John Durham was the lead attorney in the prosecution of FBI Agent John Connolly who was charged with a series of crimes. Connolly, now eighty years old, has been in prison over 18 years since 2002. He will likely die in prison. Durham worked closely with another prosecutor Fred Wyshak in the prosecution of Connolly. Neither Durham or Wyshak cares that an FBI agent who served more than 20 years in the FBI and retired with honors has received a death penalty.
Connolly, no relation, was convicted on testimony that all agree was perjured. He was convicted on testimony of gangsters with multiple-murders in their background who got astounding deals to testify against him. For example, a man who admitted murdering 20 people got 12 years in prison. When he was released he got $20,000, or a thousand for each victim.
It was not only gangsters who testified against Connolly. His supervisor, John Morris, would get total immunity for his testimony and get to keep his retirement. The problem with that is Morris admitted he took bribes from Whitey Bulger, Steve Flemmi and another big bookie who has been identified as Sammy Berkowitz. A 2006 article on the City of Chelsea said it was noted for being “besieged by drugs, gambling and corruption.” It told how ”At the center of it all was bookmaker Sammy Berkowitz, who sat on his perch at the Grub ‘n’ Pub, where he smoked Pall Malls and played endless games of gin rummy while bookies and friendly vice cops paid their respects.” In other words, Morris was protecting a bookie who had corrupted a city. Wyshak chaperoned FBI Supervised John Morris who came to trial to testify against Connolly.
I attended the trial of John Connolly which started on May 8, 2002. I spelled out the events of the trial in my book “Don’t Embarrass the Family” The title came from the words used during the trial by Frank Salemme who told how he went to New York City at the request of “the Commission”. He said he met with the consiglieres of the Genovese, Gambino, and Columbo families. He was made boss of the New England Mafia Family.
He testified at trial that in his younger days he murdered a few people. He did 16 years in prison. He came out and was made a Mafia member. That after being made boss he testified he murdered no one and authorized no murders. That was a lie.
Steve DiSarro was murdered in Salemme’s house in his presence while he was boss. Salemme was convicted of murdering him in 2018. The Connolly jury hearing his testimony did not know that despite admitting to earlier murders in the 1970s he continued to murder people in the 1990s much closer to the time of the trial.
Salemme was asked specifically about the DiSarro murder during Connolly’s trial. Tracy Miner the lawyer for Connolly asked “and is it reasonable to assume you had something to do with that disappearance, sir?” referring to DiSarro. Flemmi answered, “I don’t know that.”
During Salemme’s testimony he explained how he operated as the head of the family. He said he told his capos “You make the decision. Just make the right one. Just don’t embarrass the family.”
I used those words as the title to my book because during the trial I came to believe the prosecution of John Connolly was Durham’s and the government’s way of covering up for the FBI. What Connolly did was to embarrass the FBI so he had to suffer for the good of the FBI. J. Edgar Hoover’s first commandment was “Don’t Embarrass the FBI” That was the worst thing any FBI agent could do. Anyone that did was summarily harshly punished.
Connolly operated openly and with the full concurrence of many in the FBI. Despite Durham’s assurance at the end of the Connolly trial: “Nobody in this country is above the law, an FBI agent or otherwise, and ultimately the ends do not justify the means,” no one else in the FBI was prosecuted by Durham after this. It made me almost positive that this was a clear case of whitewashing the FBI and pretending that all the furor about the FBI was caused by one rogue agent as an FBI assistant director name Jordan would later do.