Black Mass Week: Black Mass and the Mafia’s Revenge

(`) Black MassThe Mafia in Boston was hurt in particular by three men from the federal government between 1960 and 1990. In 1960 the Mafia  was a very powerful group in Boston; by the end of the 1980s it was a group of stumblebums unable to keep out of prison.

When the 1960s came we had the Boston gang murders (wrongly called the Irish gang wars) where between 60 and 80 gangsters were murdered. During this time the Boston Mafia, under the control of Gerry Angiulo, kept to the sidelines content to have others take down a few people for it but for the most part let other gangsters eliminate themselves. Part of the group doing the killing were the Roxbury Group of Italians which would kill off its Irish members and keep in contact with Angiulo’s group. Angiulo was an under-boss. The big boss, the king, as the Mafia would refer to him, was Raymond L.S. Patriarca who operated out of an office in Federal Hill, Providence, R.I. Raymond’s right hand man was Henry Tameleo. Angiulo’s enforcer was Larry Baione and outside of his brothers he used Peter Limone as his right hand man.

In the mid-1960s we had the case of the Teddy Deegan murder. That is the case in which Joe “the Animal” Barboza testified. Joe had become a cooperating witness for the FBI having been turned by FBI Agent Paul Rico. Through Joe’s testimony Raymond L.S. Patriarca was put in prison; Gerry Angiulo indicted but was acquitted; and in the Deegan case Tameleo and Limone and four others incarcerated. One of those men was clearly innocent; as for Tameleo and Limone it is suggested they were not at the scene of the murder and were innocent; but Barboza never put them there. He said they gave the OK for him to murder Deegan which makes them accessories before the fact. Intercepted FBI tapes seem to confirm that.

Wherever the truth lies, and it certainly is not with the media’s, Congress’s, or the courts interpretation, Paul Rico did much to take down the Mafia. He was number one they wanted to get back at.

The next person was FBI agent John Connolly who had several top level informants including Whitey Bulger and Stevie Flemmi. He would be instrumental in assisting with the take down of the Angiulos and Baione, although not playing a critical role there. He would play a critical role in taking down the Mafia group that rose to power after the Angiulos and also the group the rose to power after them. He was the number two person the Mafia wanted to get revenge upon.

Then there was Jeremiah O’Sullivan. He was the prosecutor who was instrumental in putting together the wiretap that would be done on Angiulo’s headquarters and on Baione’s hangout. He would then go on and prosecute those men and their associates and put them into prison and out of power. He was the number three man.

Black Mass was a hit piece on these three men. It suggested Jeremiah O’Sullivan should have recused himself from Billy Bulger’s investigating (without noting that was what he had done when he gave it to two assistants); that he alerted the FBI to state police surveillance at Lancaster Street (which the FBI denied); he helped keep Whitey as an informant according to FBI agent Sarhatt (which O’Sullivan denied); and he banished Halloran from the witness protection program (which he never had a chance of getting into because Suffolk DA Mundy kept him out).They ended after all these accusations saying: “the cocksure prosecutor proclaimed the Bill Bulger case dead on arrival” when the truth was he designated his assistants to give it a full investigation. Nor do the authors mention that the source of much of their book were two FBI agents: Fitzpatrick hated O’Sullivan and Morris had done the investigation of Billy Bulger and kept them informed of it and it was he who  said the investigation was at a dead end.

As for Connolly and Rico Black Mass condemns them over and over again for doing what they were supposed to do which to protect their informants. Black Mass tells about how in protecting them they were not following the guidelines set down by the FBI. As I explained previously those guidelines were on the books just to hide behind; they were not practiced anywhere by FBI agents handling top level informants. They could not be followed.

The Black Mass authors seem to acknowledge this when they wrote about the rules and guidelines that these, “safety checks were an acknowledgement of the danger and temptations inherent in having agents team up with criminals.” That they were; but they were not put in to deter the agent but to cover the Bureau. The agents job was to get results. Black Mass noted, “[T]he discretion to permit criminal activity rested with agents in the field, agents like John Connolly, Paul Rico . . . .There was little oversight from FBI headquarters in Washington and no requirement that the bureau consult with anyone outside the FBI . . . . “

We’ve seen that the agents got results by taking down the Mafia. We’ve seen the Mafia got revenge by taking down the agents: Connolly will die in prison; Rico died in jail waiting for his trial on a murder he probably had nothing to do with. Books like Black Mass led to the Mafia winning the war against those agents

As for Jeremiah O’Sullivan, who Black Mass said, “for sixteen years had fought the Boston Mafia”, he would be demeaned and have his reputation torn to shreds. On top of it all the Mafia, Tameleo’s family and Limone, would be given 25 million each by a federal judge. Limone would go back and become the head of the Mafia in Boston. Who said crime doesn’t pay?

19 thoughts on “Black Mass Week: Black Mass and the Mafia’s Revenge

  1. Another thing. This is so old! We don’t need protection from the Bulgers! We need protection from criminals currently operating in the Greater Boston Area. There must be a few felons under the age of 80, no?

    1. Dan:

      There are a few felons 80 and under; most are in the top echelon informant program – guys like Martorano, Nee, Winter, and Weeks. To understand Fred the Fed read Moby Dick.

      1. Matt: Lol. Agreed. We may have to turn to literature for the answers to this one. Look, I think we all understand that Catherine Greig isn’t exactly St. Therese of the Little Flower. But the treatment this woman is getting is disgraceful. I call upon Carmen Ortiz, Fred Wyshak, and all of their little friends at the FBI to immediately cease and desist. It’s time for the historians to take over the investigation into Billy Bulger. And it’s time to let Catherine Greig serve out her prison sentence in peace.

  2. Matt/everyone- We all know that they want her to say Jackie or William or both helped him. She seems like a rock and will not speak in my opinion. Carmen Ortiz and CO. are wasting more money and more time trying to get her to flip on his Family. They are joking if they think she will cooperate at this point. I thought this type of tactic was reserved for people who want to avoid jail, not a person already doing 8 yrs. Carmen worry about the actual killers you have on your FBI payroll now and LET IT GO GIRL!! You are using your office as usual as a way to cover your Shoddy Record.

    1. Doubting:

      I assume you are talking about Greig. I’ve got a post scheduled on her tomorrow. What is truly amazing is that they have never done such a thing to any other person. If there was any doubt that the purpose is to somehow get Billy Bulger this should remove it.

  3. Read it, Rather Not. This is an outrage. The woman is already serving eight years in jail. How much outside help did this elderly gangster need with a loving woman, a rent-controlled apartment and $800,000 in cash stuffed into the walls of the apartment? This indictment is partly an admission that after all these years, the FBI is incapable of independently establishing what Bulger did on the run. Timing counts too. The FBi is piggybacking on the renewed interest in Bulger generated by the movie Black Mass . Shame on the FBI and the Justice Department. Free Catherine Greig!

    1. Dan:

      I have a post coming out on Greig tomorrow. You are absolutely right about piggybacking on the Black Mass movie. I make the point that this is pure malice by Ortiz and company. I know it is all Wyshak’s doing but I put it in the lap of the person who is supposed to be in charge.

      1. The Attorney General’s Guidelines allow the DoJ to protect high-level informants whom are fugitives, which I understand played a role here.

        1. Bruce:

          The Attorney General guidelines are there for the protection of the FBI for them to hide behind but not for them to follow.

    1. Rather:

      I was watching a news show and I saw that on the ticker tape underneath. I was amazed but I had the idea that was going to happen. Timed to coincided with Black Mass Movie and an outrageous indictment. I write about it tomorrow

    2. Typically, AUSA Fred Wyshak’s investigations begin by intimidating the wives, children, and attorneys of USAO targets with false accusations, financial ruin and sham prosecutions. And good luck to Professor Fred who is now teaching at Boston University Law School! (Let’s hope he’s not teaching Constitutional Law).

      1. Bruce:

        Interesting that Fred is teaching at the same place as Dick Lehr. Do you think they happened to have been coordinating matters over the years? Fred the Fed is very good at intimidating people especially wives and families. Does a good job with defense counsel who have to practice in his court since they all have nothing but good things to say about him in public.

  4. Everything the press told us about gangster activity over that time frame was false .Your post is 100% correct. The most murderous element in the area was the crowd in Roxbury. It shows how Wyshak’s mind is totally perverted. He claimed he got the top two figures in Winter Hill i.e. Bulger and Connolly. He let the top two , Winter and Martorano, the ones that met with the Boston Mafia chief, off the hook. His claim that the crime syndicate was known as Winter Hill or South Boston is nonsense. He never mentions nor does the media the Roxbury killers. His office has been the Mafia’s partner for decades.The truth might spoil the invented story. Madeline Albright was asked if the sanctions against Hussein and Iraq that may have cost hundreds of thousands of children their lives was worth it. She said yes. Was it worth it to let people who killed north of sixty out of prison? The dopey DOJ would say yes. Some are so dull they can never figure out when they have been had.

    1. NC – true. None of the books about this matter even mention the existence of the Roxbury Gang and how it was that gang that went over to Winter Hill – who it allied itself with in the gangster murders of the 1960s which are wrongly called an Irish gang war. That group was the Martorano brothers, Flemmi, Salemme, George Kaufman, who joined the Winter Group – Howie Winter, Joe McDonald, Jimmy Sims. That group existed prior to Whitey joining it. He did it for his own protection from guys in Southie that were out to murder him. The Roxbury group and Winters group murdered in excess of 100 people and are all out or in their graves. The gang was never known as South Boston since it had no one from South Boston in it for years. We have been sold a pack of lies. The lesson to learn is that the history you read is not necessarily so. For instance, you may believe it was the Brits who sank the Lusitania. It wasn’t. It was the Winter Hill gang.

  5. Matt,

    This blog makes my point exactly. As my Mother Aggie used to always warn, if you lie down with dogs you wake up with fleas…in my situation the Local FBI agents as well as the AUSA in re USA v Rennert (see installment 2 No Witness =No Case at wanted to continue to investigate My complaints against John Iuele and Gene Phillips, but their supervisors at the highest level of USDOJ and FBI at that time in 1997 ordered them to ‘shut it down’…that Order gave the “green light” to Organized criminal to destroy me and take my family’s property, while the U.S. Government watched…or worse “protected”!

    1. Jean:

      You make a good point. There is something strange about how the FBI and the DOJ seems more on the side of the gangsters than the people who pay their wages.

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