Individual Murders: The Ladies Group: Debbie Davis (part two)

Florida JusticeI pointed out that the prosecutor knew that Steve Flemmi had admitted to his partner John Martorano that he had “accidentally strangled” Debbie Davis. If he told Martorano that, it is likely that is the same thing he told Whitey Bulger when he arrived at his doorsteps on December 10, 1981, with Debbie in the trunk; or if she were murdered at the new house at 832 East Third Street, South Boston, that was still being remodeled two months after it had been purchased by his mother Mary Flemmi on September 17, 1981, then he told Whitey when he met up with him later that night to ask for his help in getting rid of the body.

Kevin Weeks was hanging around with Whitey at the time on a part-time basis. He worked days at the MBTA; and nights at Triple O’s. Between those two times he would drive around with Whitey. He knew nothing about the murder at the time. That too would indicate that Whitey may have had nothing to do with it because he most likely may have solicited Weeks’s involvement. We know five months later in May 1982 he involved Weeks in the murder of Brian Halloran.

When Flemmi implicated Whitey in the murder, I’ve read that he has given at least three different explanations about how the murder of Debbie came off, he had to come up with a reason for Whitey wanting her murdered. The motive for Flemmi murdering her was limpid: he did not want her going off with another man; especially a man of color who lived in Mexico. How much that must have torn away at his self-esteem to think she would leave him for a Mexican? But why would Whitey care if Debbie flew the coop or not?

What theory could Flemmi create that would make him succumb to Bulger’s urging that she be murdered? Flemmi presented the murder as something he did not want to do but Bulger force him to do it. Have you ever heard of a person murdering his girl because someone else told him to do it?

The reason Flemmi said he was ordered to have his girl murdered as best I can figure is that she knew of the relation among FBI Agent John Connolly, Whitey or Stevie. Stevie had accidentally told her about it. Whitey hearing that insisted she must die.

Play it out logically — what could Debbie do with the information? Remember Whitey was not worried when the Boston Globe indicated he was an FBI informant; he said no one would ever believe it. Why then would he be worried about what Debbie would do with the information?

Who would she tell? Norwood wrote and suggested that she might tell her brother who was in prison. What would he do with it? Who would believe him? Debbie couldn’t tell the FBI  since it already knew of the relationship. If she told any other law enforcement agency even if they believed her how would that come to anything? Whitey was being protected by the FBI so nothing Debbie could do could hurt him.

What if she told the Mafia? Who would believe her? What proof would she give those criminals?

But the basic thing is Debbie never threatened to tell anyone; she just wanted one thing. That was to be free of Flemmi. The last thing she would do if she was able to escape his clutches was to start talking about his relationship with FBI John Connolly. She had no reason to be angry or resentful of Flemmi to want to do something to hurt him so why would Whitey be afraid that she would do that.

What I am suggesting is that even if we did not know Flemmi admitted to “accidentally strangling” her, the story he spun out so as to put Whitey into the murder makes no sense if one pauses for a second to think about it. I suggest it is beyond doubt that Whitey had nothing to do with the murder of Debbie Davis.

That does not mean he was not involved in helping to bury her. He may or may not have been. She was buried near where Tommy King was found adjacent to the Neponset River. Weeks knew she was in that area although he was not involved in her burial. Whitey’s involvement was helping out his buddy Flemmi who told him he “accidentally strangled” her coincidentally at the time she was planning on leaving. The had to hide her body because they knew no one would believe her murder by Flemmi was accidental.

15 thoughts on “Individual Murders: The Ladies Group: Debbie Davis (part two)

  1. Matt, Maybe I did not type out my comment the other day the right way. I thought that when Debbie Davis learned of her brothers death at Walpole in 1981 that she said to Steve Flemi , How about you get your FBI friends to find out who murdered my brother? At that, Whitey found out she knew they were FBI informants and wanted her dead. However so much information has come between all the books and your blog I really do know what to think. I know you have written about Pat Nee but boy oh boy these man seems to have lived a charmed life as far as avoiding the spotlight from some of the murders. Your blog is putting out so much interesting information recently and a lot of the comments are thought provoking also.

    1. Matt,

      What is the source for 10 Dec 1981 as the date of Debbi Davis’ murder? Olga Davis reporting her missing? What?

      Also, please address the other 2 narratives Flemmi gave for her death.


      1. Roger:

        I got that date from page 337 of the latest T.J. English book “Where the Bodies Were Buried”. I knew it was in 1981 and was going to go looking for it when I came across it there. I assume it is correct but haven’t gone into my filed to check.

        I have read that during Flemmi’s deposition he had given three different versions. One can be found on page 238 of Tom Foley’s Most Wanted which Weeks offered to get his deal. He said he got it from Whitey but it had to have come from Flemmi because Weeks would later say on several occasions that Whitey denied he was involved in murdering her. That version has them tying her up in a chair and putting duck tape over her mouth.

        The other version is set out in Martorano’s book Hitman where Stevie made sure his parents were out (not like the others where they had not moved in yet) They got Debbie onto the sun porch (which was not the house but a building behind it). Whitey got a rope and jumped on top of her strangling her.

        You know the third one and I’d have to guess there are others.

  2. Matt,

    Somewhat (though obviously not entirely) unrelated but I was hoping you could summarize again the dates when Flemmi’s file with the FBI was open and closed.

    1. Jon:f

      I’ll dig it out again but keep in mind Flemmi never knew a time when he wasn’t an informant since the 1960s and my recollection is that most of that period the FBI records show he was closed out.

    2. Jon:

      From the FBI agent who testified in the Connolly trial – he first became an informant on November 27, 1965 but closed in December 1967; he was reopened in September 1980 and stayed open until 1982; was closed until 1986 and then reopened until he was closed in December 1990.

      The period between 1980 and 1982 was necessary to put him on the books because he was going to provide information about the Angiulo set up which led to a wiretap. He was closed on the books in 1967 because he had taken off after learning he was going to be indicted for murder and for blowing up John Fitzgerald’s vehicle.

      I’m not sure of the closure in 1982 but we know that he was continuing to work with the FBI in helping them with the Vanessa wiretap. The period 1967 to 1980 would include the time he came back and the FBI helped him get rid of the pending murder charges against him, the introduction to Connolly as an informant, the time he got taken out of the race fix case, etc. So going by FBI records as I said is a fool’s errand.

  3. I have been thinking this since the day I first read “Brutal” which started my interest in this case. I read and re-read that chapter of the book trying to make sense of it. I thought I was crazy or missing something because all of the other Whitey narratives make the same accusations.

  4. Thanks for an interesting article Matt and I think that you made some good points.

    It seems that Stevie Flemmi does not need permission from Whitey to kill somebody as didn’t he threaten Vinnie Ferrara a member of the Mafia in a dispute over a bookie?

    What is your understanding of Phil Waggenheim? As I read in Wikipedia that he was an associate of Larry Baione and Bulger.

    1. Dave:

      My understanding of Waggenheim is that he was one of the original Jewish bookmakers who mad peace with the North End (Mafia) by paying them a tribute to stay out of the Jewish gambling rings. I don’t associate him in any way with Bulger. I never picked him up in doing my wiretaps of the Jewish rings but by the time I started I think he was in a senior position and out of the mainstream booking. I know he was photographed at the Lancaster Street garage with Whitey back in 1988 but I had no sense they were connected in any way. Probably the reason Waggenheim was at the garage was to meet his buddy George Kaufman who was the guy who handled the Jewish problems with Winter Hill. There is a book out that says Waggenheim is a Mafia hit man but that is pure nonsense.

  5. Matt
    You present a logical and valid case for Whitey Bulger NOT murdering Debbie Davis. I am jumping the gun but the jury found Debbie Davis murder at the Bulger trial as inconclusive. But the jury found Bulger guilty of murdering Debra Hussey. Correct me if I am wrong but in both Debbie cases the ONLY evidence was what Weeks and Flemmi testified so why 2 different conclusions?

    1. Jerome:

      Two major differences. In Debbie Davis case they had Flemmi’s statement that he “accidentally strangled” her and they had no witness to the murder as in the case of Hussey where Weeks allegedly was there.

      Then you err when thinking that what a jury found is conclusive in reality of what the truth is. Juries are often wrong. In the federal system they are intimidate by the huge number of charges that are heaped upon a defendant that they feel compelled to find in favor of the government on some of them.

      1. Matt
        I did not accomplish my goal of communicating what I meant to share in previous comment. My question was HOW could the jury find Bulger guilty of murdering Debra Hussey yet come back with an Inconclusive on Debbie Davis. I did not mean for you to conclude that I agreed with the juries’ verdict. Thank you for the clarification.

        1. Jerome:

          I understood what you meant. I just wanted to remind you, which I probably did not need to do, that because a jury found something one way or the other it did not mean it was true. As for the inconclusive on Davis I must remind you of one of the juror’s who was interviewed afterward who said he had no doubt that Whitey was guilty of everything from early on in the trial. It had to be difficult for some of the jurors not to find Whitey did not murder Davis, not because they had evidence, but rather because of the tragedy involved in her death. They wanted to blame someone for it and Flemmi was not on trial.

  6. Flemmi had to have everything he saw. If he wanted Deborah Davis he would have her ; In all of her ” Totality.”

    Sure, he is a seriously bent individual. Words : sociopath, psychopath, thrill killer, degenerate and so forth give a purchase on a cruelly warped mind, but what is never understood is how private someone like Flemmi must be wirhin the closed circuit of his pathological blood lust. No one on this blog wants to channel Flemmi, though MTC ” Whispers” benji rather well, but I wager he kllled, and buried Ms. Davis alone and unaided. To have involved another in what for Steve Flemmi amounted to the ritual sacrifice of the lamb in his life that was Debbie would have been sacrilege to him.

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