J.W. Carney in his usual composed manner stood in front of the jury and immediately told it how much he appreciated the ”extraordinary sacrifice” they were making to serve on the case and how he would be eternally grateful for their service.
He then went into a restaurant analogy that went something like when you order your food at a nice restaurant and it comes to you it is arranged in a tasteful manner and appeals to your appetite but it took a lot of labor back in the kitchen to fix it up so that it came out so as to please you. The jury was to see the finish product of the government’s spending a lot of time with witnesses and its hard work making their witnesses look pretty. I’m not sure it had the effect he intended to convey that somehow the government witnesses would not be telling the truth but rather a story the government wanted.
He then told the jury his opening was to be in two parts. The first he was going to explain how the criminal justice system operated in Boston from the 1960s to the mid-1990s. It all started when Robert Kennedy was AG and J. Edgar Hoover was director of the FBI. They decided that the national mandate would be to destroy the Mafia. To ensure that was done, they gave out bonuses, rewards and promotions to the FBI agents who did well at it.
In this area the Mafia was in Boston and Providence, Rhode Island. The FBI used top echelon informants to go after it. One of the three primary witnesses against Whitey would be such a person, Stevie Flemmi. He then said FBI Agent John Connolly and Jeremiah O’Sullivan were active in going after the Mafia. Connolly had 20 top echelon informants and he and O’Sullivan indicted the Mafia guys. Connolly was the FBI “golden boy” whose awards went to his head and he became “greedy” and thought of himself as a “rock star” and listed Whitey as an informant when he wasn’t one.
That is because he is of Irish descent and the worst thing an Irish person could do was be an informant; and secondly, since he was not Italian he would have limited knowledge of the Mafia. He might pal around with Mafia types and be seen together with them but they never gave him access to their doings.
He said Connolly wanted “a lavish life style” and Bulger could let him live it. On occasion he gave Connolly $5,000, $10,000, and $50,000 dollars. Connolly “gladly accepted it.” On a modest salary he had two homes in the Boston area and a home on the Cape and a large boat.
Whitey never knew he was listed by Connolly as an informant. His informant file had none of the usual things like pictures, signed statements or fingerprints. But Connolly wanted people to believe Whitey was an informant so that he would have a reason to meet him and take money. He’d copy reports in other agents files and attribute to Whitey. Many in FBI wondered why Whitey was protected because he gave no information anyone was prosecuted on. The second in charge in the FBI Boston office knew after speaking to him for 10 minutes he wasn’t an informant and Whitey told him he wasn’t an informant.
Carney asked have you heard of informants paying money to agents. It just isn’t done. But greedy Connolly was just interested in that. Bulger also paid other people because he wanted to get information on what was going on because Bulger was involved in illegal gaming, bookmaking, and lending money at high rates, loan sharking. He was also involved in drug dealings. To protect his businesses he needed information on wiretaps and searches so he could hide his property.
During all this time when Whitey was doing all this the U.S. attorney’s office did nothing about it; in fact the chief of its criminal section who was there during the time of Whitey’s “most prolific activity” said he was not aware of one investigation of him in his office. O’Sullivan also never bought a case against Whitey this is because of the depth of corruption in federal law enforcement and Whitey made “millions upon millions of dollars”.
Carney paused and took a drink before going on to part two. I thought this is all interesting but what has Connolly to do with the 19 murders. I figured I’d get the answer coming up.
Carney then told how Connolly. O’Sullivan and the chief of the criminal division left their jobs. A new crew came in and Bulger, Flemmi, and Martorano were indicted. Whitey wasn’t tipped off by Connolly to flee, it was because the feds looking for publicity announced it and he heard it on the radio as he was driving back from vacation. It was “something as mundane as that.” Then Whitey decided to live in California “living openly and in plain sight while FBI agents pretended to look for him.” A knowing chuckle ran through the media overflow room at the con.
He said Flemmi was arrested and expected Connolly to rescue him but when Connolly took the Fifth Martorano could see the writing on the wall so he decided “to cut his losses” and went to be the first to give the feds evidence. He called Martorano “the scariest violent criminal psychopath in Boston” who’d murder people like anyone else would order a cup of coffee. Martorano knew the government wanted evidence against Connolly who he had never met but learned if Whitey had told him things that Connolly said then he could testify against Connolly by making up things Whitey told him. He knew the more corrupt he made Whitey and Connolly the better deal he would get.
Martorano knew how the system worked since his teacher was Joe Barboza who got himself and friend out of a murder by blaming 4 innocent guys. It took 30 years for the truth to come out. Martorano started bargaining for his testimony. Carney talked about a Ted William’s baseball but I couldn’t quite follow what he was saying but it boiled down to the more information you provide the better the deal. So Martorano admitted to 20 murders and got 12 years and got lots of money from the feds and was allowed to keep some property and not testify against his brother, another murderer, and Pat Nee his friend and fellow murderer. The government was so desperate to have him testify it threw up his hands (Carney threw up his hands to demonstrate) and said we’ll give you whatever or do whatever you want. He said under that condition the jury had to decide whether he would lie about Whitey.
Carney spoke about the great deals both Weeks and Flemmi got from the government for their testimony. He then went into three specific murders. Flemmi killed his young girl friend because she was making fun of him which is the worst thing you can do to a psychopath; he killed his step daughter because she was about to reveal he had abused her and had sex with her as a young woman. Whitey had no motive to kill either one. He then talked about the murders of Roger Wheeler and John Callahan for the purpose of taking over his Florida business again suggesting Whitey was not part of the crew that was involved in murdering them.
He said Whitey had a lucrative business enterprise in Boston making millions of dollars and he was not going to “get out of his comfort zone” and go to Florida and get involved there. He said at the end of the day there is no way the jury can believe Martorano, Weeks or Flemmi, returning to his restaurant analogy by saying the “recipe is unreliable” and doesn’t produce the truth.
I know Carney doesn’t have much of hand to work with. But the recipe he seems to be following is leading Whitey off to ADX on the fast express. All right we’ll give him a break on those last four murders, but what about the other 12? Sure the feds are corrupt but what has that to do with the 6 bodies the investigators unearthed? You admit the drug dealing, the money laundering, didn’t contest the firearms, and are fighting a minority of the murders. A conviction on anything puts Whitey away for the rest of his life.
My feeling is Whitey is not going to testify, has accepted that there is no way in hell he can get acquitted, and just wants to – well I’m not sure what he wants. I get the feeling it would be best if he just went off quietly and stopped the charade. I’m sort of at a loss to figure out what this is all about.