How Many People Did Whitey Bulger Murder: Was It Only Three?

James “Whitey” Bulger has been a money tree for lots of people who find it in their interest to make him into something he really wasn’t. But there’s a good case to make that he only murdered three or four people not the nineteen  the federal prosecutions want you to believe because they entered into mind numbing deals with real murderers or the forty people Kevin Weeks wants you to believe because the worse he made Whitey the better the federal prosecutors would treat him when it came to time in prison for the murders he participated in.

It is clear some of the others who testified against Whitey committed more that he did and others, such as Weeks may have done so. I suppose the best way to start this off is to look at the actions of the parties when it came to murdering people. First, according to Weeks who was sort of Whitey’s amanuensis gaining fame  by being in Whitey’s shadow when someone was murdered in Whitey’s presence Whitey would get physically ill and have to go and lie down. Meanwhile Weeks and Steve Flemmi set about to mutilate the body by pulling out its teeth.  What kind of a murderer is that who gets physically ill at a murder?

The federal prosecutors after giving amazing deals to people who associated with him during his years  – Martorano 12 years in prison for 20 murders,  Weeks 5 years in prison for 5 murders, Flemmi never going to the Bureau of Prisons for a dozen plus murders – were only able to charge Whitey with 19 murders. The jury found they did not prove seven, one they were undecided on, and the other 11 they convicted him on. So I’ll deal with the eleven that a jury attributed to him.

Two murders are clearly done by Whitey.  That was the one where Weeks was the lookout and Whitey and Pat Nee were in the car with the weapons. When Brian Halloran and Michael Donohue left a Waterfront bar Whitey and Nee closed in on them and shot them. Whitey did this because he had a motive which was that he learned from the FBI that Halloran had gone to the FBI and was going to implicate him in the Roger Wheeler killing.

That leaves nine. The Roger Wheeler murder was done by Martorano and Joe MacDonald after John Callahan gave them $50,000 to do it. Callahan then was murdered by these guys so he could not be a witness against them when they learned the FBI from Oklahoma was looking at Callahan. Whitey very well may have had nothing to do with them.

Paul McGonagle was killed by Tommy King, Tommy King was  killed by Martorano. He put Whitey there but he did not have to be there. Richard Castucci was killed by Martorano because Howie Winter owed the Mafia lots of money and that would eliminate the debt – again he put Whitey there but it is not clear he was.  Debra Hussey was killed by Steve Flemmi because he raped her  his step daughter as a little girl, she became addicted to drugs and telling stories about him. He said Whitey made him do it. Whitey had no motive to kill her.

Take away the latter six and that leaves three on Whitey’s plate aside from Halloran and Donohue.  These are Arthur “Bucky” Barrett, Eddie Connors, and John McIntyre. 

Eddie Connors was shot with two shot guns. Whitey in a talk  from jail with his nephew or niece made the rat-a-tat sound several times as if a machine gun was used. Wrong gun and no motive, not likely he did it. John McIntyre was going to make a deal for himself to rat out those who helped him move arms to Ireland. One would have been Pat Nee. He never met or talked with Whitey. Nee brought him to the house where he was murdered which was his brother’s house. He and Weeks were friends. Weeks pinned it on Whitey who had no motive to murder him. That leaves Bucky Barrett. Because of space limitations I’ll leave that on the plate.

Let’s see what’s on the plate: Halloran, Donohue and Barrett.  That’s three. Hardly a big toll for a person with a such big reputation. I guess it was really just a Boston Fairy Tale.

6 thoughts on “How Many People Did Whitey Bulger Murder: Was It Only Three?

  1. You’re getting closer, Matt. Ask yourself why Bucky? Better yet, ask yourself why Balloonhead? Excluding Jimmy, those two had something in common. What was it?

  2. hi Matt and thanks for writing this recent article.
    1. what is your understanding of the Fitzgerald bombing?

    2. would Whitey and Stevie have known about the killings at Blackfriars?

    3. was john McIntyre a threat to Charlestown’s Joe Murray rather than Bulger?
    4. do you think that both Salemme, Martorano were treated very leniently as they were only asked to cooperate against John Connolly, Whitey and Stevie? so Salemme did not have to testify against his former underlings who helped him against the Carrozza faction while Martorano was not asked to testify against his brother, Howie Winter or Pat Nee.

    1. David:

      1. Fitzgerald bombing – ordered by Patriarca to try to get Barboza from testifying. Steve Flemmi and Frank Salemme were involved even though Salemme kept insisting that he wasn’t.

      2. I’m not sure about that. John Connolly wrote a long report which allegedly contained informant information that pointed the finger at Nick Femia and some others. The case against Femia was dropped and the others found not guilty. I don’t have it in front of me but I’d like to see what Steve Flemmi said about it in the book Rifleman. As to Connolly’s lengthy report, I can only think it may have come from Flemmi but not so much Whitey.

      3. Good Question. McIntyre was a more of a threat to Joe Murray than to Whitey Bulger. He was recommended for the Valhalla job because he had been Murray’s mechanic for his marijuana importing ships. The person though who was a real threat to was Pat Nee who worked with him in getting the supplies. Nee was used to trying to kill people so he would not have tolerated too well the news that McIntyre had flipped. McIntyre never met Whitey and was uncertain of his name when first interviewed.

      4. Salemme and Martorano dictated the deals under which they would cooperate and the federal prosecutors went along with it. It was not the way things are supposed to work. Of course they got sweetheart deals. Salemme testified that his agreement with the prosecutors was he did not have to testify against anyone in the Mafia only about cops. He lied at trial about his involvement in the murder which would have been important for the jury to know because he testified that when he was the king there were no murders committed under him.

      Martorano also did not have to testify against anyone but Connolly, Flemmi and Whitey as you pointed out. He ran to the prosecutors first before Flemmi could beat him there. He was facing a RICO charge that could have gotten him 20 years in prison especially with his background but he took control of the negotiations as you pointed out and left out all information on others who participated in murders with him such as his brother Jimmy, Pat Nee and Howie Winter and who knows who else.

      So, yes, the prosecutors were taken to the cleaners especially when you look back at the case. But the worse deal was with Steve Flemmi since he was not needed to convict Whitey – they had Weeks and Martorano which was enough – why they wanted to protect Flemmi and keep him out of the custody of the Bureau of Prisons and let him keep a good deal of his assets totally escapes me.

  3. Does anyone really care about numbers? They are all dead. Can we add Blackfriars to Whitey’s talley sheet?

    1. Henry:

      Glad to see they reestablished internet service to Ireland. I had heard it was in critical condition because of the Covid-19 pandemic but it must be doing better now. Whitey had nothing to do with Blackfriars. That was a bloody scene. Whitey was not enamored of that type of murder.

      The numbers are important in the sense that you can’t say a guy who killed many less folk than other guys in the gangs is at the front of the line when it comes to gangsters. The numbers keep things in perspective.

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