John Connolly Week: (1 of 10) A Look Back part 1 of 2

To put the matter into proper context it is necessary to repost an article I wrote in August 2012 entitled: “Congressman Lynch’s Lack of Enthusiasm in Holding the FBI Accountable. I’ve made some minor corrections to it. Here is what I wrote:

“FBI Agent John Connolly is well on the way to spending the rest of his life in jail.   Connolly as we all know was the handler of Whitey Bulger and Stevie Flemmi.  When this became known to the public, a general uproar occurred over the idea that these two top gangsters could be FBI informants.  Everyone in the FBI from the top to the bottom,  from the Director to the file clerks in the Boston office, knew Whitey was an informant.  When the public demanded an answer for what appeared to be a horrendous decision of protecting two men engaged in many murders and unable to deny that it happened, the FBI went into overdrive to protect itself.  It threw Connolly to the  angry mob, in effect saying Connolly had become a rogue agent.  The FBI vowed that this would never happen again.  The FBI hoped that Connolly would be forgotten and that the public would forget it had made this huge error and it could return to business as usual, using top criminals as informants and protecting them.

Let’s talk about a Mark Rossetti.  If you want you can find an article in the Boston Globe on August 31, 1983 telling of Mark Rossetti being sentenced to 10 years for being in a masked armed robbery.  In 2001 he was sentenced to a little over 4 years for being a felon in possession of a weapon. Or a December 5, 2003 article you can read about an affidavit filed in federal court that Mark Rossetti was a capo in the Boston Mafia.  Or May 21 and 22, 2010 articles telling how he was charged with trafficking in heroin. In October of that year, Kevin Cullen of the Globe quoted Lt. Steve Johnson of the state police, who was instrumental in bringing down Whitey, as saying, “It’s shocking.  Shocking that a person of Rossetti’s position in the LCN would be hands-on in the heroin business.  But this is where these guys are now.” Johnson was saying the Mafia had become a shell of itself when the top guys were handling the drugs themselves.

Rossetti’s a Mafia capo in an outfit that pretty much has been destroyed.  He’s left to dealing heroin.  Then in August 13, 2011, Shelley Murphy of the Globe reports that the state police picked up Rossetti on a wiretap and learned that he was an FBI informant.  Look at Rossetti’s background I just set out and tell me how the FBI could have gone back to business as usual using another Whitey Bulger-type as an informant.

The Boston Globe to its credit asked what was going on.  The FBI, and the state police hierarchy ever the lackey to the FBI, responded,  according to Shelley Murphy’s article, “Specifically, the FBI employees responsible for handling this matter did not engage in any inappropriate activities and acted in accordance with the Department of Justice and FBI rules.  They demonstrated a high level of integrity and professionalism.”

Yogi would say “deja vu again.”  That’s what they said about the [FBI] agents Morris and Connolly who handled Whitey.   Former Colonel Tom Foley (the author) who we know was responsible for destroying Whitey and Stevie said, “After everything that we’ve been through with the Bulger case, nothing has been learned, nothing has changed.”

On August 21, 2011, Kevin Cullen rightly asks where is the outrage of the FBI again using top gangsters for informants.  Cullen indicated Rossetti has been an FBI informant for upwards of twenty years. To be a Mafia capo it is said you have to be a murderer.  Rossetti is suspected of murdering 6 people. The FBI is protecting him. I urge you to read that column and a subsequent one on October 18, “Pants on Fire”.

Then on August 17, 2011, the Globe, . . . . (let me digress a second.  Believe me when I say this, if  it wasn’t for the media we’d be walking in the dark.  My problem with the Globe is that it doesn’t devote more resources to these things.  During my days the Globe, the Herald and the Quincy Patriot Ledger had reporters in Norfolk Superior Court every day  Now most things seem to go uncovered.)   . . . inquired of Congressman Lynch who was on the Congressional Committee that grilled Billy Bulger. The Globe asked Lynch what was he doing about the Rossetti outrage. Lynch said he had demanded a briefing from the FBI on the matter which was being scheduled.  The FBI and the US Attorney would not comment. (former post cont tomorrow)


10 thoughts on “John Connolly Week: (1 of 10) A Look Back part 1 of 2

  1. David Fishwick

    Thanks for an interesting article on your blog.

    You mention in the article that Rossetti is suspected in at least six murders was that when Salemme was the boss of the LCN?

    Do you think that Bianco, Grasso were proteges of Patriarca Senior?

    What is your understanding of Caruana and his ties to Bulger, Flemmi and the mob?

    1. mtc9393 Post author


      You take me far afield when you ask me about the Patriarca family. I can give you this though. Here is something on Junior Patriarca from Judge Wolf “Nevertheless, in 1983, his involvement with Salvatore Michael Caruana was such that other members of the LCN expected that the defendant would be indicted on drug charges with Caruana.

      In the spring and summer of 1989, the Family was deeply divided between members, including Russo, Ferrara and Carrozza in Boston, who sought removal of Patriarca as Boss, and members who remained loyal to Patriarca.” Trial Brief of United States, filed October 16, 1991, p. 216; see also Presentence Report, ¶¶ 57-61, pp. 24-25. As part of an effort to try to persuade Patriarca to abdicate his power and position, the Boston faction caused the Underboss, Billy Grasso, to be shot and killed in Connecticut. On the same day, as part of the same effort, they caused Patriarca ally Frank Salemme to be shot in Massachusetts. Salemme survived.

      You may want to read:

  2. John King McDonald

    State Trooper Billy Johnson who came to cross purposes with Jimmy and the indefatigable Weeks @ Logan Airport in the late eighties and later committed suicide for reasons that did involve persecution and disfavor from Massport flaks was a very decent guy. He was a good Trooper . No nonsense. But inhabiting a world where moral perspective was a matter of whose side you were on in a confusing fight where those who preached right were often as wrong as those who were wrong were occasionally right . He was off duty in East Boston in the early eighties and with his wife in car got into a traffic accident with Rossetti and his brother . All accounts were that he went down swinging like the tough bastard he was , but he did get a brutal beating as they teamed up on him . The Rossetti’s knew who he was previous to this. Dates may be subject to revision, but the facts are right . Rossetti is a serious piece of work . But, of course , he was, and is ,not the only serious piece of work.

    1. mtc9393 Post author


      I worked with Billy doing some wiretaps when he was with SSU. He was a tough guy: was in Vietnam with one of those tough units. I saw him a couple of times at the airport. He was sometimes a little outrageous but a good hearted guy who I always enjoyed.

    1. mtc9393 Post author

      Nee got a pass thanks to deal made with Murderman Martorano. He got a hard handclasp on a deal he only wld testify against Stevie or White or corrupt cops. Prosecutor gave everyone else a pass.

  3. Jerome

    Glad to see you writing about Boston, LCN, FBI, Informants, Connolly, and Bulger again. Look forward to a much needed break from Trump and the circus he runs like PT Barnum. Any word on Bulger health and whether Flemmi has been released?

    1. mtc9393 Post author


      Thanks. No news on either Whitey or Stevie. I’d guess Whitey close to the last roundup. He was in a wheelchair. I wrote to him asking him to let me visit him a while ago but got no response. Perhaps I’ll try again. I’d guess Stevie is living it large in some western state keeping in touch with his angel Wyshak.

  4. nc

    Connolly as a corrupt cop is the Big Lie. Rico as a corrupt cop was the Big Lie ( see Kerr-Wolfinger book). A Mafia disinformation campaign. The media-FBI combination is quite sinister. Hope Trump can end it.

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