Daily Wrap: Thursday, August 1, 2013


I tweeted during Wyshak’s cross-examination of Heather Hoffman the following: “This cross-examination will be talked about in all law school classes far down into the future. Everyone is on edge of their seat.”

All of that was not true. One sentence was but the other wasn’t.

Not everyone was on the edge of her seat. Two or three people were but that was because they were dozing off. Most of us perched patiently leaning back in our chairs inwardly pleading for Wyshak to sit down. But it was not to be, he ran on until after one o’clock.

The other sentence is true. His cross should be taught in every evidence class in all our law schools as an example of how not to cross-examine a witness. To know this you have to put this in context.

This is a 32 count federal indictment charging violation of the drug, weapons, money laundering and gaming laws along with extortion and racketeering. The racketeering indictment has 19 murders as predicate offenses. Finding Whitey responsible on two of the 19 will prove the indictment. The issue is whether allowing Flemmi to keep the 7 properties induced his cooperation. This is so far removed from the real issues of the trial that it was barely admissible.

The witness Hoffman is a lawyer and highly skilled woman earns her living as a title examiner. She really knew her business. She testified on direct that she was asked to do the ownership search of 7 properties. She did and she presented the results. The purpose of her testimony was to  show Flemmi owned the properties.

Wyshak wanted to show that she had no idea of the value of each of the properties. He could have done that with one question or perhaps 7 if he wanted to deal individually with each property. But he didn’t do that, he wanted to prove, I think, that he knew something about property valuation. But in doing it he showed how little he knew. He couldn’t get it in his head that this slight soft spoken woman had a big brain and a brimful of intrepidness. She was an expert in the area and he wasn’t. Even more, she wasn’t going to be bullied by his loud voice.

He’d give a little speech and end it by saying, “is my understanding correct?” Invariably she’d say “no.” She’d then add in all the factors that he left out. He’d get a little angrier, raise his voice, go through another hypothetical question and she’d slap him down again. Mercifully after fifty minutes of testimony, thirty on cross examination she stepped off the stand. Fifty minutes on an issue that means next to nothing.

Earlier State Police Lieutenant Detective Steve Johnson testified. He’s been on the job over 31 years and has been tied in with this case for, as he said, “too long.” He made an excellent witness being quite honest, intelligent and forthright answering the questions straight out without equivocation, mostly with a yes or no, or when necessary a cogent explanation.

He testified for about 40 minutes. Brennan got out of him a few inconsistencies in the testimony of the gangsters which probably backfired on Brennan because there were so few which would mean all the rest of their testimony was consistent with their first statements. The big issue during his short testimony was whether when Whitey shot Bucky Barrett in the head, Martorano was in front of him or behind him. It seemed both sides agreed that Whitey shot him which seems to me to be the critical issue.

As far as I was concerned everything we did after recess will have no bearing on the case so it was pretty much a waste of time.

Did you ever notice in baseball that some pitchers seem to be very good against certain batters; in football one coach always beats the other no matter how their teams are doing otherwise; in chess a top master can’t seem to beat one particular person who is ranked much lower. We say of the person who routinely comes out ahead of the other person that he’s got the other person’s number because there seems to be some type of psychological factor that causes one to continually be thrown off his game by the other.

It seems to me in this case Carney has got Wyshak’s number. So much so that it has reached the point today where Wyshak was moaning to Judge Casper that she should hold Carney in contempt. So much so that a case that could have been over in five weeks is now entering its eighth week. So much so that reporters in the courtroom said Whitey was actually laughing at Wyshak as Heather Hoffmann left him babbling. 

Early on Carney knew Wyshak would go chasing off after the informant issue like a Colonel Jackson’s hounds chasing the British down the Mississippi in 1812. Wyshak brought it into the case trying to prove Whitey was one rather than putting the onus on Whitey to prove he wasn’t. Opening the informant issue, he opened the issue of the FBI. Doing that we got involved in discussing John Connolly and John Morris, neither man being relevant to the issues pending in the trial. Then look at all the wasted time on money laundering.

In the first 7 days of the trial Wyshak had put in sufficient evidence to win the gaming, drug related, money laundering, and gun charges, which were pretty much conceded by Whitey’s lawyers, and evidence on 15 of the 19 murders. Then things began to fall apart and we’ve fallen to where we are today.

There is good news ahead; tomorrow we will find out if Whitey will testify. There is bad news too; we may find out that Whitey will testify.

I know everyone wants to hear him but I’ve pretty much had my fill with gangster testimony. I never watched those gangster programs like the Soparanos. Never understood the fascination Americans have with them. Hearing the tale of one less gangster would suit me just fine.

































































































































































































































































15 thoughts on “Daily Wrap: Thursday, August 1, 2013

  1. MTC
    The reason that your not into The Sopranos, The Untouchables et cetera is probably your up close and personal experiences through which you got to know these types of thugs. I would bet that you met very few that showed you much of anything as human beings. Some of us romanticize the lowlife and would want to waste time in their company.

    You can walk with your head held high. This mess too shall pass and unless the defendant can make himself disappear with a snap of his fingertips I don’t see him and his story reaching anywhere near the status of the big name hoodlums. In the scheme of things he is small potatoes and his story doesn’t have a hook for Hollywood. South Boston isn’t South Boston anymore.
    Now if he hadn’t been caught he might have joined company with the bird that jumped out of the plane with the bag of loot or Emiliano Zapata on his white steed.

    Mr. Dark White may soon be eclipsed by this guy they pinched in North Reading with a warehouse of cash and cannabis, who knows and the beat goes on.

    1. Hopalong:

      I agree. From afar it seems like there is something to them, but close up your only feeling is to run. It hard to get across the squalor of their lives an world.

      Whitey is less of a man and an event than he thinks he is and it is less of a story than our local press would have us believe since it is being greeted throughtout America with a big yawn and shrug. As a friend told me when I started talking about something that happened in the 1970s that it was ancient history. We might as well be trying Attila the Hun for all its importance this trial is to present day America.

  2. This gets weirder. The defrocked pedophile priest in on e photo had confessed his crimes to the former Bruin, Nilan, who appears in the photo with Bulger and the Stanley cup. http://www.boston.com/news/daily/21/abuse_ryan.htm

    Nilan was married to the daighter of Teresa Stanley’s (Bulger’s main girlfriend before he went underground). What on the world?

    And a man named David Carney was one of Bryan’s accusers…and a friend of Nilan.

    1. St.

      Never knew all that. The priest confesses to a hockey player that he molested the hockey player’s friend. The hockey player is married to a woman Whitey brought up like a daughter. The priest is defrocked and goes off and marries ? The hockey player’s friend get some extra cash. I wonder what he did with it. Did he give some of it to the priest as start up money like the federals gave to Murderman John when he got out of prison. Was the friend molested orlooking for a lottery win? It’d make a good short story.

      Thanks for the information.

    2. Just a little bit more information:

      David Carney testified about abuse from Monsignor Frederick Ryan, defrocked, and last know whereabouts is Chelsea, living with his niece.

      A former priest, Bill Carney, formerly from Ayrfield, Dublin was arrested in London sometime around April 30, 2013 and will go to court soon. Convicted internally by Church in 1992 and received 30,000 pounds. Moved to Scotland and married unsuspecting woman. His crimes were committed before 2003 Sex Offenders Act in Ireland. Thus, not reported. Bad case. Many kids.

      1. Firefly:

        Thanks for the update – I don’t suppose the Carney’s are related. Everyone agreed that it was a major mistake for defense to submit that picture – but what are the odds that the one picture they have of Whitey with a priest the priest turns out to be rotten – maybe that’s why Whitey decided not to testify – the priest scandal is a great example of you can’t tell what’s in a package by looking at the wrapping.

        1. The only way I can see the picture makes any sense as an accident:

          1. The online version of the The Boston Globe – launched in 1995 and ranked one of the top 10 newspaper websites in America, it Wiki is true – was not frequented by the Gaskos.


          I remember the above as shocking.

          2. Whitey would have to have totally missed the downfall of the highest ranking person in the Church, someone he was photographed with.

          What leads me to believe it is not an accident:

          1. In St. Margaret’s Boston Globe article, Nilan is so upset by what he has been told about Garland, Carney and an unnamed man who continued in a “relationship” until 1999 (according to Ryan). Nilan says that Ryan officiated at his marriage.

          2. Garland says Ryan insisted that he officiate Ryan’s marriage, groped him before the ceremony, and held power over Garland by threatening to reveal photographs taken of Garland during the abuse.

          3. Carney says his future marriage was destroyed by Ryan.

          I’m finding this difficult to keep writing about, but both Carney and Garland have kids. Garland said he does not want something like this to happen to his children.

          In the Globe Spotlight article, Garland says:

          ”Everyone knew there was something wrong with me,” Garland said in an interview. ”I was good. I was bad. I was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

          Garland said that only recently, during treatment for alcoholism and drug abuse at a Nevada clinic, did he associate his substance abuse and depression with Ryan’s alleged sexual molestations.

          Said Garland: ”I want to tell everyone, if this happend to you, come forward. Don’t allow this to happen to other kids.”


          How are the two pictures of Ryan and Nilan accidents?

  3. What happens if WB takes the stand for two hours of direct on Friday then come back Monday and decides not to testify? Did WB laugh at Wyshak ? Could you tell how the jury reacted? If the jury found the prosecutor’s frustration amusing then WB may have allies on the panel. A hung jury may not an impossibility. 2. Noticed a reporter on CH. 7 ask the question that was posed here. ” What happens if WB takes the fifth on cross?”

    1. N:

      1. Whitey taking the stand for 2 hours and coming back and not testifying would be an exercise in futility. If he’s of the mind to tell his story he’s of the mind to tell all of it. As I said he’s a fool to do it and I don’t want to listen to him tell his version of history – I’ve got a feeling he’s going to tell a long, long story – but I do recognize it will be highly anticipated and greatly followed. I don’t know how the jury reacted. If they had any sense they’d have stopped listening to the bumbling oaf weeks ago. You can’t believe the level of at which they practice. I don’t see a hung jury – too many bodies.

      2. This blog has been ahead of everyone – I’m in a room with about 30 reporters and on occasion I find it difficult to keep my mouth shut at some of the tactics and find myself saying “that’s ridiculous’ or “how could he ask that question” or “what a stupid objection” – sometimes I get looks – but most of the people there are like court reporters who haven’t been to trials before – the really don’t know what is going on.

      3. I see the NY Daily News or NY Post has said the priest in the picture with Whitey is the highest ranking pedophile priest in Boston’s history. What would ever possess Whitey to use that picture?

  4. Too many gangsters,

    one of whom not only shot someone in the eye but in the ear as well.

    They’re exhausting and must be monitored

    We’ve kids to raise.

    *Thanks to you, Matt, and to All of You*

    The morning glories have tumbled out and up.
    Summertime magic.

    1. Firefly:

      Keep your children safe. The gangsters we will always have with us although it seems everyone has stopped looking for them since Whitey went away in 1995. When was the last gangster arrested in Boston or are they all FBI protected informants.

      1. Yes,
        The Legend of Whitey
        covers up
        the disgustingness
        of those who roam
        our cities
        and towns.

        I don’t care what Whitey does.

        I Do care what Messrs. Holder and Comey
        decide to do with our little sliver of the Universe.

        Grow a washerwoman’s backbone and help us
        Clean This Up.

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