Kevin Cullen: A Bad Rap – Will The Boston Globe Stand Up?

Once in a while Kevin Cullen back when he was a reporter for the Boston Globe would call me when I was deputy district attorney in Norfolk County. He was not looking for anything special but mainly doing I guess what you would call due diligence seeking to verify some information he already had.

I recall back in 1988 he called. He asked me because of my work in doing wire taps and other organized crime investigations whether I had any information  Whitey Bulger was an FBI informant. I told him something along the line that it would be preposterous. I suggested that he is a target. Little did I know Kevin and his group had already learned from FBI Agent John Morris that Whitey was an informant. He was trying to corroborate this. Eventually another FBI agent named Fitzpatrick would corroborate it for his team.

Years passed. John Connolly’s trial took place and then Whitey got arrested. Because I had written a book about the Connolly trial, Don’t Embarrass the Family, I started this blog to push the book explaining that reading it would help one understand the issues. I also began to comment on the developments leading up to Whitey’s trial. Some of my blogs were not too friendly to the positions taken by the Globe.

As the Whitey trial date approached I asked the Patriot Ledger if I could report on it for them. It agreed. I secured a press pass. Other than a couple of times in the courtroom, I spent my time in the media courtroom where the trial was broadcast live.  Kevin was there. He ignored me perhaps out of pique for my criticizing him.

One person he did not ignore was Howie Carr.  I was surprised to see what bosom buddies they were. I had not thought they were that close.

After that I thought less of Kevin feeling he could dish it out but not take it. Still I would read his columns on subjects that may have interested me. He was a good writer although sometime a little too much of a name dropper.

Now, as you must know, Kevin is out on some type of forced absence from the Globe because as that paper writes, “we take seriously any credible assertion about the integrity of our journalism.” It noted some “questions that have publicly surfaced” which apparently reflect poorly on Kevin’s integrity.     

As best I can tell these questions relate to whether Kevin claimed in his columns that he was at the April 15 2013, Marathon bombing at the time the bombs went off. He wasn’t, he was an hour or two away. One person who quickly threw Kevin to the wolves was his friend Howie Carr who called him a little Mike Barnicle (who was fired from the Globe) and wrote of his “utter destruction by Kirk and Callahan on WEEi.”  

Kevin has to sit out while a third party “expert” conducts a thorough examination of his work. It’s hard to say what that will involve. Is it the issue that just came up or is it his 30 plus years at the paper.

If it relates to the Marathon bombing a fair investigation should show that Kevin never claimed in his columns he was at site of the Marathon bombing when the bombs went off.  He wrote of what happened from information that he received from others.

It’s sort of ironic that he’s being nailed in this way; he must have seen how FBI agents who relied on what people told  them were later condemned for writing it down when it was found out to be false.

Kevin’s business like an FBI agent was to delve into the matters behind the happenings; to talk to people who had first hand information on them; and to report what they said assuming they were truthfully relaying information which conformed with his observations. Reading his columns after the bombings, that is what he did and described the horrors that had happened.

In his recent column on April 14 he tells about being at a fire and the smell reminded him of the Marathon bombing; he tells how hearing multiple fire engines or ambulances going to an emergency reminds him of it;  and that the embers of a fire gives him the taste of the Marathon  tragedy. Some have said he is claiming to have been there when the bombing occurred; I don’t see it that way. I believe he can experience these sensations coming up on the scene hours later, seeing the devastation, talking to witnesses and victims, and imagining the horrors which subsequent events bring back to mind.

Sadly, Kevin has been badly damaged because the Globe quickly moved against him. It had to have known his work after employing him for over 30 years. Even though he’s not high on my list of favorite people I must say that truth be told I have never seen other than high quality work from his writings especially in areas where I have a great familiarity.  I may have disagreed with his conclusions but never felt he was writing other than in good faith and based on his facts, knowledge and sources.

I’m not sure why this rap has been put on him by the sports guys at WEEI. Is there something in the background we don’t know about? In my judgment it is not fair nor right. Kevin deserves the benefit of the doubt based on his years of good and loyal work. He should be quickly restored to his position with the recognition that he did nothing wrong.

Journalist integrity also means standing up for one’s employees absent a clear and compelling case of  wrongdoing. That is not present here. The Globe should never have suspended Kevin.

84 thoughts on “Kevin Cullen: A Bad Rap – Will The Boston Globe Stand Up?

  1. John Visser

    Matt, you are wrong about what Cullen has asserted. You say “If it relates to the Marathon bombing a fair investigation should show that Kevin never claimed in his columns he was at site of the Marathon bombing when the bombs went off. He wrote of what happened from information that he received from others.”

    You have apparently not conducted even a cursory investigation yourself. We know Cullen wasn’t on the scene at the marathon bombing, he has admitted that multiple times. Yet, in his very first column about the bombing, April 16, 2013 in the Boston Globe, he puts himself unambiguously at the finish line seconds after the second blast when he states “I saw an older runner wearing high rise pink socks, about to cross the finish line. He was knocked to the ground by a photographer running up Boylston Street toward the second explosion.” To be clear, that’s first person, past tense, “I saw….” That is unambiguously placing himself at the scene.

    What say you?

    Here’s the link:

    1. mtc9393 Post author


      I have to agree that seems to put him there at the time. Perhaps my reading was not thorough enough. Can’t get around your proof.

      1. John Visser

        Thanks for the reply, Matt. I hope that other commentators and investigators can see this as clearly, for what it is.

        There’s more, of course, if one cares to dig into it, in particular, his accounts of the Richards’ families experiences, and the actions of a firefighter called Sean at the scene, and so on.

        My intuition, the “vibe” I get from reading his stuff, is that he is a fabulist. It’s really too bad, I’m sure he has a good heart, but there are other things tugging at him that produce this kind of story telling. It’s a professional shame that the Globe, Brian McGrory,, allowed this to go on.



    1. Khalid

      More fatuous generalizations? If you dig a little deeper, you’ll find the whole idea of a unitary western civilization disappears. Spengler’s a good place to begin.

  2. Bill C.

    Khalid, the synthesis, the unification, of Jerusalem, Athens and Rome is what we call Western Civilization.

    1. Khalid

      OK, Bill. Tell me how reason, and, revelation, are reconciled in what you call Western civilization. Generalizations are not an answer. Be precise. Roman culture, being descended from the Greek, doesn’t, independently, fit within the metaphor.
      The struggle between Athens and Jerusalem continues. Every time revealed religion refuses the dialectic, the fight begins anew.

  3. Bill C.

    Correction: each of the one trillion cells in the human body performs one trillion biochemical processes per second . . .you know, like moving a hydrogen atom from this molecule to that molecule . . .and the body does this without our consent and even while we sleep . . .take that

    Like I’ve said, The Myth of the Self-Made Man . . .who changed his diapers? . . . where’d he get his get up and go from . . . Mom’s X or Dad’s Y . . . and what about the first dude to look up at the sky and wonder why . . .Homo sapiens sapiens artiste, where’d he come from 50 or 100 thousand years ago . . .what’s he got to do with the price of tea . . .and who were the attractive young Wild Things who decided 100,000 years ago to mate with Neanderthal . . .and give us a few of their genes . . .

    It’s beginning to make sense to me

    1. Honest Abe

      “Correction: each of the one trillion cells in the human body performs one trillion biochemical processes per second . . .you know, like moving a hydrogen atom from this molecule to that molecule . . .and the body does this without our consent and even while we sleep . . .take that….”

      I wasn’t going to jump on that one comment, but since you edited it, bravo!
      I love explaining to people how small is small or how big is big. Many do not believe me. I heard that on a square centimeter of surface area in the colon there are more bacteria than all the humans that ever lived. That’s a bunch o’ bacteria.

  4. Bill C.

    We talk about “reason” as if it’s the end all and be all.

    A poet said, “The heart has reasons the mind knows not of.”

    We sense, intuit a lot more than what’s been reduced to logic. We take up arms against Government Oppression in 1776 although most Minutemen and Patriots could not articulate precisely the causa belli.

    Explain rationally, reasonably “Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto #2, Rhapsody in Blue and from Rock & Roll, the Trog’s Wild Thing and Santana’s Soul Sacrifice” in 2500 words or less. Explain why and how they “move us.” Explain “falling in love” or why a soldier would fall on a grenade.

    Now remember the alphabet has 26 letters and we make a lot of words and sentences with them, and can capitalize or not.

    The piano works with 7 notes A, B, C, D, E, F, G and of course you can flatten or sharpen them, but between C and C, an “octave” (CDEFGABC) there are only twelve tones . . .seven white keys and five black keys on the piano

    The human cell works with a code that has three letters . . . or is it four?

    Computers work with two . . .0 or 1, positive or negative . . .

    An infinite variety of written expressions, words.

    An infinite variety of musical expressions. Leonard Bernstein called it the Infinity Variety of Music.

    An infinite variety of biologic expression.

    And we haven’t even touched on the ineffable.

    We human beings, scientists, don’t know, yet, what Consciousness is . . .some scientists (read it in Scientific America) talk of a Cosmic Consciousness . . .

    It all evokes what one Jesuit at BC asked his students, “What is the meaning of meaning?”

    2. So we ponder the imponderables, and get back down to earth: To the mundane and prosaic: Whatever Juror is writing a book about John Connolly’s trial, make sure he or she includes a few chapters on the Juror who repeatedly stated on Television, Radio and in the Press, that he never would have convicted John Connolly of anything if he thought he’d spend a day in jail. That juror thought the charges the FEDs brought against John were so petty (or phony) that John would get probation, or be set free with a slap on the wrist. PUT THAT IN YOUR BOOK . . .THE BOSTON MEDIA INITIALLY REPORTED IT THEN IGNORED IT FOR 16 YEARS, writing as if John’s crimes were “heinous” and the case against him “iron clad.” I denounce the Federal Prosecutors who framed an innocent man, John Connolly, and the judge who intemperately and exceedingly harshly sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

    3. Now I’ll get back to creating more sentences or musical phrases on the keyboards, while the each of the one trillion cells in my human body performs one trillion biochemical processes per day.

    4. All cells in the human body contain a nucleus except red blood cells and one other cell line/type. Inside that nucleus if you have an XX chromosome, you are a girl; if an XY, you are a boy (there are some pathologies with extra Xs but forget the rare Klinefelter type syndromes, for now.)
    I write this to state that the reason I like girls is that every single cell in their human bodies is different than mine at the most fundamental level . . the chromosomal, genetic level . . .also because they have an extra layer of fat cells under their skin which makes them appear and feel “softer” . . .and also because of the way they’re shaped and the tone of their voices and the way they think and otherwise express themselves in dance, fashion, just sitting around and making tea . . .and because, “Wild Thing, you make my heart sing, you make everything groovey, Wild Think, you move me!”

    Whatever floats your boat . .

    1. John King McDonald

      Bill :

      Remember this :

      I want to spend my life with a girl like u
      ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba

      A GIRL LIKE YOU … The Troggs

      Always my fave !!!

      1. Honest Abe

        Easily? You better review the list again. I’d say there are about 30-40 tied for the lead.

  5. John King McDonald

    Pilfered Talisman nails it , Bill . I like that ! I agree about Abe, Maestro .

  6. Bill C.

    And the writings and insights of folks on this blog I oftentimes find profound
    They move me
    Now to lighten up, they move not unlike the way the Trogs said Wild Thing moved them . . . .Wild Thing you make my heart sing you make everthing groovey . . .Wild Think you move me

    It’s like the MFA’s exhibit on Aphrodite . . .and the Greco-Roman sculptures of the idealized woman goddesses which were in fact sculptures of real life lovely young woman of reproductive age like the playboy models . . .18-21 was the Greco-Roman ideal . .18-24 was the Playboy Ideal, as 20 year old Barbi Benton said to then 60-plus year old Hugh Hefner, “I’ve never dated a man over 24” and Hef replied, “I’ve never dated a woman over 24.”

    What the Ancient Greeks did in Art was HUMANIZE it, they celebrated the human body, the human form, athletics, the Olympics, the human form in action, then they humanized the mind with the plays of Sophocles, Euripides, they humanized DRAMA, then they humanized THE MIND with Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, they humanized reason, thinking . . . even their GODS were humanized . . . .look at Aprhodites’s sculptures . . .the Jews found one God and transcribed man’s relation to Him, the Almighty . . .finally some Greeks caught on about 300-400 BC when Socrates was poisoned with hemlock . . HEMLOCK . . .they scholars say it was Socrates who never wrote but only spoke (his words at least are only written by others) . . .it was Socrates who first began to teach the Greeks that there was only ONE GOD and for this he was executed

    And so it goes with those who dare to speak the simple truth . . .the prophets in their time are rejected, silenced and the false prophets wearing pilfered talisman telling tall tales are given megaphones . . .mega phonies on high horses peddling horse-sh__ crapola . . .lower than dirt . . .lower than slimey . . .unseemly stuff

    1. Khalid

      No God, not one God. Read Plato. He’s the only reason we know anything about Socrates. Socrates believed the pantheon of Hesiod was ridiculous (Apollo, Zeus, Artemis, and, the others), and, that the Greek Gods were merely stand-ins for elements of human behavior. If you want to understand about the Greeks and religion, read Aristotle. In modern terms, Aristotle was an atheist who did not believe in a personal God, or, savior. If you have different info on that, trot it out. I’m your Huckleberry.

      1. Khalid


        Pick up a copy of Nietzsche’s “Birth of Tragedy,” if you want to understand the function of drama in Hellenic culture. Nietzsche, also, explores the roles of Dionysus, and, Apollo, in Grecian thought. They were thought to be the twin poles of creativity. None of it has anything to do with modern concepts of a unitary deity. Don’t believe me. Read it for yourself.

        1. Khalid


          Aristotle believed the physical world to be un-created, and, eternal. That’s at odds with the eschatologies of both Christianity, and, Islam. Great philosophic efforts have been made to reconcile Aristotle to religion. Both Aquinas, and, Ibn Sina, devoted much ink to the subject, but, never really bridged the gulf between reason, and, revelation. Athens and Jerusalem remain far apart.

      2. Bill C.

        Khalid, I trotted out what I had read many years ago . . .in a book . . .Socrates was teaching the youth that there was One God .. . and for this he was forced to drink the Hemlock . . . .Socrates synthesized, united Athens and Jerusalem . . .as did the Greco-Roman Empire, Greco-Roman Art and Judaeo-Christianity.

        1. Bill C.

          At times I have read the writings of one of the great Atheistic exponents of our day, Christopher Hitchens, and sensed he was on the verge of concluding that the World was more Spiritual than material or mental, that he was on the verge of accepting a Cosmic Consciousness, a Higher Power . . .of course he brilliantly fought those ideas until the end . .. .but read him closely and you’ll see he articulated them . . .he touched on them . . .he was embracing them . . he was beginning to see the light . . .or he always had and was,, as the song said, “Blinded by the Light”

          1. John King McDonald

            Hitch-22 on LIBRIVOX … He died an Atheist and proud of it, Bill. He is all consciousness though as demonstrated by his superlative efforts . As the Swami said to his sorrowful devotees “When I die where would I go ? ” The man who got goosed by a scintillating Margaret Thatcher at a party and was brightly addressed with a twinkling ” You are a naughty boy! ” had a zest like Zorba for life . And he died like a man .

    1. Honest Abe

      Vell, I come up vith a goot vun. Now and zen, that is.

      Oy, is my Rabbi gonna schmaltz me good! A real schleptomaniac.

      I have to send Bill my new DVD. It teaches you how to undo CAPS LOCK in less than three days or your money back.

      Your history Q and A for the day; Why did Constantinople get the works? That’s nobody’s business but the Turks.

      This blog, except for my posts, is superb.

      1. Bill C.

        No, Abe, it wouldn’t be half as superb without you . . . .you see, what it boils down to is what that guy in La Junta, Colorado taught me: He said he views every person as his superior, to this extent: He can learn something from everyone . . .a Chinese or first gen Chinese-American student at the BC O’Neil Library’s front desk agreed when I told her that story of the man in the store I bumped into on my way to old Fort Bent along the what? New Mexico Trail, Arizona Trail? . ..anyway, out there . . .She said it more succintly, “Every person is a teacher.”

        And so as Anna sang in the King and I (Rogers & Hammerstein was it?) what every teacher knows “by your pupils you are taught.” And I, a student of the human condition, learn a lot from the folks on this blog . . .TOO! (CAPITALIZED FOR EXTRA ADDED EMPHASIS) you know like piano-FORTE

      2. Khalid

        Interesting question. The Ottomans were originally ghazi raiders (1100-1200s) who nibbled at the eastern edges of the Byzantine in its’ declining years The Byzantines were having political problems controlling the Christian Balkans at that time (1300s). To remedy this the Emperor invited the Muslim Ottomans to cross the Aegean Sea, and, establish a Byzantine satellite state in Thrace (Salonika). It is there that the Usmanli road to empire began. Originally hired as mercenaries, the Ottoman ghazis soon outgrew that role, and, established themselves as a polity independent of the Greek Empire. Once the Ottomans organized, there was no stopping them. At first, the Ottoman army was composed of feudal cavalry, but, with the evolution of firearms they began to shift to an infantry dominated military force. The Ottoman heavy infantry, known as Janissaries, were raised from the Christian population through a process called devshirme. Young boys were recruited by Ottoman officials, and, trained for the military life. Officially, they were personal slaves of the Sultan. Because of their loyalty, many of these conscripted boys rose to the highest positions in the Ottoman empire. Once they were firmly established in the Balkans, the Ottomans recrossed the Aegean, and, attacked the Byzantines of Anatolia. The Turks prevailed in the struggle, and, were soon threatening Byzantium from two directions, both east, and, west The city’s fabled defenses kept the Ottomans back until 1492, when, the cannon of Mehmet III blasted the walls down . The Ottomans possessed the best artillery force in the world at that time. It was staffed by Christian renegades who’d thrown in with the Sultan. Following its’ fall, Constantinople became Istanbul, the capital of the most powerful Muslim state in the world. For two hundred years, Ottomans made European emissaries to the Sublime Porte crawl into the presence of the reigning Sultan on their knees. Only the battles of Vienna, and, Lepanto, kept the Turks from conquering all of Europe. I often wonder what the world would have been like, if they had. Maybe, better, I can’t see how things could get much worse than they are right now.

        1. Honest Abe

          I took John’s advise and read The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin. It is an excellent story about Investigator Yashim (who has been snipped) in 1830’s Istanbul. I learned a tremendous amount of history about that period and place. The other Yashim books are just as interesting, beautifully written and quite thrilling in all the proper places. Check them out.

          1. Khalid


            I will. Good tip. I studied Ottoman History under Prof Kemal Karpat at UW Madison, back in the Seventies. It was a great experience, and, has left me always curious about any new work on the Ottomans. Land tenure and taxation are my principal interests. By 1830, the Janissaries were a fully corrupted reactionary conservative force that deeply opposed modernization. When they’d had enough of the Sutan’s reforms, they’d turn over their “squad size” communal stew pots to express their dissatisfaction with the regime. Rebellion soon followed.

  7. John King McDonald

    Trying to finish that :

    There is some immediate sense one wakes to that there is a fundamental psychic and spiritual violation going on here. Cullen writes that driving through an intersection he sees Jane at a corner on her prosthesis and shouts encouragement . She waves enthusiastically he relates , though he is uncertain she knows it is him . He then pulls eventually into a old and familiar parking lot and weeps .

    A curious detail had been furnished as well : apparently a pal of Cullen’s , ” the great Jack D. ” ( who no doubt is a good guy) had in Cullen’s words , not hired Jane , but ” given her a few hours work a week . ” There is a sickening condescension in the description , an objectification of someone you have no right to objectify , a taking over of the …. Temenos …. or Sacred Space … inside Jane Richards . It is typical of him . Maudlin with a vengeance !

    1. John King McDonald

      Let’s just say that Kevin Cullen did a drive by of Jane Richards and her family .

      She is a consecrated being in Boston .

      Leave her be . She is not here for use as a prop in creepy columns that insinuate yourself into the lives of people who have suffered enough !

  8. John King McDonald

    Cullen , have always found his writing maudlin, to get back to cases . Egregiously and with Intent To Inflame he wrote that column about Jane Richards becoming a ” Talisman ” for him . A rabbit’s foot is a talisman . Now , Jane Richards who has her own vitally unique and rugged identity, has that identity shanghaied to be worn around the neck of this LOOK AT ME !!! columnist like a cheap charm .

    There is some immediate sense one wakes to that there is some sort of very wrong psychic and spiritual violation going on hre

    1. Honest Abe

      I wonder when it stopped being about the news. Now its just about the people reporting the news. That is why I watch the news on NHK. And their tea is much better.

  9. John King McDonald

    Uhm … Monsignor Marvelous does address Father LeMaitre’s Big Bang Theory in QUININE OR AQUINUS ? in his irreverent chapter… Whoops There It Is ; and I as a human observer collapse all abstruse wave theory mechanics of the Copenhagen Interpretation and …. ALWAYS … know Schrödinger’s cat’s survival is my survival !!!

    The Monsignor has swept the Heights !

    1. Honest Abe

      I always whished he had used something other than a cat. Like why not a politician? Anyway, now we know that oil and water don’t mix so no more dead/alive cat possibilities. Just kittens.

      1. John King McDonald

        Abe , It is the human observer , because indispensable, Who resolves all the quantum possibilities . That is a certainty Heisenberg , from brushing his teeth in the morning to parking his dentures at night, demonstrated hundreds of times a day. Anything is … Possible …That’s the beauty of it !

  10. John King McDonald

    Bill, Knew a qualification might be required . Lawyers as prevaricators , in the sense that evasive answers are like Christmas cookies to them , was the meaning involved . The harsher variant in modern usage, of its being considered a synonym for liar , was not intended .

    Have been defended by Al Hutten Sr. and Thomas Finnerty Sr .

    I ain’t got no gripe with youse lawyers !

  11. Bill C.

    In New Times v Sullivan, as I apprehend it, the Court said you cannot libel public officials (public personae) unless you write something knowingly false and damaging, that is some fact which you know is false and you maliciously write it intending to harm, damage the person.
    Now, the Courts have said, as we all know anyway I hope, that there’s a difference between FACT and OPINION.
    So, we may opine about anything until we’re blue in the face . . .it’s my opinion that the Boston Globe is a thoroughly corrupt organization which deliberately distorts facts to promote a Leftist agenda . . . .doesn’t mind there are not a lot of good people writing very good articles and doing very good reporting . .there are . . .but THE FISH ROTS FROM THE HEAD DOWN

    NOW HERE’S WHERE “TRUTH” COMES IN: In the musical, Jesus Christ Superstar, Pilot asks Jesus, “We all have truths; are yours the same as mine?”

    Now here’s where FACTS come in . . .Scientists know that there are “alternative facts” . . .in any disease there may be multiple etiologies and laboratory results may vary from minute to minute . .depending on a host of variables . . .the patient, the lab, the equptment, sun-spots, earthquakes . . .and we always have X the unknown factor . . .So don’t be too God damn sure of your FACTS . .make room for doubt, a little doubt, as the poem IF said, “If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for doubting, too.” BE “CONFIDENT’ IN THE FACTS you’ve gathered and CONSIDERED OPINIONS you’ve formed but DO NOT BE “CERTAIN.”



    EVEN LAWYERS . . .MOST OF WHOM ARE NOT LIARS, BUT GOOD HARD-WORKING FOLKS . . .EVEN the most ethical lawyers will STIPULATE that Some Facts are FACTS and other proposed FACTS are debatable

    And so the wheels turn, some screws loosen and some are tighten, some lose their marbles and some get their marbles back, science pushes forward, but sometimes regresses and gets stuck in the muck, but TIME inexorably marches on and “The Mills of God grind slowly but exceeding fine.”

    And we still don’t know what Dark Matter and Dark Energy, 95% of the STuff in the Universe is . . .

    Peace, and as Matt says, continue to “Fight the good fight.”

  12. John King McDonald

    Agent Sarhatt …. This is my buddy, Jim . Fresh from Monsignor Aloytious Malachi Marvelous’ Lecture : QUININE OR AQUINUS ? up at BC are we ! In this philosophical frame of mind we hastened here so that Jim can give you a existential declaration as to why we are such a swell bunch , and let’s roll with some Paul Rico grace notes ,wink wink , nudge nudge !

    Oh yeah , In the future the moderator of this blog , a decent sort , but a prevaricator ( well , a … Lawyer , OK ) along with innumerable others will full throatedly assail my credibility. Nothing I said can be trusted . Unless, it is something I said that supports a narrative they have blithely accepted .

    Right !

  13. John King McDonald

    Too much of the FBI speaking out of their ” Sarhatt ” ( Agent Lawrence Sarhatt ) when it comes to the credibility of any account of the Agency’s highly creative approach to explaining a universe that they and Jimmy Bulger existed in .

    We have only their account .

    Are they talking out of their” Sarhatt ?”

  14. hutch

    Why dignify that sewer of a paper with any response. This is the paper of the “Spotlight Team” and the disgraceful destruction of Joe Lawless. (I’m sure BC, NC, and MTC recall the unforgiveable treatment of this good man.)

    The publication of the picture of the slaughter of Eddie Connors, a father of eight, after other papers who had the same picture, acceded to the pleas of family and friends and refrained from publication-notably the Record/American.

    Cullen was good in the early days at the Argus (?) but he quickly fell under the poisonous spell of the Monster on Morrissey Blvd. Why is he surprised to be thrown under the bus? He was probably one of the throwers in the past. Lie down with dogs…

    1. Bill C.

      Hutch, Bravo. You nailed it.

      At the next to last page of my book I call the two curs Carr and Cullen, “yellow dogs.”

      “Lie down with dogs . . .” Ditto!

  15. Kevin reddington

    Kevin has written many excellent pieces over the years and from what I have seen is an honorable person and a damn fine journalist. I understand the feeding frenzy when someone is down, but I agree with hizzoner. This is bs. But there again it’s the globe. Matt, keep up the good work. Great blogs!

    1. mtc9393 Post author


      Nice to hear from you. How is Catherine holding up? You must have really been shocked going through that circus. I hope you haven’t given up the good fight yet. You are one of the best.

    2. Bill C.

      No one likes kicking a guy when he’s down. I’ve been throwing punches at Kevin Cullen for more than 20 years while he was standing tall, powerfully full of himself with the full backing of the Globe, and I’ve been throwing punches at the Boston Globe for at least 50 years . . more . . .A loit of good guys, friends, worked at the Globe and drank at our local bars . . .the Globe’s Leftist positions, Anti-Life, Anti-Conservative, Anti-Irish-Catholic, their abhorrently slanted coverage of the Forced Busing Situation, the St. Pat’s Parade Case, the Federal Prosecutors’ Abuse of Power of the last 20 years, etc, etc, and the issues mentioned by Hutch and others on this blog . . .WE ARE NOT KICKING A MAN WHEN HE IS DOWN . . .WE HAVE BEEN TRYING TO KNOCK OUT THE LEFTISTS AT THE SCURRILOUS GLOBE FOR DECADES . . .AND IT’S A FAIR FIGHT . . .A FEW GUYS FROM SAVIN HILL (GIVE ME TEN MEN WHO ARE STOUT HEARTED MEN) AGAINST THE GLOBE AND ALL THE LEFTISTS IN MASSACHUSETTS



    3. Declan mcmanus

      You MAY want to take one more look at the facts of the case before declaring this pipe artist to be honorable, counselor. Unless he’s got a healthy retainer, I’d stay away from this’s a dog with fleas.

  16. Kerry Joyce

    I think the WEEI Globe feud may go back a while, but it became hotter after Jessica Leung’s column about WEEI in February when she wrote: “As a Chinese-American, I am seething over what [WEEI guy] Fauria did on Friday, when he mocked sports agent Don Yee [on air] by speaking in a stereotypical Asian accent. Yee, who was born in the United States, speaks perfect English… The accent was completely unnecessary when the butt of his joke was supposed to be Boston Herald sports columnist Ron Borges, who was duped by a prankster pretending to be Yee.”

    So then, if memory serves, the Kirk and Callahan crew started going after Leung on twitter and Cullen stepped into the fray. It seemed like Cullen was trying to cool things down but the WEEI bunch were not interested in that. I think there might have been a subsequent column where Leung called up WEEI advertisers and asked them how they feel about what Fauria did. So the WEEI guys were hopping mad.

    One thing Cullen did in all of this was tweet something to them about you should be careful about mixing it up with people who buy ink by the barrel. I hate that maxim. But besides that one lapse, I would say Cullen was if anything more civil than the WEEI guys overall. Still if a newspaper type ever said that to me, I would really consider that throwing down the gauntlet. I saw that line in a circa 2006 work of fiction called “Dead Line” by Globe editor Brian McGrory too. Twelve years further into the Internet age, please feel free to get over yourselves.

    That is just my take from a limited view that I had of it and others may know more. I don’t claim to be an impartial observer on this or to have the complete story. But I’m pretty sure I have the origins of the problem right. I’m not a huge Cullen fan but I do think a few times a year he knocks one way out of the park, while I have no use for Kirk & Callahan.

    1. mtc9393 Post author

      Thanks for the information. It does seem there has been an ongoing disputed between the two sides. You would think the bosses of the Globe would recognize this and back their guy.

  17. John King McDonald

    Bill, Isn’t that more in your … Educated , experienced , reflective , but ( wait 1/2 beat ) … humble opinion ?

    1. Bill C.

      Yes, John . . .it’s always my humble opinion, as Billy C is a simple man, just another Savin Hill Billy.

      Thanks for the erudite corrective note! It’s music to my ears.

      It’s all music to my ears. A friend emailed: “Don’t worry about the small stuff . . . . . . …it’s all small stuff.”

        1. Bill C.

          Ah, John, what came to mind instantaneously was Chicago’s song: “Make Me Smile.” Of course, I’ll immediately cease the profanity and smiling,

          like Redskin said last Christmas/New Year’s Season during a telephone call from Florida as we reminisced about the good old days, “When we were growing up in Savin Hill, we always did what we were told.”

          And even today, we always do what we’re told to do . . .especially by the “authorities.”

  18. Brian R. Merrick

    The sort of writing that Metro Page columnists do is not reporting. It is supposed to state facts, of course, but state them dramatically. The literary flow encourages the omission of distracting explanatory phrases like “this guy told me that” or, after “I heard” to insert “on a recording.” I have many areas of disagreement with Kevin Cullen but this is BS.

    1. John King McDonald

      Yes , Your Honor , Reality is full of distracting details . It is a tough sell , Kevin Cullen as the Guy De Maupassant of the Metro page . Might as well go with it though . It is all his defenders have .

      GLENLIVET made me do it ! ….. He is better served by the manic depressive dark Irish lyricist defense at this stage than any other .

      He really knows how to put the sting in a person’s ….. DEATH WAIL !

      Despicable client !

    2. Bill C.

      Cullen should have been shown the pasture long ago . . .he is a corrupt reporter and columnist who deliberately distorts facts . . .and what’s worse are his omissions, as NC rightly points out
      Cullen has misled the public for over 30 years in his biased reporting and it is often aimed at traditionalists and conservatives especially in South Boston whom he constantly mocks as if he is of the manor born . . .he is ill-bred, in my humble, but educated, experienced, reflective opinion

      1. Neena

        Corrupt? You better have something better to back up a libel like that. You may not like his opinions but there is no proof Cullen is “corrupt” implying he was bought off. In fact the real subtext of this scandal is WEEI seeking revenge for Globe stories that lost advertising for the shock jocks. The namby pamby liberals at the Globe have given in too fast to these accusations. As usual, the liberals bring a pillow to a knife fight.

        1. Bill C.

          Neena, some people live their lives in fear . . .afraid they’ll offend or be sued. Remember the pamphleteers of 1775-76 . . .they pledged their lives and sacred honor . . .and signed a document . . . .and then they published another document about Free Speech . . .and then 200 hundred years later some guys is black robes said Truth was an absolute defense to . . . . to EVERYTHING . . . .

          As Leonard Cohen sang, “There’s a crack in everything; that’s how the Light gets in.”

          As the song goes, “Blinded by the light” and as Dylan Thomas wrote, “Grave men near death who see with blinding sight that blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, they do not go gentle in that good night . .they rage, rage against the dying of the light.

          Kevin Cullen is a corrupt yellow dog who perpetuates the falsehoods of serial killers and deliberately omits reporting exculpating facts about John Connolly.

          1. John King McDonald

            ‘The glacier knocks in the cupboard, The desert sighs in the bed , And the crack in the teacup opens A lane to the land of the dead.’ W.H.Auden

        2. Declan mcmanus

          You don’t think Cullen has been “bought off”.. I would call acting as Wyshaks personal reporter in exchange for “ scoops “ the very definition of being bought and paid for. Would LOVE to see him deny that under oath.

          Or do you think those grand jury transcripts the Globe continually obtains and prints with no threat of recrimination is just a lucky coincidence??

    3. Khalid

      Wa-llahi! Right-on Mr. Merrick. Journalism and creative writing can get blurred. Sometimes, the writer isn’t conscious of the shift between them. Dry reportage is an awful thing.

  19. John King McDonald

    Bill , You are always so reticent in your remarks !

    NC , as I said once talking to Tom Finnerty Jr. when he noted that all politicians were whores : Well, Tom, ) Cullen would have called him Tommy ! ) May the best whores win then . ”

    Whores and such like curious terms aside , it is mete and proper to leave some breathing room for Juror # 12 on the blog . She was thrown into it all one grants upon reflection ; a Constitutional scholar with a ken for understanding the universe she found herself in , and giving expression to it .

    Would like to hear what she reports .

  20. nc

    What has the honorable Kevin Cullen said about the exculpatory evidence withheld from Connolly’s lawyers in the Florida murder trial? A gross abuse of power by Wyshak goes unmentioned. A travesty of justice is ignored. Once a whore and shill for the Mafia always a whore and shill. Deceitfulness thy name is Cullen.

  21. Bill C.

    In the trial of John Connolly in 2002, the Boston Federal Jury did not believe a single word spoken by serial killer John Martorano. Kevin Cullen believes every word Martorano spoke is gospel, and sells Martorano’s malarkey to the public.

  22. Bill C.

    You assert that you’ve only read Kevin Cullen as “writing in good faith.” He trafficked in the lies Martorano and Flemmi told, he swallowed them whole cloth, unchallenged, that John Connolly and H. Paul Rico were bad cops, and the FBI was full of bad cops. He sold those uncorroborated lies of Martorna, Flemmi, Weeks, Salemme for years . .without critically examining them . . .because he had a HOSTILE ANIMUS against the Bill Bulger, Conservatives and the People of South Boston, as he had a hostile animus and said nothing but deride the South Boston Allied War Veterans who sponsored the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and won a unanimous verdict 9-0 for First Amendment Free Speech Freedoms at the Supreme Court.
    Kevin Cullen, LAPDOG OF THE BOSTON GLOBE, who conducted a 30 years-40 years jihad against Bill Bulger and the good people of South Boston, the Conservatives, Traditionalists whom the liberals and leftists at the Globe despised as did Cullen . . . .that Kevin Cullen you claim “acted in good faith.”

    He perpetuated every lie that Wyshak had his perjurious serial murdering Mafia hit men tell on the witness stand. He adopted all the lies of the killers . . .and never probed their veracity . . .

    That Kevin Cullen who has besmirched the memory of the persons killed by Martorano and Flemmi, who like Howie Carr his buddy, jumped in bed with the vicious killers and promoted their lies . .that Kevin Cullen who exonerates the serial killers who’ve killed five people from Savin Hill, friends, neighbors, family members of friends?

    Kevin Cullen is a disreputable mud-slinger who poses as a journalist and has finally been exposed as the fraud he is.

    For decades Kevin Cullen has been giving speeches about how John Connolly was paid $25,000 a year by Flemmi and Whitey . .he recently gave a speech at U. Mass. Boston repeating that bold faced lie . . .(recently within the past 2 years)






  23. Janet Uhlar

    Not surprised that Cullen may have embellished truth. He, like a few other Globe and Herald reporters, were too quick to believe that what John Morris stated about James Bulger being an informant. They were too quick to believe the stories of Martorano, Flemmi, Weeks, Nee, Connolly etc. They moved fast to tighten up the strands of this loosely woven story and find a way to profit– a story originated by men who were facing lengthy prison sentences — and even the death penalty.
    Matt, everything known about Bulger’s criminality came from these men. Men who never thought Bulger would be captured; men who used deceit to survive on a daily basis. Morris said Bulger was an informant, the Globe printed it, and everyone — including judges — believed it. Consider the reasons Morris made this claim. Consider Morris’s absolute lack of character. Why would anyone believe John Morris? And, from Morris’s statement, the lore of Whitey Bulger was created, and followers assembled across the country and beyond.
    In his testimony, Robert Fitzpatrick stated that following a face to face interview with Bulger — and regardless of Morris and Connolly’s claims — Bulger was NOT an informant, and needed to be made a target. His reasons for this recommendation were put in writing and submitted to the SAC. This was corroborated in testimony, again during the trial, by Desi Sideropolous. Desi was the secretary to numerous SAC’s in the Boston FBI office. (Funny, after the trial, when I read through the coverage by the Boston media, I couldn’t find anything on Ms. Sideropolous’s testimony supporting Bob Fitzpatrick’s statements on Bulger’s status.)
    Kevin Cullen and so many others presented the trusting public with who Bulger is and what he did. Yet Cullen, as well as the other “journalists” who made money off Bulger’s story NEVER corresponded or spoke to Bulger. All information was gained from those whose necks were in the noose, or future in a cold prison cell. But, who cares? The stories are good! The followers bought them and accepted every word as truth, adding to the savings accounts of Cullen and the others.
    None of them asked Bulger his thoughts, his opinion, his truth. None of them.
    I HAVE. And it doesn’t quite line up with the tightly woven tale that’s been spun.
    An aide to Adolf Hitler stated that if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. Certainly Morris, Connolly, Martorano, Flemmi, Weeks, and Nee are good at telling big lies. And, the followers have believed.
    What if Bulger wasn’t an informant? How would the story change? Throughout the years, no one asked him. I HAVE. Read, THE TRUTH BE DAMNED, which contains fascinating statements by James “Whitey” Bulger. Dare to expand your mind beyond the tales of Morris, Martorano, Flemmi, Weeks, Nee, and Connolly.
    Juror #12
    Author of The Truth Be Damned

    1. Bill C.

      John Connolly is an innocent man who has been framed by Fred Wyshak, Durham, Sterns and the Feds and their target was Billy Bulger

      If anyone thinks that Whitey Bulger was not an Informant for the FBI they are either delusional, hallucinating or badly misinformed.

      You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make him see what’s staring him in the face if he has blinders on.




        1. Bill C.

          Incidentally, Joe Pistone went to Miami to testify in John Connolly’s double-jeopardy-defying corrupt shot trial put on by Wyshak and the Miami Trial Judge would not allow Joe Pistone to wear a modest mask while on the witness stand . . .Pistone still fears for his life after all his years working undercover and fears for his family’s safety too . . .the judge’s denial was unjust as was everything else about the Stalin-like Scam Show Trial orchestrated by Fed Prosecutorial Persecutor & Chief Bully Fred Wyshak . . . Joe Pistone had no choice but not to testify . . .a very important character witness for John Connolly was just sandbagged and excluded from the Miami Sham Fraudulent Constitutional-Defying Trial

    2. John King McDonald

      “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend” . … THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE .

      ” Nothing’s too good for The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance . ” ( Conductor)

      The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance .

    3. mtc9393 Post author


      I will definitely read your book: Truth Be Damned. I wish you success with it because you will definitely present a different view from what has been out there. I’m also sure I will disagree with some things especially as it relates to whether Whitey was an informant. I hope you explain why he sat down with Special Agent in Charge Sarhatt at the behest of Agent Connolly who was handling him to explain his value to the FBI. Didn’t Sarhatt report that he spoke with Whitey who told him he did not like the State Police and because the FBI (Agent Rico) was good to him and his family when he was arrested for the armed robbery that is why he was providing information to Connolly.

      Agent Morris and Fitzpatrick told the Globe back in 1988 that Whitey was an informant. Why did Morris do that? You seem to suggest that you know the reason. What was it? Why did Fitzpatrick confirm with the Globe that fact. You indicated Fitspatrick said he spoke with Whitey and Whitey said he wasn’t an informant. You failed to mention that Fitzpatrick pled guilty to perjury for saying that. You forgot to mention that there was no two page report that Fitzpatrick allegedly wrote ever found.

      How was it Morris and Connolly were dining with Whitey and Martorano?? Didn’t other FBI agents also attend some of their dinners? You believe Whitey when he says he was not giving information to Connolly? How was it Connolly was getting the information to give on the Maria? Connolly had to get it either from him or Flemmi. They were two peas in a pod and if Flemmi was giving he information was Whitey unaware of it?

      Unfortunately, Bulger was an informant. Connolly filed reports where he stated Bulger claimed the Norfolk DA’s office where I worked had a vendetta against him. That was because we were investigating him and his associates. Where did Connolly get that information if not from Bulger? How was it the Lancaster Street investigation was tipped or the Howard Johnson’s telephones?

      I’m looking forward to your take on this especially since it will have some of Whitey’s version. But for me there is no doubt he was an informant.

  24. John King McDonald

    Read what the Tweetists call the ” Death Of A Tweet . ” This refers to Kevin Cullen’s April 19 tweet referring to Trump attorney Cohan : THE LIGHT OF DAY WILL SHOW THESE FRAUDS FOR WHAT THEY ARE .

    As the columnist whose name is spoken in hushed tones by those who have salt restricted diets pointed out in his BABY BARNICLE column , these words were prophetic .

    If … Kev … has not taken his Twitter down then read through the torrent of feelings of revulsion and condemnation that exploded in that thread . It is a thread most assuredly …. Dead .

    When Emily Rooney , Father Dan Kennedy , Callie Crossley et al on BEAT THE PRESS resort to the most absurd sorts of metaphysical excuses as to how a journalist might enter into some exalted and sacred empathy zone wherein they can for instance hear a person’s death throes in a video archive and then retail that as , and I quote , ” I HEARD CRYSTAL CAMPBELL’S DEATH WAIL ” I take it all with a derisive snort at their delusional world . I expect that sort of desperate cover thy ass dementia from these liberal mouthpieces who clearly have no sense of reality or shame .

    That Twitter thread is the VOX POPULI

    What’s your deal ?

    1. John King McDonald

      No need to throw the FBI under the bus with the ” Imp-Lied ” Kevin Cullen , btw .

      They’ve got their own headaches !

    2. JM

      Kevin did hear Krystal’s death wail. All of us who covered the Tsarnaev Trial did. There were tapes made immediately after the explosions, horrors the public will never be shown. When Kevin spoke in a documentary about those sounds, he said he heard them via taped evidence. But Kirk and Callahan edited that part out. This is ugly business going on. Don’t fall for it.

      1. John King McDonald

        There are other components . Cullen wrote and spoke with great pathos about his good friend Sean O’Brien , a firefighter who carried Jane Richards to the ambulance and then in Cullen’s description … ” Went back and crawled on his legs , his legs and his knees on the ground , searching for her severed leg . ”

        This never happened . Sean O’Brien is a Boston Firefighter . He has a close relationship with the Richards family which I believe pre-dated the Race , but he barely knew Cullen . A firefighter named Patterson , Leominster Fire Dept . ? , did indeed pick Jane Richards up and get her to the ambulance. Neither he, nor certainly Sean O’Brien , no fault of Sean O’Brien”s , participated in the sensational GLOBE METRO columnist’s version of an extremely … Ugly … deal.

        Sean O’Brien is not amused .

        This single episode is the touchstone for his reporting on the events of that day. There are others . This single episode casts all of his poeric

        1. John King McDonald

          *… this single episode casts all of his attempts to imply he was at Ground Zero, as dramatic , and excusable , literary limnings in the service of really putting the smell of gunpowder in all our noses , in a very dubious place !

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