FBI Agent John Connolly’s Death Sentence; the Murderers Walk Free With Government Money

There is little doubt in my mind that John Connolly is wrongfully imprisoned. I spent the last three days spelling out the absurdity of the Florida Appeals court decision that keeps him there.  There are so many other factors that likewise must be considered  in his case.

I do recognize the futility at banging this drum especially now since the Department of Justice is headed by William Barr who has appointed John Durham as his hatchet man to go back and try to exonerate Russia from its involvement in Trump’s election. Durham is the prosecutor who tried the Connolly case so the chances of his admitting that Connolly is imprisoned wrongly or that any Trump appointed judge finding that are next to zero.

Connolly will die in prison. He has been there since 2002. Why go on banging my head against the wall. He’s not related to me although we have the same last name; nor was I ever friendly with him although I met with him a half-dozen times in our official capacities – he as an FBI agent, me as a state prosecutor.

I persist because having been a prosecutor most of my legal career I do believe in justice and that where an injustice occurs it should be noted and fought against. I attended Connolly’s federal trial in Boston in 2002, wrote a book about it, and followed the case as it went along as well as the participants in it.

The basis upon which Connolly was convicted in Florida was the testimony of two men each of whom had committed twenty murders who made deals with the federal prosecutors to testify against Connolly in exchange for leniency.  They were prepared to say anything to get their deals.

The Florida court wrote that Connolly: “wanted to protect Bulger, Flemmi, Martorano  and himself  from criminal prosecution.” (emphasis the court)

It went on to say, “once the FBI located Callahan and implicated Callahan in Wheeler’s murder, Callahan would cooperate with the FBI for a reduced sentence, and Callahan’s cooperation would implicated Bulger, Flemmi, Martorano and the defendant in the Wheeler murder.” (my emphasis)

The court also said: “The defendant therefore knew that Callahan needed to be silenced, . . . was in the same way they silenced Castucci, Wheeler, and Halloran – by murdering him.”

The problem with the latter statement is that a Boston jury found Connolly did not leak anything about Castucci or Halloran. The Florida court ignored that finding.

The other problem with these statements is that Callahan presented no threat to Connolly. There has never been any showing that Connolly had anything to do with the Wheeler murder. The motive for Connolly to want Callahan murdered does not exist.

The Wheeler murder was brought about by Callahan hiring Martorano to go to Tulsa, Oklahoma to murder him. Martorano said he told Flemmi about it and Flemmi said it was all right. Martorano got $50,000 for the murder from Callahan. Flemmi and Bulger according to Martorano sent the guns by Greyhound Bus to Tulsa.

Aside from the Florida appeals court misstating the evidence and its outrageous conclusion the crime of murder is ongoing three weeks before it is committed, the idea that Martorano had to be told to murder Callahan who was the only one who could implicate him in the Wheeler murder was absurd. Martorano wrote a book in which he told about his twenty murders and other activities designed to prevent people from talking.

Callahan was dead as soon as Martorano knew he was the focus of the FBI’s investigation of the Wheeler case. FBI Agent Gerald A. Montinari testified that a Brian Halloran told him that Martorano had murdered Wheeler, that Flemmi was the driver, and Whitey Bulger in the backup car. To get more evidence, they wired Halloran. He talked to Callahan on three occasions but nothing came of it. Montinari testified that other agents had filed reports that the word on the street was that Halloran was cooperating with the FBI. Dozens of FBI agents knew about it.

There was no need for Connolly to tell Martorano or his associates that the FBI was focusing on Callahan. It was common knowledge. By adding Connolly into the mix Martorano who murdered Wheeler and Callahan was able to get a great deal for himself, 12 years in prison and 20 thousand dollars on release for 20 murders.

Connolly meanwhile gets the death sentence even though he never spoke with Martorano, even though he was never in jeopardy if Callahan talked, even though it took a disgraceful court opinion all because the prosecutors were trying to squeeze him to get someone else.





10 thoughts on “FBI Agent John Connolly’s Death Sentence; the Murderers Walk Free With Government Money

  1. William M. Connolly

    I, too, support the probe into the origins of Russian Collusion Hoax. But, I don’t know if Durham is the right man to do the job. In my humble opinion he is too much of an insider, an organization man, who will go along with whatever the politically correct narrative is, who will not make waves, but will defend the status quo. We’ll wait and see. He went along with the “rogue FBI agent” theory, when the only rogue was his key witness John Morris, who the jury largely disbelieved; his other key witnesses included Martorano, whom the jury did not believe one word of, and Salemme who the Court found perjured himself. Not a stellar record for a prosecutor.

    Anyway here is an opposing laudatory opinion from National Review, where I found some of Durham’s misstatements about John Connolly’s trial in Boston.


  2. msfreeh

    Frank Serpico

    Robert Shetterly/Americans Who Tell The Truth
    Frank Serpico
    Retired Police Detective, Author, Lecturer : b. 1936
    A policeman’s first obligation is to be responsible to the needs of the community he serves…The problem is that the atmosphere does not yet exist in which an honest police officer can act without fear of ridicule or reprisal from fellow officers. We create an atmosphere in which the honest officer fears the dishonest officer, and not the other way around.
    1971: Became the first New York City policeman in history to testify about widespread corruption in the department.
    1972: Received the NYPD’s higest award, The Medal of Honor.
    After being shot and testifying about corruption in the NYPD, Serpico lived in Europe for nearly a decade.
    Al Pacino played Serpico in the 1973 movie about his life.

    1. William M. Connolly

      They did a movie about another New York guy . . .Joe Pistone, an undercover FBI agent, and the movie was “Donnie Brasco.”

      Joe Pistone repeatedly stated publicly that John Connolly, whom he worked with, was an honest FBI agent, most responsible for taking down the entire New England Mafia. Joe Pistone wanted to testify at Connolly’s trial in Miami, but the Judge would not let him wear a disguise. Joe feared if his face were revealed, the hoods he put away would track him down and kill him. Anyway, Joe Pistone who personally knew and worked with John Connolly knew he was an honest cop, a good guy, who’d never be involved in murder.

      (2) I just read a summary of John Durham’s speech at St. Joseph University, Connecticut, in 2018, where he falsely stated that John Connolly “took cash”. Durham forget John Connolly was acquitted of taking cash or anything else of value by the Boston jury. (Martorano alleged John was given an expensive ring: Not guilty!”)

      (3) Durham also stated that in 1973 John Connolly asked Bill Bulger what he could do to repay him for all his political help . . .(I don’t know what help Durham was talking about; it was(John McCormack who wrote a letter to help John get on the FBI, and Bill allegedly said, “Keep my brother Whitey out of trouble.” Who told Durham this? I did not know know Durham was privy to a conservation between Bill and John.

      (4) Durham, at that speech at St. Joseph’s, said that Flemmi testified Morris told him as a condition of being a TEI “no murders” . . . .Morris himself testified that he and Connolly repeatedly told Flemmi and all their other TopEchelonInformants “no murders, no violence” yet Wyshak brought Flemmi to MIami to change his eight years of testifying that John Connolly was “an honest cop who never did or said anything intending anyone be harmed”, (twice under oath, according to reporter David Boeri) and Wyshak somehow got Flemmi to sing an entirely different tune in Miami.

      5. If you were a prosecutor and found out 3 weeks before trial that your key witness (John Morris) was withholding information (about taking money from gangsters), would you continue the prosecution. If you found out after trial, that another key witness (Frank Salemme) had perjured himself, would not you join with the defendant’s attorneys to get some relief from the accused? If you brought 14 counts against a defendant, who was acquitted of all 9 serious charges, and convicted of only 5 lesser charges, would you consider yourself a success? Well, that’s John Durham’s record during John Connolly’s trial in Boston . . . .I don’t know why he is hailed.

  3. 251 Ocal

    Matt, William C, NC, DC: Matt I have been following your blog right along and I thank you for all your efforts and it’s a job well done. This weeks articles have been almost 100% spot on, let’s hope that the almost part works in John’s favor. As we know John has been in prison around 18yrs, and if I’m correct approaching 80 yrs old . He still gets up everyday and starts searching ,researching different things in the limited law section of the prison library to possibly finding a way to freedom. He speaks to his family daily
    and tries to be a dad and husband as best he can. His mind is still sharp and his health is ok. Fred WYSHAK, now for about 20 yrs has been vindictively pile driving in anyway shape or form driving John’s character ,Innocense,life into the ground .
    I was once told buy a old friend ,after I expressed how can the federal government get away with these things and he said ” REGARDLESS OF ANYTHING IF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WANTS YOU IN PRISON YOU ARE GOING THERE , AND IF THEY WANT YOU TO STAY IN PRISON THEY WILL DO ANYTHING TO KEEP YOU THERE. Let’s hope with what is going on now will work in John’s favor.
    Dan, awhile back a bunch of us sent Gov Scott letters for help in any way and he replied to all of us stating his hands were tied for one reason John’s excessive sentence.
    I could speak all day long about PLEA DEALS, HIDDEN EVIDENCE, DUE PROCESS,

  4. DanC

    Hi Matt,
    It seems to me that we’re down to a Hail Mary pass with Connolly. Has he applied to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for clemency? If writing a letter to DeSantis will help, I’ll happily do it.

      1. 251 Ocal

        DC, I am all for it , I am not sure if it would interfere with other things that ere going on, if denied and made public. Maybe if you ask what other people think of the idea and I’ll do the same. WC has my phone number. Letters from people living in Florida mean a lot. If we were all are on the same page and sending date it would have more power. IF ANYBODY HAS OTHER IDEAS ??? My thought is possibly with a good lawyer go back to court for reduction of sentence. We still have to fight the poisoned air and the people that are still doing it ( Especially behind closed doors ,phones, letters )

  5. Brian R. Merrick

    You damage your later factual assertions by describing “William Barr who has appointed John Durham as his hatchet man to go back and try to exonerate Russia from its involvement in Trump’s election.” Barr has clearly and publicly acknowledged Russian interference in the election. What he is investigating is the origins of high level government involvement in the Trump “collusion” with that interference. They are quite separate subjects.

  6. William M. Connolly

    (1) Yes, we agree. Wyshak and his federal prosecutorial cohorts gave obscenely lenient deals to serial murderers, Martorano, Flemmi, Salemme, career gangsters all, for their patently perjurious testimony.
    We disagree on this: I’ve long said that John should be in Federal Court before any Federal Judge (especially a strict constructionist who knows how to interpret the plain language of statutes). Conservative judges, like all those appointed by President Trump, are more likely to interpret statutes conservatively and reasonably, not with “sheer sophistry”. But I believe any Federal Judge would take one look at Connolly’s case from the initial conviction on “murder by gun” and reverse it.

    (2) I, too, have written extensively about this. I did know John and his brother. I knew their reputation in the community when they were growing up. Good, honorable, young men. I’ve read about John’s reputation among FBI agents who worked with John Connolly. Dick Baker, Joe Pistone and many others attested to his character. Some testified in Miami. I heard them, the one day I was there. We all knew the charges against him were fabricated.

    2. The Boston jury acquitted John of all charges related to murder and of all charges relating to taking money or anything of value. One Boston juror said he would not have convicted John of anything, if he though he were going to spend one day in prison. That juror thought John was going to get probation for the five “lesser offenses” he was convicted of in Boston. (The Boston Globe’s Shelley Murphy’s words, “lesser offenses”).

    3. Wyshak ignored the Boston jury’s findings. Around 2003, Wyshak got Flemmi to compose a new story after Flemmi who for 8 years in prison (since about 1995, Jan 1996) and under Wyshak’s control all that time had sworn Connolly was an honest cop who never did or said anything intending anyone be harmed (twice under oath). Wyshak deputized 5 State Cops as FEDs and had them start digging up dirt, and start looking at the State House. They found nothing. Wyshak then brought the 5 State Cops and all the crooks and gangsters and the corrupt John Morris to Miami and staged a sham show trial for 5 weeeks and the jury found John Connolly NOT GUILTY of the two charges Wyshak initially brought: 1st Degree Murder and Conspiracy to commit murder. But as we know Wyshak added after trial a third charge MURDER BY GUN, for which the statute of limitation had run, and for which no evidence was entered that AT THE TIME OF THAT MURDER “during the commission of that murder” that John Connolly had a gun. In fact, Wyshak knew that the only evidence about John’s whereabouts on the day of that murder, was he was on vacation, 1,600 milesaway, on Martha’s Vineyard.

    3. I won’t go over again how corrupt the Florida Court’s reasoning was on the Murder by Gun charge nor on the Enhancement Statute. Suffice it to say, that the dissenting judges labelled it “SHEER SOPHISTRY.” How often have you read an Appeals Court dissent mocking the majority’s decision as “SHEER SOPHISTRY”?

    4. Why do I call Wyshak a Jihadi Javert. Because he acted like a fanatical Jihadi on an unholy crusade. Because he acted like Javert, the criminal prosecutor in Les Miserables, obsessed with prosecuting an innocent man. My main evidence of this? Connolly was the low man on the totem pole. He was the underling of his admittedly corrupt boss Morris (who admitted taking bribes, and admitted attempting the murder of his informants by leaking their names to the press.) But Wyshak chose to give leniency and witness protection to the higher up, to go after the underling. It makes no sense. Moreover, we know the obscenely lenient deals Wyshak (and by Wyshak, I also mean Wyshak and his cohorts, his fellow prosecutors) gave to serial killers, career gangsters, Martorano, Flemmi, Salemme. WHY? To get an underling? To get a cop? Worse, after the Boston jury acquitted Connolly of all the serious charges, Wyshak continues his fanatical pursuit.

    It gets worse. Wyshak had to be after a bigger fish, and it seems likely, from all the evidence I’ve gathered, and from Wyshak’s actions, and from Wyshak’s statement after trial that Connolly got too close to the “Bulgers”, plural, and from Colonel Foley’s statements in Somerville that he was sicced on the State House, that the fanatic Wyshak thought he was after another innocent man, Senate President, and UMass President, Bill Bulger.

    Remember, Wyshak was trying to squeeze Connolly. He offered Connolly 5 years in prison, if Connolly would testify about others. Connolly said the other FBI agents he worked with and the other men he knew were honorable men. No deal. Wyshak continued to squeeze.

    Wyshak went after Connolly’s sister-in-law, a nurse. He convicted her of money laundering, when it seems to me that all she did was deposit her bookie husband’s gambling profits. Wyshak asked for 8 years in prison. When Wyshak was prosecuting a CONGRESSMAN’S WIFE for laundering far more money, he asked for probation. When Judge Young asked Wyshak, “Why only probation?” Wyshak said, “Because she’s the Congressman’s wife” That’s equal justice in Wyshak’s eyes.

    It gets worse: When Wyshak invented the phony crime of “not hiring the most qualified person” he singled out Probation Chief O’Brien for prosecution. Bill Bulger’s son happened to be working for O’Brien. Of all the tens of thousands of State and Federal personnel in the First District who likely hired someone who was not “the most qualified” Wyshak singled out the office where Bill Bulger’s son worked. A coincidence? I think not. He then made State House Legislators, like the Speaker of the House, Bob DeLeo (sp?) “an unindicted co-conspirator”. A co-conspirator in a non-crime.

    It gets worse. John Connolly is not the first person falsely prosecuted by Wyshak and his cohorts. Remember the Boston Cop Kenny Conley? Maliciously prosecuted for 10 years. The FEDs had to fork over $1 million in compensation for their unjust prosecution for 10 years.

    It gets wors. Remember the Schwartz boy? Driven to suicide by the persecutorial Federal Prosecutors in Boston who threatened him with 50 years in prison for a crime that amounted to nothing more than not applying for a library card before he downloaded information. Aaron Schwartz said, “I’ve done nothing wrong. I will not plead guilty to a felony.” The Feds hounded him to death.

    Remember the Caswell Motel, the FEDs tried to steal (seize) his motel because in about 20 years of operation, the 100-plus room hotel had on average someone busted once or twice a year selling drugs out of it. Forfeiture, the FEDs called it. They would have taken it, too, but a conservative civil rights group came to Caswell’s defense and a fair and rational Appeals Court threw out the case.

    Remember the Milton State Senator Joyce who was hit with a 138 page indictment, which I read, and which, in the main, as I read it, was garbage, amounting to little more than accusing Joyce of practicing law while being a state senator and being a well liked friendly neighbor who sometimes got a free cup of coffee from Dunkin Donuts and sometimes helped out a neighbor while being a State Senator. Disagree if you will, but you cannot disagree if you read it, that he was overcharged, in my humble opinion. Not too long after the 138 indictment, Joyce suddenly died, of what I believe was a heart attack brought on by the stress of the FED pressure. The FEDs intent, with these multiple count indictments, is not just prosecution but bankruptcy; the intent is to put so much pressure on the defendant that he will deal and plead to a lesser offense. That’s not justice; that’s bullying.

    I could go on. Wyshak’s a jihadi Javert. He stretches the law and the facts to the extreme; he offers obscenely lenient deals to career gangsters who’ve killed dozens, who’d say anything to be free, or to avoid execution. He seems to have no moral constraints upon him. He works with serial killers like Flemmi and accepts their 180 degree change in testimony without blinking. He invents crimes “not hiring the most qualified”; he pursues appeals of crimes that bear no relation to the facts: “murder by gun” accusing someone of a murder in Miami who was on vacation 1,600 miles away on Martha Vineyard.

    I could go on. I’ll say this too. Howie Carr, Mr. Smear, Mr. Schadenfreude who delights in persons’ sufferings, oftentimes says Whitey Bulger had 5 FBI agents on his payroll. Not once did I hear Carr say that John Connolly was acquitted by a Boston Jury of taking anything of value.

  7. nc

    You are right. It was all about getting Sen. Bulger. But you are mistaken about a Trump Appointed judge. Barr and Durham have nothing to do with the Florida State Courts wrongful conviction of Connolly. If an honest Federal judge rules in Connolly’s favor the DOJ is powerless to overturn his/her’s decision. The Court of Appeals or SCOTUS could reverse the ruling but not AG’s office. So Barr and Durham have no impact. A Trump appointed judge may be honest unlike liberal judges who will just do what the media tells them to. Connolly’s Constitutional Rights were clearly violated as you point out. 2. The Rogue Agent theory was invented by Comey and Mueller. The Russian Collusion Hoax was invented by Comey and Mueller. The Boston Marathon Lie (The FBI didn’t know the Tsarnaevs) was invented by Comey and Mueller. Can anyone see a pattern? 3. If there were an ounce of decency in the FBI, DEA or DOJ in Boston they would strive to release Connolly. 20 murders for Martorano is six months per murder. Connolly gets 17 years for a non murder. Great justice.

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