Even If He Could Whitey Bulger Won’t Make a Deal

The news on the preparation for the Whitey Bulger’s trial seems to have slowed to a trickle.  In discussions with others I’ve found many who doubt that he’ll go to trial.  I’ve mentioned my feelings on this before.

The best argument among that those who think he won’t is that he would like to avoid walking the plank in one of the two death penalty states where charges are pending against him.  If convicted in either state it may result in him getting sentenced to death.  To avoid that he would have to make a deal with both Florida and Oklahoma to let him plead to those charges and be sentenced to a life sentence which he could do in the federal system.

Both states have already made a deal with the trigger man, Martorano.  He pled guilty to murdering Roger Wheeler in Oklahoma and John Callahan in Florida.  We are told he got sentenced to prison for a period which was to run concurrently with his federal sentence of 12 years.  In reality he pretty much got off scot-free for each of those murders.  A concurrent sentence means all he had to do was the time for the federal sentence and when that is wrapped up all the sentences are finished.  He didn’t even get probation for them.

The Florida authorities and Oklahoma authorities in order to help the feds let Martorano walk on two murders.  Florida by the way has executed about 35 people since 1990 and  Oklahoma has done 100 in that time period.  Martorano had at least 17 other known murders on his record when he pleaded guilty to putting a bullet in a man’s head in those states.  He s now out and is bragging about his exploits telling the world, “I’m back!”

Whitey’s partner, Stevie Flemmi, with many others murders himself, also pled guilty to being involved in the Florida murder of Callahan and Oklahoma murder of Wheeler.  He also escaped punishment for his role.  He received a concurrent sentence to run along side his federal life sentence.  Because he has agreed to cooperate, he is now doing easy federal time in one of the federal country club prisons.

Martorano and Flemmi got these “no time for murder” deals because they agreed to testify against Whitey.  Now I don’t think either of these states wants to look foolish by making the same type of deal with Whitey.  It would mean they never punished anyone for the murder committed in the state.  I’m not sure the citizens of those states would be so happy seeing Whitey with 19 or more murders notched in his belt escape the chair and get no punishment when they’ve seen citizens of their state with one or two murders on their hands being sentenced to death.

Even if he could I still think he’ll go to trial.   Whitey is 83 years old this month.  He knows that after the trial in Boston with its appeals and after any trial down South with those appeals he’d be in his 90s, if he lived that long.  So he can figure he’s not going to face execution.

J.W. Carney his lawyer said Whitey wants the truth to be told (at least his version of the truth).  I’m sure that’s true.  The only way it can be told is in the courtroom or write a book.  I’m not sure if he tried to deal out his case as part of the deal the judge won’t let him write a book and profit off it (although Martorano told his gruesome story through another person and is making money off the bodies of his victims).  If the judge did not stop him I don’t expect the prison warden to be affording him book writing privileges, especially if he ends up in ADX Colorado.

Speaking of books,  I have read some by tough hoodlums who say they knew Whitey well.  They suggest he is fearless.  I’d guess he’ll want to confront the people who he believes have been telling or writing falsehoods about him.  He’ll want to stare at them as they sit in the witness-box and watch them squirm, especially Weeks who was his right hand man and still calls him Mr. Bulger or Jim.  He’ll want all of them to know they sold out their right to think they are men when they decided to become rats.

I know that last sentence sounds strange because we’ve heard Whitey was the rat for the FBI.  He doesn’t look at it that way.  Whitey thinks of himself as some type of facilitator or some other euphemism.   Stevie described for Frank Salemme what he and Whitey thought they were doing, “we’re giving them garbage and they’re giving us gold.”  All of these guys who have become rats don’t think of themselves that way.  It’s always the other guy who became a rat, not them.  Martorano says you can’t be a rat if you rat on a rat. Others say you’re not a rat if you don’t rat on your friends.  Others like to put it that they were doing something noble.  But the bottom line is a person who gives information to the government on others is a rat no matter the reason.

Whitey now looks at Stevie, Martorano, Weeks and the others who are cooperating against him as even worse than a rat because they are committing the ultimate treachery, testifying for the government.  He’ll believe that is something that he would never do.  In his mind that makes him better than the others.  That makes him the stand-up guy.

Stand-up guys don’t make deals to squeal or testify.  The only stand-up person left from his group is Catherine Greig, who wouldn’t cooperate and was hit with a heavy sentence of eight years in prison.  (That begs the question should a judge sentence a person to an extremely heavy prison sentence to try to help the prosecution.)  She puts to shame all the tough guys with their guns who couldn’t do the time and ran to the government to cut a deal for themselves, especially Weeks because he’s from Southie.

One of Whitey’s remaining pleasures will be to tell those tough guys, “you couldn’t even do what a woman did.”  He can only do this when he has his chance to tell his story.

How can he possibly cut and run?  Even if he could get a deal out of Florida, Oklahoma and the feds, would he be the man he thinks himself to be if he stole off the stage of like a sneak thief and left it to guys who couldn’t stand up to tell his story?  Whitey to preserve the myth of Whitey has to go to trial.


3 thoughts on “Even If He Could Whitey Bulger Won’t Make a Deal

  1. Non-corrupt special prosecutors have investigated corrupt systems before and the investigations helped correct the corrupt system. The 100 FBI agents who worked with Connolly for years and knew him well—unlike many others who never worked with him, never knew him and still cast stones at him—-have sent two petitions to the head of the US Justice Department asking that the “prosecution” of John Connolly be investigated, both in Boston and Miami, as I understand it. See the website Mafiatoday.com, which discusses this issue. 2. Martorano should have got the same deal as Flemmi: life in prison or transport to a death penalty state, unless you tell the whole truth. A major concern we share is using murderers as informants; The FBI had a duty to keep murderers on a very tight leash; they failed in that duty. Another major concern I have is using serial killers as witnesses. If we can’t trust them as informants, we certainly shouldn’t trust them on the witness stand. 3. I do disagree that the best way to help Connolly is to forget Boston. Connolly, in my humble opinion, was railroaded, scapegoated and framed both in Boston and Miami. I add my voice to those who want “the Prosecution” investigated—-There are hundreds of professionals by now, who do, including I suspect Federal Judge Harrington, who testified on Connolly’s behalf in Miami, and I believe former A.G. Bob Quinn—who I’m told has said he can’t understand how they singled out one lowly FBI agent as the sacrificial lamb.

  2. You are correct that Whitey will go to trial. It’s Custers last stand. It’s the final act in the drama. Could they create a play for Martorano based on the Odyssey. Make it a 20 chapter play where in each episode he shoots someone in the back of the head to match his killings. 2. Does the entire theory that people were killed because of leaks fail because of the Halloran lie? His being a co-operating witness was public knowledge. How can one leak what is already in the public realm? Did Wyshak knowingly prosecute a false claim? Of the five people killed in Savin Hill none were killed because of leaks. O’Sullivan, Veranis. O’Toole, Barret and Connors deaths had no connections to leaks.Connors. McIntire and Halloran were all in the rackets,had incriminating information on the heavy duty wise guys and all three had recently been arrested and faced prison terms. In Casino and Goodfellas if those conditions exist you are likely to get eliminated. 3.Has the system been fair to the Probation Officials? It seems if you applied that standard to others you could indict every judge and mayor in the state.It’s a blatantly political prosecution. 4. Fitzpatrick says that the Court of Appeals issuance of a decision (holding Connolly and other FBI employees resposible for gangland killings) in the middle of Connolly’s murder trial in Fla. was just a coincidence. Is that so or was calculated to have a negative effect on Connolly? Would that be obstruction of justice? A special counsel should investigate. That act seems much more egregious than Connolly’s letter. 5. Hasn’t the press vastly overstated Whitey’ significance? An historically important bad guy. Not really. Stalin has fifty million plus killed. Mao forty million plus killed. Hitler sixteen million plus killed. Tojo ten million plus. Pol Pot two million. Whitey about sixteen. Whitey was what Hyman Roth in Godfather 2 called Pantangelli ” small potatoes” He wasn’t Capone, Gambino, Luciano or Pablo Escobar. As Miss Haversham says to her protoge “you’re not a gentleman, you’re not even a blacksmith you’re just Pip from the forge” So too is he just Whitey from Southie.

    1. 2. You are right everyone knew that Halloran was cooperating. You’ve noted before that Halloran was out on bail having committed a murder of Pappas with a Mafia guy, Jackie Salemme,. (Salemme would be convicted by a jury of killing Pappas but it would be reversed by Judge Liacos. Apparently the main witness did not show up at trial for two-gun Lennie Henson. You suggest because he was on bail then everyone knew he was cooperating.) That may be one reason why everyone knew he was cooperating. I happen to think it was known because Halloran was trying to scam the FBI. (Read the Informant) He’d tell the people he was about to talk to that he was wired. Montanari the FBI agent who was handling him complained that Halloran had told his lawyer. I’m sure he told Callahan. Halloran wanted to get out of the murder rap but did not really want to cooperate so he played a role. But either way, it was well known he was cooperating. We can speculate on whether Whitey knew because Morris told him or he learned it from the street. What we do know is Whitey killed him and he was giving information against Whitey. The people you mentioned were killed during the gang wars and were not informing on people other than McIntyre and Whitey killed him? The common theme in Halloran and McIntyre is we know Whitey killed them and they were giving evidence against Whitey. That some people who were not informers were killed is not an indication that those are the only type of people who are killed.
      3. The indictment for RICO in the probation matter is absurd — we’ve gone a long way toward a police state when people can be at risk to serve twenty years for mailing letters.
      4. To me any suggestion the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit was interested in what was happening to Connolly in the Florida case and timed its decision to affect it is the kind of wild conjecture that hurts Connolly. I’ve said before if the system is as corrupt as you think the appointment of a special prosecutor would just be part of it.
      5. Are you suggesting that we should have a minimum amount of murders we let a person commit before we get exorcised about it? Do we use the Stalin or Hitler standard and say anyone who commits less than a million murders is no big deal. How many people did Charles Manson or Richard Speck kill? Less than ten so we should give them some kind of pass. What about OJ? Yes Whitey was small potatoes when compared to Pol Pot but not when compared to the over 1,300 people who have been put to death in the United States since 1976 — I’d bet no more than a handful of them murdered as many people as Whitey. I don’t think the officials in the 334 states who have executed people would think that they are putting to death small potatoes. Who in the Boston, New England or the Northeast has ever committed more murders than Whitey and his crew? Couple that with him being protected by the FBI then the answer is positively no, the media is not overstating his significance.

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