I received the following letter in a comment to one of my recent posts. The person who sent it is a former FBI agent who is involved in assisting FBI Agent John Connolly in his effort to straighten out the record and clear his name. I thought it appropriate to post it on the blog this Sunday. I do not agree with everything in it and will set out my differences at some later time. It does contain many things I agree with and I believe it should receive as much circulation as possible.
TO: THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES,
8949 WILSHIRE BLVD., BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA 90211
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
PRESIDENT, CHERYL BOONE ISAACS
CEO, DON HUDSON
DEAR MEMBERS AND EXECUTIVES OF THE ACADEMY:
Over three hundred years ago Montaigne said: “Nothing is so firmly believed as that which least is known.” The shameful prosecution of the highly commended former FBI Special Agent John Connolly, is now being libeled and defamed by the film Black Mass, confirms Montaigne’s prescience.
As representatives of John Connolly’s former FBI Agent supporters we applaud the investigative reporting of the Justice Watch Blog [The Justice Watch Blog] for their recent article: “Johnny Depp duped in “Black Mess?”; “Black Mass film exposed as libelous hoax!” [See Attached.] Our Former Agents Group is confident that once the Academy and its members are fully apprised of the heinous prosecutorial atrocity visited upon one of the FBI’s finest street agents, as evidenced by the irrefutable facts contained herein, the Academy may also recognize the excellent efforts of the Justice Watch Blog, as their revelations go to the heart of the artistic integrity and lofty professional standards the Academy strives to uphold.
The Justice Watch Blog expose’, coupled with the evidence we now share with the Academy for its consideration going forward, demonstrates the futility of any attempt to pass Black Mass off as a “True Story.” That ship has sailed! The Black Mass film is free to characterize Whitey Bulger in any manner it chooses — he was a ruthless mobster. However, as the previously hidden, highly exonerating evidence, testimony, and court documents now irrefutably establish by clear and convincing evidence, former FBI Agent John Connolly was innocent of any wrong doing and was “framed” with testimony that Boston AUSA [Assistant United States Attorney] Fred Wyshak and Connolly’s Special Prosecutor, John Durham, knew to be perjury. In point of fact, AUSA Wyshak shockingly conceded this fact in open court in Miami on January 15, 2009 when confronted by Connolly at his sentencing. Wyshak’s admission is memorialized on tape and court transcripts where he concedes exonerating evidence was withheld from Connolly, blaming Special Prosecutor John Durham for the transgression.
Lord willing this evidence will soon compel an agonizing re-appraisal on the part of the Federal Judiciary which doesn’t take kindly to being bamboozled by prosecutors withholding exonerating evidence. We are also confident the Florida Supreme Court will acknowledge the absurdity of Connolly’s wrongful Florida conviction which is based on a firearm that was, effectively, “planted” on him during a second degree murder which the trial court judge, Stanford Blake, as well as the actual killer, said Connolly had nothing to do with.
What is curious is the fact the Justice Watch Blog and our Former Agents Group are able to discover the existence of the stunning evidence contained below, yet it was lost on supposed investigative reporters, Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill, the authors of Black Mass? Have they ever heard of “due diligence?” Obviously they never bothered to peruse Boston Magazine’s “Martyrdom of John Connolly,” by award – winning NPR/WBUR – Boston reporter, David Boeri. Newsweek Magazine’s, “The Scapegoat,” by T.J. English, must also have escaped them, along with Playboy Magazine’s two feature articles, “The Fall Guy,” and “Super Rat,” by respected investigative reporter Richard Stratton.
Moreover, while we recognize Kevin Bacon and Joel Edgerton actors just doing their job, we are troubled by Johnny Depp’s involvement in a film which falsely maligns former FBI Agent Connolly and smears the FBI. After all, Depp played John Connolly’s close friend, former FBI Agent Joseph Pistone in “Donny Brasco.” Couldn’t Depp have employed a little “due diligence” of his own and contacted Joe Pistone for his opinion of John Connolly? Had he bothered, Depp would have learned what Pistone told reporter Richard Stratton, that John Connolly was a “close friend” with whom Pistone stayed in contact even while he was living in the underworld as Donny Brasco.
Joe Pistone told Richard Stratton, “John was one of the few people I was in touch with while I was undercover, that is how much I trust him.” Pistone then shed some light on the difficult job Connolly had to do inside the violent world they both operated in. “If you have a Top Echelon [TE] informant like Bulger [Connolly had twenty TEs!] you know you are dealing with a killer, but you let them know they will not be protected from prosecution for capital crimes. Anything but murder.” Pistone added, “You know, for me and John [Connolly], it was all about doing a job we were sworn to do.” Note: As the Academy can see from government’s witness Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi’s below cited testimony, Joe Pistone is corroborated by Flemmi who testified that he and Whitey Bulger were never protected from prosecution for murder by Connolly or any FBI Agent.
One caveat is in order here; before we share with the Academy some of the more odious instances of outrageous prosecutorial misconduct which ensured John Connolly’s framing with perjured testimony. The misconduct engaged in by these prosecutors in no way reflects upon the overwhelming majority of outstanding federal and state prosecutors we had the privilege to work with on behalf of the American citizens during our respective tenures with the FBI. As is patently obvious, this perjury and its cover-up are directly attributed to these prosecutors by their own government witnesses whose veracity they vouched for!
THE PERJURIES OF FRANCIS “CADILLAC FRANK” SALEMME
On December 14, 1972, former FBI Agent Connolly in the company of NYC FBI Agents Tom Baker and Artie Grubert arrested Frank Salemme at gun point on Manhattan’s upper east-side after a chase. Salemme was a badly wanted fugitive out of Boston, indicted for a murder and the Mafia sponsored car-bombing of Boston Attorney John Fitzgerald who lost his legs and was badly disfigured by the blast. Salemme at the time was a Patriarca family, “hitman”, suspect, along with his criminal partner, Stephen Flemmi, in several murders. Connolly testified at Salemme’s Cambridge, Massachusetts trial and Salemme was convicted and served fifteen  years of a thirty  year sentence. When released in 1988, Salemme murdered his way to the top of the New England Mafia.
In January, 1995 – five years after John Connolly’s 1990 FBI retirement – Salemme was indicted by AUSA Fred Wyshak in a mega-RICO case which included Bulger and Flemmi. Wyshak’s indictment collapsed when Flemmi filed affidavits claiming he was an FBI informant who was “authorized” by Boston USA Jeramiah O’Sullivan [deceased] and the FBI to engage in the gambling related charges he had been indicted for. O’Sullivan said they were not authorized by him and that he never even knew they were FBI informants while he was a federal prosecutor.
The only way out for Wyshak to save the constitutionally flawed indictment was for Connolly to join O’Sullivan, then a partner in a powerful Boston law firm, and lie. Connolly wouldn’t lie, and not just because it would have placed his family in serious jeopardy from an underworld retaliation. All Connolly had in dealing with his stable of TE killers – was his word, and Connolly wasn’t about to lie for anybody. Wyshak called a fatwa down on Connolly and cut “deal” with Frank Salemme, the vicious Mafia Boss Connolly had arrested and who’s New England Mafia family Connolly helped to destroy – to indict Connolly in what is now shown to have been a malicious prosecution based entirely on perjury.
*In December, 1999, nine years after his FBI retirement, John Connolly was indicted by Special Prosecutor John Durham on the word of Salemme.
*On May 17, 2002, Salemme testified at Connolly’s Boston trial telling the jury he and his criminal partner, Stephen Flemmi, had paid Connolly money in 1993 [three years after Connolly’s retirement]; that Connolly had tipped him [Salemme] and Flemmi off to federal grand jury information in 1994; and that Connolly had tipped him off — through Flemmi – to his January 10, 1995 RICO indictment so he could flee.
*On cross examination, Salemme flatly denied playing any role in the murders of Thomas Timmins; Stephen DiSarro; Peter Poulos; Bobby Donati; Rocco Scali; Barry Lazzerini; Vincent Archieri and Richard DeVincent. Connolly sat powerless in court, knowing Salemme had killed all of them!
*On September 16, 2002, despite have been found not guilty of nine of the fourteen “predicate acts” of the RICO he was charged with, including all charges of abetting violence of any kind [include the July 31, 1982 murder of John Callahan] or engaging in any form of financial wrongdoing, John Connolly was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
FLEMMI “FLIPS” – EXPOSES “CADILLAC FRANK” SALEMME’S PERJURIES
In the summer of 2003, a year after John Connolly’s incarceration, Stephen Flemmi “Flipped” for Wyshak to avoid the death penalty after government witness John Martorano “cooperated” and involved the Winter Hill Gang members [Bulger and Flemmi] in approximately twenty  murders. Ironically, Martorano was the trigger man in most of them. Wyshak froze out any Boston FBI Agents from knowing what Flemmi was telling him, and two DEA-6 debriefing reports dated 10/29/2003 were prepared. Incredibly, in the DEA information withheld from Connolly’s counsel, Flemmi told AUSA Wyshak, etal, that Mafia Boss Salemme had perjured himself with respect to each and every material fact he testified to, both at Connolly’s trial, and before Connolly’s federal grand jury!
*Flemmi told Wyshak that he and Salemme had never paid Connolly money in 1993; that Connolly had never provided Salemme with grand jury information in 1994; and Connolly had never tipped off Salemme, through him [Flemmi], to his January, 1995, RICO indictment.
*Moreover, Flemmi told Wyshak, Durham, et al, that Salemme was never even aware he [Flemmi] knew Connolly until he was outed as one of Connolly’s informants in 1997!
Flemmi’s evidence rendered Salemme’s entire grand jury and Connolly’s trial testimony as total perjury. But Flemmi didn’t stop there.
SALEMME’S MURDER PERJURIES
Flemmi provided Wyshak, et al, with stunning evidence, proving Salemme also perjured himself extensively at Connolly’s trial with respect to several murders he lied about committing.
*Salemme’s murder of Thomas Timmins, 4/27/1968: Flemmi told Wyshak that he, Frank Salemme, and two Mafia associates had murdered Thomas Timmins inside Salemme’s 14 Marie Drive, Sharon, Massachusetts home in Norfolk County.
*Salemme’s murder of Stephen DiSarro, 5/10/1993: Flemmi told Wyshak that he watched Frank Salemme, his brother, Mafia Capo Jack Salemme, supervised the strangulation death of Stephen DiSarro at the hands of Salemme’s late son, Frank Salemme, Jr. and a Mafia associate, again inside Salemme’s 14 Marie Drive home. Frank “Cadillac Frank” Salemme then transported the body across the state line to Rhode Island where DiSarro was buried at a construction site of a Mafia associate.
*Salemme’s murder of Peter Poulos, circa 1968: Flemmi told Wyshak that Salemme feared Poulos would cooperate with law enforcement and implicate both of them [Salemme and Flemmi] directly in several murders as well as the car bombing of Attorney Fitzgerald. Salemme and Flemmi then planned to kill Poulos. Flemmi told Wyshak he [Flemmi] shot Poulos to death and left his body in the Las Vegas desert before reporting back to Salemme in New York City – where Connolly would later arrest Salemme.
*Salemme’s murder of Robert “Bobby” Donati, 9/24/1991: Flemmi told Wyshak he was aware Salemme was seeking to kill Donati and finally succeeded. Salemme described to Flemmi how he [Salemme] and his Mafia associates murdered Donati outside his home.
Without question, Wyshak, Durham, et al in the Boston US Attorney’s office had a constitutional as well as a moral and ethical obligation under law to report Flemmi’s highly exonerating evidence of Salemme’s perjuries to Connolly’s court-appointed counsel and Connolly’s trial judge, Joseph Tauro, as well as notifying US District Court Judge, Mark Wolf, who was misled by Wyshak and Durham into setting Salemme free, believing he had told the truth at Connolly’s trial. Instead, they mislead Judge Wolf and hid Flemmi’s exculpatory evidence under the “seal” of an unsuspecting Federal Judge, Richard Sterns, to ensure Connolly stayed framed!
It should be noted, that when a law enforcement officer covers-up murders committed by their informant/government witness it is not simply “outrageous prosecutorial misconduct;” it is a crime! It constitutes a violation of both state and federal criminal statutes. Concealing these murders [and several others] in this fashion also violates the Civil Rights of the families of the victims who, to this day, have never been told Salemme murdered their loved ones.
For example, in the case of the murders of victims Timmins and DiSarro, inside Salemme’s 14 Marie Drive home in Sharon, Massachusetts, neither the Sharon Police Department nor the Norfolk County District Attorney’s office were ever notified, by Wyshak or Durham of Flemmi’s evidence confirming these victims were murdered within their jurisdiction. To provide these officials with evidence Salemme killed the two victims would also expose Salemme had perjured himself regarding these murders at Connolly’s trial. Wyshak and Durham were not about to let that happen!
Ironically enough, in his Boston Magazine article “The Martyrdom of John Connolly,” David Boeri in a stunning revelation reported Wyshak’s lead investigator, Massachusetts State Police Col. Thomas Foley, admitted that he [Foley] and Wyshak had warned Connolly’s Special Prosecutor John Durham – before trial that Salemme had “lied about murders he committed and shouldn’t be trusted as any sort of witness.” Colonial Foley told Boeri, “He and Wyshak told Durham of Salemme’s falsehoods and strongly advised him against using Salemme as a witness against Connolly.” Durham used Salemme anyway! These were Brady/Giglio violations that Connolly would never see. So much for Justice For John Connolly!
GOVERNMENT WITNESS SAYS SALEMME FRAMED
CONNOLLY FOR PROSECUTORS
It gets worse for Connolly’s prosecutors. In the fall of 2004, one year after Wyshak and Durham buried Flemmi’s exonerating evidence under seal, Philadelphia FBI Special Agents John J. Terry and Eric Ruona were inside the Witness Security Unit of Fairton Federal Prison in New Jersey, preparing Philadelphia Mafia member/government witness, Roger Vella, Jr., for his testimony in an upcoming trial. Vella proceeded to stun the two agents, informing them that his fellow inmate inside the “WITSEC” unit, New England Mafia Boss Frank “Cadillac Frank” Salemme, confessed to him that he [Salemme] had framed Connolly with perjured testimony at the direction of federal prosecutors! The agents prepared a ten page FBI FD-302 debriefing report dated, 10/7/2004, which Wyshak and Durham were forced to turn over to Connolly because the “marbles were out of the bag” down in Philadelphia and too many people were aware of Vella’s evidence making it impossible for them to conceal this evidence the way they had done with Flemmi’s 2003 DEA-6 depositions [interrogatories] which they, for the most part, continue to keep hidden under seal. The following excerpts are but a sample of Vella’s evidence:
*Vella said Salemme told him he had advised Connolly’s prosecutors he never paid Connolly any money and only changed his story when he figured out what the prosecutors wanted him to say.
*Salemme said prosecutors threatened him “he would die in prison” unless he testified against Connolly.
*Salemme told Vella, “there is no way you can beat these people,” referring to the prosecutors, “because they put words in your mouth and get you to testify the way they want you to.”
*Salemme showed Vella a Boston newspaper article reporting his trial testimony that he paid Connolly money. Salemme told Vella he never paid Connolly money and “should have gotten a thousand years in prison” for his perjury against Connolly.
*Vella recalled asking Salemme, “how he could make up that shit on Connolly because he had a family?” Salemme told him, fuck Connolly, that guy and the FBI are the enemy.”
When Connolly’s counsel requested a new trial based on Vella’s information, Durham ridiculed and mocked Vella’s information, calling it “puffery” on Salemme’s part by somebody trying to “save face.” This is absurd! How could anybody inside a WITSEC unit be “saving face,” they’re all cooperating! While Vella’s information itself should have at least warranted a least a hearing, the over-arching value of Vella’s testimony was that it completely corroborated the devastating evidence contained in Flemmi’s 10/29/2003 DEA-6 report — which Wyshak and Durham continued to withhold.
If any doubt remains as to the hypocrisy of Connolly’s Miami indictment, the reason former agent Connolly was found “not guilty” of the bogus charges; or why we have every confidence a Florida Supreme Court, free of US Justice Department influence, will soon toss out what remains of Connolly’s false conviction, just examine what Wyshak’s “star” witness, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi has subsequently said under oath in depositions and at Connolly’s Miami trial:
*In his October 24, 2004 deposition [TR.319], Flemmi testified neither John Connolly nor any FBI Agent ever suggested – even indirectly—that anybody be killed.
*In his April 28, 2005 deposition [TR.316-318], Flemmi testified he and Whitey Bulger were never protected by the FBI from murders; never told Connolly or anyone in the FBI they had been involved in murders; and it would be “unthinkable” to discuss murders with anybody in law enforcement.
*In his June 14, 2006 deposition [TR.567 at 12], Flemmi testified that neither he nor Whitey Bulger ever told Connolly they “had killed” anybody or “were going to kill anybody.”
*[TR.569 at 9-25] Flemmi testified neither he nor Whitey Bulger ever did anything “to tell” or “let Connolly know” they had personally killed anyone, or caused anyone to die, and they never did anything to communicate “the thought” or “message” to Connolly that they had ever killed anybody.
In light of this evidence, which will soon be part of official filings in federal court, we ask the Academy how Black Mass can possibly justify a film where any actor [Mr. Edgerton] is portraying former agent Connolly as having anything whatsoever to do with violence of any kind. Bear in mind, this bogus 2nd degree murder conviction in Florida has never been finalized by any court and is now in the Florida Supreme Court. Connolly was never convicted of any other crime while he was an FBI Special Agent!
In his DEA-6 [page 74, paragraph 160] Flemmi told Wyshak that USA O’Sullivan had protected both himself [Flemmi] and Whitey Bulger from prosecution in the February, 1979 Winter Hill Gang RICO Indictment, in exchange for the intelligence on the Mafia. Flemmi said Whitey Bulger actually met with O’Sullivan in a Boston hotel to cement the deal [the Meridian Hotel].
In an interview with FBI/OPR Special Agents Walt Reynolds and John Hess on 7/31/1997, O’Sullivan denied ever “authorizing” this criminal activity or even knowing Bulger and Flemmi were FBI Informants “while he was a federal prosecutor!” However, The Congressional Committee on Government Reform and Oversight blew O’Sullivan out of the water, exposing these lies in their “third report” where the committee uncovered a January 29, 1979 memo from O’Sullivan and Boston Strike Force Attorney, Gerald McDowell, to Assistant Attorney General Gerald McGuire, where they admitted Bugler and Flemmi were protected from prosecution by the Department of Justice – a fact that O’Sullivan has subsequently confirmed twice under oath – after a five year Statute of Limitations that expired which prevented his indictment for “furnishing false information to an FBI Agent.” [T.18, USC, 1001].
Members of the Academy, it all comes down to this: after O’Sullivan, McDowell, McGuire et al “protected” Bulger and Flemmi from prosecution in the 1979 RICO case, the pair were charged with killing eight victims in the decade of the 1980s. [In point of fact, the Mafia killed far more during the same time frame.] The Boston United States Attorney’s office, DOJ higher-ups and O’Sullivan, [then a partner in a powerful white-shoe law firm] could not bear the thought of the public humiliation should the media learn that these eight murders might well have been prevented had O’Sullivan, the Boston United States Attorney’s office and the DOJ higher-ups not saved Whitey Bulger and Flemmi from a lengthy prison term in the 1979 Race Fix case.
[In a clear case of “consciousness of guilt,” Connolly’s special prosecutor, John Durham, according to Congressional Records, in collusion with Attorney General John Ashcroft, hid the “smoking gun” 1/29/1979 memo beneath an assertion of “Executive Privilege” by President George W. Bush, who was likely “duped” into burying the evidence which would have demonstrated Connolly played no role in any such “protection!” President Bush’s unwitting concealment of a prosecution memo from a Boston criminal case [a dubious subject for executive privilege] is what paved the way for Wyshak and Durham to hang it all on Connolly.
Epilog: Martorano  murders; Salemme  murders; and Kevin Weeks  murders, have all been set free by Fred Wyshak and John Durham!