be implicated in the investigation although they could set up other people.

          Most other LE people did not know Whitey and Flemmi were being protected by the FBI. As one who worked closely with guys going after Whitey I remember being called by Cullen of the Globe and being asked if Whitey was an informant and telling him that there is no way that would ever happen.

          Flemmi probably had a better strategy than Whitey – he just hung around too long so he didn’t have a chance to put it in place. He had been on the lam before and lived in Canada quite successfully. Whitey as I said never could get out of his hometown mode.

          When Connolly retired there is reason to believe Whitey felt he could still protect him; it seems Connolly was in touch with him after he left the job. Even though Whitey was not “on the books” as an informant he still might have been receiving the FBI protection. I don’t think Whitey would have worked with another agent as long as Connolly was around because he had to assume things would continue as they did.

          It collapsed because the investigation against them was not controlled by the FBI but the FBI was excluded from it. Without its protection, they were at risk. That in itself shows that they would have been put out of action years earlier had not the FBI been covering for them all those years.

      2. Matt you say that Whitey and Flemmi were indicted finally because they failed to keep FBI aware of their activities? This is confusing because does that mean they did keep the FBI aware of their activities from 1975 to 1994 and then decided to stop doing that? During that 25 year crime career no one else ever said anything about them that would incriminate them? Also why were bookies more concerned with the FBI in 94 (?) instead of fearing for their life?

        1. Jerome:

          They were indicted because the FBI was blocked out of the investigation of them. Even had the FBI still been protecting them it could not have helped since it did not know what was going on. Keep in mind Flemmi still expected the FBI to come in and help when he was arrested on January 5, 1995, and for many months after that believed it would ride to his rescue.

          They did not necessarily keep the FBI aware of their activities. I’m sure they didn’t tell it that they were murdering people. It was that as Top Echelon guys they kept the FBI aware of other people’s activities and the FBI made sure they were protected from other law enforcement agencies. There were people who said things to the FBI that would have incriminated them but the FBI did nothing about those items that were reported to them because it was still protecting them.

          The bookies, Jimmy Katz and Chico Krantz, were grabbed doing what they lived by which was booking. Take Katz, he went to prison for some illegal activity and then was called back into the grand jury to give evidence against them. He refused, was held in contempt, and given more time in prison. He still kept his mouth shut. Then he learned the feds were going to go after his home and cause his wife and kids to be evicted which was the straw that caused him to testify and in exchange he got placed in the witness security program. Chico Krantz started talking because the feds were going to charge his wife with some of his crimes so he acted to protect her.
          None of this pressure would have happened if the FBI controlled the investigations because it would not be interested in gathering evidence against Whitey or Stevie. With the FBI out, then the US attorney could really start to squeeze them and it mitigated their fear of being murdered by letting them get into the witness protection program. Once Stevie was in prison and Whitey was on the lam it became much easier to convince people to come forward since they were not perceived as a threat after that.
          Stevie and Whitey really had no legs, by that I mean they had no loyal followers who were willing to stick their necks out for them. A good example of how Whitey’s flight opened him up for attack from all sides is the number of books that were written about him while he was gone. Everyone assumed he was never coming back and if he did it would be in leg irons so they could write all sorts of nonsense about him.
          The story comes down to Whitey and Stevie having a long run courtesy of the FBI; once the FBI was disabled and no longer able to help them then others had a legitimate shot at them.

  5. I’ve been saying for years that Wyshak and Kelly are frauds. They want the public to believe their nonsense that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts had nothing to do with the murders, extortions, rapes and perjury over 40 years. I have government documents and tapes that say the opposite so they’ve been threatening me, my family, friends, and business associates.

    it’s time for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to step up instead of sitting there like potted plants for all these years and appoint a real independent Special Prosecutor with resources.

    1. Ed:

      I have seen it used in both ways. I’m not sure whether that is what the Japanese called their outdoor sewer system but when I was with the Marines in Japan we called them “benji ditches.” Here’s part of an article about a Marine in Vietnam who commits suicide: “The MPs picked him up broke, still drunk, but resting comfortably alongside Highway One. There, in a fragrant local benji ditch he babbled incoherently about art and the best of girls.” Other ones: https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&rlz=1C1CHWA_enUS616US616&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=%22benji%20ditch%22%20marines

  6. Let’s lock up Stevie, or at least find out why he isn’t behind bars … I see another of our criminal pals, Aaron Hernandez, is in trouble again. In a gang-related incident, CNN reports, Hernandez served as the lookout for another prisoner who invaded the cell of a prisoner Hernandez’ pal wanted to beat up. The three men are now in a “special management section.” Good for them …. I believe Hernandez has been previously charged with punching another inmate and threatening to murder a prison guard and his family. He’s off to such a great start! Hernandez, 25, is going to have an amazing career behind bars.

    1. Dan:

      Agree, Hernandez isn’t going to last too long in prison; he really is a strange dude. The big thing was not that he was in the gang related incident as was the new gang tattoo that he has on his neck. He’ll be lucky if he stays alive to get his appeal heard.

  7. As with many public matters, taxpayers are harmed.

    But even that harm pales in comparison with the utter lack of justice being served in the cases of Flemmi, Connolly and others.

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