Whitey was a guy who was looking for excuses, sad to say. He wasn’t really a stand up guy because the first chance he had to come up with a scheme to try to get himself off the hook he threw the guy who had been his friend and who protected him from other people to the wolves. I’m not going to get into whether Whitey was an informant or not at this point, but you do know that since about 1975 FBI Agent John Connolly protected Whitey.
He also protected Steve Flemmi, who we know was an informant because he testified under oath in 1997 that he was one since the mid-1960s. Connolly did not develop him as an informant. That was done by FBI Agents Paul Rico and Dennis Condon who handed him over to Connolly after Rico left Boston for the Miami FBI office in 1975 and Condon retired in 1977.
I think it was Condon although it could have been Rico who introduced Connolly to Flemmi. Flemmi, as you know, had just returned from Canada to Boston in 1974 after being on the lam from serious state criminal charges including blowing up a lawyer’s automobile. Condon was able to get those charges squashed which opened the door for him to come back and help the FBI out again.
Connolly would try to help Flemmi after he was indicted in 1995 for racketeering. He would provide information to him that he requested. They used as a go-between Kevin Weeks who was at one time Whitey’s strong-arm buddy. Whitey had fled town in December 1994.
The relationship between Connolly and Whitey was much closer than that between him and Flemmi. They had the Old Harbor Village and the South Boston Irish connection which counted for a great deal. Flemmi was content to let them be close as long as the protection went to both Whitey and he.
When Whitey got arrested in Santa Monica California in 2011 Connolly who was doing time in Florida looked upon this as a good thing for himself. He expected that Whitey would say that he knew nothing about the murder of John Callahan which was the reason he was sitting in a Florida prison. Obviously Connolly thought the relationship he had with Whitey would continue on.
He should have known better as an FBI agent. How many times did he see guys flip on their friends to get something for themselves? How many times had he heard the expression there is no honor among thieves?
Whitey, after being in jail for a while waiting for trial and after meeting with his lawyers to discuss his chances of beating the rap, which realistically speaking were non existent, Whitey became just another jail-bird looking to stab someone in the back for his own benefit.
How could he do it knowing that it really would make no difference in the outcome of his case? John Connolly made sure that from 1975 up until 1990 while he was handling Whitey that he could stay on the street and would be advised as to anything that was being done by law enforcement which might put him in peril. When it came to Whitey’s criminal acts, Connolly didn’t want to know about them. As best I can see his relationship went from handler/informant to buddy-buddy. The were together often; there’s even rumors they took a week-long trips together out of the country.
So what did Whitey do to the guy who got all jammed up because he saved him from doing any time for many years? Without any possibility of getting any gain from it, he stated that he had paid Connolly hundreds of thousands of dollars for protection and information. Here he was knowing he would never see the street again stabbing a guy who was good to him for many years in the back. Can anything be more craven than that? Is that a sign of a stand up guy?
According to a book by Janet Uhlar Whitey says he now hates Connolly. The reason he gives is that Connolly had a file in the FBI office in Boston listing Whitey as an informant. Whitey wants everyone to believe he wasn’t an informant particularly because that is the worst thing an Irish person can be even though you wouldn’t know it from all the Irish guys in South Boston who stumbled over each other trying to inform on others to get a break.
That reason is just another typical criminal excuse for betraying someone else. They all need excuses for their depraved actions. it’s like the saying “you can’t rat on a rat.” Of course you can. But even worse than being an informant, or as the hoodlums call it a rat, is betraying one was your friend by scurrilous lies for no discernible gain.