CNN’s Whitey Presentation: 3 Stars for some, 2 for others

CNN’s presentation of “Whitey – United States v. James J. Bulger” ran for two hours last night. For those who know nothing or a little bit about Whitey it gave them a decent glimpse into his life; for those who have been following the saga closely it offered a few tidbits that made the ordeal of sitting through the commercials somewhat bearable.

I was put off by the way it presented the Department of Justice (DOJ). The thrust was that there is something deeply wrong in it. The proofs offered were the actions of the FBI agents and not that of the DOJ attorneys. I know the FBI is part of the DOJ. But it operates independently in investigating matters and dealing with informants. What it did with respect to Whitey the DOJ had little knowledge about. The show blurred that distinction.

We learned about the feelings of the relatives of the victims: the ubiquitous Steve Davis, the unfortunate Steve Rakes; the unlucky Donohue family and the angry David Wheeler. It covered the details of some of the people murdered by Whitey with some gruesome photographs. It presented parts of the testimony of Kevin Weeks, John Martorano, Steven Flemmi and corrupt FBI agent John Morris. But it jumped from subject to subject, each one separated by a commercial, that would have been disconcerting to the viewers and chased many over to the football games.

It gave a good amount of time to the issue of whether Whitey was an informant. We were treated to being able to overhear conversations between Whitey and his lawyer J.W. Carney who discussed two of the major issues that come up in the Whitey saga: whether he was an informant and how did he get his alleged immunity. The highlight for me was listening to Whitey.

Whitey said when he saw his informant file that was the biggest betrayal of him ever in his life. That file was kept by FBI agent John Connolly who put in that file reports of his conversations with Whitey. Whitey’s other lawyer Hank Brennan showed us the file. He and his assistant, Daryl Zules, went through the file explaining that some of the reports contained little information. It was clear to them Whitey wasn’t an informant.

Whitey explained why he couldn’t be an informant saying he “never cracked:”when the cops beat him up in the projects as a kid, when he was arrested for robbery he kept his mouth shut, when he was involved in an escape attempt in prison and put in the hole for months he didn’t talk, and when he was at Alcatraz they couldn’t break him. He said if he didn’t talk then he certainly wasn’t going to give information to the FBI.

The show failed to explore this in depth. Maybe it couldn’t because its goal is entertainment not education. The issue whether Whitey was or was not an informant comes down to the definition of that word. I think it clear Whitey never knew Connolly was keeping an informant file on him. Stevie Flemmi, his partner, told the agents interviewing him when he began cooperating that he never knew an informant file was kept on him. The prosecutor Wyshak said Whitey is denying he was an informant because in Southie that’s the worst thing one can be. But that’s too simple of an explanation.

Whitey said his arrangement with Connolly began when Connolly told him they were both from the same project and Irish Catholics so he’d like to give him secret information. Sounded far fetched to me but then again much in this saga is like that. Whitey said he never gave Connolly anything except money for information. He said he gave as much as $25,000 or $50,000 but didn’t say to whom. He only gave cash in an envelope. I guess he forgot going on those shopping trips to Shreves that Weeks talked about where they bought all those fancy clocks and other articles for the FBI agents.

Near the end of the show Attorney Brennan would go off on sort of a rant telling how the DOJ had to make Whitey into an informant because if it didn’t all its prior prosecutions, pointing specifically to the 1981 wiretap of the Angiulos, would be overturned and civil suits demanding much money would follow. He was wrong on that but was not rebutted. Again, any show can only skim along the surface without exploring the real issues.

We heard Whitey talk about how he got immunity from federal criminal prosecutions by Jeremiah O’Sullivan the Assistant U.S. Attorney . His lawyer Carney had already told us this but would not tell us why O’Sullivan would do such a thing. Whitey said he did it in exchange for Whitey protecting his life. The prosecutors called the claim balderdash and I agree. But there so much more to say about that issue that again the time would not permit it. Anyone listening could only be confused.

We heard from the usual cast of characters who have written about this: Globe reporters Lehr, Cullen and Murphy. Dave Boeri from WBUR offered his opinions as did T.J. English two of the more informed reporters covering Whitey and organized crime. Even with them I differ on some major things. Bob Long of the State Police was informative in telling us about the Lancaster garage incident. The FBI assistant agent in charge Bob Fitzgerald who I take with a grain of salt had his 15 minutes of fame posing as the only good FBI agent of the bunch.

The most significant point made in the show was by Whitey’s former man friday Kevin Weeks. He was first heard saying that he’s been lying all his life because he’s a criminal. At the end he says, if everyone told the truth the story around Whitey would come together. But knowing that the story is based on information from criminals and that criminals lie he concluded by saying “the true story will never be known.”

If you could watch the presentation without the commercials it may seem less disjointed and tedious. It didn’t stray too far from the truth in handling the trial. I’m sure it may appeal to many who think there is something drastically wrong in the DOJ. I have to keep in mind it was a movie offered for entertainment. I do disagree with Kevin Weeks. I think it is possible to come close to the true story and that’s why I’m trekking along toward it..

37 thoughts on “CNN’s Whitey Presentation: 3 Stars for some, 2 for others

  1. I definitely agree with you Matt. Also, the most entertaining part for me too was hearing Whitey talk as I have followed this story pretty closely for about 2 years now and not much of the “new” stuff that comes out is really all that new to me. The conversations between Whitey and Carney were new and that’s what piqued my interests while watching last night. There is one thing I can’t stop thinking about, and that is what Rakes was going to say if he had gotten a chance to say it. He and Davis seemed somewhat close and ” had coffee almost every morning ” and Rakes didn’t even tell him what it was. It had to be good if he was saving it for the stand and didn’t tell anyone what it was he had to say. I want to say I recall Davis stating that Rakes had said it was a bombshell of sorts. Another mystery to add to the whitey saga I guess.

    1. Craig{

      Isn’t J.W. Carney good at slingling the bull. I smiled at his statement that they were worried a sniper was going to try to stop Whitey from testifying. I liked his prearranged calls after he had rehearsed them with Whitey where he let Whitey go on and on. That was the good part of the show.

      I talked with Rakes for a long time one day. He knew about the blog and had been reading it. He told me some stories about Whitey coming back after he fled and coming in to the L Street bath house looking for him. I’m not sure he had any bomb shells but remember he and Weeks hated each other and Weeks was a witness for the prosecution so the government wasn’t going to advance its case having Rakes testified. Well if he had something worth while we’ll never know now. I thought he was a nice guy and felt bad that he died like he did.

  2. Matt, keep on trekking towards the truth and me, a former Navy uniformed Public Health Corps Officer, will keep on tacking towards the truth. CraigMack is correct: the word on the street is that Steve Rakes testimony would undermine and unravel Weeks and others’ lies and that’s why Fred the Fed held him up, held him back and then didn’t use his testimony at trial. Steve Rakes’ murder is still a mystery and I don’t believe the guy who killed him, a sixty-eight year old career criminal thief who never killed anybody in his life, acted alone. 2. You’re right, it’s not the lower echelon FBI rank and file that’s corrupt, aside from Morris, it’s the DOJ prosecutors, judges and the system: Intellectually corrupt and constitutionally corrupt in my humble opinion. 3. Boston College’s student newspaper, The Heights, reported Kelly saying Whitey Bulger paid off many FBI agents; since Morris is admittedly corrupt and Connolly was acquitted of accepting any money or rings or things of value, who is Kelly referring to —name them—and who has he and wiseguy Wyshak prosecuted? The answer: None. So stop spewing defamations against honest cops and honest FBI agent, will you Mr. Kelly, part of the corrupt DOJ prosecutors’ office? Kelly was on Howie Carr and never mentioned Connolly’s acquittals; not even the recent Miami acquittal. Kelly never mentioned Connolly was convicted by a Boston jury of just one crime during his 23 years as an FBI agent: transferring a case of wine from Whitey to Morris; Morris said the case had $1,000 in it. Morris, the known, proven perjurer, admits accepting about $9,000 from Whitey and others (bookies, drug dealers). Morris was Connolly’s supervisor. Yet we are to believe Flemmi and Whitey that Connolly, the bit player, the low man on the totem pole, was given 20,000 a year for 20 y ears. Whitey piggy-backs on Flemmi’s lies. Both have defamed many honest agents and cops, and they did so with the complicity of the DOJ lawyers who encouraged their perjuries. Remember Fred the Fed Wyshak and Major Foley asked DOJ prosecutor Durham not to put Salemme on the stand because he was a known perjurer; Salemme got on the stand then perjured himself in Connolly’s Boston trial; Salemme was convicted of perjury: Surprise. Then Kelly and Wyshak put known, proven perjurers Flemmi and Morris on the stand in Miami and back in Boston at Whitey’s trial. It seems to me if you have to stoop so low as to rely on the testimony of known perjurers, serial killers, serial drug pushers, serial predators, that you shouldn’t be in the prosecution business. The TRAVESTIES continue inside and outside the courtroom, the flagrant violations of fairness and due process principles continue on and off the playing fields. The Character Assassins continue to ply their trade with and against the currents and trade winds. Be forewarned: as Dylan sang, “The Times They are achangin!” The people see through the shenanigans and hijinks. Remember this: The good will out!!

    1. The good will out? ask JFK. and MLK

      in other news

      http://triblive.com/mobile/6827362-96/raid-brien-family

      Botched FBI raid in Bellevue stings feds for $100K
      By Brian Bowling Staff Reporter
      Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, 3:09 p.m.

      The federal government has apparently agreed to pay $100,000 to settle a Bellevue family’s lawsuit over a botched 2011 FBI-led raid on their home, according to court documents filed Friday.

      Led by FBI Special Agent Karen Springmeyer, about a dozen officers used a battering ram to enter the rented Orchard Street home where Gary Adams and his family lived on March 3, 2011. The police were looking for a suspect who hadn’t lived at that address for nearly two years, the lawsuit says.

      Tim O’Brien, the family’s lawyer, filed a motion Friday asking U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer to approve the share of the settlement that would be set aside in interest bearing accounts for five minor children who were present when the raid occurred.

      The children would receive a total of $9,500. O’Brien would receive $46,250 for attorney’s fees and legal costs and the remaining $44,250 would be divided among the six adults who were in the house during the raid, the motion says.

      1. MS:

        Notice how the lawyers get all the money. I just got notice from a lawyer that he brought a civil action agains Lenovo because the wifi in my computer isn’t working as it should. The case has settled. I’m entitled to send my computer back or receive $100. The lawyers are going to get 8 million dollars. I shoud have stayed out of the public sector and worked harder at my civil practice.

        That’s an amazing story about the O’Brien raid. The suspects had moved out two years earlier and the fBI came crashing through the door. I don’t know why he settled. That case could have been worth millions for the gross negligence that existed there.

        1. Hands up Don’t shoot.
          I think Rilke said that.

          In other news

          see link for full story

          Former FBI agent says NFL lead investigator shouldn’t be heading domestic violence probes

          http://www.10news.com/news/former-fbi-agent-says-nfl-lead-investigator-shouldnt-be-heading-domestic-violence-probes-09192014

          Sep 19, 2014

          A San Diego woman says the NFL’s lead investigator is the last man who should be heading the domestic violence investigations.

          On police dashcam video from 2006 in Austin, Texas, a string of drunken curses can be heard as Dree Ann Cellemme is cuffed and later ticketed for public intoxication during a night that remains a blur.

          For the off-duty FBI agent, this happened less than a year after a drunken episode at an FBI holiday party.

          Team 10 investigator Michael Chen asked, “When you look at that video, what do you see?”

          “I see someone who was clearly having an emotional breakdown and in need of alcohol counseling and intervention,” said Cellemme.

          Days later, she sought treatment and remains sober to this day.

          She says her FBI career did not fare as well because of something she cannot remember yelling at officers in Austin.

          “I’m going to tell everyone you raped me,” yelled Cellemme out the window that night as she was cuffed in a patrol car.

          She was put on indefinite suspension without pay – which lasted a year – before she was fired.

          Cellemme showed Team 10 an email revealing the man making the decisions was the FBI’s then-assistant HR director John Raucci.

          “It’s the old adage: boys will be boys, but girls always need to act like ladies, and at that moment, I didn’t fit the image of what a lady was supposed to look like,” said Cellemme.

          She filed a federal complaint, and in a just-released decision, a judge concluded her indefinite suspension was discriminatory and based on her sex.

          In Cellemme’s legal arguments, she had pointed out numerous cases of male agents involved with DUIs and serious alcohol offenses getting short suspensions and keeping their jobs.

          “In one case, an agent was stopped in a vehicle with three prostitutes while he was intoxicated, and he only received a 17-day suspension after accusing police of stealing his money – even filing a complaint,” said Cellemme.

          Years later, Raucci is now with the NFL, heading their investigations and likely including the domestic violence probes.

          “I don’t think he’s the right man for the job,” said Cellemme.

          She believes he is biased against women and should not be the one looking into their accusations.

          “You can’t have someone with those prejudices investigating these sensitive issues,” said Cellemme.

          Cellemme will receive damages, but a judge said the FBI did not have to reinstate her. In the ruling from an administrative law judge, it was determined the termination was not discrimination because the male agents that were given leniency in their cases had seniority, a viable factor in weighing job status.

    2. William:

      1. Rakes and I spent a long time talking. I’m not sure he had any bomb shells. Even if he did the government was never going to put him on the stand because he would tell a different story than their star witness Weeks which would may have weaken their case. I wonder what happened to the case against the guy who did the killing> I’ll have to look into it.
      2. I’m not ready to say anyone in DOJ is corrupt.
      3. Kelly is just repeating what Whitey and the rest of their gangsters have said. He has no proof of any of that. If he’s going to rely on Whitey’s statements there why doesn’t he believe Whitey when he says he wasn’t an informant and had nothing to do with the murders of the girls. Morris got 7 grand from Whitey and 5 from Berkowitz; Connolly hasn’t admitted getting anything but the uncashed paychecks and his style of living raises eyebrows. He wasn’t a bit player. He was the handler of Whitey and Flemmi. He said his job was to protect them.
      I think other agents might have gotten a gift or two from Whitey but I don’t believe any did anything in exchange for receiving them. As for no charges, there was a statute of limitations problem.

  3. I watched the entire 2 hours while being hooked
    up to a thorazine IV saline drip solution.
    Hoping to see my best buddy Angela Clemente
    talking about NY FBI agent Lyndley DeVecchio.
    She told me they interviewed her for the program.
    She wound up on the cutting room floor.
    Best to show only a localized syphilitic sore than
    a systemic body pustulence that has given septicemia
    to American Democracy.

    Down in the whisper stream we refer to the DOJ as POP!
    Protectors of Privilege as detailed in David Burnham’s book Above the Law.

    Up here in the ISS we are able to clearly connect
    the dots showing a FBI -Mafia Collaboration in
    every major American City.
    Taxpayer funded FBI agents turned to the Mafia to help
    them assassinate President Kennedy and Martin Luther King
    while at the same time destroying American unions.
    Google
    mlk FBI mafia
    Google
    JFK FBI mafia
    Google
    FBI mafia Jackie presser teamsters

    C’mon folks. CNN is the poster child mouthpiece
    for the US Military Industrial complex.
    How would I rate the program?
    Soft Porn, eh?
    scuse me have to go and wipe the
    dribble off my face.

    1. MS:

      It would have been too much to include your friend. Perhaps the documentary director can pick up her part from the cutting room floor and do something more substantial on the top echelon informant program. Good luck with the drip. Hope its nothing serious.

  4. I sincerely hope that Matts book can put as many pieces together concerning the Whitey era. I too was curious to hear Whitey talk because unlike some “gang bosses” it would appear that Whitey Bulger and was not a flashy individual. There is a mystery surrounding Whitey Bulger that is unlike many other crime bosses. Sure there have been other reclusive and low key mafia guys but, and I could be wrong, is that not only did Whitey remain out of the spotlight but he also was a hands on killer. I thought the documentary was not in depth enough at all. I am not certain that is the fault of the director or because the director didnt have enough information about what really happened during the Whitey era.

    1. Jerome:

      Whitey wasn’t flashy and lived a very disciplined life. He rarely drank, stayed in shape and avoided drugs. He was so edclosed mouths that he successfully carried on with two women for twenty years without one knowing about it. He was a creature of the night for the most part. There have been very few surveillance pictures taken of him. The first one that I know of was taken by guys I worked with in the Quincy police and it shows him talking to Stevie Flemmi near a chain link fence.
      There’s a lot to know about what went on and the director had to depend upon people pushing their versions. The poor victims don’t know much about Whitey and blame the government for his actions without taking into consideration what you point out is that Whitey wasn’t flashy and was hands on. This prevented any person who had been arrested from giving him up in exchange for something, the way lots of Mafia guys ae taken down.
      Anyone who came to this site during the trial would have found nothing new in the movie but it might have refreshed their recollection about some things.
      I did smile when I heard J.W. Carney saying they were worried that a sniper was going to kill Whitey to prevent him from testifying. That’s the type of nonsense that has been floating around in the case. As I pointed out, there was no way Whitey’s testimony could hurt anyone since no one would believe him.

      1. Matt. I know your opinion is that Whitey was simply a low key thug with a gun. Nothing more nothing less, no? Perhaps I am caught up in the hype surrounding the Whitey mystique because of all the stories in the books with errors written about him. With that said though, do you agree that Whitey was a unique criminal due to his extreme discipline? From what little I know about criminals many of them do abuse drugs and drink. I wonder if there is a connection between drug and alcohol abuse and living the life of a criminal.

        I wonder what motivated Whitey to be so disciplined. Steve Flemmi was just as disciplined, no yet he is portrayed as dumber and no where near as intelligent as Whitey Bulger. Also, regarding Whitey is that many criminals are seen as having extremely poor impulse control. Whereas with Whitey it would seem he had very good impulse control. Which is scary in that he could flip his ability to kill and be violent on and off. I get the sense that many criminals are impulsive and just operate from that part of the brain where they just re-act without much thought, no?

        1. Jerome:

          You are right about my opinion on Whitey as a low key thug. I think that that he remained sober, was extremely disciplined in where he talked and who he talked with made him different than the run of the mill thug. Whether he was unique, I’m not sure. It seems to me some of the Mafia guys like Angiulo and Baione were similar to that. Your question about drug and alcohol abuse and being a criminal is interesting. I’ve read that most of the guys in Winter Hill had those problems except Whitey and Stevie. It also appears that much of the events in these gangsters lives are related to barrooms or night clubs. So booze and drugs do play a big part in a gangsters life. The Somerville/Charlestown gang war began at a boozy affair in Hampton Beach; a lot of guys were killed coming out of barrooms.

          I’d suggest Whitey’s time to think about his life made him disciplined. He had plenty of time in prison to sit and reflect and learn why some guys were with him and others weren’t. Flemmi spent a few years as a young man in the Army and was in combaat. That for some is a good education in discipline. He also was on the run for a few years and kept out of trouble so that might also have helped him.Both men knew what they wanted in life which was money and women. The drugs and booze were detriments to gaining those.

          I never thought Flemmi was dumber than Whitey. Look at the investments in real estate he made. He was much quiteyer than Whitey but I think he was equally intelligent. They were both very similar in most ways.

          Whitey mostly if not always planned out his murders. John Martorano didn’t since he was running in the bar room scene. Flemmi when he met Whitey got into planning; in the earlier days he acted more on impulse. A lot of gangsters have quick triggers ready to fight someone without must thought. Those that rise to the top usually have the control necessary to reach that level.

  5. Strange experience happened after watching this 2 hour infomercial
    for the soon to be aired sequel Titicut Follies
    I kept hearing Whitey’s voice telling me to grab a pencil
    as he wanted to write the preface for Matt’s new book.
    Guess what?
    Whitey Bulger’s Expectations for a Justice system

    “Because I believe that…

    • No one deserves to be measured only by the worst thing she or he
    has ever done.

    • Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and have his or her
    human rights preserved.

    • Justice systems should be restorative rather than retributive.

    • There is no way to create a perfectly safe world. Expecting that
    of our justice systems leads to policies that are counterproductive.

    • Detention must be justified by a legitimate public safety concern.

    • Those who are incarcerated should have all of the resources they
    need to turn their lives around.

    • No one should be incarcerated for his or her immigration status.

    • National and international human rights documents provide a sound
    basis for ensuring that justice systems meet these goals.

    • The politics of fear should not be allowed to influence sentencing
    practices or parole policies.

    • All efforts should be made to depoliticize justice system offices.

    • Drug use should be decriminalized and treated as a public health
    issue.

    • All juvenile cases should be handled in the juvenile system that
    is geared toward rehabilitation and education rather than incarceration.

    We therefore believe that the following practices should define our
    justice systems with respect to…

    ADJUDICATION:

    Anyone accused of a crime shall be represented by an attorney who has
    the qualifications, resources, and time to thoroughly explore the
    circumstances surrounding the crime and advocate for the defendant. This is true whether the crime is considered violent or nonviolent and whether it is resolved by trial or plea agreement.

    The justice system shall understand and consider the individual’s
    background and accomplishments, as well as the mitigating circumstances of the crime as thoroughly as they understand and consider the aggravating circumstances.

    No plea agreement shall occur without negotiations that are done with
    an engaged and competent attorney, in a manner that does not result in harm to any
    other defendant, and includes the judge.

    Anyone who refuses to negotiate a plea agreement and is subsequently
    tried and convicted shall not be sentenced to a longer term than was offered in
    negotiations.

    The defendant shall not appear in court in shackles, restraints, or
    jail “uniform.”

    Any action that results in the deprivation of an individual’s
    liberty shall be decided based only upon the beyond a reasonable doubt standard.

    There shall be no loss of voting rights as a result of a criminal
    conviction.

    The criminal prosecution system shall consider evidence of someone’s
    innocence, regardless of when that evidence becomes available and whether or not
    the court process or representation was flawed.

    SENTENCING:

    We shall not incarcerate persons who are mentally ill.

    We shall not incarcerate persons who are developmentally disabled.

    Juveniles shall never be housed in adult facilities.

    There shall be no death penalty.

    No one shall be sentenced to life without parole.

    There shall be no mandatory sentences, since they prevent adequate
    consideration of aggravating and mitigating circumstances.

    We shall utilize non-incarcerative sanctions whenever possible. Those
    include, but are not limited to:

    • Restitution

    • Forfeiture of all gains from economic crimes

    • Therapeutic solutions

    • Restorative/transformative justice and Alternative restorative
    justice programs shall be provided to an individual .

    • Community service

    • Fines and fees based only upon one’s ability to pay.

    No one shall be sentenced to a prison term unless it will serve a
    greater purpose than

    incapacitation.

    The minimum sentence for any offense shall be only long enough to
    complete an appropriate, well-defined, treatment and training program.

    Programming shall be provided in a timely manner.

    Time added for aggravating circumstances shall not exceed the sentence
    for the basic crime.

    We shall not give significant weight to prior criminal history when
    crafting a sentence, without considering the probability that recidivism represents a
    failure of the justice system.

    Felony murder statutes shall be eliminated.

    All mandatory minimums shall be abolished.

    The cost of the sentence shall be identified at the time of
    sentencing.

    TREATMENT OF THE INCARCERATED:

    The Prison Litigation Reform Act shall be eliminated.

    Persons who are incarcerated shall have access to earned benefits
    (e.g. retiree health insurance, veterans health care, veteran’s educational benefits,
    etc.) in cases where the department of corrections cannot or will not provide comparable services.

    No one shall be subject to long-term restraints (greater than 4 hours)
    unless authorized and monitored by a medical doctor.

    Individuals shall be provided timely and appropriate health care. No
    fees shall be charged for health care.

    Persons entering the system shall be evaluated to determine their
    educational, psychological, and social needs. Every effort shall be made to address
    those needs while the individual is incarcerated.

    No one shall be held for a lengthy period in a facility (e.g. jail)
    that provides very limited programs and services.

    No person shall be held in isolation for a nonviolent infraction.

    No person shall be held in isolation for a total of more than four
    hours for a violent infraction.

    There shall be mechanisms to prevent overcrowding, since that
    contributes to inhumane treatment.

    No one shall be shackled or restrained during labor or if it will
    interfere with the delivery of medical care.

    Every effort shall be made to compensate for lack of education that
    may have contributed to a person’s criminal behavior. GED classes shall be standard and provided free by the state to all prisoners without a diploma or GED. Aptitude testing and vocational training shall be provided to ensure job readiness upon release.

    Individuals who are incarcerated shall be able to access Pell grants
    and other similar aid programs to facilitate their pursuit of a college education.

    Programs, policies, and tools shall ensure that individuals are able
    to maintain their social networks through fair and friendly telephone, surface mail, email, and visitation services, including private family visits. Restrictions shall be imposed only if needed to protect specific victim(s). Family members in the free world shall be able to visit any and all incarcerated family members. Subject to security screening, there shall be no limit to the number of persons on a visiting list or call list. At the very least, persons who are indigent shall be provided with postage and writing materials to facilitate contact by
    surface mail and at least one call per month to family or friends.

    While incarcerated, individuals shall be given responsibilities and
    decision-making opportunities. Every opportunity shall be made to utilize the talents
    of those who are incarcerated. Those opportunities may be in the form of facility
    operation and maintenance, tutoring one another, or providing public services. Where it is possible for an individual to gain certification in an area of expertise that shall be encouraged. Those who are incarcerated shall receive adequate compensation for the work they perform.

    Persons shall be paid a minimum wage with a portion going to fines,
    fees, child support,victim restitution, and savings for use upon release. To the degree possible, community

    service programs shall be available for interested persons.

    The United State shall ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention
    Against Torture

    (OPCAT), and shall set up a mechanism that will operate to prevent
    abuse and torture in the country’s confinement facilities.

    No person who is incarcerated shall have administrative, disciplinary,
    or supervisory power over others who are incarcerated.

    There shall be no involuntary interstate transfers.

    Housing shall be by consent.

    RELEASE OF THE INCARCERATED:

    Regardless of the length of sentence, individuals shall be released if
    they become permanently physically incapacitated and are no longer a risk to the
    community.

    There shall be a presumption of parole at the earliest release date.
    Release decisions shall be based upon validated, dynamic risk assessments and performance (including therapy) while incarcerated. The nature of the offense of conviction and criminal history shall not be a factor other than the impact they may have on the outcome of a risk assessment.

    Lack of programming staff shall not be used as rationale to delay
    release. Based upon validated risk assessment results, persons who have not completed programming through no fault of their own shall be released to the community where they shall receive community treatment and monitoring to ensure their successful re-entry.

    Everyone past his or her minimum release date shall have an
    opportunity for release annually.

    No one shall be denied release because of a pending appeal or for lack
    of a home placement. If the individual is not able to live with family members,
    adequate housing shall be provided outside of the prison system.

    No fee shall be charged by the state for probation or parole services.
    This is the responsibility of the state government.

    Licensing restrictions shall be imposed only if there is a strong
    correlation between the crime(s) committed and the activity being licensed.

    Anyone released from a prison shall have access to a re-entry program
    for assistance with housing, transportation, job searching, health care, and other needs.

    Incarceration shall not be extended through mechanisms such as civil
    commitment, lifetime parole, or home confinement. No individual shall be subject
    to residency restrictions.

    Community supervision, in the form of probation, parole, pre registration shall be imposed only if a dynamic risk assessment indicates it is warranted. Persons
    shall be listed on police registries only if they screen high risk on a dynamic risk
    instrument. There shall be no public registry.

    Social security, veteran’s benefits, pension payments, etc. shall be
    available to the person leaving the prison system.

    All persons leaving prison shall have their birth certificate, social
    security card, and state ID card.

  6. Matt,

    I agree and also feel bad he died the way he did. It was a terrible thing that happened and you have to admit, it really was weird that he said he had something good to tell, gets pulled from testifying and then ends up dead. I just had to shake my head that it happened like that and didn’t think things could get any weirder with Whitey and this case. I didn’t think his death had anything to do with the Whitey and the case only because it would have been far to obvious. On the pre arranged phone calls, I too thought were funny how he would ask a question and let Whitey go on and on about the 1 maybe 2 things that seemed most important to Whitey. 1, he wasn’t a rat and 2, he didn’t kill Husey. It dwfinitely sewmed a bit rehearsed and seemed like he was leading his client. Or allowing his client to lead I should say. The sniper statement was also a little comical.

    1. John -wrote to tell me Rakes was a bad guy inferrring that he brought about his own problmes. I agree that it was a real wierd happening and is still somewhat strange. I’m glad you saw the telephone calls as I did. Good stage craft by the ever clever J.W. Carney – he doesn nothing by accident – very skilled lawyer especially in handling publicity. Those are the two things left for Whitey – he wasn’t a rat and killed no women. Jury is still out on the first one, the second one I’m not convinced he had no part in their demise.

  7. For those familiar with him in Southie for many years a different series of takes on the affable and Media born ” Victim ” Stevie Rakes, must be considered to honestly balance this hail fellow well met rose colored ski goggles view that the Public was spoonfed of him : His first wife died very suspiciously of battery injuries ; there was no indictment but, accurate or not, thr word on the peninsula was that he beat her to desth with a frying pan. : Whether accurate or not, word was he ran with the army of small coke peddlers that quite independently of Bulger and in competition with other small coke gangs, did business as mischief and natural usual in Southie : Coincidentally his sister and brother-in- law were indicted in the home invasion/cocaine frenzy torture murders of a young Westwood MA couple in the early nineties; the brother -in-law was convicted of murder. Sister Rakes pleaded down to a lesser charge. REAL TALK. as the youth say today !!! : A sceptical view of the liquor store deal is that he was a neighborhood guy, in fact a neighborhood irascible pain in the ass on the Southie campus, that he knew the Principals well, and that he happily walked off into the Old Colony sunset with a brown paper sack full of an equitable heap of cash and sunlight glinting off a new van abd refracting its light into the opportunistic gleam in his eye. : Because Stevie Rakes was ever the street rat opportunist. : His re-invented image of himself as ” Victim” served the story line of a gullible Media that gobbled it all right up , and underestimated the cynicism of the Justice Department ; who knew that Stevie Rakes was no ” Innocente ” and in the long trek weren’t going to let him shake them down for big dollars. That’s where he screwed up. He thought that he had invented this Gane !!!

    As to snipergate : Marshalls said in the opening days of the daily security parade caravan from Concord, replete with machine gun armed Marshalls flanking him behind those tinted SUV windows that … ” We are afraid that someone might try to machine gun him !!! ” … That is a direct official quote, easily researched . It is always good to hew towards verifiable facts in this whole ” Whitey Whisperer” Fantasma that is the default mode of a Media that speculates because it knows not and underestimates the intelligence of its Public ; A Public that wants to hear what Whitey and not his ” Whisperers ” has to say about the life and times of Jimmy Bulger. Believe it or not it is the Truth that will matter. Just Sayin’ !!! 🙂

    1. John:

      Good comment. As for the marshalls, they do tend to exaggerate. There was no one who was interested in killing Whitey . Everyone knew when he was captured he was all washed up. As fearing what he would testify to, that is just plain silliness.

  8. Matt :

    You know I like a lot of what you do on this blog. I get quite an incredulous kick out of your ” No one will believe what he says anyway ” brainwashing mantra about your Whitey. You see, I don’t believe that when you say it. Even though you do …. say it. Because …. simply saying something …. does not make it True !!! This is a real epistemological problem isn’t it. Somehow a host of what our perspicacious William C. aptly termed …. Serial murderers and perjurers …. are credible in your view; their dubious self-preserving and well rewarded testimony putting John Connolly in hell, and James Bulger napping on couches after Steve Flemmi wet work is swallowed whole by you. Never a single bushy white brow raised ; while meanwhile, with a soft chamois cloth you keep polishing the hearse and accepting the nonsense of the well rehearsed and utterly compromised Trial witnesses. The cancer of Media and Politicians believing that they can forge REALITY simply by languaging it any way they want , and then expecting their words are graven in stone, is well diagnosed. The remedy is to not believe uncritically everything you read or hear. There is much that is rotten about this whole deal in many more places than Denmark. Characterize Hank Brennan’s passionate words as a rant if you want. The salient feature is that he is right about the Government being on the hook for hundreds of.
    millions in civil damages if half of what we have led to believe about all those words that are actually graven in stone in many cemeteries

    1. John:

      I suppose the bodies that were dug up had nothing to do with Whitey. As for Brennan he is spouting nonsense as I’l show in just a little bit.

  9. CONT’D :

    …… , is untrue. These are the names of the murdered. My personal belief is that much of what we have been led to believe is alternate universe complete fabrication. I also devoutly believe that is is probably most merciful to those families not to re-open wounds as we unravel the winding sheets. Some things are better left to Time and its Wisdom to heal. To not understand that Jimmy Bulger could explode comfortably accepted beliefs and that his words could be corroborated by evidence and witnesses is naive. That he chooses not to say anything says everything about him. He is the shot caller .

  10. Connolly got almost 70 grand a year in the eighties ( low tax era). He took home about 4G a month. That is equal to about 10-12 thousand today. He was single and had a government auto. He lived in a two family. He could have lived the lifestyle he did on 2/3s of that income. In order to have questions about his honesty one would have to credit the gangsters claims. The Boston jury didn’t. They and their claims have zero credibility. Why not believe Chystal Magnum? She is believable as they are.

    1. NC:

      That may be true but his checks were sitting in a desk drawer according to the government. I agree you have to credit the testimony of liars to believe hew was corrupt. I is interesting and something in his favor that corrupt agent Morris had nothing to say about Connolly taking any money. You’d think had they both been doing it they would have at least discussed it – you know, “hey, Connolly, I got five grand from Whitey did you ever get it.” None of that came out in the evidence, in fact, Whitey waited until Connolly left the room to give Morris the five grand. Interesting to speculate on.

      1. Matt and NC, et al: The uncashed checks in Connolly’s FBI drawer don’t bother me. I remember when I was around fifty years old, our small firm had a cash flow problem, and I didn’t get my once every two week pay check for two months. It didn’t phase me; I had plenty in the bank; I was single; car payments and the mortgage on my cottage down the Cape was no problem. Maybe John Connolly was putting aside checks to save for his future bride or his kids education or maybe he had enough cash flow from his rental income.
        2. You wrote that John Connolly’s lifestyle “raised eyebrows”. John’s lifestyle was the same as mine and one hundred other bachelor or divorced male friends of ours. John drank moderately, didn’t use drugs, didn’t gamble, didn’t go on gambits to Vegas, wasn’t a big spender, was very personable, well liked, good sense of humor and had hundreds of friends who still stick with him and believe he is innocent and was framed by the FEDs to this day; John and I were divorced in our early thirties; John married again around fifty at about the same time he was leaving the FBI; prior thereto he drank at the local bars and downtown bars, he dated nice young women, dressed well, had a BC ring and another, was physically fit and had a nice way about him. John crammed into a Charter flight with 300 other Southie, Dot, BC grads, and headed to see Flutie in the Miracle in Miami. We stayed at the same crummy hotels in Fort Lauderdale, drank at the same bars. He didn’t act like a guy who was getting an extra $20,000 a year from Flemmi-Bulger. He lived and partied and attending sporting events and sat in the same crummy seats as the rest of us. His lifestyle was no different than any bachelor cop in the city, aged 35 to 50. All the properties he accumulated over time: the Duplex, then the Condo, then the cottage down the Cape (in the 1980s he bought land in the Chatham area cheap), then the house in Lynnfield (he bought on mortgage with his wife’s salary and savings, too, remember). He bought a 26 foot boat (or small yacht). My lifelong friends David Costello and Kevin Glynn had cottages down the cape and nice 18 foot boats and they were raising children. John didn’t have any children until his fifties and all his properties were well affordable within his income and no one has come close to proving otherwise. John Connolly’s lifestyle was the lifestyle of me, NC, and all the other bachelor, divorced bachelors, always single guys we hang around it. Those who raised eyebrows, I believe, were those who were envious or jealous of a very personable, courageous, physically fit, well dressed, Southie guy, who they thought was too “dapper” for their tastes. Hey, some people raise their eyebrows when they find out a person is from Southie or Savie.

        1. William:

          Next week is John Connolly week when we explore all the issues. Stay tuned. By the way the yacht was in the area of forty feet; and if you don’t see anything wrong with uncashed pay checks I suggest you are part of a small minority.

  11. Matt:

    You suppose that the Fbi, the Justice Department and local law enforcement had no apprehensions about his testifying, and that you are silly to suppose so ??? So this why a collective groan went up from the families and one of relief from the Feds
    A full court press was put on him to limit his testimony
    .Are you just being a shill for that view. Yours is a novel take and places you in a distinct minority
    . It is a bland and fatuous assertion
    Stick to what you know. You are not omniscient. Truth told it is more likely that you are right where Moses was when the candle went out … in the dark … on much of what you know or believe to be true about Whitey Bulger. Shilly Wabbit !!!!!!! 🙂

  12. * So this is why a collective groan went up from the families and the public, and one of relief from the Feds when he chose not to testify. Stop skirting the issue with your frothy disclaimers Matt . Get Real !!!!!!!! etc

  13. Matt,

    Thanks again for your response(s) I do appreciate all you have decided to write on this subject and feel it is the only credible and worthy site to be on. I was glad to be able to hear Whitey talk only because there are so few recordings I was able to find. I did also hear the recorded phone calls between him & his niece & nephew I believe it was. Carney definitely is good at what he does as you mentioned and him getting this case was a good indication I think. I am also not convinced he had no part in killing those women either. I was really hoping he would take the stand just to see what he would have said and what dirt he would have tried to shovel. It’s all so confusing and frustrating that everyone has a story of how things happened and there are so many involved it will be tough to find the truth.

    1. Craig:

      Thanks We’re trekking toward the truth. Don’t give up or despair we’ll never know all of it but we’ll have a good idea what most likely happened. I would have enjoyed Whitey’s testimony but he was smart not to testify. He couldn’t really have accomplished anything. Carney admitted he was a gangster who made lots of money and was a loan shark and drug dealer. Carney didn’t do much examination on all the murders.
      All he wants is to have the people think he (1) wasn’t an informant and Wyshak would have buried him with the informant file; and, that (2) he didn’t kill the women but he’d have to admit he buried them with the other victims and then Wyshak would have done a dance on him once he did that. Plus, Wyshak would have taken him through all the other murders slowly and excruciatingly. Finally, (3) he had immunity but the first question Wyshak would have asked him if that was the case why did he run when he was indicted and O’Sullivan was still alive.

  14. Craigmack
    As far as Rakes not telling Davis what he was going to say, I find that difficult to believe. I have a very close friend and we meet once a week for breakfast and talk about everything. If you are close enough to meet everyday for coffee don’t you think that eventually you might talk about the one thing that that brought you together in the first place? The one reason they are such good friends is because of the Whitey trial. You would think that they would have talked about what Rakes was going to say. It wasn’t a big bombshell.

  15. Matt,

    I definitely won’t give up and that’s one of the reasons I follow your blog. It’s great and I enjoy reading your writings. Funny you say that about his ” immunity ” because the very first question I yelled out loud when I learned of that supposed deal was if he did have immunity from said crimes why did he run ?? It definitely doesn’t make sense. I do believe that all criminals must run at some point in their careers, especially if indictments are coming down on them. My girlfriend thinks he was an informant due to her hearing Pat Nee say that Whitey told him that he was during an interview or documentary with Nee. Again, that doesn’t make sense either only because anyone with any sense would never admit to something like that to a fellow criminal as that would almost certainly be signing his own death warrant. I however do not believe he was an informant based on a few things I’ve read and had seen on TV.

    1. Craig:

      If he had immunity didn’t he destroy all chances of claiming it by running because O’Sullivan died while he was running. His big chance to show he had immuity was to go to O’Sullivan when he knew he was going to be indicted and say: “Come on Jerry, we had a deal. I want you to tell everyone.” O’Sullivan did testify before a Congressional Committee and denied there was any deal. So even at best it would have been Whitey’s word against his and I have no doubt who would have been believed.
      As for him being an informant I have no doubt he gave the FBI information. He probably did not know that the information was being recorded and attributed to him. That he didn’t doesn’t change his status. I hope to get into defining the word informant and then we can all be on the same page when we talk about it.

      1. Matt,

        He definitely did. I also completely forgot about O’Sullivan denying that he gave immunity. Thanks for reminding me. I also do agree with you that he had to of given information but as far as it be written down and on record and attributed to him may be a different story. I think he wasn’t aware that such a file existed or in such detail. Or maybe he did… Do you think Connolly may have told him that they would have to keep a file of some capacity just to keep Whitey safe from being hunted and or picked up by law enforcement and then Connolly did what he had to at the office to keep Whitey a TEI and not just an informant ?

      2. What about when Jerry said to congress after they brought up some memo or file pertaining to his green light to whitey “Alright, you got me.” ?

        1. Jim:

          Gerry was referring to a memo that he had sent to Washington, DC that contradicted what he had been telling the committee that he did not have enough evidence to prosecute Whitey or Stevie. Remember at the time he testified he was a sick man. He had had a serious stroke and heart condition in the late 1990s. I was at the hearing and he looked tough and walked poorly which showed he was still suffering. I believe Morris went into him and had him take a pass on Whitey and Stevie but he didn’t want to admit that. I don’t know why he wanted to run from that issue. He said he knew Whitey and Stevie were murderers but back at the time of the Race Fix case that was not known. So my guess, and its only a guess, is that he did not want it to stand that he let murderers walk when had he had the capability to look back he’d have known that when Morris approached him – and he was working with Morris in getting evidence for a wire on the Angiulos – he was letting a couple of bad hoodlums off the hook in exchange for Morris telling him he needed them for the Angiulo investigation.

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