An FBI Story: Told By A Gangster Named Flemmi: Part Three

P1010073Steve Flemmi had to come up with the tale of the meeting at the Miami Jai Alai fronton to get his deal to avoid the death penalty prosecution in Oklahoma and Florida. He had to get himself out of a jam by offering up FBI Agent Paul Rico. His story doesn’t work out when examined closely. Unfortunately it was never tested under cross-examination.

John Martorano, as you might expect, tells a similar story since he was the gunman in both murders so he too had to escape the Oklahoma and Florida death penalties. Martorano told his story first. Of course, Martorano never met Rico (nor did he meet FBI agent John Connolly who he testified against). He too, though, implicates Rico in the murder of Wheeler. How could Flemmi and Martorano tell a similar story?

They had opportunities to spend a lot of time together. They were incarcerated in the Plymouth, MA, jail from around 1995 through 1997. They were also questioned by the same agents. We also heard how Salemme said these agents gave him the book Black Mass to refresh his recollection. Reading Flemmi’s statement to the agents it is clear they were asking him about certain incidents, refreshing his recollection and leading him.

But as I’ve mentioned before it’s the little differences in recounting a story that tell whether people are telling the truth. It’s easy to say for them to say they met with Rico, but not so to get the details right, especially those details that may have easily been overlooked or forgotten in trying to retell a rehearsed story but which should have been remembered if the event occurred.

Obviously Martorano didn’t know Wheeler. He testified at John Connolly’s trial he received a paper from Callahan with Rico’s handwriting on it (how he knew it was Rico’s wasn’t explored); he wrote in his book Callahan “gives me a piece of paper from Rico” with a description of him and his location. Flemmi has another story, he said he was told by Callahan that his former partner (not Rico) would get the information on Wheeler. It always seemed logical to me that it would be Callahan’s former partner who was now the CEO of World Jai Alai would be the one getting the information.

Then we have the meeting after the murders of Wheeler and Callahan at the Miami fronton. We know Flemmi said he and Martorano met there, went into the lounge, he met Rico, then called Martorano over, and they talked. Martorano remembers the meeting a little different.

First he tells us “I’m not crazy about going in [the fronton]” because he’s a fugitive from justice. He goes on: “Rico’s FBI, or was, he’s hired all these other agents to work the fronton, to keep guys like me out. . . .”  Rather than them going to the lounge separately, Martorano has “me and Stevie, and we take the elevator up to this private dining room area.”

He says it for high rollers and says: “Stevie introduces me to Rico, we shake hands, sit down, and I say, ‘Joe wanted me to ask you, is anything happening on the deal?” He’s talking about the deal where they have murdered the two people who were dealing. It’s as if they couldn’t figure it out themselves. Rico says, “Nothing doing yet,” as if anything would ever be doing.

Martorano goes on: “And I said, ‘That’s all I needed to know.” He said he stood up and left. He said he went outside and waited for Stevie. Then, “Í know he’s got all these FBI agents there, but no one’s making a move to collar me.” He went on: “all the rumors about Rico were true.”

None of it makes sense. If Martorano knew Rico was partners with them in the murders why is it the first time he realizing Rico may be bad after leaving the fronton a few months after he murdered Callahan? He should have known that from the beginning if Rico had given him the description of Wheeler a year or so before. Not only that, the where and how they met at the fronton differed. These are small points but things that would be remembered. Finally, the overall absurdity of Rico meeting two top criminals who planned a murder with him in the presence of “all these FBI agents” knowing there was a “lot of law enforcement interest” in the case runs dead up against the wall of reality.

Unfortunately, no one cross-examined either man on these matters. On the face of them they are laughable. Rico can’t be a top FBI agent and at the same time extremely casual about his own safety in meeting with fellow conspirators in a murder to the point of recklessness.

There is no other evidence than this connecting Rico to the murders of Wheeler and Callahan, or for that matter any other criminality. Two  desperate men hoping to escape the death penalty spinning a tale that makes no sense. The dumbest FBI agent would not have done what the two gangsters said Rico did and he was far from dumb.



52 replies on “An FBI Story: Told By A Gangster Named Flemmi: Part Three”

  1. Again another excellent explanation by you Matt. Thanks. My thoughts about the Whitey/Felemmi part of Boston Mob History right now are this: Is it that they “broke” the law over and over that disturbs and disgusts people OR is it that they murdered individulas (or a combo). I ask this because I was recently in Los Angeles. In California it is now legal to purchase weed. But at one point it was ILLEGAL to buy and sell weed. So if a person was a “drug dealer” who bought and sold weed then does that make them a “bad” and “antisocial” and ” sociopathic” individual. You see where I am going with this? One day its illegal to sell and buy weed and then one day it isnt. How does one TRULY judge ones morals? It cant be based on what society and the STATE decide, although they do decide what is a crime and what isnt.

    SO Whitey and Flemmi sold drugs, ran bookmaking rackets etc. Those things are LEGAL (gambling such as in Las Vegas) in some states. so is what REALLY seperates the Whitey Bulgers and Steve Flemmis from Damn nearly MOST of the rest of society is the ABILITY to commit murder? I mean Joseph Kennedy was a bootlegger, no? Therefore he was a “mobster” and “gangster” too, no? Yet he isnt vilifies like Flemmi/Bulger. Your thoughts?

    1. Jerome:

      Good points. What’s morally wrong and what’s illegal are two different things. Miscegenation was a crime in many places but certainly wasn’t morally wrong. As you note what’s illegal can become legal. Gambling was illegal in Massachusetts then certain aspects of it became legal when the state decided to raise revenue through a lottery. Murder has remained both illegal and morally wrong; the killing in combat is not considered murder because it is justifiable homicide according to the state under the laws of self-defense.

      Many people made their money illegally and I suppose it is happening today as with Kennedy his illegal money gave him power and his power bought him legitimacy. The wealth of many Americans is based upon the morally wrong dealing in slavery but it also provided legitimacy on the people who did it.

      Floemmi/Bulger went beyond the mark in their dealings. They murdered people which are actions that can’t be tolerated; they threatened, beat and extorted others ruling by fear and demanded tribute from other criminals under the threat of death. Some of their underlying actions as gambling might be considered benign but their other actions were clearly wrong.

  2. Thank you Chris and Matt for your dedication to truth and justice. I cannot tell you how much your work and writings mean to me.

    1. Karen:

      Chris has been a great help in having me understand things that were not clear to me. We do view some things differently but we’ve been fortunate to be able to discuss this in a way to attempt to advance our understanding of the issues. Chris has provided me with information that I did not have access to and to give me insights into some things I would not have known. I appreciate your thanks. I am glad our discussions are helpful to you.


    1. Interesting video but I did not hear anything about this topic. Did I miss something? I did hear Bulger’s lawyer, Jay Carney, claim that Bulger was paying 35 FBI agents. Sorry, I want to see the proof for that claim.

      Anyway, did I miss something in that 45 minutes about Paul Rico or World Jai Alai?

      1. Chris:

        The 35 FBI agents on the take is something Carney just threw out there. Never heard such a thing before. You had Morris who took some $7,000; there’s never been evidence Connolly got money other than that he did not cash a dozen pay checks – I’d have thought Morris would have shed some light onto that – Flemmi when first interviewed denied Connolly got money. Carney said there was evidence of 30 to 40 envelopes being stuffed at Christmas with between $1000 and $100,000. No such evidence existed. Weeks testified at Connolly’s trial the largest amount in the envelopes was $5,000 but most were one or two hundred dollars and they were except for Connolly for the local cops.
        The idea Whitey gave large sums of money to anyone in law enforcement is a joke. Salemme said both Whitey and Stevie only wanted two things in life, money and women. Whitey was cheap and he kept most of the money for himself – when I prosecuted the bookies who I found out later worked for Whitey’s gang and I guess he was supposed to back when they were charged they would rather do a little time than pay a big fine. Money was what these gangsters worshiped so the idea they were dispensing it freely is nonsense.

        Weeks testified about giving gifts to other agents at Christmas. He said Whitey would buy some nice clocks or stuff like that and did so for three or four other agents. Small stuff like that but the number never went over six or seven. All the talk about wide spread corruption is ridiculous. The problem is no one is there to say that it didn’t exist. Kelly the prosecutor has bought into the idea years ago so he won’t say it and Carney just carries it to the extreme.
        I didn’t hear anything about Rico or World Jail Alai.

        1. Matt: I think you are right on about all of this. I don’t believe Connolly took money from these guys–he did some dumb things and obstructed justice (but even that is a little complicated). Nor do I think Connolly knew Whitey and Flemmi were killing people and there is no question in my mind that the two thugs would not have been open about that with Connolly.

          Wyshak and Kelly were so fixed on the idea that other agents were corrupt in the Boston office that they talked the Miami authorities into the completely bogus murder charge there. I am sure Wyshak’s agreeing to prosecute it as a “special assistant state’s attorney” (extremely unusual for a fed to be so designated though, as you know, not all that unusual the other way around) was part of the deal or the Florida authorities would never have charged that case in a million years.

          I spent quite a bit of time in jail with Connolly and believe him when he said that he was told flatly that the Florida case was filed to make him put other agents in prison—And that it would go away if he did. He said it just was not true. He did not know anybody being paid by Bulger or Flemmi and he got the impression that the Govt. didn’t really care whether his testimony was truthful or not. Connolly said he would never be able to live with himself if he falsely accused another agent just to save himself–he’d rather stay in prison.

          Have to say I believe his story. (I believe Wyshak is an “ends justify the means” kind of prosecutor). Looks to me like Wyshak stood by while he knew perjured testimony was being proffered at Connolly’s trial. I’m aware of the Witsec informant’s story and believe that informant’s story is true. I know that Wyshak sat silently by while his co-counsel misrepresented Connolly’s relationship with “the corrupt Paul Rico” during closing arguments (Connolly and Rico never served together and were 5 years apart in Boston).
          Wyshak filed a lengthy pleading with the First Circuit to overturn Judge Wolf’s original ruling in Flemmi’s case in which Wyshak went on the record stating that Flemmi committed perjury in his hearing and had absolutely zero credibility. Yet, as soon as Flemmi put on the white hat, he was magically believable. The DA in Tulsa, Tim Harris, told me that when Wyshak offered Flemmi as a witness against Rico in 10/2003, Harris could not recall Wyshak sharing any of his written pleadings about Flemmi’s lack of credibility (they might have been somewhere in the boxes of documents, he said).

          In my 26 years working federal cases, I never saw a prosecutor go on the record, on paper with a court, much less a federal appellate court, to say that a witness had absolutely no credibility, and then turn around and use that same witness. Never saw it and cannot find a federal prosecutor in my little circle who has. Generally, if a defendant fought the G, went to trial, testified and lied, lost, and then tried to cooperate it was No Dice.

          I do not doubt that some agents in Boston got some free or discount booze or gifts from these guys. (Unwise, inappropriate, against the rules, and fraught with peril.) But that is a far cry from being paid by a criminal for protection–at least the way I look at it.

          1. Chris:
            I pretty much agree with everything you wrote. As for them murdering people, the only murders Connolly could have associated with them would be the Wheeler, Halloran and Callahan. That requires further discussion than I can go into here but I agree he was never told by either of them that they were involved in them. In fact, I think Flemmi testified they never told him about them. Nor did anyone else seem to associate them with murders during those times. The association wasn’t made until 1998 when Martorano became a government witness. Then it seemed everyone wanted to attribute the knowledge at that time with what people knew back in the 1980s.
            In the video you Jerome referred to I was taken back with Kelly saying there was a lot of corruption then suggesting he could not prosecute it. (By the way during the week of December 1 I’m going to do my take on that video.) That sounds so hollow. He seems to be suggesting if the FBI or any other agency found a person was corrupt but that he could not be prosecuted nothing could be done but I’m sure there are many administrative punishments that would be forthcoming – reductions in grade, fines, or even adverse effects on pensions.
            It is discouraging to see no one is there who will push back against the idea of widespread corruption among the agents. Carney, Kelly, Bloom, and Boeri all talk about it like it’s a given fact. As for Wyshak’s appointment, that is very rare. It showed me that it was a situation of double jeopardy because the truth of the matter was the DOJ was again prosecuting him for something it had already prosecuted him for before.
            Interesting you mention talking to Connolly in jail. I talked to him during his trial. I sat in through the whole thing and felt like something was not right about it. I went up to him in the corridor at one of the recesses. I knew him just to say hi to. I had one time I met with him officially in Boston on a case. I said to him I thought he could walk away from all the charges if he would implicate Billy Bulger in something since that seemed to be the goal of the prosecutors. He said Billy was a man of integrity and had done nothing wrong. He went on to say he’d been told they wanted him to implicate others in the FBI with him who were involved in wrongful acts. He said he couldn’t do that because he knew of none and he wasn’t going to lie to save his own skin. It’s pretty much the same thing he said to you.
            Unless you recognize how big of a part Billy Bulger played in this you may miss some of what happened. He was the ultimate target of Wyshak who believes he must have done something criminal. Wyshak has this attitude because of the Boston Globe writers O’Neill and Lehr who have a passionate hatred for Billy. Even in Whitey’s trial Kelly asked a question out of the blue with no relevance to anything at the trial whether Billy Bulger was the MC at some FBI affair. Because Connolly was a friend of Billy Bulger and also Whitey’s handler Wyshak went after him.
            You are absolutely right that Wyshak called Flemmi’s testimony before Wolf lies but then used him to testify against others. Not something one would expect but this case is full of such strange matters that have yet to be explored.
            I totally agree with you about taking a clock or a bottle of booze. It’s not smart to do it and it’s best not to do because of the questions that arise like we see here that because it is done somehow you have compromised yourself. One does not follow the other. The question that should be answered is whether the person because of the gift did something he should not have done. There have always been and will always be some guys or gals who will accept something usually small without any thought beyond that. How many guys have flashed their badges and got a free ride on the train or entry into a ball game? Does it mean they have done something wrong? Without more I say no.
            And that certainly doesn’t mean, as Carney would have it, that a person is on the gift giver’s payroll.

            Thanks for the information.

            1. Matt–yes I certainly understand that the biggest, juiciest target was Billy Bulger. Connolly’ told me the same/-Billy Bulger was NOT a crook.

              What hurt Connolly–badly–was obstructing the investigation. That made it easier for the jury (and others) to buy into the rest.

              AND the fact that Morris WAS very corrupt.

              The pursuit of Billy Bulger & these other agents to the extent done was abuse of power.

            2. P.S. I think Connolly obstructed the (original) investigation because he knew that Bulger/Flemmi DID have a pass from Jeremiah O’Sullivan for the gambling & other non-violent activity in exchange for the LCN info. The first RICO indictment returned was all ITAR-gambling & other crimes for which there was immunity (per Judge Wolf). SO–Bulger/Flemmi (& Connolly) rightfully believed that first indictment was illegitimate.

              Connolly, then retired, likely felt his own life was endangered by the G reneging on that deal.

              But once the G started on a roll toward a superseding indictment, flipped Martorano & others–they could add the murders. No reasonable person–certainly not Connolly thought Bulger/Flemmi ever were given a pass on murders.

              As you well know, Matt, immunity for murder is not even IN a fed prosecutor’s bag of tricks!

            3. P.S.S.
              Re Wheeler murder & early info on involvement of Bulger & Flemmi.
              I interviewed the agent who handled Halloran. (No friend of Connolly) the Govt did not trust Halloran (I think he refused poly) and the agent did not believe Halloran’s story of meeting with Bulger & Flemmi. The agent DID believe that Halloran had been pitched by Callahan to kill Wheeler & added the 2 big fish to the story to enhance his bargaining power.
              The lack of trust led to Strike Force not recommending for WITSEC. Btw, a poly is a standard WITSEC condition.

    2. Jerome,

      Thanks – just got through watching it – Carney should have gone to acting school – I’m surprised at so much wrongful information that the panelists seem to be locked into. I’ll write about the film when I can put my thoughts together but I’m being called to dinner so it probably won’t be until sometime next week.

    3. Jerome:

      I’ve put down my impressions of the discussion by the panel. Beginning the week of December 1 I’ll be posting them under the heading a Confederacy of Dunces. Thanks again for directing me toward the video.

      1. You are quite welcome Matt as I can only give a small fraction back to your great website. One thing that puzzles me regarding the view that John Connolly and even local cops and other law enforcement did not get much money from Whitey and Stevie. Pre-supposing local law enforcement and FBI didnt get money from the two mentioned, what exactly did they get in return from enabling Whitey And Stevie.?

        On one side of the equation Whitey and Stevie got millions and millions of dollars (assumption of course) and on the other hand law enforcement didnt seem to get much information at all from those two that would warrant that type of trade off. What am I missing regarding this exchange of favors?

        1. Jerome:

          Connolly was operating under the Top Echelon informant program of the FBI. That program was created to allow the FBI to go after the Mafia. It was a feather in Connolly’s cap on the job to have Whitey and Stevie as informants; furthermore, he got from them information on the Mafia activities which was extremely important to the FBI.

          As for the Boston cops they were happy with one or two hundred dollars from Whitey. They did nothing to enable him since that was done by the FBI. The money Whitey gave them just kept them from bothering or hassling him. It bought Whitey some good will and perhaps saved him some tickets for double parking.

          Whitey and Stevie’s operations did earn them many millions of dollars because the FBI took a hands off approach to their doings. I’m not sure the FBI knew the extent of their income but it didn’t matter. What the FBI wanted was to take down the Mafia. The FBI did get a lot of information especially from Flemmi. He enabled them to put a bug in Vanessa’s in the Prudential Center which took down the Mafia guys who took over after the Angiulo’s went to prison; he also gave them the information which allowed them to bug a Mafia induction ceremony which had never been done before.

          So they did get good information in exchange for protecting them but the whole idea of the Top Echelon informant program was wrong from the beginning for the reasons you noted that they allowed these guys to gather in millions and also to continue with their criminal ways which involved murders. You are not missing much since it was a bad deal for the people.

      2. Matt the post the CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES that you said you would post is not up yet. Did you use another title? Thanks

          1. Thanks for the insight Matt. I look forward to the post you are finishing for next week. In your opinion do you think that overall the Top Echelon Informant “should” be no longer be used by the FBI? I could be wrong as I am not a professional but its almost Machavellian (sp?) what Whitey and Flemmi and other Informants have done in that they supply information to get rid of their competition.

            So while one set of “big cheese” in organized crime gets takien down after years of gathering evidence often given by Informants ANOTHER NEW “big cheese” get created. In some ways its like a shell game, no?

            I am making big generalizations of course but what would happen IF there were no Informants? I am not sure the book DEADLY ALLIANCE answers that question conclusively. I could be way off but are you aware of any other organized crime members who profited from being an Informant as long as Flemmi and Bulger?

            1. Jerome:

              It’ll start tomorrow and run for seven parts. I think the TEI program should never have been created and it follows it should not be continued. It’s not so much that TEIs get rid of their competition which wasn’t the case here because their competition which was supposed to be the Mafia Whitey and Stevie were working hand-in-hand with. They really had limited influence in taking down the Mafia (Angiulo faction) since that was done by other informants and Whitey and Stevie were put in at the end but were not necessary to the affidavit for the bug that took them down.

              The problem with the TEI is it protects top level criminals who can then go on and pretty much have a free hand in running their own criminal enterprise. Their action are overlooked by the FBI and since criminals prey on innocent individuals and use brutal methods a lot of people were injured. Bottom line as the producer of the show Whitey who was on the BC panel said how can the FBI pick and choose what criminals are allowed to operate freely.

              There will always be informants. People will be looking to get themselves out of a jam, to jam in their competition,to make some money on the side, to get revenge, etc. These are situations that involve a set time period and a limited target. The worst thing about TEIs is they were protected over long periods of time and as we saw with Whitey and Connolly sometimes a friendship will develope.

              As for the need for informants I don’t believe they are necessary. I am strickly in the minority in this because all FBI agents and cops will say they are. But I think of them as a lazy cop’s tool. As part of the Whitey saga there is the incident involving the Lancaster Street garage. No informants were used there. It was hard work consisting of observations and analysis. The hard work led to an electronic bug which had it not been compromised would have taken down Whitey, Steve and the Boston Mafia. To get wires or bugs you only need probable cause and that can usually be gained by hard and dedicated street work.

              The problem with knowing other people who profited is that we don’t know who the TEIs are. There was one TEI of John Morris who I was told was a guy named Berkowitz who was a long term TEI. He had corrupted the City of Chelsea from the mayor down through the cops. Nothing was ever done against him as he ran his bookmaker operation protected by the FBI. He paid Morris with gifts, his condo in Florida, etc. I believe he was one of the sources for the FBI’s bug on Angiulo and Baione. An FBI agent in Chicago wrote about having one I think named Cain who ended up being murdered. Connolly also had Sonny Mercurio who gave him the information for the bug of the Mafia ceremony. Rico was alleged to have four informants. Stevie Flemmi, Jimmy Flemmi, Buddy McLean and a guy named Kelly. Kelly testified for the federals but years later reversed his testimony saying Rico made him lie.

  3. Chris Kerr:

    Points well taken. You write well. Whether you have written Mr. Rico out of infamy I reserve the right to doubt. His War service is certainly much to his credit . I will indeed. see if your book rings any bells of memory.

  4. If memory serves me correctly, I believe the Boston FBI SAC at the time of the Confessional
    hearings was very very special agent Warren ” ruby ridge” Bamford who got his nickname
    from being one of snipers involved with the murder of Randy Weaver’s wife,son and dog.
    He now holds the John Connolly Endowed Chair
    at the National Grid office in Waltham Mass.
    Bamford’s partner in crime and FBI Supervisor at Ruby Ridge was Larry Potts who was identified by Terry Nichols as Timothy McVeigh’s handler
    before the Oklahoma City bombing. Death Row inmate Paul Hammer has written a book detailing what McVeigh told him while they shared adjoining cells on Death Row confirming Nichols story.hint google Nichols Potts trentadue
    Hmmmm? Was Ken Kaiser the former SAC?
    The back story told before here
    and worth repeating is Alan Witwer retired
    to Brunswick Maine after running the Del Charo
    Motel for the Head of the Texas Oil
    Mafia Clint Murchison. Murchison has
    been identified as funding the President Kennedy
    assassination by several sources
    including attorney Barr McClellan who worked
    at the Clark Law Office in Austin Texas representing President Lyndon Johnson after
    he decided not to seek a second term.Barr’s son
    Scott McClellan was President Bush’s Press Secretary. Barr has written a book called
    Blood Money detailing how President Johnson and FBI Director J Edgar Hoover were the principal architects behind the assassination of President Kennedy. Barr recently bought a home in Princeton New Jersey.

    Back to Alan Witwer.
    He attended one of our 13 conferences dealing with crimes committed by FBI agents when
    we brought Ed Tatro to speak at Bates College about the JFK assassination.
    Mr Witwer introduced
    himself to me after the conference was over
    and said he had a manuscript he wanted to publish about the JFK murder.
    Witwer claimed Hoover was a guest of Clint Murchison at the Del Charo and came every summer with his lover Clyde Tolson.
    He discussed how organized crime figures
    would also stay at the Motel often seated at the next table to J Edgar Hoover.
    Witwer was present with Murchison and Hoover
    when they discussed what they where going to do
    to President Kennedy for getting rid of the oil depletion allowance.
    Yes, Hoover would often go to the Del Mar race track nearby where the races were often fixed for him by the Mafia. hint google Clint Murchison

    Alan Witwer showed me over 50 documents from
    his manuscript, many of them personal letters
    between him and J Edgar Hoover on FBI stationery .

    I put Alan Witwer in touch with Ed Tatro
    who would soon team up with Barr McClellan
    to script and appear in the banned History Channel documentary The Guilty Men
    hint google the guilty men JFK YouTube
    Watch the 45 minute version.
    hint google alan witwer Del Charo FBI
    hint google Lyndon Johnson Murchison JFK

    I always thought the beating Rico took in
    Jail was the plausible denial the FBI needed
    to claim Rico died of natural causes
    It was also a warning to Rico, eh?

  5. ” What do you want from me, tears? ” … This was Mr.Rico @ the congressional hearings responding to questions about the set up and long term incarceration Salvati, Limone, and Greco. Henry Greco died in prison. The meanspirited tone of his utterance to the Indiana Senator and the ugly callousness of such a brazen faced retort to a question about a profound and rank injustice, really defines Paul Rico for me ; A 24 karat Son Of A Bitch !!! ( May he RIP) … If your book exonerates him in regard to Mr. Wheeler then you do history a good service. This ud commendable. But putting a shine on the sneaker that was Agent Paul Rico id almost as long a stretch as the ones he duplicitously served up to Mafia associates Salvati, Limone, Tameleo and Greco. Henry Greco was a highly decorated World War Two vet by the way. Rico really screwed those guys but good .

    1. Mr. McDonald, you have some of your facts wrong. Paul Rico appeared at the (House) hearing without counsel and answered their questions. He should not have said what he said about the “tears” but that was at the end of a long “bating” session where the congressman was trying to get Rico to accept responsibility for Joseph Salvati being wrongfully imprisoned. Rico was not. We thoroughly investigated that whole episode and came away confident that Rico was not responsible for that–there is not enough space to go into all of what we found but we talked to many, many people and reviewed thousands of documents. If you want to see why we came to that conclusion, you should read the book we wrote. “RICO–How Politicians, Prosecutors and the Mob Destroyed One of the FBI’s Finest Special Agents.” If you do that, I will be glad to answer any questions you have. BTW, Rico also left high school early to volunteer for service in WWII–he flew as a bomber radio operator over Europe and earned 3 bronze stars (which he never told his family about, by the way). We didn’t know who Rico was when we started, but at the end we concluded he was one hell of an FBI Agent.

      1. Chris:

        Rico at his return appearance before Congress took the Fifth.
        You are right that the “tears” comment must be put in context of the ordeal the Congressman from Connecticut, Shays, was putting Rico through. He had been harassing him throughout the hearings. Had I been in Rico’s position I might have answered even more forcefully.

        1. Yes I was aware that Rico was re-called and took the 5th. At that point I think he knew that he had given them all the time they wanted the first go-around, they had pre-conceived ideas that he would not change, were pompous self-important a-holes intent on setting a perjury trap by creating some inconsistency with his testimony a year earlier.

          1. Chris:

            I agree with that. I think by the time Rico had returned to Congress he realized that the Huff investigation was well underway and that the purpose of his visit was not to seek information but to try to entrap him into some contradictions or errors. I’m sure he realized that the Committee had gone from investigating the Teddy Deegan case to investigating the Wheeler murder. It had also gone into investigating Billy Bulger’s relationship with Whitey. Anyone reading the examination of Rico at his first appearance could easily figure out that he had become a target. He finally listened to his lawyer’s advise that no good would come from his testimony.

            1. P.S. Re- the return visit to Congress. I spent a lot of time with Bill Cagney, lawyer for Rico and World Jai Alai. Cagney, a former Strike Force AUSA, knew Rico very well and tried to convince Rico not to go to the first Congressional hearing. Rico’s response was that he had spent his life in law enforcement and if asked to answer questions he was going and he would sit there as long as they wanted without counsel. After Rico got skewered over that “tears” comment (under the circumstances you described) I think Cagney convinced him the second time to take the 5th. A year had passed and it would be pretty easy to manufacture an inconsistency between his first sworn statement and a second (a year later) that could be trumped up to make a perjury charge.

              BTW, Cagney, who was a close personal friend of Rico’s, said that when he met Rico at the end of his career in Miami he was impressed with Rico’s work ethic–not typical of guys close to retirement. Also, he drew up a personal services contract for the retired Rico’s undercover role in the Judge Hastings case (Rico charged the Govt. $1 for his services) without Rico ever disclosing the name of the target of the case. This was pretty remarkable inasmuch as Rico and Cagney drank and golfed together, Cagney was a retired federal prosecutor AND Rico knew that Cagney had (unrelated) pending cases in front of Hastings. Cagney only heard from Rico about the case after it went public.

    2. John:

      Put the “tears” comment in context. Rico was being harassed by Congressman Shays of Connecticut. Shays had been doing that throughout the hearing and as Rico expressed his regret it was not enough for Shays who kept making speeches at him demanding more. By the way there is little reason to disbelieve Joe Barbosa on his bringing Limone and Henry Tameleo into the plot. Patriarca told him he could kill Deegan if he got the OK from Angiulo. Angiulo operated through Limone and Tameleo so their imprisonment was not necessarily wrong, after all, to suggest it was would be to suggest so is John Connolly’s since he was imprisoned on the same type hearsay evidence yet the courts don’t want to go there. As from Greco, he may or may not have been involved. It seems clear Salvati was wrongfully implicated.

      I don’t think you need to read the book to show he was not involved in Oklahoma murder. None of the evidence given by the gangsters holds together.

  6. I first met Detective Huff at the
    Congressional Cirque De Soleil
    ” whitey Bulger” hearings in
    Boston. We talked briefly and he gave
    me his phone number and email address.
    I also talked to Wheeler’ s son and got
    his phone number and email address.

    I successfully networked Wheeler and Huff
    with Angela Clemente.

    In talking with Huff since the
    Boston hearings, I found him
    bitter over the treatment he received
    from the Boston FBI ” Clamshell
    Alliance ” when he investigated
    Wheeler’s murder.

    I still cannot fathom why Rico
    was given a beating in Jail
    and conveniently died before
    going to trial. LOL!


    In other news
    see link for full story

    Inside the FBI’s Shameful Battle To Shield Nazis –

    Published Monday, November 17, 2014

    Inside the FBI’s Shameful Battle To Shield Nazis
    Federal Agent Stepped in To Aid Her Propagandist Father

    Captured Jewish women in Hungary are marched down Budapest’s Wesselényi Street in October, 1944.
    Related Articles

    America’s Six-Decade Nazi Spy Cover-Up
    Using Ex-Nazis as Spies? I Saw It Happen.
    It was October of 1990, and the Nazi hunters at the United States Department of Justice were furious at the FBI.

    The Nazi hunters, led by an attorney named Neal Sher, were tasked with finding and deporting former Nazis and other World War II-era persecutors. They had just tracked down a former pro-Nazi propagandist named Ferenc Koreh and sued to strip him of his U.S. citizenship. But the FBI seemed to be trying to sabotage the lawsuit.

    A 46-page memorandum written on FBI letterhead had landed on the desk of Sher’s boss, claiming that the Office of Special Investigations, which he led, had been hoodwinked by the intelligence services of Romania’s communist government.

    The conflict between OSI and the FBI is a shocking untold chapter in the Justice Department’s long history of trying to sweep up former Nazis — and of the interference of that same department’s fabled enforcement arm with that effort.

    Sher knew the FBI was wrong. More than that, he also knew that Koreh’s daughter was an FBI agent stationed in the bureau’s New York field office. Even worse, the agent who wrote the 46-page memo was her supervisor — and her live-in boyfriend.

    “I was outraged,” Sher said. “I thought it was scandalous. Those people, in my mind, should have been fired on the spot.”

    They weren’t. One agent was suspended for a week, another was censured. The boyfriend remained a senior official at the FBI’s New York office through at least 2001, when he played a major role for the office in the aftermath of 9/11.

    The incident is described briefly in New York Times reporter Eric Lichtblau’s new book, “The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler’s Men.” It’s also recounted in a secret official history of the OSI leaked to Lichtblau that was posted online by The Times in 2010.

    Still, it remains largely unknown. Two and a half decades later, Sher is still angry. “It was absolutely one of the most egregious breaches of ethics for someone in the FBI,” Sher told the Forward.

    The two FBI agents, who married in 1991, did not respond to letters sent to their house seeking comment.

    By 1990, the OSI’s investigations of former Nazis had begun to make major waves — and major enemies. Three years earlier, on OSI’s recommendation, Austrian President Kurt Waldheim had been banned from entering the United States due to his wartime collaboration with the Nazi SS. Waldheim was furious, Austria recalled its ambassador, and Sher was personally banned from traveling to Austria.

    It wasn’t just former Nazis who were angry at OSI. Pat Buchanan, the right-wing gadfly and Republican White House staffer, argued throughout the 1980s that the KGB was leading Sher’s unit by the nose, providing forged evidence to frame opponents of the Soviet regime as Nazis.

    It was an old charge. In “The Nazis Next Door,” Lichtblau shows how, from the 1950s onward, the powerful FBI director J. Edgar Hoover blocked investigations into former Nazis working as FBI informants, claiming they were victims of Communist propaganda.

    According to Lichtblau, who reviewed OSI’s work over decades for his book, they never were. “There’s not a single case that I could find where the KGB was doctoring evidence,” he told the Forward. “There is no evidence [the KGB was] manufacturing cases.”

    OSI’s campaign against Ferenc Koreh started with a libelous newspaper article.

    According to the secret history of OSI, prepared internally at the Department of Justice in 2006 and kept under wraps for four years, Koreh came to the attention of U.S. authorities after two small New York newspapers published articles accusing Koreh of various war crimes. Koreh sued for libel, and the papers retracted most of the charges.

    At the time, Koreh was working for Radio Free Europe, the American propaganda station that broadcast Western-slanted news into the Soviet bloc. Koreh was vocally anti-Communist, and had been active in activist groups that opposed the Romanian regime since moving to the United States in 1950. He became a U.S. citizen in 1956.

    U.S. investigators came across the libelous newspaper articles and started looking into the radio broadcaster. They found that the Transylvanian-born Koreh had been editor of a Hungarian newspaper in the early 1940s that ran articles calling for the persecution of Jews. The newspaper blamed Jews for murders, rapes and World War II itself. In 1943 and 1944, Koreh worked for the Hungarian information ministry, and then, during the German occupation of Hungary, as editor of a government-owned newspaper. After the war, a Hungarian court jailed him for seven months for running that paper.

    In 1989, OSI filed a lawsuit in federal court in New Jersey to strip Koreh of his citizenship, on the grounds that he had been naturalized on the basis of a visa that he could not have obtained if he had been forthright about his wartime activities.

    “I will certainly fight it,” Koreh told the Associated Press when reached for comment at the time.

    Soon after the suit was filed, someone threw a bottle through the window of his home in Englewood, New Jersey, bearing a threatening note that read, “Dog — You Will Die.”

    OSI investigators hadn’t known before they filed the suit that Koreh’s daughter Veronica Koreh was an FBI agent in the agency’s New York field office. They soon found out.

    In October of 1990, while OSI’s lawsuit against Koreh was in its discovery phase, a memorandum on FBI letterhead by a special agent named Kenneth Maxwell was sent to Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mark Richard, who oversaw Sher’s unit. The memo claimed that OSI’s case against Koreh was based in part on forgeries, and that Koreh was under attack by the Romanian intelligence services for his anti-Communist activism.

    Maxwell’s line was strikingly similar to the attacks on OSI and its predecessors leveled for years by figures like Buchanan and Hoover. The FBI agents in New York, said Lichtblau, “seemed to be buying into the whole Soviet propaganda argument that really didn’t have much merit.”

    OSI staffers were furious over the memo. They knew their proof of Koreh’s past had not been forged by the Romanians — Koreh himself had admitted to much of it in depositions at his earlier libel case. The rest was based on records from Hungary, not Romania. Even so, they knew they would need to reveal the memo’s existence to the defense, slowing their case.

    Even more infuriating, though, was the memo’s provenance. Maxwell was dating Veronica Koreh. They lived together at the time, and were married a year later.

    In the internal war that ensued within the Justice Department, OSI officials interviewed Maxwell and Veronica Koreh. Sher claims he learned that Veronica Koreh helped Maxwell write the memo. She saw drafts, recommended sources for him to use, and even gave him documents.

    At the same time, Sher discovered, Maxwell had given Ferenc Koreh advice about his lawsuit and gone to meetings with Ferenc Koreh, Koreh’s lawyer, and Veronica Koreh.

    “It was absolutely one of the most egregious breaches of ethics,” Sher told the Forward.

    According to its internal history, OSI complained to the FBI about Koreh and Maxwell in 1992, raising questions about conflicts of interest and whether they had sought to sabotage the Nazi hunting unit’s lawsuit. Maxwell brought his own charges against OSI: In a letter to the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, he accused Sher and another OSI attorney of behaving in a “reprehensible, professionally unethical” manner when they interviewed him about his letter.

    It took four years for the competing claims to be sorted out.

    Meanwhile, OSI’s denaturalization case slogged on. It included lengthy fights over Maxwell’s memorandum, and how it would be disclosed to the defense.

    Koreh eventually lost his suit in 1994. The district court decision noted that the case was complex, in that Koreh was not accused of personally committing any atrocities, and that the activities for which he was being denaturalized would have been protected speech under the First Amendment. Still, they held that he should be denaturalized for his untruthful affirmations to gain entry to the United States and to obtain U.S. citizenship. The circuit court, which ruled in 1995, agreed.

    “We conclude that the undisputed facts of this case demonstrate that Koreh’s activities at [the Hungarian newspaper] Szekely Nep during 1941 and 1942 constituted both assistance in the persecution of civilians… and the ‘advoca[cy] or assist[ance] in the persecution of any persons because of race, religion, or national origin,’” wrote Judge Dolores Sloviter, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. “Koreh’s visa, and his citizenship was thus ‘illegally procured.’”

    Ferenc Koreh died in 1997 still living in the United States, having admitted to various charges in return for being allowed to stay in the country due to his poor health.

    The infighting between OSI and the FBI, in the meantime, continued unabated. In 1994, after leaving his job at OSI to become executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Sher sent an angry letter to FBI director Louis Freeh asking why no action had been taken against Maxwell and Veronica Koreh.


    The general counsel again responded quickly, saying that the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility was already looking into the incident. It took until June of 1996 for the FBI to conclude its probe. The general counsel’s final letter to Sher, sent that month, was vague, saying that one special agent had been suspended without pay “for a period of time,” another was “censured.” Other FBI personnel, the lawyer wrote, would also have been punished, but had already left the agency.

    The secret OSI history leaked and posted by the New York Times in 2010 provided more details: It was Maxwell who had been suspended — for a week — and it was Veronica Koreh who had been censured. The Department of Justice’s own Office of Professional Responsibility also finished its investigation into Sher, set off by Maxwell’s charges against him, at around the same time, according to the OSI history. He had been cleared.

    “Some of Sher’s comments may have included words or phrases that could be colorful, [but] his overall ‘message’… was clearly one that needed conveying,” the probe concluded.

    Maxwell, for his part, was hired as vice president of security for JetBlue in 2003, after rising at least to the level of assistant special agent in charge of the FBI New York Field Office. A representative of JetBlue said that Maxwell had recently retired. Neither Maxwell nor Veronica Koreh have a listed phone number.

    The tensions that pitched the FBI and the unit once known as OSI into bureaucratic war have faded. Eli Rosenbaum, who succeeded Sher at OSI and continues to hold an equivalent position at the Justice Department, told the Forward, “I have no complaints [against the FBI] in my own experience.”

    But Sher still steams at the memory. “It stuck in my craw,” he said.

    1. Huff got the cold shoulder in Boston, at least in part, because he had little common sense and judgment. He told us that he believed that the FBI SAC in Boston set him (Huff) up to be killed by Kevin Weeks in the middle of the Wolf hearings (ridiculous). (The detective also thought it was believable that Rico had a gay relationship with J. Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson (Hoover’s #2)–stories peddled by a totally non-credible mob guy who testified at John Connolly’s trial and later pled to perjury charges.)

      We also talked to Roger Wheeler, Jr., who kept Rico on at WJA for another 15 years after his father’s murder and he thought very little of Huff’s crackpot theories. In 2006, when we talked to him, Wheeler had a picture on his desk in Tulsa of himself and Paul Rico.

      Rico was beaten in jail because he was known to be a former law enforcement officer and was recklessly placed in the general population. This is a reason most former law enforcement officers who go to prison are segregated from the other inmates. Rico told his daughter, shortly before his death, that he only wanted to live long enough to clear his name.

      1. Chris:

        Interesting information on Roger Wheeler Jr. That gives good insight into Rico’s non-involvement into the murder of Wheeler as does most independent analysis. As you pointed out in your book you don’t get involved in a murder plot and then meet with the guys involved with you after the murder at your place of business. That would be the case for a guy who worked on an assembly line. The Rico/Wheeler murder story is really outrageous on its face.

        1. Sorry (fat fingers)–Wheeler told us that Fred Wyshak summoned Wheeler to a large meeting to get Wheeler’s mind right. Apparently for shock value, Wyshak began the meeting with gory mirder photos saying it was important for Wheeler to identify his father as the victim! Absurd, Wheeler got up and walked out. He contributed to DA Tim Harris’s opponent and tried to get Harris unseated because of anger & disgust over the investigation & what they did to Paul Rico.

      2. Chris:

        One other thing, you’ll like this. According to Flemmi or Salemme, or even both, Rico was involved in a sexual relationship with J. Edgar and Clyde Tolson. They had him visiting Washington every month or so to participate in it even though Rico only met Hoover once at his swearing in. They said because Rico heard over a gypsy wire (which was never shown to exist) the McLauglins referring to Hoover as being gay, he wanted to murder George McLaughlin. So he asked them to get a throw away gun for him that couldn’t be traced. He told them he didn’t use it when he arrested Mclaughlin because only four of the other FBI guys involved in the arrest were willing to kill McLaughlin, the fifth agent they were not sure of so the let him live. As a former agent yourself, you can just imagine another agent coming up to you and saying “that George McLaughlin said Hoover was gay. Let’s go murder him.” It is amazing they could say such things and have people believe anything they say.

  7. Enjoyed your comments about Flemmi’s and Martorano’s bogus tale of Paul Rico’s involvement in the murder of Roger Wheeler. As you know, Joe Wolfinger and I thoroughly investigated this for our book (see A couple of additional details. The Tulsa detective who investigated this (Mike Huff) told us that John Martorano, some 20 years after-the-fact, ID’d Rico’s handwriting which Martorano claimed he had seen exactly—once. It was pretty obvious that Martorano and Flemmi got everything they needed to say FROM the Tulsa cop, who was absolutely fixed on the idea that Rico was involved. Huff virtually ignored John Callahan’s life-long friend, Richard Donovan, the CEO of World Jai Alai, who 1) had frequent contact with murder victim Roger Wheeler, 2) had actually been to Wheeler’s home in Tulsa and golfed with Wheeler at the course (Southern Hills) where the murder occurred (unlike Rico who never set foot in Oklahoma before being extradited from Fla) and; 3) was negotiating the actual purchase of WJA from Wheeler (on behalf of Callahan). Donovan refused to speak with us. It is also more than interesting that neither Flemmi nor Martorano ever indicated that Rico had knowledge of or involvement in Callahan’s murder, which occurred in Florida. If Rico had truly been involved in the Wheeler murder, he would have had by far the most to fear from Callahan collapsing under pressure–far more than Bulger or Flemmi.

    1. Chris:
      Martorano testified at Connolly’s trial that he was given a piece of paper with Rico’s handwriting. No one picked up on the fact he had never met Rico or seen his handwriting before. I don’t think the gangsters got anything from Huff but they fed him all the stuff that fit in with his world vision and he accepted anything they said without question. Flemmi and Martorano had to put someone else into the Wheeler murder to get the break for themselves.

      Of course Richard Donovan who was partners with John Callahan would have been the one who had all the information on Wheeler. I’ve believed that all along. What I have found strange and still can’t figure out to this time is how little of a role he played in this matter when in fact he was a central figure to everything that was happening yet he is hardly mentioned. I’ve always wondered about that.

      I didn’t pick up on that but it is true they didn’t connect Rico with the Callahan murder. Another strange thing. I wonder why they didn’t. Flemmi could easily have said he called him to let him know it was about to happen and get his OK. I guess they forgot about linking him in. After all you pointed out their story about meeting him at the fronton rather than some bar was ridiculous but more so was the reason for the meeting: to see if the sale was still ongoing when the buyer and seller were dead. The Rico lies are only a small part of what happened here – there are many other areas which raise the eyebrows.

      1. Re the “handwriting ID”– Huff claimed that he showed Martorano a known sample of Rico’s handwriting in 2003(?) and, waddayano, bingo, Martorano said it matched the handwriting on the note JM discarded in 1981. Pretty remarkable ID I thought.

        Btw, I talked to a local DA in Tulsa who worked for Tim Harris. He went on and on about how credible he thought Martorano was as a witness. The DA thought it was a real big deal that Martorano openly stated he was testifying out of revenge for Whitey Bulger being a rat. Well, OK. BFD.

        I watched Martorano testify in Miami and thought all involved, including the judge, were star-struck by this mobster murderer. He was credible when he described how he killed Callahan but overall–not at all–in my opinion.

        Example: when confronted with his “60 Minutes” statement that he had never killed for money, Martorano first said, yes, that was very true. OK, well how about the $20K (I think) Anguilo paid him to whack (I forget)? Well, that was just for expenses–he had to rent a van, etc. OK, well how about the $50K fee Callahan paid for killing Wheeler? Oh, that was just a “thank you gift” not really a payment, you see. That response, I recall, was greeted by titters.

        This very evil, stone killer, was treated like a celebrity. A disgusting spectacle.

        1. Chris:

          For a DA to think Martorano was testifying out of revenge other than saving his own butt is absurd. You are right about the allure of gangsters. I’ve pointed out how the federal courts seem to treat them with kid gloves. Judge Wolf is alleged to have had them in his lobby for a chat. Remember that HBO show the Supranos that glorified them? I don’t know what it is that causes that, perhaps too many people have led sheltered childhoods and feel rubbing shoulders or adulating them gives their lives something the missed.

          Angiulo’s $50,000 for wiping out big Al’s gang was for expenses; Callahan’s $50,000 to kill Wheeler was a gift. It’s all lies as is most things these guys say since they fashion their world from lies. In his book Martorano tells us he made peace with God and is a good man. That’s how much they can deceive themselves.

          You are right it is a disgusting spectacle to see the awe these gangsters inspire. At least during Whitey’s trial none of that was shown by his lawyers.

      2. P.S.

        Reference Donovan: He was actually the one who was doing all the negotiating (for Callahan) with Wheeler for the purchase of World Jai Alai. He was very close to Callahan (they had worked together at Arthur Andersen) and they communicated up until the time of the murder (Callahan and Donovan). So, although Flemmi necessarily puts Rico in the middle of the transfer of the note on where to find Wheeler from Donovan to Callahan, that makes no sense. There was no need to put Rico in the middle of that. Well, correction, Huff NEEDED Flemmi to put Rico in the loop.

        What I think is that Donovan maybe provided all that helpful info on Wheeler to Callahan/Martorano with the idea that Martorano and whoever were going to go to Tulsa and maybe rough Wheeler up or put the fear of god into him–get his mind right.

        One little tidbit of possible significance is that I talked to a lawyer who was on a Miami golf course with Donovan when they got the word that Wheeler had been murdered. Donovan turned completely white–ALL the color drained from his face when they got the news. He was described as very shaken–more than the witness would have expected.

        But Huff was so fixed on the idea of an “FBI conspiracy” that he never really focused on Donovan. You know, you’ve seen it I’m sure. An investigator gets a theory and then tries to make all the puzzle pieces fit rather than just following the evidence.

        When we asked Huff why, if Rico was a bad guy, did he hire only ex-FBI agents and their wives in the WJA security operation, Huff’s reply was that this only showed just how deep this conspiracy ran! (Obviously, the point was not that an FBI agent can’t go bad–it happens–but it wouldn’t make sense to have all of them around watching what was going on, the secretaries taking messages, etc. if you were working for the Mob)

        1. Chris:

          Thanks. How is it Donovan disappeared from the events? I would think he would have had a lot of important information that would throw more light on what happened. Someone must have interviewed him.

          Martorano testified in May 2002 he recognized Rico’s handwriting – that would be before Huff showed him anything if your dates are correct. Of course, the idea Rico would put things in his handwriting makes no sense. (If he were participating in a scheme to murder someone the last thing he’d be doing was leaving a paper trail.) If he were involved he’d have given information to Flemmi over the phone (not likely) or to Callahan in person who would have been given it Martorano. Martorano never met Rico before any of the murders. So it had to be from Callahan who was meeting with him. But why would Rico write it down rather than having Callahan do it? It would make more sense for him to give it verbally. (We are dealing with a skilled investigator.)

          What does make sense is that Callahan could have figured out Wheeler’s information on his own or in general discussions with Donovan and others. There doesn’t have to be a Donovan or Rico involvement in a planned crime for Callahan to get the information.

          As for Donovan turning completely all white, that suggests to me that Callahan may have expressed to him the idea of murdering Wheeler but Donovan just thought it was loose talk. When he heard of the murder he realized that perhaps it wasn’t loose talk after all. It sort of goes to showing Donovan knew nothing about what was actually planned.

          To believe the prosecutors theories in this case you have to believe that there were many corrupt FBI agents out there who were willing to participate in murders. I think such an assumption is absurd but that’s the one thing that holds things together. It is the overall theme of this saga.
          All the FBI agents working at the fronton are there because they’ll cover-up for the criminals; five out of six agents in Boston plan to murder George McLaughlin with a throw away weapon; and you have other instances.

          Much of this mindset can be traced back to the people involved in the investigation. Tom Foley from the State Police wrote a book in which his animosity toward the FBI is clearly shown and he was deeply involved in the matter. Wyshak, as I think you pointed out, had little love for the FBI. Only if you believe that the FBI is full of corrupt agents is it possible to accept the theories in this case.

          Of course, the FBI itself is to blame because of its decision to walk away from its agents and not be more aggressive in defending itself and its agents. Doing that it let these ideas that Foley and Huff maintained gain the ascendancy. In my mind it all boils down to the Top Echelon Informant program which I feel was ill conceived and a very bad idea. The FBI wanted to walk away from it and pretend it pretty much operated only out of Boston by a rogue office.

          1. I may have mis-spoken about the handwriting allegedly shown in 2003 to Martorano–he flipped and started talking to Huff long before 2002-03.

            Huff kept pressing Harris to charge Rico on Martorano’s statement long before Flemmi flipped–complained to the Tulsa press loudly in fact.

  8. Ms. Freeh:

    Brevity is the soul of wit after all. You are just ” KIL’N ” me ★★★★★★★★ 🙂

  9. Glad to get your feedback
    from the bricks
    down here at the zero in
    the whisper stream I
    wanted to introduce
    Matt to Scott Camil , a
    fellow Marine , who we
    brought to speak at our
    5 th Annual Conference
    Investigating Crimes
    Committed by FBI agents
    Scott Camil – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Scott Camil (born May 19, 1946 in Brooklyn, New York, United States) is a noted … Recognized by the FBI as an “extremist and key activist,” Camil was on …
    Scott Camil lay bleeding on a Gainesville Street. …. documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the FBI was keeping tabs on Camil and referred …

    In 1970, the FBI tried to kill him. They failed. Scott Camil still believes in government and wants to make it better. … Scott Camil used to kill people for a living.

    SCOTT CAMIL ARCHIVE — (John Kerry’s would-be assassin …

    Mar 22, 2004 – In 1971, Scott Camil, a Vietnam Vet who was radicalized by Jane Fonda … The revelation of the FBI files has recently caused the Kerry 2004 ..

  10. Ms.Freeh :

    That there are stranger things above and beneath the FBI than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Ms.Freeh 🙂 is no news to any reader here. Personally I get a kick out of your unrelenting iconoclasm . I have indicated this before. William’s griping with you is thoughtfully well founded however. Your guerrilla style copy and paste approach to making us all … ” more intelligent consumers” … is condescending for one … passive aggressive for two … and demonstrates the axiom that the louder you scream, the more people cover their ears, for three. You strike out in the SIGNAL/NOISE RATIO batter’s box therefore Ms. Freeh. Ironically I am probably one of the few who read your lengthier posts entirely. But I can be kind of Wonk like that.

    Your throwaway allusion to this blog being about the sort of FBI skulduggery that resulted in the travesty of Jimmy Bulger’s ” Trial, ” is just that. You have no investment in other than grinding your FBI ” AX ” 🙂 .. with long, complex posts on pet incidents. As the New Yorker critic once devastatingly wrote of J.D. Salinger Ms. Freeh you are a … ” CLOSED CIRCUIT. ” Step it up you bright fellow. You could still be a contender. Speak extemporaneously on the topics posted, rather than basically spamming the blog with all of these canned anecdotes. There are commenters on this blog who have forgotten more FBI mischief than you will ever know. Thanx for the Lessons from Flying Pond Variety though. I am a Garrison Keillor fan also. 🙂

  11. Matt, please delete Msfreeh, the FED. Many of us do not appreciate disinformation, distractions and ten paragraph digressions. MSfreeh please stop posting your junk on this blog. If Msfreeh is not a fed, then he or she is just rude and crude and totally inconsiderate, spitting in our faces with her drivel. In any case, DELETE MSFREEH and do many of us a favor. Like a broke clock Msfreeh is correct and on point, but very rarely. Usually he or she is useless and wasting everyone’s time.
    2. Flemmi, Martorano, Carr, Weeks and Salemme have all been caught in a bag full of lies generated after their intimate contacts with the FEDS.

    1. William
      I thought this blog focuses on the trial of
      Whitey Bulger , as a way to explain the
      corruption of the DOJ Crime family
      including the FBI.
      My comments to these posts are rooted in my work having organized a conference for 13 years in New England looking at crimes committed
      by FBI agents.

      My primary goal posting here is
      to make readers
      smart criminal justice consumers.

      I like to think my contribution
      enlarges the view point we
      have about the organizational model
      of the ” bureau” and the Whitey Bulger
      trial was an anomaly in the historical
      record of the FBI.


      in other news

      FBI recruitment panel disrupted by FSU students
      By Zachary Schultz | November 15, 2014

      Participants in protest against FBI repression (Fight Back! News/Staff)
      Tallahassee, FL – On Nov. 12, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) disrupted a FBI recruitment panel at Florida State University. Students distributed informational flyers outside of the event detailing the role of the FBI in repression against activists and violations of civil rights.

      Shortly into the FBI talk, a determined group of FSU students disrupted the speaker by announcing their opposition to the FBI presence on campus. The students educated those present about the FBI use of intimidation, spying and raids to repress activism. Their signs read, “End illegal spying” and “No FBI on campus.”

      The students continued their protest, chanting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, the FBI has got to go!” They got up and spoke in detail of the 2010 FBI raids on the homes and offices of anti-war and international solidarity activists in the Midwest. They also educated other students about the FBI spying and repression of the African American civil rights movement. Then the student activists chanted, “Justice for Rasmea!” in solidarity with the 67-year-old Palestinian activist who was jailed in Detroit earlier this week. After 15 minutes of continuous disruption, campus police officers removed the students from the event.

      Regina Joseph, a leader in FSU Dream Defenders explains, “The FBI is a tool used to attack anyone who wants to raise political dissent. Its aim is not national security but upholding white supremacy.”

      When questioned about the disruptive tactics used by the protestors, Maressa Simmons, an SDS member and leader in the F-Word, a feminist group on campus, answered, “There is no gray area as far as the FBI is concerned, you either are a murderer and support genocide and white supremacy, or you fight for the end of oppression.”

      Asked about what she hoped the protest accomplished, SDS member Abby Cazel said, “I can only hope that these students will look more thoroughly into the literature that we gave out and begin to seek truth.” She added, “While I consider it a success to agitate the easily agitated, I consider it even more of a success to ignite questions in the minds of the curious. This is what I hope we achieved by shutting down this meeting.”

      The disruption was recorded by a participant and is available at

      Read more articles in Student Movement
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      Rasmea Odeh taken to jail in handcuffs, defense promises appeal

  12. Do you think Rico was murdered
    while waiting trial in jail?
    Has anyone talked to his lawyer
    to see if he felt threatened?

    What is in it for the DOJ/FBI
    to make John Connolly the scapegoat?
    Who benefits?How?

    in other news

    Thursday, November 13, 2014
    They’ll Be Back: PATCON, Oklahoma City, and Jesse Trentadue’s Lonely Crusade for Justice

    PATCON’s handiwork: A fireman holds an infant killed in the 1995 OKC bombing.

    (Updated and revised.)

    “His name used to be Don Jarrett,” long-time federal asset John Matthews told FBI Special Agent Adam Quirk during a July 9 phone call. Matthews was concerned that he would have to testify in a lawsuit filed by Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue seeking the release of long-concealed video tapes from the `1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Trentadue believes that the suppressed tapes would help identify “John Doe II,” a dark-haired, heavy-set man seen by dozens of people in the company of Timothy McVeigh on the day of the bombing.

    “John Doe II” remains at large, and the FBI is perversely determined to protect him. For reasons that will be explained anon, Trentadue is convinced that learning his identity is necessary in order to obtain a measure of justice on behalf of his late brother Kenneth, who was killed while in federal custody shortly after the bombing.

    PATCON asset John Matthews.
    Matthews was scheduled to testify during a federal court hearing in Salt Lake City last July. On the basis of what he had told Trentadue, Matthews was expected to describe how the FBI was closely monitoring McVeigh in the hours leading up to the bombing.

    The FBI continues to insist – despite abundant evidence to the contrary — that there was no advance warning of the OKC terrorist attack, and that John Doe II and the “others unknown” referred to in Timothy McVeigh’s indictment do not exist.

    Trentadue maintains that there is a “strong possibility” that the long-suppressed video recordings captured McVeigh in the company of a second person who would be identifiable as “an FBI undercover operative.”

    During the July 9th phone call with Matthews, Mr. Jarrett told the jittery federal informant to avoid testifying if he could, and to perjure himself if he must. He was also instructed to call Special Agent Quirk, who eagerly reinforced that advice.

    “I ain’t goin’ and I ain’t saying nothing unless somebody issues me a subpoena,” Matthews told Quirk, according to a transcript obtained by Trentadue. Even if “they haul my ass to Salt Lake City, I’m gonna set [sic] there on the stand and say I don’t recall anything.”

    “That’s fine,” was Quirk’s approving reply to Matthews’ announced intent to commit perjury.

    In a conversation on the following day, Matthews reiterated his determination to avoid a subpoena.

    “Well, yeah, and I mean – worst case scenario, even if you testified you can just – you can say you have, you know – you have nothing to say,” advised Quirk.

    Matthews, eager to please a high-ranking officer of the American Cheka, suggested that he might take a trip in order to avoid receiving a subpoena.

    “That’s fine,” gloated Quirk. “F*ck ’em, right?”

    Back at ya: FBI Special Agent Quirk.
    It was during the second conversation with Quirk that Matthews explicitly mentioned his role as an undercover operative in an FBI initiative called called PATCON, or “Patriot Conspiracy.” This was a long-term provocation campaign in which the Bureau sought “to infiltrate and incite the militia and evangelical Christians to violence so that the Department of Justice could crush them,” explains Trentadue.

    The man Matthews had known as “Don Jarrett” had been his FBI handler – and apparently still is, given the deference to him shown by Matthews. Now that the Regime has largely shifted its domestic focus from Muslims back to “sovereign citizens,” Jarrett is probably busy orchestrating homeland security theater operations involving the “Radical Right.”

    Assuming that “Don Jarrett” is still the name of Matthews’ former handler, he may currently be working as an “Independent Insurance Professional” in Florida. According to his vita, Jarrett retired from the FBI in 1998, becoming an insurance investigator and security consultant for the NFL. It’s not clear how he wound up in Afghanistan last year: A May 1, 2013 email to Matthews reported that he was in Afghanistan, and that he expected to leave at the end of June.

    Using his last known email address, I sent Jarrett a number of questions to which he has not replied. Given PATCON’s history the chances are pretty good that wherever Jarrett finds himself, bad things are being done to innocent people.

    “Ruby Ridge was a PATCON operation,” Trentadue has pointed out. “Waco was a PATCON operation. And so, too, I believe, was the Oklahoma City Bombing.”

    The same is probably true of the little-remembered October 1995 sequel to the OKC Bombing – the derailment of the Sunset Limited, an Amtrak train carrying 248 passengers. Sleeping car attendant Mitchell Bates was killed and 78 others were injured when four of the train’s 12 cars careened off a 30-foot trestle.

    A rail joint bar supporting a critical section of the track had been removed by a saboteur who also knew how to short-circuit sensors that would have alerted the Amtrak engineer of trouble on the tracks ahead. Typewritten notes on both sides of the track expressed outrage over the familiar litany of federal crimes and claimed responsibility on behalf of a group calling itself “Sons of Gestapo” (SOG).

    Publication of the SOG manifesto caused many foreheads to crease in puzzlement: This was a right-wing terrorist group so obscure that its existence was unknown even to Morris Dees and his ever-vigilant comrades, who are sensitive to every tremor of “right-wing extremism” occurring anywhere in the soyuz.

    SOG was unknown prior to the derailment, and hasn’t been heard from since. The FBI insists that it is continuing to investigate the derailment. For the past seven years, Victor Hooper, an electrical engineer from Anaheim, California, has been telling anybody in the Bureau who will listen that he knows who carried out that attack, and why it was done.

    “That derailment was carried out by some of the people who helped McVeigh build the bomb for Oklahoma City,” Hooper insisted during a telephone interview with me. He claims to have known at least two of them as neighbors in Anaheim, where they became involved in drug trafficking as part of a neo-Nazi criminal syndicate –and that John Doe II is actually a young man he has known since childhood.

    As Hooper tells the story, the man he identifies as John Doe II and whose identity is known to the FBI, worked closely with Kingman, Arizona resident Michael Fortier, who was involved in the OKC bombing plot and spent ten years in prison after agreeing to testify against McVeigh. According to Hooper, John Doe II told him that “McVeigh was trained in sabotage and taught him how to derail a train.”

    He made a deal: Fortier.
    Following the bombing, and publication of a composite sketch of “John Doe II,” FBI agents descended on Kingman en masse. Hooper claims that “Doe” and a handful of co-conspirators (who originally called themselves “Kings of Kings,” before adopting the moniker “Sons of Gestapo”) staged the Amtrak attack as a diversion, working in cooperation with another, longer-established neo-Nazi group.

    “I heard these guys talking about derailing a train, but at the time I didn’t take it seriously,” Hooper told me. “For years I’ve been trying to get the FBI to act on this, and I’ve been told that the investigation is still open, but they’re not doing anything about this. They moved heaven and earth to get Osama bin Laden, but their investigation into John Doe II has been lackluster, at best. Why are they denying the testimony of twenty witnesses who saw McVeigh with another John Doe, and saying that John Doe II didn’t exist?”

    “The FBI says that they’ve investigated the case, and they’ve planted agents around the people involved in the train derailment,” Hooper continued. “But it’s been nearly twenty years now, and they’ve not done anything about it.”

    During his conversation with me, Hooper made it clear that he doesn’t hold Jesse Trentadue in particularly high esteem. However, they emphatically agree that the FBI knows the identity of John Doe II, and continues to protect him.

    In a motion asking federal District Judge Clark Waddoups to hold the FBI in contempt of court, Tretadue points out that in 1995, Jarrett was involved in the Kingman, Arizona branch of the OKC Bombing investigation. At the time he was involved with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Phoenix, which was obsessively focused on “right-wing extremism.”

    The FBI poured a huge amount of resources into the Amtrak derailment investigation, which it styled “Operation Splitrail.” As is nearly always the case, the operation was either a huge failure as an investigation, or a hugely successful effort to avoid solving the crime.

    Trentadue learned as much when he was “contacted by a man named Victor Hooper … who claimed to have information about both the Bombing and the Palo Verde train derailment that occurred in Arizona shortly after the Bombing. Hooper told [Trentadue] that the derailment was done to distract the FBI from the Arizona part of the Bombing investigation.”

    FBI’s least wanted: John Doe II.
    During a conversation with Matthews in 2013, Trentadue recounted what Hooper had told him. That information was relayed by Matthews to his handler, and a short time later Jarrett contacted Trentadue to tell him that the derailment case “was still open; that the derailment had in fact caused resources to be shifted away from the Arizona portion of the Bombing investigation; and that Jarrett himself was transferred from the Bombing investigation to the [derailment] case.”

    Even more importantly, Jarrett demanded that Trentadue “keep the Hooper information confidential because Hooper knew things about how the derailment was carried out that only the perpetrators would have known and that he, Jarrett, or others within the FBI would follow up with Hooper.”

    By “follow up,” Trentadue understood, Jarrett probably meant “shut down.” This can mean witness tampering, as in the case of John Matthews. It could mean protecting the identity of key undercover operatives, such as “John Doe II.” In the case of Kenneth Trentadue, it meant killing someone who had been misidentified as an FBI asset with critical knowledge of the Bureau’s role in the OKC bombing plot.

    For the better part of two decades, Trentadue has tenaciously pursued the truth about the murder of his brother Kenneth while in federal custody.

    On parole after serving prison time for bank robbery, Kenneth was detained in San Diego for a supposed parole violation and transported to the Federal Transfer Facility in Oklahoma City shortly after the bombing. His body was “found” hanging in its cell on August 21.

    In body type, facial features, age, and even criminal record, Kenneth was a near-twin of Richard Lee Guthrie, a bank robber who was already in federal custody. Guthrie had been involved in a gang called the Aryan Republican Army (ARA) that staged bank robberies to fund domestic terrorism – including, apparently, the OKC bombing. Along with McVeigh, members of the ARA were frequent guests at a white supremacist commune in Oklahoma called Elohim City, which was overrun by government undercover operatives: German national Andres Strassmeir, Klan activist Dennis Mahon, Robert Millar, and former OKC socialite-turned-ATF asset Carol Howe.

    The Feds who detained Kenneth Trentadue and beat him to death thought they were disposing of Guthrie, who knew enough about the government’s role in the OKC bombing to betroublesome. Not long after Kenneth was murdered, Guthrie fell victim to his own oddly staged “suicide.” This would have tied up some critical loose ends – if Kenneth’s family hadn’t found a dangling thread, and pulled on it has hard as they could.

    Assets: Mahon (l.) with ATF informant Carol Howe.
    By the time Kenneth’s mother Wilma was informed of his death, the crime scene was sanitized and the body prepared for cremation. Through her shock and bereavement, Wilma Trentadue had the clarity of mind to demand that her son’s body be preserved for a funeral.

    As Wilma and older brother Jesse were finally allowed to see Kenneth’s mortal remains, they were further afflicted by the company of Michael Hood, regional counsel for the Bureau of Prisons.

    As Jesse later recalled the conversation, the suitably named Hood issued a singularly unsubtle warning: “The Bureau of Prisons, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office — we’re one big Justice Department.”

    Jesse was astute enough to understand the import of that remark, and brave enough to treat it with the contempt it deserved. His resolution hardened into fury when he and his mother peeled away several layers of crudely applied makeup and examined the condition of Kenneth’s body.

    “My brother had been so badly beaten that I personally saw several mourners leave the viewing to vomit in the parking lot!” Jesse wrote in an August 30, 1995 letter to the Bureau of Prisons that pulsated with tightly controlled rage. “Anyone seeing my brother’s battered body with his bruised and lacerated forehead, throat cut, and blue-black knuckles would not have concluded that his death was either easy or a ‘suicide’!”

    Kenneth had committed crimes in his life and made his full allotment of mistakes, but at the time of his abduction he was the married, honestly employed father of a young child.

    Finding himself the hopeless captive of the most despicable human beings defiling the earth, Kenneth defiantly chose to die on his own terms, thereby leaving behind evidence that his death was an act of state-sponsored murder, rather than despairing suicide.

    “Had my brother been less of a man, your guards would have been able to kill him without inflicting so much injury to his body,” Jesse pointed out in his letter to the BoP. “Had that occurred, Kenney’s family would forever be guilt-ridden over his death. Each of us would have lived with the pain of thinking that Kenneth took his own life and that we had somehow failed him. By making the fight he did for his life, Ken has saved us that pain, and God bless for having done so!”

    In 2001, a federal judge ruled that the FBI had lied about the circumstances of Kenneth Trentadue’s death, and had destroyed vital evidence in the case. The family received $1.1 million in damages, $250,000 of which was set aside as a reward for information leading to the prosecution and conviction of Kenneth’s murderers. Jesse Trentadue has continued to pursue civil action against the FBI, beginning with his demand to see the suppressed video footage of the bombing. The Bureau, displaying the resourcefulness of inveterate liars with unlimited funds, has employed every dilatory and diversionary tactic it can conjure, including the remarkable excuse that the recordings are lost somewhere in the trackless depths of the agency’s evidence from the OKC bombing investigation.

    Today (November 13) Trentadue was in court seeking to have the Bureau held in contempt, and asking for the appointment of a “special master” to “oversee [the FBI’s] compliance with the court’s orders, particularly relating to the allegations of witness tampering, and with Plaintiff’s FOIA request.” While acknowledging the agency’s misbehavior, and “chiding” them for it, Judge Waddoups declined to sanction the Bureau. That limp rebuke prompted a protest from the FBI’s attorney, Kathryn Wyer, who indignantly insisted that the matter was closed because the Bureau had investigated itself and found no wrongdoing.

    In 2007, shortly after filing his FOIA request for the OKC bombing videos, Jesse Trentadue contacted by convicted co-conspirator Terry Nichols, who is serving a life sentence for his role in the bombing and cannot be tried again on capital charges. With Trentadue’s assistance, Nichols filed a deposition in a Salt Lake City federal court.

    In that sworn statement, Nichols claimed that McVeigh — who allegedly had been recruited as an undercover intelligence asset while in the Army — had been working under the supervision of Larry Potts, the same FBI official who wrote the murderous “rules of engagement” at Ruby Ridge and later supervised the annihilation of the Branch Davidians at Mt. Carmel, Texas. Coordinating the OKC operation was a Deputy Attorney General named Eric Holder, who later played an important role in covering up the circumstances of Kenneth Trentadue’s death.

    Trentadue’s legal crusade began as an act of filial loyalty. It has become a struggle to expose the truth about the FBI’s ongoing campaign of surveillance, infiltration, provocation, and political murder.

    “The reason [the FBI] doesn’t want that tape released is … that one of the people getting out of that truck on the morning of April 19, 1995, was working for the FBI,” Trentadue said in an interview with Lew Rockwell. “The FBI had, I now know, at least five or six undercover operatives linked in with McVeigh in Elohim City. What I don’t know is the motivation behind the bombing…. What is not clear is whether it was a sting operation gone bad, that the plan was to stop it but the FBI failed, or else they wanted it to happen, as horrible as that sounds…. It’s clear that they facilitated the bombing, directly or indirectly. It’s clear they didn’t stop it.”

    As is so often the case, the best defense the Regime can make on its behalf is to plead murderous incompetence. In the best Soviet-style tradition of bureaucratic privilege, those most deeply implicated in the crime have been abundantly rewarded.

    Today, Larry Potts enjoys a well-compensated sinecure as a Vice President with ambiguous duties for the Scientific Games Corporation. Eric Holder, who reinstated the OKC-inspired domestic terrorism task force in January of this year, is stepping down as Attorney General in anticipation of an even more lucrative reward. John Doe II and his associates remain at large, as does Mr. Jarrett, and countless other members of the FBI’s merry troupe of Homeland Security Theater players. We’ll be hearing from them again.

    (My thanks to commenter “ATFsux,” who pointed out some important information about Mr. Jarrett’s background.)

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