Day Two Of Championship Week: Morning Ruminations

swan lakeWe’re back at the courthouse for the final warm-ups and then we move on to the big show. Yesterday, we didn’t move more than about half way through the story of Kevin Weeks. If you’ve heard the story before, as I have when he testified against imprisoned FBI agent John Connolly, yesterday it didn’t seem to have much zing to it. That was one thing but the real problem was that too much of yesterday was spent on side matters like money laundering. Things like that put me at a loss to figure out what the jurors and the prosecutors are thinking.

Imagine sitting in the jury box and listening to the witness describe going down to the waterfront, telling the defendant “the balloon is rising” and then “the balloon is in the air” and hearing how the defendant with a masked companion machine-gunned the balloon and another guy and how the witness met with the defendant afterwards and got rid of the guns into the ocean at Marina Bay. Then going from that to listening to the witness for a good three-quarters of an hour explaining how he bought a liquor store, got involved in setting up a scam where it looked like they worked when they didn’t, and did some real estate transactions where they phonied up the figures. To top it off to have to listen to the prosecutor Kelly repeat over and over again, “where did you get the money to do that” and the defendant say “from drug dealing, bookies, extortions,” and having the prosecutor retort, “so it was dirty money.”

Doesn’t any juror paying attention have to say, “yeah, the defendants a criminal, his lawyer’s already said he’s a drug dealer, money launderer and bookie, so why you wasting our time showing us exhibits containing fifty checks he received that were used to wash his illegal gains. It’s not an issue? You rush through the murders and belabor the schemes? What’s going on?”

This brings me to the prosecutors. If they convict Whitey of money laundering and he is acquitted of the murders are they going to be pleased?  I know they will tout it as a big win as will the media. Headlines will shout: “Whitey Convicted!” But is that what they want? Why their timidity.

Why in the first place did they throw all these other counts in with the RICO charges of conspiracy and racketeering with the underlying offenses the 19 murderers?  Some so-called media experts have told the public there are 19 counts of murder. They are wrong. Only one count relates to the murders because the federals have no jurisdiction over the murders. There are  thirty some odd counts against Whitey and only one is important to this case and to the history of this saga – the one involving the 19 murders as predicate acts.

I suggest this shows the bankruptcy of the prosecutors’ position.  They were afraid of going with the murders alone. Think of what a nice clean case it would have been, although I admit of far less interest since some of the drug dealers were enjoyable to watch, if we just tried the 19 murders. No financial records; no page after page of checks, just some blood and gore over and over until the jury wanted to rise up and lynch Whitey in the courtroom.

The prosecutors’ fussiness over every speck of wrongdoing in Whitey’s life fits well in the federal system.  It’s like the federal court itself, too antiseptic. Too prissy. Too removed from real life. So removed, it has drained all the drama out of the trial (I hope J.W. puts some back in) so that rather than listening to an intriguing presentation I feel like I’m in an IRS office having my taxes audited.  It’s like going to a boxing match and seeing a double brace of swan-like figures in tutus from the Tchaikovsky ballet down the street cavorting around the ring.

Today we have a chance to get some drama. Three gruesome murders are on tap. The bloody execution of Bucky Barrett which seems to be trade mark Whitey; the afternoon torture, inept strangling and then bullet in the head murder of John McIntye that seems strange to connect to Whitey since Pat Nee in whose brother’s house he was murdered (Nee admits brining to the house and burying him) was the one with the motive and who McIntyre could jam in; and finally, the most cruel, and one Whitey is desperate to fend off, and most unnecessary because of the total villainy that brought it about, that of Deborah Hussey, the young woman Steven Flemmi abused all her life, turned her into a prostitute and drug addict, and took all that was beautiful in a young woman’s life and crushed it under his vile heel and when she finally started to heal he murdered her.

Unless the prosecutors can put some zip back into the case and make the jury feel less like they are judging an accounting bee and more like they have to bring justice to these victims, the prosecutors are in danger of winning 30 counts and losing the case. I hope today there’s more Carmen and less Odette.


10 replies on “Day Two Of Championship Week: Morning Ruminations”

  1. Matt- the answer to the question regarding the Fed’s charging Whitey with the kitchen sink seems to me to be 1)the prosecution always over-charges for a variety of reason e.g it allows for a lesser-include offense verdict and more room for a plea(not here of course):2)they want to overload the jury with info in hopes of keeping the jury’s off the ball, i.e. why let the murderers walk while going so hard after Whitey;and/or 3)if this guy did all this heinous stuff, you got to find him guilty of something. In the end it’s about arrogance and finally corruption-not just of the system, but of the mind-set of the US Attorneys office.

    1. Chaco:

      I agree. Over charge, confuse the jury, and get a mixed verdict – “he must have done some of those things” – pretty good summation of the prosecution strategy. But if they lose the murders, that will be something that should not have happen if they played it straight up.

  2. Matt- Res Shea is putting on a nice little bragging session on greater Boston. He seems upset that he is not a part of this fun. Carney got Kevin to admit he is a liar and also received a nice fist fight challenge? Kevin also claimed he can move around Southie and north end with not a worry? Do you think that is true? or do you think he is just talking shit? also do you have any thoughts on why MURDERMAN didn’t get an F bomb from Bulger did he not use the word rat ? just wondering your opinion.

    1. Doubting:

      Everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame – I though Red wrote a book and that was his moment in the sun – what value does he now have since he was identified as a middle level drug dealer – not the big deal he writes about in his book –

      Carney did get the admission that he lies to help himself and he’s good at it.

      Kevin did say he lives in Southie and goes in the North End without worry suggesting he is so tough no one would dare say anything to him. If they did call him a rat they’d be sorry and he offered to give Carney a chance to see what would happen.

      I don’t know if he is just all talk or what but he does live in Southie – he has been working construction in the area – so I guess the only thing he can do is to take that attitude and live like he did when Whitey was around. In the old days that would have been dangerous and someone would want to make his bones by taking him on – maybe Southie and the North End has changed – Weeks is in his late 50s so many might figure he’s an old man and give him a pass .

      Good question about Martorano – I’ll have to think about that and get back to you – it seemed like Marorano testified a month ago.

  3. back in the day the story was that three Charlestown robbed a bank in town and two got away,the other one goes before Judge DeGugliemo, the Judge says “alright Mr.Kilkenny tell us the names of your accomplices and we might go easier on you”, Kilkenny says” I don’t know their names your honor they was wearing masks”.
    Is Kevin’s story supposed to be a joke too?

    1. Hopalong:

      That’s what is strange about all this. Neither Connolly’s lawyer, Miner, nor Carney made a big deal about it. I think (without knowing all the discovery – it is as believable that Kevin didn’t know him as it is to think there’s a picture of the back seat of the car with a masked man in it) I would have hammered away at that to show he is a liar. His story does make as much sense as the Charlestown guy’s.

  4. Who was the masked man that killed Halloran? What about the Lone Ranger? Maybe he and Tonto did it. No more fanciful than Weeks claim.

    1. N:

      You do think of the Lone Ranger and Tonto his sidekick. Carney stayed a million miles away from it. That is disappointing but it does disclose his strategy. Wouldn’t it be something if Whitey testified and said he too didn’t know the identity of the masked man.

  5. I am curious why this week is considered “Championship” week. Won’t the Flemmi testimony be even more critical because of the width and depth of the subject matter. I understand Weeks is considered more credible because they cut a deal with him but they are both proven liars, extortionists and murderers. Flemmi certainly has a nastier reputation but once we get this deep into human depravity, is there really that much of a difference?

    I am not fussing about the title of a post, trust me, I am just curious why the general feeling is that this is more important than any other testimony when Flemmi offers a far larger scope.

    1. Another:

      My theory was that Whitey had to get himself out of the Halloran murder and the murders in the basement by going after Weeks’s credibility on those issues. I also had in mind that Weeks was a tough witness and Carney would have to use all his skills in cross-examining him. From the little I saw of Flemmi in the Florida trial I thought he’d be easy pickings for Carney. After hearing his cross-examination of Weeks I can see that the whole case has to rise or fall on Whitey’s testimony. So the title is no longer applicable since there will be no one round knockouts, it’s going to be a long battle.

Comments are closed.