Sunday Musings: How the Justice Department Helped the Mafia Gain Revenge

NC wrote in and pointed out that there were two FBI agents who did the most in the Boston area to bring down the Mafia. They were John Connolly and Paul Rico. This I knew.

Guess what happened to them. Both were charged with criminal acts based on testimony of those they went after. Rico would be charged with murder, be arrested, and be treated like vermin. He was shipped off to Oklahoma where he died.

Connolly as you know has been in prison since 2002. He can possibly be release when he hits 99-years-old. That’s if he’s lucky. Both men were charged based on people with the morals of a devil who were closely connected with the Mafia.  What is strange about the evidence against them is if it were true the Mafia guys would never have been convicted since they would have blackmailed these agents into silence and backing off at the time. (more on that later)

One can only think of the old Sicilian proverb: “Revenge is best served cold.” Cold is good because it is harder to trace back to the truth. What made the revenges so perfect here is that all the criminals hit the street and two that didn’t, because the campaign of revenge started too late, were given millions of dollars. The icing on the case of perfection is the Mafia made the legal system the agency through which it got revenge.

To digress a bit, one day reading about an author of note I was struck by what he said in a letter to another. He wrote that he apologized for the length of the letter because he did not have the time to make it shorter. That always stuck with me. Lots of people can ramble on but much of what they say can be encapsulated in much fewer words if they would take the time to do it.

Professor Strunk used to suggest that unnecessary words be eliminated. We’ve all heard the saw: “brevity is the soul of wit.” Or, the more commonplace “keep it short stupid.”

You must remember the speech by Edward Everett at Gettysburg. The NY Times noted: Even before the address was given, Americans knew that a great speech was coming, . . . Accordingly, an invitation went out to the person most likely to give it. . . . Edward Everett.” He spoke for two hours uttering 13,000 words. Everett noted: “After I had done the President pressed my hand with great fervor, and said “I am more than gratified. I am grateful to you.”

Then the president spoke He summed up what he had to say in 272 words.  The next day Everett wrote to the president: “I should be glad, if I could flatter myself, that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours, as you did in two minutes.”  

I digressed because if you’ve read any of the court decisions both from the federal court and Florida appeals court in these Mafia/Whitey matters you will wonder at their length. Perhaps they run so long is because they really say very little but seek to hide it. After a while you think “what are they trying to hide?”

Which makes me wonder why no one is bothered that the Mafia was able to get such revenge on two FBI agents whose function was to get the Mafia. You should read the Congressional hearings where our Congressmen lapped up the words of the lawyers representing the Mafia guys.

You’d think the FBI would have done something to protected its agents. The only evidence against them was from paid criminals who gained greatly from providing it. The main ones are so evil it was like calling upon the Devil to give evidence.

Which brings me to my final point. I ask would the courts accept evidence from the Devil? How does a jury decide when the Devil is lying?

We know a Boston federal jury in the Connolly case by its verdict showed it refused to believe anything a devil named Martorano told them. Yet, the federal prosecutors put him in front of another jury. Is justice a game? It allows liars to testify until someone believes them?

How can we say we have a justice system when it fails to recognize that there are some people unworthy of belief. More so, when guys who devote their lives to fighting these devils find the devils, the prosecutors, and the judges are in league together.


18 thoughts on “Sunday Musings: How the Justice Department Helped the Mafia Gain Revenge

  1. NC, excellent post. I also often think how a honest judge could allow these type of witnesses with their incriminating testimony of lies to be the difference in the verdicts
    of a trial. You asked if the mafia could controll the judicial system. I think they knew a
    lot of important people in high places with a lot of influence. I have a couple of questions that I hope someone could answer. 1. Who allowed Whyshak to talk Florida into prosecuting John Connolly( they had no intentions or money todo this)2 who paid
    for the trial ? The trial is still ongoing and I heard the bill was well over a million.

  2. Excellent post. One could put Naimovich in the category with Rico and Connolly. He was the top State cop against the mob. He put Martorano in jail in Plymouth County. Similar to Rico and Connolly he was framed by the Feds. Thankfully you and Lowell saved him. Does the Mafia run the judicial system in Boston? It sure looks like it. 2. What does this say about the judges? They permit a witness to testify who lacks all credibility and has an incentive to lie. No honest judge would tolerate serial killers, Mafia hitmen and career criminals testifying against a cop claiming he was dishonest decades ago. None of their info could be corroborated, confirmed or validated. What a sham.

  3. One of my brothers was a Saturday fixture in Sam’s bowling alley on Blue Hill Ave. He told me about Flemmi coming in one day and becoming extremely bullish. Sam eventually threw a crutch at him. Who knows. Stories become legend in an instant. But I did see Sam throw a crutch several times.

    I only know one guy that liked Flemmi. He and Flemmi were childhood friends. Other than him it’s a long line of thumbs down.

    1. The Jews on Blue Hill Ave. didn’t have to take any crap from anybody who wasn’t a Jew. Leastways Steve Flemmi . A guy who caught a fair beating from a black guy on Basin St. in Martorano’s dad’s bar and then asked John to shoot the guy. Which I recall , allegedly , he did . Flemmi is a serious punk. Always has been .

  4. Steve Flemmi ” Under Oath ” loses its
    *apotropaic charm for one …

    Funny Freudian slip … Steve Flemmi convulsing has always been an image I liked .

    1. Convulsing? Flemmi? I just don’t see it.

      I asked you a question on a way previous thread. Probably slipped through.

      I see you are over dosing on Crumley. Did you enjoy the rest of The Longest Silence? The next Yashim novel is arriving this week.

      1. Funny , that , about Crumley . I just walked in from balcony having read a long scholarly chapter on the history of the Slagsted-Krummels as a mercenary force of gristy fighters from the Reformation in Bavaria , through the Thirty Years War , various Holy Roman Empire conflicts and a surviving branch ending up as Comancheros in Southern Texas. They are the progenitors of protagonist Jake “Skag” Krummel in One To Count Cadence . It was dense going. Crumley is a serious writer. He displays his talents in this attempt at the White Whale aka The Great American Novel.

        I read all but the last chapter of McGuane’s The Longest Silence. It is about him fishing with his Son . Someday I will be able to read it.

        I never liked Steve Flemmi . I’d be kicking out from 18 Patterson Way in Old Colony on my bike to hit U.MASS , and I would see him lawn chairing with Jimmy in front of the packy . Patterson Way was directly across the Rotary. I trust Jimmy with my life . Flemmi I would not trust as far as I could spit . He got his rocks off on killing . Messy guy and highly unprofessional .

  5. It is a ticklish point . Steve Flemmi ” Under Oath ” loses its iatropaic charm for one once you realize that it is a meaningless adjuration where that thoroughgoing bastard is concerned . If the info he offered , allegedly , that was then acted upon , allegedly , by JB , resulted in John Callahan”s murder , then there is little point in splitting semantic hairs about it . The essence is that Flemmi was a malleable and unreliable witness , a Government marionette , whose testimony , in 2005 , or any previous or subsequent date , cannot be considered acceptable .

  6. Was # 6 a formal proffer ? Again, JC has been crucified , over all . But is this his statement of events at the time , that guilt , five years , and Billy Bulger’s head were on the table ?

    1. by “formal” do you mean in writing? I doubt it. No need to “formalize” what was rejected.
      I believe John.
      I don’t believe Wyshak: Remember, Wyshak gave the game away when he was asked publicly, “Where did Connolly go wrong?”
      And Wyshak responded: “He got too close to the Bulgers.” Bulgers, plural. Wyshak’s quest exposed!

  7. Matt: very well said.

    Some quotes from David Boeri et al (who was very critical of FBI); with comments:

    1. “In 2003, Flemmi agreed to cooperate with the government . . . .” (For 8 years, since his arrest in 1995, Flemmi had said John Connolly was an honest cop . . . Then Wyshak persuaded him to sing a different tune. Why? Wyshak promised he wouldn’t be executed in Florida and Oklahoma, and he’d get a cushy cell and more. (Where is Flemmi today?)

    2. “Martorano never mentioned Connolly when he first began cooperating with the government. According to Miami-Dade detective Ram Nyberg’s report in December 1999, “Martorano had no idea of anyone else besides [himself and] Bulger and Flemmi who were involved in the conspiracy to kill Callahan.” At a deposition in March 2006, the detective reaffirmed his earlier report: “Neither of Mr. Martorano’s proffers included any information on John Connolly.”

    (Under Wyshak’s thumb Martorano sang a different song. He remembered stuff in @2005 he’d forgotten in 1999 about what was said in 1982.)

    3. “Flemmi has an established record of lying. During court hearings in Boston in the late ’90s, he testified that the tip to escape arrest in 1995 had come not from Connolly, but from FBI supervisor John Morris.”
    ( In Boton, Kevin Weeks said Connolly told Flemmi to tell that lie. And of course Flemmi complied because, Weeks “reasoned” Flemmi (who’d already admitted to 10 murders) figured that the 9-years retired FBI agent could help him get leniency (Absurd!) . . . But even after Connolly was indicted in 1999, and convicted in 2002, Flemmi did not change his tune until 2003. Why? Because, as said, Wyshak promised Flemmi he’d be “spared the death penalty in Florida and Oklahoma” et al.)

    4. “Many times, Flemmi was accused of perjury by the same prosecutor, Fred Wyshak, who will help the state of Florida present Flemmi as a witness this month.”

    5. “Flemmi has been consistent on one point: He’s never said Connolly told him, or Bulger, to murder anyone. During a deposition in New York in April 2005, an attorney asked Flemmi, “Did [Agent Connolly] ever suggest to you directly or indirectly that certain people should be killed?” “No.” Flemmi said. “He gave information for Bulger. Bulger interpreted it the way he wanted to interpret it.”

    (To repeat, under oath, in 2005, Flemmi testified John Connolly never even “suggested” directly or indirectly that anyone be killed.)

    6. In 2005, Wyshak offered John Connolly a five year sentence if he’d admit guilt and co-operate. John said he wasn’t guilty and had no info to give on anyone

  8. Matt, excellent and well put article. No question the Devils were rewarded for their
    testimony of lies. The lead Devil should be proud of letting people out on the street
    responsible for numerous murders. None of these people had to be told when to commit murder. They were professionals . The trial in Florida should never have taken place except for a mad, vindictive ,hell bent on winning “at any odds “federal prosecut-
    or. The trial in Florida was a joke, for one example ” awaiting for the trial to resume after
    lunch, John stood in the back doorway with jury behind him ( with newspapers under their arms) waiting for judge. In comes the judge and sits ,when the court officer says
    one minute your honor! In walks another court officer and puts a birthday cake in front
    of the judge and the court people sang happy birthday to the judge,and he blew out the
    candles. I could not believe this , In the middle of a so called murder trial this was going
    on. This was only one rediculous and insulting incident.

  9. Matt..I had an off the record session with a Sr. FBI agent a few weeks ago…About 15 minutes into the interview…I was explaining my relationship with John Iuele and other troubles with .Boston FBI..he quickly terminated the interview…my take after listening to his explanation is my situation is a career ender, and he wanted to retire soon…btw, I got as close as I ever have to making the alias connection with James Bulger…what concerned SA was my complaints are not time barred…this is not over by a long shot..20 years into it …I am filing a private cause of action in Fed Ct for inverse condemnation of My company’s water supply and distribution system by NH…and prospective preliminary injunction re:competency…I have put NH on notice…vetting law firms now..

  10. Hi Matt and thanks for your recent article on the blog.

    Is it true that Jeremiah O Sullivan was one of the people who did the most to prosecute the Angiulos but then was later accused of helping to protect Bulger and Flemmi?

    Is it true that Vanessa was the place where Flemmi would meet Russo and his cohorts?

    Do you think that Flemmi was a good actor as he fooled nearly all of his criminal associates for a long time such as Angiulo, Baione and Russo?

    1. David:

      During Connolly’s trial Martorano testified Whitey told them Connolly was going to give him information and that he did so because all of them knew if any of them were seen talking to an FBI agent that would be fatal to him. Yet Flemmi talked to the FBI during all the time Martorano, Salemme and others associated with him. The Italians trusted him because he was Italian so they never looked too closely at him. He was a great actor hiding his treachery; he still is because Wyshak is protecting him and allowed him to keep lots of his assets.

      Yes, Flemmi had acess to Vanessa’s and gave the info that brought it down.

      O’Sullivan was the guy who prosecuted Angiulos and Baione. He gave Whitey and Stevie a pass on the Race Fix Case because they were supposedly giving info against Boston Mafia. The Mafia was the primary Boston FBI target. O’Sullivan is the guy Whitey said gave him immunity because he was afraid of Mafia hitting him. Story made no sense because Whitey had no ability to influence Mafia. He never protected Whitey or Flemmi other than the Race Fix case pass requested by FBI agents Connolly and Morris.

      O’Sullivan was helping Mass State Police with wiretap planned for Lancaster Street. At same time he was working with Morris and FBI on doing investigation of Angiulo. If state police succeeded they would have nabbed Nick Angiulo and one or two others and pretty much compromised FBI investigation. O’Sullivan was in a box. He knew the FBI would be all over him claiming he undermined it by helping state police. O’Sullivan would later testified he feared FBI because it could ruin him. I’ve always believed O’Sullivan told Morris of state police investigation (Morris lied when asked how he knew) which was compromised when Whitey found out about it.

  11. KISS… acronym … Keep it simple stupid . Rico got what he deserved ; Connolly, more than he deserved .

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