Building Up A Perception And The Shooting Yourself In The Foot

IMG_1736I told you how Frank Capizzi a few questions into his cross-examination turned to the judge in response to a Carney question asking him if he was involved in any illegal activities back in the ’70s and said he wanted to claim his rights. This resulted in a side bar (bench conference) among the judge and all the lawyers and then a recess.

I anxiously awaited to hear his testify after the morning recess even though it seemed to me Carney was shooting himself in the foot with his cross. But it was not to be right away. The judge announced to the jury that Capizzi would come back to testify later. The next witness who went on the stand was Joseph Costa a retired MDC motor cycle cop who identified pictures at the scene of the William O’Brien murder on Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester showing the car with all the bullets in it and blood on the carpets. That was the car that Ralph DiMasi was riding in when he decided to go after the gunmen with his stiletto.

After him came Joseph Angeli who identified a picture of his father, Joseph Notorangeli. The next witness called was Billy McDermott. I worked on several cases with Billy when he was a Brookline detective. He was a hard worker. He was always reliable and trustworthy. It was good to know he was still around and looking good.

Now up to the time Billy McDermott, who retired from the Brookline Police as a detective lieutenant, got on the stand the prosecution had presented a picture of two guys who were inseparable: Whitey and Stevie. All the witnesses who had relations with them who testified would talk about Whitey and Stevie; they left rent payment with Whitey and Stevie; Martorano said Whitey told him anything he told Stevie was like talking to him. The pictures of the Lancaster Street garage showed them together; the guns taken from the screened house behind Stevie’s Flemmi’s house you have to connect to Whitey because he and Stevie were inseparable.

The last thing the prosecution should have wanted, at least in my humble opinion, was to have the defense put a wedge between them.

Now I’ve told how Wyshak walked into two left hooks in doing his redirect examination: the first when he tried to fool the jury and the other time when Raph DiBona exclaimed about the way the system works. That’s understandable since you do make mistakes trying a case. Walking into a left hook is one thing; but walking into the corner post is another.

I’ve sensed Wyshak doesn’t have a “big picture” view of the case or any strategy. At times it seems he’s come up with a lot of witnesses and just puts them on the stand hoping he will get something out of them. It’s like throwing mud at a wall and hoping some sticks.

This isn’t the type of case even he can lose. He has two of the worst criminals who ever walked the streets of America, John Martorano and Steve Flemmi, who will testify for him and say Whitey was their partner. All he has to say is what type of man would be partners with these type of guys. In fact that’s one of Carney and Brennan’s problems, the worse they make Martorano and Flemmi look the worse they make their client look.

Aside from the “birds of a feather” argument, he has the bodies of six victims who were buried by his side-thug Kevin Weeks. He has Whitey’s lawyers conceding that Whitey was a big bookie and big drug dealer.

So what does he get out of Billy McDermott? Well, Billy testified that in the mid-Eighties he began to notice some of the wise guys beginning to hand around in Brookline with George Kaufman who he knew was a connected guy. For the next eight or ten years he did periodic surveillance of these guys taking photographs when he could. He produced some photographs that were introduced into evidence – they showed Stevie Flemmi meeting with George Kaufman; they also showed him meeting with Frankie Salemme; they showed where they met.

We had already seen photographs of Stevie and George Kaufman meeting at the Lancaster Street garage. None of Billy’s photographs added anything to the evidence already in except they showed Frankie Salemme a Mafia guy who has little to do with Whitey. Eight to ten years of surveilling the wise guys in Brookline and who didn’t he see; you guessed it, he never saw Whitey meeting with them.

Why after spending two weeks linking Whitey with Stevie does he put on a witness that separates them?  I don’t understand it. I wonder how he thinks McDermott fit into the case, he certainly didn’t help him.

After McDermott Barbara Sousa testified about how her husband James disappeared after he went to meet Bill Barnowski.  Finally they called Frank Capizzi back to the stands and I rubbed my hands together in anticipation. Carney stood up to continue his cross-examination. He announced no further questions. The judge told him he was excused.

Capizzi said in a loud voice, “thank you judge, thank you everybody, it’s been an experience” and he walked out of the courtroom. It was a let down for me. The wise guys bring a lot of color.

The rest of the morning some guy from the inspector generals office of the Department of Justice started putting in records of the FBI. I noticed some of the media covering the case dozing off. The jury was sent home. The lawyers argued some legal points. And I had time to try to wonder about this whole case.

12 thoughts on “Building Up A Perception And The Shooting Yourself In The Foot

  1. Can someone tell me how many informants Connolly developed? I know we have Whitey and Stevie. We also have “Sonny” Mercurio who owned or ran Vannesa’s and who led the FBI to the Medford ceremony in October 1989. Who else?

    1. Jon:

      Carney said in his opening he had 20; I think others have said he had between 10 and 12 top level informants – I’m not sure who the others were aside from the ones you mentioned – Carney called Connolly greedy but it is interesting none of Connolly’s other top level informants ever said he took a dime.

  2. Patty, the question is when (before, during or shortly after, the federal prosecutors handed Martorano the list of people he knew nothing about) did the FEDS know or suspect that Martorano knew nothing about these people. Did the FEDS use the list to fool the judges, media, press and public? When did the FEDS first disclose to the aforementioned four entities that Martorano had no INKLING about who these 20 or so people on that phony list were? Why has not Eric Holder or his predecessors (Democrat and Republicans in the A.G.’s offices, others in the DOJ and FBI) initiated a major investigation into what appears to be a fraud perpetrated on the Court: viz. Martorano was agreeing to testify against 20 (or how many, two dozen?) alleged criminals from Boston who he admits he never knew anything about? In return, he gets a “get out of jail card free” except it’s not free to the Taxpayers, because he also gets a check for $20,000 from the FEDS and is allowed to profit financially from his 20 murders; then he and seven other killers (by one man’s count 8 serial killers and their accomplices in Boston are coddled and released by the FEDS) are sent back into our communities to live side by side with the friends and relatives of the persons they killed, courtesy of our Federal Government (prosecutors and judges.) By the way, How’s those other promised investigations going into who sent the two FBI agents to harass the Bulger women while former U. Mass. President and Senate President William Bulger was in Washington D.C. testifying before Congress? And how are those other promised investigations going? You know the ones related to gun-running, drug-running, terrorism, excessively zealous investigative/prosecutorial abuses of federal power, the glaring abuses of governmental power by the IRS, Immigration, Homeland Security, Environmental Agencies, DOJ and FBI we’ve witnessed emanating from D.C. and happening nationwide (how’s that purge and reform going at the IRS, Homeland Security, INS (immigration) border control?) ETC, etc, etc. Oh, yuh, “The use of Chemical Weapons in Syria” smells awfully fishy like the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. and the Tolkin Gulf Resolution during Vietnam?” If it weren’t so dangerous, life-and-liberty threatening, and ominously Orwellian, it’d be laughable! It is macabre, grotesque and gut-wrenching how low the FEDS and their partners in the “cover-up” press can go!!! And I thought we lived in the home of the brave and the land of the free, where FEDs were “public servants” sworn to uphold and defend freedom, justice, fairness, equality under the law, the American way of life, and the United States Constitution’s guarantees of free speech, free press for all, free association, due process, fair trials and equal protection.

    1. William:

      The list only contained 7 names. Only two Martorano had good evidence against and those were Whitey and Stevie. Wyshak argued that he may have had hearsay evidence against the others

  3. ABOUT SIX WEEKS AGO, MATT PREDICTED THERE WOULD BE IMPEACHMENT TESTIMONY LIKE THE ONE BELOW AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS TRIAL. IT WAS A PRETTY DAMN ACCURATE PREDICTION AND NAILED THE MAJOR THEMES IN THIS CASE. IT IMPEACHES MARTORANO AND WYSHAK’S “TEAM.”

    Carney: “Now Mr. Martorano, you say in your book that you and the prosecution team came up with names of people who you didn’t know who you said you would testify against, isn’t that so.”
    Martorano: “That’s what I said.”
    Carney: “You knew that was a big lie, didn’t you.”
    Martorano: “It wasn’t a lie, I was prepared to testify against them.”
    Carney: “But Mr. Martorano, you can’t testify against people you don’t know, isn’t that true.”
    Martornao: “I don’t know. Ask the prosecutor. That’s what they wanted.”
    Carney: “You mean I should ask Mr Wyshak if you can testify against people you don’t know, is that what you’re telling me, that you think you can do it if Mr. Wyshak tells you it is all right.”
    Martorano: “Ask him, not me, they gave me the list.”
    Carney: “So what you’re saying is the prosecutors gave you a list of people you didn’t know and wanted you to say you’d testify against them and you said they made you agree to do that in order for you to get a deal.”
    Martorano: “Yeah, you got it.”

    1. Patty:

      Good post – things are playing out not so much as Wyshak wanted them. A few forced errors.

  4. I’m still not over that “never pulled a trigger” Connolly is doing 40 years, and I was just reading on Wikipedia that the statute of limitations ran out on that case, and the judge agreed with the defense that the statute ran out! But that he then ruled against the motion to dismiss the case on these grounds because the motion was past the deadline! Then said Connolly had “crossed over to the dark side” and sentenced him to 40 years. This is utterly outrageous. 40 years for supposedly passing information, and this based on the testimony of Flemmi, who belongs in the bottom rung of Hell. This cannot be justice in America. How is this possible?

  5. Kevin Cullen was printing sensitive information from John Morris and didn’t have any problems with Morris hoping it would get whitey Bulger killed by LCN. I saw him on Greater Boston he has such a tough guy disposition and seems to be a know it all.

  6. Wyshak’s strategy seems to be the “scattergun” or “throw mud at the wall.” It’s very effective in federal court and it pleases the media deeply. More importantly, Wyshak doesn’t have to be concerned with the weight of the evidence, credibility of witnesses, or a coherent theory of the case.

    It struck me today that Wyshak rode into town soon after the Globe Spotlight Team published their article about Bulger being an informant. Since he arrived in Boston, Wyshak has indicted virtually every target of the Globe Spotlight Team. The Probation case is perhaps the most illustrative of the symbiotic relationship between the Globe and Wyshak. I guess marrying the media is an effective way for a prosecutor to advance his career and control public perceptions. It just seems so distasteful for an official whose duties should have higher purposes, such as fairness and justice.

    1. What flourished in the Boston area while the DOJ slept and federal prosecutors and federal judges focused on prosecuting marginally guilty or dubiously guilty people, like John Connolly, John O’Brien, Chuck Turner, Kenny Conley, the Caswell motel owner, Sal DiMasi and Dick McDonough, and Tom Finneran (plead to one count of perjury for saying he didn’t see an earlier version of a legislative redistricting plan: Some crime: telling a whopper about a tangential irrelevancy)? What Flourished during the last dozen years of score of years while DOJ’s Boston offices were obsessed with stale cases and marginal characters? (1) Major Drug Trafficking flourished; (2) Oxycontin diversion, distribution and trafficking flourished; (3) Overdose deaths from Oxycontins and other narcotics flourished in Suffolk County (estimated 600 overdose deaths each year in Suffolk County over the past fifteen years, an estimated 50% rise in overdose deaths from narcotics since 1995 (Federal DAWN Data); and (4) Terrorism flourished: 400 Massachusetts citizens killed in 9-11-01; two hijacked planes leave Boston’s Logan Airport; on 4-15-13, almost 300 Mass. citizens are wounded; 100 maimed; 30 lose limbs; 4 lose their lives to Terrorism. The primary federal duty, the primary duty of any government, as I understand it, is to protect the well-being, the lives, the safety, the health of its citizens. Our local federal officials have failed us miserably these last 15 years or more!!!
      So, yes Patty, Matt, et al, we criticize, complain and wonder why???? If the FEDs aren’t working for the people, who are they working for? What are they there for? To persecute moderate, conservative, traditionalists, Irish-American, Italian-Americans, African-Americans, involved in marginal or questionable criminal activity? It seems so. To hunt down, bankrupt and jail bookies, their wives, their girlfriends in the Boston area? It seems so. To effectuate justice, fairness, equal treatment, honesty and openness??? It doesn’t seem so to many, many fair-minded, honorable, hard working people in the Boston area. It seems something is very rotten in the FBI, DOJ’s offices and Federal courtrooms in Boston, as it was in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ courtrooms, executive offices, administrative offices, legal offices and press rooms in Boston from 1991-1995 during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade debacle and travesty.

  7. WB and Flemmi become the leaders of the Winter Hill gang from the mid eighties to the early nineties. Winter is in jail and Gucci is hiding in Fla. McDermott’s photos may have much greater weight than Lancaster St. Lancaster St. lasts for only a few months and is a thirty plus year old operation that we now learn was compromised by Schneiderham ( according to Trooper Long on Fox). While Brookline is almost a decade long and is ten years fresher. Do the Brookline photos prove that Salemmi and LCN are running the rackets? Do they indicate that the long standing partnership between Cadillac Frank and Flemmi persisted up to the nineties? Remember those two are the terrorist bombers of the Fitzgerald car. Can you picture Carney using the government’s exhibit( photos) in cross examining Flemmi about the attack on the lawyer? The hit was ordered by the Mafia and carried out by the partnership of Salemmi and Flemmi. A brilliant tactical move by Wyshak to completely undermine his case as to who was running O C. Thanks for your great reporting. 2. On the Hernandez front what did Bellichik know and when did he know it? Kraft has blamed the violence in N. Attleboro on a you-tube video. Is he correct and will this hasten his purchase of the Globe? The victim was not shot in the back of the head so that excludes Gucci as a suspect. 3. Had a minor case once in Southie Court but my client was anxious to talk to me. Told me he was present at a murder and helped dump the body several miles away. The D.A. had info that my guy was present at the scene of the crime. Contacted by Tom Mundy and asked if he was willing to co operate. Told him yes but the deal had to include no jail time. The Police knew who did the killing and that my guy was just an accessory. This case was similar to the Chuck Stuart case where his brother help solve it but still did two years. Mundy said no dice and he indicted my client for first degree murder. Another lawyer represented him in Superior Court where a co operation agreement resulted. He plead guilty to accessory , testified in the murder trial which resulted in a conviction and did a two year sentence out of state. Mundy got his way. Shouldn’t the D. A. arrest all three suspects and charge them with first degree murder in the District Court. Hold them w/o bail and see how fast they want to assist. They won’t have to wait long.

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