Daily Wrap: Thursday, July 25, 2013:

IMG_2339The day ended with the prosecution telling the judge their case will finally end tomorrow with two witnesses. The judge then had another side bar which was held outside the hearing and view of the all.

The rest of the day finished up with Kevin O’Neill, one of the Triple O’s owners. He spoke about the extortion of Ray Slinger at his bar which was conducted by Whitey and how the two times Ray visited Whitey he’d go up stairs to talk to him and he’d come down the stairs and he appeared shaken.

Whitey made O’Neill go and pick up the money from Ray. O’Neill said he complained to Whitey about it saying that using his joint for that stuff could cost him his liquor license. Whitey said something back to him to the effect stop worrying about your license and worry about your life.

Next witness was Richard Buccheri who presents pretty well on direct examination as a father, grand father, and even great grand father who is in the construction business. He answered the questions in a forthright manner and told about the truly horrible incident where he is taken to the cabana behind Flemmi’s mother’s house by Flemm in order to have a meeting with Whitey.

Whitey is sitting there with a shotgun and complains that he insulted his surrogate son Kevin Weeks. He told him with the shotgun in his mouth that he had to pay for the insult – it would cost him $200,000. Then when he agreed Whitey said he was a stand up guy or something like that but then put a .45 caliber pistol to his head and said if he didn’t pay it he’d kill him and his family.

He then went to Quincy with Flemmi – he told him he didn’t have $200,000 in cash but would give him a check for $200,000. They would pretend it related to a real estate transaction.

Just when I thought that here’s another business man like Solimando who was picked out of the blue to be extorted, cross-examination started. It turns out Buccheri is a life long friend of John and Jimmy Martorano. Not only that he had calls from John when he was on the lam and visited with him in Florida. He also visited Jimmy when he was in prison.

When asked what he thought they did for a living he said he never asked. When asked why he thought Jimmy was in prison he said he never inquired. When asked why he thought John had gone to Florida he had no idea. As far as he knew it could very well be for long visit to Disneyland. He read about John in the newspapers but didn’t read enough to come to a conclusion about what he did.

When he was pressed he reacted like some of the gangsters who testified. He got angry and started to ask questions back at the defense counsel. It’s funny how something looks one way until you see it from another point of view and you get the exact opposite feeling.

The best news of the day was that Flemmi is finally gone. I have the feeling that Wyshak won’t be trying to spring him out of prison before his demise because Carney and Brennan raised the issue. That made me feel a little better.

The overall effect of the day was to show Flemmi had a great incentive to lie and that he has lied in the past; that Whitey is indeed a violent and vicious criminal who threatened people lives and was a man to be feared. O’Neill who came across as a reluctant government witness just added to what we’ve heard from all the other second level gangsters from Southie that Whitey was one to be feared and respected.

After the jury left for the day, the judge got into the issue of going through the defendant’s witness list. She seemed to have gone down the list and for every one she excluded she left another one in.

FBI agent Fitzpatrick should be interesting as should Murderman when he’s brought back for one or two questions. Hearing from Marion Hussey will be informative but I’m not sure she’s been cleared yet. Wisely attorney Kevin Curry was withdrawn from the defendant’s list.

I made a prediction this morning about who would be given the OK and who would not; I was right on Kelly and Albano; wrong on the 4 FBI agents because even the judge is buying into the idea the informant issue is something that should be inflicted on the jurors.

Finally I should mention that during today Billy Bulger’s name came into play on three occasions: on redirect when Wyshak asked Flemmi about him coming into Flemmi’s mother’s house when he was meeting with agents for dinner; during O’Neill’s testimony when he said he was wrongfully accused as having been involved in a murder and paying off witnesses. The case was nolle prossed and his lawyer was Billy; and finally during Bucchieri’s testimony when he said he did some work on Billy’s house, his outside steps and something inside. He said Flemmi paid for it. Interesting that Buccieri got paid for his work.

I want to see how the press plays up the mention of his name.

All in all I’d say we treaded water today. We just moved along with the current that is taking us ever more slowly up to the day of the guilty finding. Some interesting things to come which will all be overshadowed by Whitey’s testimony. That’ll make all of this worth while.  Thanks for tuning in.

 

18 thoughts on “Daily Wrap: Thursday, July 25, 2013:

  1. Matt: given the persons the judge is allowing the defense to call, how well, do you think, C&B will fare in relating to the jury the complex, lengthy and underlying corruption within the DOJ and other gov’t entities?

  2. During this trial, the one fact Wyshak definitely proved beyond any reasonable doubt is that he obsesses over Bill Bulger and will do anything to attack him. Today, Wyshak eliminated any lingering doubt when on redirect he asked Flemmi an improper question for the sole purpose of  attacking Bill Bulger.  The question was clearly improper because it was beyond the scope of Wyshak’s own direct exam and well beyond the scope of cross exam.  Furthermore, it was a leading question which Wyshak had obviously rehearsed with Flemmi this morning before court.  Flemmi blurted out the answer before Carney could object.

    What has not been resolved, however, is how Wyshak’s obsession and raw hatred came about.  What drives Wyshak to smear Bill Bulger with paid witnesses and illegal leaks to news reporters?

    I don’t know the answer for certain, but I suspect the answer is as simple as the ugliest of all human emotions, envy.

    Wyshak envies everything that Bill Bulger has and all that Bill has achieved in his life. Bulger has a very large and close knit family. Wyshak neglected his family to pursue his obsessions with disastrous consequences.  

    Bill Bulger had a lengthy and stellar career in public service without becoming beholden to the media or any special interests.  His loyalty to his constituents got him reelected every two years. His fellow legislators reelected him as their President every year for 17 yrs.  

    Wyshak, on the other hand, violates the law and his oath of office on a regular basis to maintain his relationship with the media through illegal leaks and as an “anonymous law enforcement source”. During this trial, Wyshak has been unable to conform his behavior to even the most fundamental rules of court.

    Wyshak skulks behind the scenes knowing any investigation into his behavior would reveal he has compromised himself.

    Bill Bulger, however, was investigated by every State Attorney General and US Attorney who was in office during his career. He was targeted by the Globe’s illustrious Spotlight Team on about a dozen occasions.  The media attacked Bulger unrelentingly because he remained independent of them.  He was never “with” any media outlet.  Still he retired without ever so much as an ethics violation.  We even learned during this trial that it was the media who contrived to have the corrupt agent Morris open an investigation of him.  Twice!  Only a very honest man could withstand that scrutiny.

    1. Dotty,

      As I guy that would generally rather vote for a communist than a democrat, and disagreed with just about every position Bill Bulger ever took on an issue, I couldn’t agree with you more. He is twice the man Wyshak could ever hope to be.

      The media will never admit it no matter what proof they are battered over the head with. Hopefully, he is at peace with himself knowing that his friends, family, and those of us that care about the the truth can see through the smokescreen of corruption.

    2. Dotty,

      True that and well said. I’ve been wondering more each day what compels Wyshak to coach each of his witnesses towards the irrelevant and collateral issue of smearing Bill Bulger. I thought maybe he’s just anti-Irish Catholic and anti-South Boston, but Wyshak is deeply haunted by Bill Bulger. It makes good common sense that Wyshak’s destructive drive is rooted in jealousy.
      -P

      1. I think some Irish kids beat the living ctap put of him and humilated him on a fee occasions when a kid. Same theory I have for dershiwitz.
        South Boston is all those kids that made his childhood painful at times. Bill Bulger bring corrupt is a story his psyche is more than willing to accept so when he arrived here from ny and was told by globe and morris and others that bill bulger was corrupt it was game set match on that issue.
        And that was over twenty years ago.
        Wyshak is using this trial as something concrete to which he applies the Alice wonderland version of the world playing out in his mind. IMHO
        (BTW I am not a doctor. Effin medical board. Its all politics with them)

        1. Ernie:
          Yeah, it’s probably true that Wyshak had as great dislike for Irish kids from Southie. Now this is a chance for him to get his revenge. I don’t know where Dershowitz’s problems stem from but he spent his life in the library so he would’t have run into any Irish kids there. Maybe it was just an irrational dislike of people who enjoyed themelves through song and laughter but I’m sure he was disrespected by most Irish.

          He came to town as the caped crusader and was sucked in by the Globe.

  3. 1) Defense lawyers are sometimes looked down on by some for defending horrible people and therefore providing a disservice to society. I would argue that C&B did more of a public service today for society by introducing the release rule to the news than the DOJ has done this entire trial getting one criminal. I know that wasn’t their sole intention but it still qualifies as the most noble endeavor of the whole disgusting trial.

    2) VERY interesting when looking at multiple Twitter feeds which authors/newsmen mentioned the release rule at all, which ones barely brushed on it and who made a big deal of it (MTC only, I am afraid).

    3) Was the Buccieri misfire as simple as poor witness coaching? If the guy just said “well, allegedly they were S.O.B.’s” I think it would have had less impact, particularly when the witness was coming on at the end of the case when it has been made clear who the Martoranos are. Within a few minutes, he went from “that poor victim” to “you were messing with fire and got burned” to “you sound like you are just as shady as these guys”

    4) Buccheri came across to me as just another redundant victim witness that really didn’t strengthen the case. I don’t know if I would go as far as to suggest he hurt the case like Benji did but if I was a juror I would be WAY past being sick of the degenerate parade. As you mentioned yourself, Matt, if the jury doesn’t believe the defendant was an extortionist before they put Buccheri on, they never were going to believe it.

    5)Finally, I found it amusing that some of the overweight portly newsmen on my feed (Cullen/Carr) really had a good time making fun of Kevin O’Neils weight issue but the skinny guys (Adam Reilly/Milton Valencia) barely noticed it.

    1. Another:
      1. C&B are doing a good job, they are not afraid to go right to the core of the matter. I think having a client like Whitey who knows he is doomed bucks tehm up so he orders them to give no ground anywhere.

      2. Most of the media seem intent on day by day posting with little historical knowledge and little desire to see the big picture. I keep telling myself thee is no deal to let Flemmi out and a voice tells me to stop lying to myself.

      3. You can’t take the gangster out of the gangster. His loyalty was to the Martorano brothers and not the truth. I think that became evident to the jury.

      4. Buccheri added nothing because we already knew Whitey is a vicious person. He probably hurt more than he helped because he seemed to be blatantly lying saying he knew guys for 50 years but had no idea what they did for a living.

      5. I can’t tell you how they acted in the overflow press room where I observed them because I believe that is off limits to my reporting. But you have come close to what was going on.

    2. I disagree strongly on your #5. I did not like How Reilly went after O’Neil.

      Some of the tweets from @reillyadam below

      This is delicate, but…Kevin O’Neil bears more than a passing resemblance to Tip O’Neill. #bulger

      O’Neil looks less comfortable on the stand than any other witness we’ve seen. By a wide margin (no pun intended). #bulger

      Corpulent, phlegmatic, gravel-voiced, puffy-faced, truculent. O’Neil’s a piece of work. #bulger

      Really wish you could see Kevin O’Neil, the ex-Triple O’s owner now on stand. He’s like a cartoon version of a criminal Irish bar owner.

      1. Margaret –

        While I believe Reilly’s comments were mild relatively speaking, you make a good point that they are beyond “barely noticing it”. I will concede the point and that I stand corrected.

        However, I still find the flurry of mean spirited comments over this man’s weight to be less than professional. I am sure we can agree that all the comments were unnecessary and particularly insensitive.

        1. Yes, agree! Kevin Cullen does it again today “Stevie Flemmi’s gone back to his hole. Kevin O’Neil gone back to his food. Whitey’s still wearing green. The prosecution’s final day”
          Enough already!

  4. Matt,

    What does the updated list look like aside from whom you mentioned? Did Officer nunzio get excluded?

    1. Jim:

      I’m not sure – sorry – so much of it did not happen in open court but between counsel. Not sure about Nunzio.

  5. Or could it be that the Johnny, in his latest contract to’get’ Bulger for Wyshak (to collect the payment of freedom) recruited his ‘friends’ to either exaggerate or swap out players in their story?

    Having Martorano tell you you’d better say something and knowing he was living in Milford with permission to murder would be a pretty good motivator

  6. It’s more than a little curious that all of the Martorano brothers’ friends got extorted by Whitey….Buccieri, Lindhom, Berenson, Solimondo, Callahan, etc.

    The Matoranos are both “very capable guys” and they never attempted to stop Whitey? The more likely scenario seems to be that the Martoranos set up all of their “friends” for the shake downs. In the cases of Berenson, Solimondo and Lindholm, Flemmi said Martorano got an equal cut of the money. I wonder how much of Buccieri’s money went to his “good friends” the Martoranos. Were the Martoranos even charged with any of the extortions of their friends?
    It’s hard to gauge if it’s better to have the Martoranos as your friends or your enemies.
    Hopefully this trial connected the dots for all the Martoranos’ “friends” still above ground. I imagine any enemies have already been alleviated of their worldly concerns.
    -P

    1. In my disgust over this trial, Patty, I totally never put that all together. You are right, being friends with the Martonanos is really dangerous and expensive. If you were his enemy, at least you had a 30% chance he would kill someone else by accident. Lifelong friends seemed to have less chance of an issue.

      It is also seems logical that those who carry on in these circles are probably less likely to go look up a LEO, for a number of reasons. Hanging around gangsters will make you a more desirable and attainable target.

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