John Naimovich – An Insight Into The Whitey Bulger Case: Part 8


(This is being published each Sunday in serial form. For full view of past postings go here. )

The truth is that during the two plus months Foley and White trailed Naimovich they came up with nothing; neither did Captain Mattioli and Sergeant Sullivan who were watching him in the office. Foley candidly admits that what they came up with failed to support the charge that launched the investigation that Naimovich was supplying information about Forte’s movements to Vinny Ferrara.

They did such a thorough investigation that they couldn’t figure out that McIntyre was Naimovich’s informant. All they had to do was ask Bob Haley, the sergeant who worked with Naimovich on a daily basis, or if they didn’t trust him for whatever imaginable reason for he was beyond reproach, they could check with Major Charlie Henderson who had been Naimovich’s boss for many years. Both men knew of that relationship. That they failed in this fundamental step shows something else was afoot. They must have been told not to inquire of that being directed in a sinister manner by the FBI.

Foley writes in his book that he presented the paucity of the information he discovered after his two month investigation to Jim Ring, the FBI supervisor. Ring takes his time to look at what they gave him. There is nothing to support any allegation of wrongdoing by Naimovich. When he finishes reading it, Foley writes Ring says, “Excellent.”

As he’s leaving Foley hears Ring say to Agent Gianturco, “Now we have to take care of our problem.” 

Foley doesn’t give us dates so I assume this all happened before the federals rushed to indict Naimovich on February 2, 1988.

An investigation is started mysteriously on the supposition that a small time bookie is leaking information to Vinny Ferrara, a Mafia leader. Telephone records show the bookie is openly in contact with 23 year trooper John Naimovich who does gaming investigations. No one asks why a trooper whose job requires him to have bookie informants is in contact with the bookie. A two month investigation is done. Nothing is found. The FBI finds the results are excellent.

The FBI presented an affidavit to a judge to get a wiretap. It was full of half-truths. It left out more than it disclosed to the judge. It put in things that happened that they did not connect to Naimovich. In effect it said McIntyre is a bookie, in the past we think we have had investigations compromised by law enforcement, McIntyre talks to state trooper Naimovich on the phone, therefore Naimovich must have given McIntyre information which he passed on to Mafia people. Truly, that’s about all it said.

After the federals did the wiretap on McIntyre, on Friday evening, January 29, 1988, they raided his house. They told him they had him cold on the wiretap, that he was going to be indicted for racketeering, and wanted to know what he had to say. He gave them a statement that ran five pages. That statement had been hidden from defense counsel until after McIntyre testified. Judge Tauro allowed McIntyre to be called back by defense counsel later in the trial to be cross-examined about it.

The statement showed that Friday evening they asked McIntyre if he knew Naimovich. McIntyre admitted he knew him. He said he met him in 1983 and that he had agreed to be an informant and had been an informant. They asked him if he knew anything about law enforcement corruption. He said no. They told him he had to meet with Jeremiah O’Sullivan the next day, a Saturday.

When McIntyre testified at the trial he said he had no memory of that meeting with O’Sullivan. But it did happen as Captain Mattioli and an FBI agent testified at 10.00 am. There was no written report of that meeting as far as I can tell. Through testimony it was pointed out that O’Sullivan told McIntyre he did not believe his prior night’s statement and he was going to put him in prison a long time and take all his assets, a similar pitch to what Wyshak gave to Jimmy Katz. He said if McIntyre would become a witness against Naimovich, he wouldn’t take any assets and his sentence would be negligible. McIntyre had to go home and think whether he wanted to impoverish his family or put a cop in prison and come back with a new tale, different from the one he told the night his house was raided.

We heard when Whitey made his statement in court telling the judge why he would not testify he said: “I’ve been choked off from having an opportunity to give an adequate defense and explain about my conversation and agreement with Jeremiah O’Sullivan. For my protection of his life, in return, he promised to give me immunity.” The Boston Herald in an editorial said of the claim: “What a guy, that Whitey, “protecting” a fed! And if you believe that, have you heard the one about how he kept the drugs out of Southie, too?”  Kevin Cullen noted that: “Whitey babbled on about some story of how he promised to keep Jerry O’Sullivan from getting whacked by Mafia guys and O’Sullivan “promised to give me immunity.”

However Peter Gelzinis of the Herald had a more temporized statement: Whitey-as-bodyguard defense. I imagine he was suggesting he made a pact with O’Sullivan to protect him against the Italian gunsels in the North End.”

I was far from skeptical of his claim. We see that O’Sullivan is behind the case against Naimovich. What is it that motivates the head of the federal strike force to personally meets a low-level bookie on a Saturday morning the day after a raid on his house to threaten him. Nothing that has happened in this case to this point fits with what is normal. Yet it gets even more strange as it goes on.

(For the complete series from Part One to date go to this post.)


6 thoughts on “John Naimovich – An Insight Into The Whitey Bulger Case: Part 8

  1. Matt,

    Thank you for laying out this sad story of deception and betrayal.
    I am so disturbed by it.

    Living and working in the North End during the times that all of this happened, I never felt frightened. As a matter of fact, I was looked after, walked home, saying hi and bye to people who stood near the very addresses written about. I got pizza everywhere, stopped at bakeries at all hours and ran it off going down and back on the Charles. Yes, an occasional car blew up and burned by the cemetery; people might appear with designer shoes for a good price; people played their numbers. But the elderly were out every day buying meat, fish and vegetables on Salem Street and then sitting together watching the younger walk by.

    Was there an air of danger? Was I told stay away from this one or that one? Yes.

    But our lives in that little part of the city were good, young and old, our lives were full of vendors and coffee, oh my the coffee, and the Feasts. And I keep asking myself just how bad these five brothers from Italy were.

    No one approached me about drugs; we simply knew when somebody was caught in them. Yes, we lost a friend to it, but the culture was about families. Now within that culture of families, there were always the guys who had wives and girlfriends and the ones who did not. You could tell. But there were plenty of guys who didn’t. They were the ones who would bring in their children and yell back at their wife in the car, I got him, I got him, like he’s gonna get killed by a door!

    And Flemmi, in 1979, did not bring his Italian immigrant father who’d served in the Italian army there. No. He brought him to South Boston to be safe. His brother had just died from an overdose, I think. His mother had been mugged in Mattapan. And South Boston looked like a good fit for an Italian immigrant.

    And talk about penultimate moments: I’m sure Mrs. William Bulger has had a thing or two to say about her brother in law’s idea that they could move in next door. Flemmi was the real estate guy, maybe he scoped it out and talked Whitey into it. But I wonder how many times Mrs. Bulger has revisited that decision. Her husband had just become Senate President the year before and Whitey goes along with the parents of a proven serial killer moving next door, and they all get together while Ma cooks.

    Flemmi and Salemme had already killed so many people, they were probably already made men, so I don’t buy the idea that they didn’t want it. Somebody could vouch for at least one of their murders. So why no North End for these people? Not Sicilian? Didn’t Salemme end up as head of the mafia in Rhode Island for a while? Weren’t Flemmi and Salemme friends until some parting of the ways?

    There’s something here that just doesn’t make sense to me.

    1. Firefly:

      There’s a lot that doesn’t make sense and that has been the purpose of this blog to engage with the public who are interested in these matter and have a civil discussion to see what we can learn about what is going on and see whether we can offer any reasonable suggestions as to how it can be changed. We are also concerned that the history of things that we have been taught by others is false and we’ve been able to show that much is in error.

      I also went into the North End during those times and never felt threatened but I knew enough not to put myself in harms way. As for Mary Bulger, what I know of her is she is a very quiet person who has spent her years involved in raising her many kids and I’d bet she had no idea who was moving in and when she found out probably had no idea who they were. Remember, Whitey was not too much concerned with others in his family, had he been he would not have pursued some of the things that he did. I’d guess when the Flemmi’s moved in next door he thought it would be good for him having a place in Southie where he and Stevie could meet and where they could get a good meal. Ma Flemmi probably thought Steve walked on water and did everything she could to make him happy and her forte being a good cook that’s what she was happy to do for him. I don’t know where his father fits in all this.

      Thanks for your contribution.

  2. LCN killed an informant Barbosa and tried to kill his lawyer Fitzgerald. They’ve killed many judges and prosecutors in Italy. O’Sullivan’s apprehension may have been more than justified.

    1. N:
      They also killed the two guys raising bail money for Barbosa and took his 85,000. O’Sullivan would know that and may have thought he could use a little protection. It makes sense to me.

  3. Very disappointing that Whitey didn’t have the courage to testify and at least give his version of events.

    Whitey may have been protecting O’Sullivan but it wasn’t from the “Italians”.

    First off they wouldn’t try to kill a prosecutor, name one in Massachusetts that has been hit by LCN. Secondly the myth that Whitey was independent and the Italians were his rivals is nonsense.

    Winter Hill was a loose collaboration of criminals of various ethnicities. These criminals either couldn’t be inducted into LCN due to their bloodline or didn’t want to ala Flemmi, different rules; members have to pay up, do what your told etc.

    Whitey and Stevie paid for their franchise in Southie just like Pat Nee does today.

    1. Notoboyo;

      I agree to an extent. Winter Hill operate with the tacit permission of the North End. The idea Martorano and Flemmi put out that they were afraid of them is a little big of self-deception. The Mafia figured why have trouble with them when we can use them a they did for the first five or six killings charged against Whitey. You are looking at the matter from a perspective of the relationship between the Mafia and Winter Hill – suppose O’Sullivan was looking at it a little differently. He may have felt vulnerable and was hot and heavy after the Mafia and may have felt exposed and in his mind he needed some protection so he turned to an Irish guy who he thought could protect him.

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