Cold Cases and Hot Questions:

cold caseYesterday a Boston police sergeant detective testified whose name is William Dugan Doogan.  He is in charge of the Boston Police Department cold case department or unit. He defined a cold case as a murder that has remained unsolved for more than ten years. The files on the cases are stored in the Boston Police Archives over in Hyde Park. The purpose of his testimony is to show photographs of the scene and the deceased which have been kept in the archives since the incidents which we are concerned about in this case happened.

He answered questions by Zachary Hafer to the effect: “Is this picture of the phone booth with all the bullets holes in it and a picture of a person in that booth riddled with bullets that was taken from the files in the archives concerning the murder of Eddie Connors?”

Eddie owned the Bulldog Tavern in Savin Hill up at the T station. He had such underworld luminaries hanging around up there as Billy Kelly. Who is Billy Kelly? I’d say ask the retired Boston detective Billy Stewart but he’s dead now so I’ll have to answer. He’s just one of the many nice guys Eddie hung around with. Billy’s sitting in death row in Florida. Has been there for many years like since 1984. I guess it’s that Southern sun that makes things go very slowly down there like John Connolly’s appeal. Billy was thought to be involved in the George Hamilton murder up here but that’s another story. You’ll have to ask John Kivlan about that case – he prosecuted some of the clean fingernail types who were interested in having Hamilton leave their partnership and were thought to be behind hiring the hit man in Norfolk County who shot Hamilton when he answered the ring of his door bell.

I’ve digressed as I sometimes do since one thing in this case conjures up thoughts of other. Back to the story. At the end of Sergeant Doogan’s testimony putting in the pictures, the team of Carney and Brennan (C&B) announced they had no questions. Court adjourned for the day about a half hour earIy. I figured that was going to happen so I had left for the day as soon as Doogan began testifying. I took a chance there would be no follow-up on Doogan’s questions because I had the gut feeling the dog lost its fight.  That’s not the way the day should have ended though. That’s why I’m sensing the white towel has been chucked into the ring.

People who comment here tell me I’m wrong. C & B have some grand strategy that they are following. That could be so but I don’t see it yet. I may have a better understanding of it after the next two days.  I’ll talk more about it on Saturday in my Whitey’s Weekly Wrap after I digest things.

Right now I’m suggesting that Doogan should not have been allowed to stroll out of the court without having been asked a few questions to keep the jury into the idea of the case which is things aren’t what they appear to be and there’s a lot more going on with the government that is being kept from you.  At least that’s what I think the case is about if you’re hoping to make the jury come back with a verdict based not so much on the evidence but on its revulsion to the government.

During Martorano’s cross-examination Whitey’s lawyer Hank Brennan did a good job showing that although Marorano told the federals about his brother James, Howie Winter, and Pat Nee being involved in murders, he has never been called in to court to testify about these murders. Martorano agreed. On re-direct examination Wyshak came back and said (leading all the way) you testified in front of a grand jury about your brother James, Howie Winter and Pat Nee, didn’t you. Martorano agreed. So it looked like Brennan was trying to mislead the jury when he said Martorano was never called in to testify.

However it is Wyshak who is doing the misleading because he, and Martorano, knew that his testimony was before a federal grand jury which cannot return an indictment on a murder charge unless it is part of a RICO case and any RICO charge against Jimmy Martorano, Pat Nee or Howie Winter was out of the question because of the statute of limitations.  Telling a federal jury about an old murder is the equivalent of telling it to a gathering of village elders in Afghanistan. Nothing can come of it. He should have been asked if he ever testified before a state grand jury. But that’s another post.

Now back to Sergeant Doogan.  He should have been asked by C & B more about the cold case files. What is done to make them a little hotter. What type of evidence makes them want to sic detectives after a suspect? Whether anytime they get fresh evidence they review a cold case? What is done? Is it done all the time? Do they get a DA involved? What have they done about the evidence Jimmy Martorano murdered someone? What about Pat Nee? What about Howie Winter? Have they pulled those files?  If not why not?

The answers don’t matter. Lay the foundation. Let the jury think something not quite on the up and up. Let it question what is happening in this case. It was a missed opportunity at an important point in the trial.

8 thoughts on “Cold Cases and Hot Questions:

  1. Dear Matt,

    I see here that you draw your only reference to “John Kivlan,” who apparently is a former First Assistant District Attorney of Norfolk County. Did your work with Mr. Kivlan to any degree during your many years of meritorious service in that office? I came across a document referring to him being consulted in an investigation regarding the FBI’s use of informants, also in connection with the James Bulger case.

    I am eager to hear what his involvement or knowledge may have been, if any. Only you know that answer, because of lived experience. I am hopeful that you may be willing to share any insights you may have.

    In anticipation,

    1. Jay:

      John Kivlan is a good friend and one of the top prosecutors in the state. I’m not sure what you are referring to.

      1. Dear Matt,

        I’m asking, “Did John Kivlan assist in pursuing James Bulger and members of the organized crime community?” I’ll also ask, “Are you aware of why he was consulted by the House Judiciary Committee Chair in 2004 during its investigation into the FBI’s nexus with informants?”

        Here is the referring document I found, as a reference point:


        “On August 4, 2003, Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., traveled on an investigatory trip to Boston. During this trip, the Chairman met with Martin G. Weinberg, a criminal defense attorney who represented confidential informant John Martorano; Gerald O’Neill, former editor of the Boston Globe and author of the book Black Mass: The Irish Mob, the FBI, and a Devil’s Deal; Robert Long, former Detective Lieutenant of the
        Massachusetts State Police; and John Kivlan, former First
        Assistant District Attorney for Norfolk County. Based upon this
        visit, Chairman Sensenbrenner directed further Committee investigation.”

        1. Please note I intended that to state, “…in 2003.” The post was submitted prematurely due to a mistyped key. In addition to the House Committee on Governmental Reform, the House Judiciary Committee conducted its own series of hearings and investigations into the informant matter as well. I am asking why Kivla may have been consulted, as I do not recall his name ever having come up as a player in these events at all. Thank you very much for taking the time to reply; as an initial matter, I asked if you knew Mr. Kivlan. If this was answered in the negative, these subsequent questions would be moot. Have a great night, Matt! I look forward to any reply.

          1. Jay:

            As to the Judiciary Committee hearings, Delahunt was on that committee and Kivlan was working with Delahunt’s office at the time. I know Kivlan and Delahunt often talked about what the FBI was doing from conversations I’ve had with Delahunt. But none of that would have had anything to do with Whitey’s situation.

        2. Jay:

          Kivlan had nothing to do with pursuing Bulger or organized crime. He did the top murder cases and other top priority cases in the office while I did the OC stuff. He did prosecute Abe Sarkis and some of the other OC guys off of my wiretap done with Naimovich because it was thought I would have a conflict of interest being a witness for Naimovich in the federal court and prosecuting the case that came off of the wiretap.

          I think one of the reasons Sensenbrenner met with Kivlan would be because Kivlan worked closely with Delahunt when he was in Congress and he may have been looking for some input into some of the players. It would have had nothing to do with Whitey. I’ll double check that the next time I talk to Kivlan – he never mentioned it to me that I recall but it has to be very administrative or he would have asked me about it.

          1. Dear Matt,

            Thanks so much! As your sole reference to ADA Kivlan on this blog pertained to white collar crimes, I was similarly confused about either why you would not mention him given that he was consulted during an investigation into the FBI informant matter. Your answer clarifies exactly why, that he was not involved in those matters. It also raises the new question of why exactly was he consulted — why not consult the District Attorney at that time, William Keating? I would greatly appreciate any future insights about this, when you are able to ask him directly. In fact, why weren’t you consulted, given your expertise and firsthand knowledge in this area of investigation and prosecution?

            One clarifying question: In terms of the organizational hierarchy, from District Attorney at the top, where does “First Assistant District Attorney” fall, and where does your prior role of Deputy District Attorney fall? Is a “First Assistant” the same as “Deputy”?

            Thanks again for understanding the nature of this particular inquiry.


            1. Jay:

              When Keating was DA none of the things that Congress was interested in were happening. Kivlan was probably contacted because Delahunt suggested that he be contacted. Keep in mind Delahunt was DA when much of the stuff involving the things around Whitey occurred. I’m not sure what Sensenbrenner was looking for. Meeting with O’Neill and Marty Weinberger would indicate it had something to do with the Black Mass story although it indicates Weinberger represented Martorano so that also would be something relating to Whitey. I’m sure Delahunt and Sensenbrenner talked between themselves about these matters in DC.

              If Sensenbrenner was looking for something that I knew the Delahunt would have directed him to me. Why he met with Kivlan, if he did, had nothing to do with me or something I had involvement. Had it, Kivlan would have contacted me.

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