After having the mysterious reference to George McLaughlin thrown into the case, we heard the oft told tale of the murder of Halloran and Donohue and the man in the mask that reminds me of one of the Legends of Sleepy Hollow. That lasted about 10 to 15 minutes to tell: someone told them Halloran was on the Southie water front, Halloran had been telling the FBI lies about Whitey, Whitey sent Weeks down to the water front to wait, he came down later with the hit car, a masked man in the back seat sat up and waved, Weeks went and watched Halloran until he was leaving the Pier Restaurant, radioed Whitey it was happening, Whitey and the masked stranger mowed him down with lots of bullets.
Maybe it was me, or maybe Weeks has told it too many times, it seemed to lack some spark. Like it was he was reading from a book someone else had written and he wasn’t part of what happened. It may be new and exciting to a jury to hear this so I can’t really be a judge of its impact.
Afterwards he tells us he goes and has dinner, meets Whitey and Stevie at Stevie’s mother’s house in Southie, let’s Stevie and Whitey talk about the hit in the kitchen while he goes off into the living room (probably because in telling the hit Whitey identified the masked man and he wasn’t curious to find out) and watches television.
He then told a story, I think the word non sequitur fits here, about meeting Jimmy Manville at breakfast the next day. Manville said he took care of Halloran. Weeks didn’t answer because he didn’t know Manville????
He told about Whitey going to see the ‘cook’ (Johnny Martorano) at some airport in New York. This meeting is happening because Connolly told Whitey that Callahan would not stand up in front of the grand jury if he was asked about the murder of Roger Wheeler in Oklahoma.
I have to digress for a second. This is the pretend world we are supposed to live in. We’re supposed to believe that unless someone in authority tells these gangsters something they would not have known it. I think it’s fair to say that anyone who grew up on the street and hung around with wiseguys, if not one himself, (sorry ladies it’s usually a male world) would know that Halloran with a long criminal record being out on $50,000 bail on a first degree murder charge (unlike Bob Kraft’s former employee Hernandez who like most first degree murderers is held without bail) is cooperating and should be avoided. The same thing would apply to Callahan who arranged for Martorano to murder Wheeler. If the gangsters couldn’t figure out in a New York second by themselves he was the weak link in the chain, I’d be shocked.
Sorry for the rant. Now back to Weeks’s testimony.
He then said something very interesting. He said Jimmy (Whitey) told him that Martorano and Joe McDonald murdered Wheeler. He said Jimmy told him he wanted nothing to do with Wheeler’s murder because he was politically connected. The way I heard it he seemed to put Whitey out of that murder and it would seem also Callahan’s. J.W. Carney should be wise enough to leave this alone
Having just gone through the murders of Halloran and Callahan I’m thinking “come on Kelly keep pushing them.” I thought we’d hear of Bucky Barrett being murdered next. It was time to hammer home the theme of the case, “Whitey is a murderer.” But Kelly like a traffic cop put up his hand and slowed everything down.
He went into some of the acts of extortion. Weeks called them targets of opportunity. We heard how Weeks, Bulger and Flemmi extorted (through threats of violence) money from Michael Solimando, Richard Buccieri, and Raymond Slinger. Then Weeks tells an odd story about Kevin Hayes who he extorted in 1984 with the OK of Whitey. He says how he brought him to the basement of Pat Nee’s house and threatened to murder him.
Wow, I thought. How’s that helping the prosecution,s case when Weeks starts telling the jury it was Whitey who was killing people in Pat Nee’s basement and burying them there. Weeks seems to be the one using it. More so, these extortions show Whitey the guy capable of scaring people, not Whitey the killer.
From that we went the tale of taking over Stippo’s (Stephen Rakes) liquor store. I had no idea it was only in operation three weeks before they took it from him. Weeks played down the idea of extorting it telling how Whitey was bouncing one of Stippo’s beautiful daughters on his lap and remonstrated with Weeks when he took out a gun telling him to put it away. Weeks said Stippo wanted to sell the store and was trying to hold them up for more than the $100,000 they agreed to pay for it so he had to take out the piece to emphasize a deal is a deal.
Weeks told us he didn’t like Stippo. He said he made sure after Stippo got the money to get the keys to the store from him because if he didn’t Stippo would clean out half of the inventory over night. Leaving court I saw Stippo and told him I didn’t think Kevin Weeks liked him. He smiled and shrugged. That’s a Southie time bomb that may explode one of these days.
Then the trial went into slow motion. We started to hear how Whitey was laundering money through businesses. This went on for over 45 minutes. It had me wondering what was going on. Talk about taking the heart out of case getting into all these mundane little larcenies and tax evasions. It’s like showing Charles Manson had his followers engage in sex with the 80-year-old owner of the Spahn Movie Ranch to keep him happy by spelling out each encounter.
I sometimes wonder if these cases aren’t directed by some authorities out of DC with no trial experience. Kelly and Wyshak are good lawyers but sometimes they seem to be off on excursions that put the case into neutral and lessen the impact of it. Who cares if a bank robber ran a red light – probably the federals do.
The long excursion through the money laundering counts continued. It seemed even Weeks was getting a little peeved at what was happening. Finally it ended. Don’t ask me to recount it since I lost interest a third of the way through. When it ended I thought we’d get on with the murders but I forgot, there’s the drug dealings we’ve already heard about from other witnesses that we have to hear about from Weeks.
We heard about Billy Shea and Freddie Weichel coming to Weeks and Whitey telling them they were going to round up drug dealers, how Joe Tower got them into the cocaine business, how Weeks and Whitey took a cut of the profits, how they extorted money from Red Shea who was a good kid “until he got out of prison and then became a tough guy,”(another one Weeks doesn’t like) We heard the Joe Murray/Pat Nee M Street story. We heard how they extorted Hobart Willis and Jackie Cherry, and how Murray paid $500,000 to sever ties. We had to look at a chart showing the people we had just heard about with Whitey and Stevie at the top. The story of John Connolly giving Whitey a toy replica Uzi machine gun as a gift came up. Weeks told how he used it to extort Red Shea in the basement of a store.
I was about to shout “asked and answered” when the bell rang and we were dismissed for the day