1971 ended with the dispute between the Killeens and Mullens still ongoing with little outward manifestation of its existence. This state, or stalemate, continued until May 13, 1972, when Donald Killeen was murdered outside his home in Framingham.
Pat Nee said it was done by Jimmy Mantville and Tommy King who waited all night outside Donald’s house until he came out at 6:15 in the morning. When he opened his car door they came out of a culvert and raced up to him. Donald tried to reach for a gun he had in the glove compartment of the car but it was too late, they filled him with bullet holes. The gun was found under Donald Killeen’s body.
Nee tells his stories of the violence in such a way to make sure he distances himself from knowing too much about a murder. He does it so that no one will think he may have been involved in it as some have alleged. He makes an obvious error in telling a story. In his story of the murder of Billy O’Sullivan he had a one-on-one confrontation despite witnesses stating three people chased after O’Sullivan. The same happened with the Donald Killeen murder. No one waited all night nor was he killed at 6:15 or so in the morning. The murder occurred around 9:30 that night according to the Framingham police as set out in newspaper reports.
After Donald’s murder a newspaper article had Boston Police Deputy Superintendent Joseph Jordan saying that for more than two years Donald “has been on the hit list all that time and he knew it.” Jordan went on to say Donald was the seventh or eight victim of the three-year old feud. I’ve noted as best I can tell he is the third.
The article said the police and the underworld called this the “Mullins gang feud” and that it started “because of remarks a member of one South Boston group apparently made to a woman friend of a member of another group in a South Boston bar” mimicking the reason given for the big Irish gang war between McLean’s Somerville group and the Charlestown McLaughlins. Unfortunately most of these gang battles are surrounded more by fiction than fact which is only limited by the imagination of the author or story-teller.
The summer of 1972 passed uneventfully. The warriors probably moved out of the confines of Southie and headed to Cape Cod or the New Hampshire lakes putting distance between themselves which they couldn’t do on their home turf. Then in early September 1972 two men fired a shotgun blast at Kenny Killeen who was sitting on the front porch of his South Boston house on Marine Road.
That had the hoped for results. Dave Farrell known for his FBI connections writing in the Boston Globe reported on October 5, 1972, that “Kenneth Killeen, brother of the slain bookie Donald Killeen, has sent out word he wants out of the gambling business.” Farrell wrote that after Donald Killeen was killed Gerry Angiulo and others from the North End Mafia “prevailed on the two sides to halt the senseless killings.”
The Killeens departure left Whitey and his small group in control of the Southie rackets. Whitey could look at the murder of O’Sullivan as revenge for the killing of Donald McGonagle but the murder of Donald Killeen coupled with the shooting of Kenneth Killeen made it clear the Mullens were a determined, dangerous and capable force of younger guys intent on taking over the Southie rackets.
The suggestions that outside parties were attempting to broker a peace seemed unlikely. Southie had always taken care of its own problems. What happens in Southie stays in Southie. The criminal operations of Gerry Angiulo’s North End Mafia group nor Howie Winter’s Somerville gang were affected by what happened there. It could be argued that they benefited from it because the cops began to focus on Southie.
The two Southie gangs recognized their choice was to go on with the uncertainty with the attendant killings or to attempt some kind of truce. Whitey knew it was not good for business if he couldn’t move about his own territory without fear of being hit. The Mullens also got tired of looking over their shoulders.
Pat Nee wrote that he reached out for Howie Winter to help restore peace between the groups. Winter told him he had just received a call from Gerry Angiulo who said Whitey asked Joe Russo, a Mafia leader, for his help in bringing about the truce. Other stories have Larry Baione, the enforcer for the North End Mafia, and a friend of Murderman Martorano as being involved.
Wherever the truth lies it seems clear there was a sit down between the warring parties. In order for it to come about each side had to be guaranteed it would not be walking into a trap and there would be no violence from the other side. The only way that could be done by having the North End or Howie Winter, larger gangster groups, guaranteeing the safety of each side.
In the fall of 1972 a meeting was arranged between the two sides for a sit down at Chandler’s Restaurant a hangout for gangsters. This was owned by Howie Winter and the Martoranos. It was in the South End, neutral territory.
Whitey represented the Killeens; Pat Nee and Tommy King the Mullins. The conference succeeded. The Killeen and Mullen deadly dust-up was over. Whitey and the Mullens would split all the proceeds from the illegal gambling activities and other criminal activities in South Boston and stay alive for somewhat longer.