Here’s what I don’t get. How any right thinking can person believe justice is served by having John Connolly rot in prison? To bring that about the Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys had to literally make deals with evil.
Connolly joined the FBI in 1968. He got in through a hook. No, it wasn’t through Billy Bulger’s help as some media mavens would have you believe. Billy was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives at the time who had little pull in Washington, DC at the time and none with the FBI. It was through a friend of his father, John W. McCormack, who happened to be Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. McCormack picked up the phone and J. Edgar Hoover knowing on what side his bread was buttered opened the door for Connolly.
It was probably through the same connection that he returned to the Boston office of the FBI in 1973. McCormack had retired by that time but you can rest assured he still maintained his relationship with the next speaker, Carl Albert, his long time right hand man. Connolly stayed with the FBI in Boston until he retired in late 1990.
Connolly was part of the FBI’s ill considered Top Echelon Informant (TEI) program that had been started by J. Edgar Hoover the long-term, 48 year, director of the FBI. Hoover instituted the program in the early 1960s but doubled down on it after LBJ put the kibosh on the FBI’s black bag operations where it broke into buildings and planted electronic listening devices. The FBI had come under a waterfall of criticism for its failure to deal with the Mafia and Hoover, despite his reluctance, knew that he had to start producing.
The TEI program made top member gangsters part of its team. It asked them to give them information on Mafia activities; in exchange it would take care of them. From all I can see no one wants to know what was on the other side of the TEI coin: we know one side was the TEIs giving the FBI information on their buddies; the opposite side – that is what the TEI was going to get for doing that – everyone wants to shut their eyes to.
Gangsters do nothing for nothing. To turn in their buddies they needed an enticing inducement. What do you think they’d expect. If you thought protection, you’d be right. The FBI’s stock in trade was to give TEIs protection for information. Connolly was charged with doing that for the Boston office. He’d recruit Whitey Bulger and Stevie Flemmi, among others, as his TEIs.
The book Black Mass called this: “The Irish Mob, The FBI, and The Devil Deal” as if the deal with TEIs only happened in Boston in connection with Connolly and those two TEIs. The TEI program was a nationwide program and every TEI was approved by FBI headquarters. There were hundreds of TEIs but the FBI is content that we pretend it happened only in Boston.
The upcoming book, Boston Bamboozled, will explain the true Devil Deal. It involved the DOJ and the what it had to surrender to get John Connolly and his informant Whitey Bulger.
It gave John Martorano 12 years in prison for admitting to 20 murders and $20,000 on his release from prison. It gave Kevin Weeks 5 years in prison for admitting to 5 murders and reinstated to him his lottery winnings. It allowed Steven Flemmi, the worst of the bunch, who was involved in double-digit murders to keep half of his assets that he gained from his life of crime. Flemmi is supposed to spend the rest of his life in prison but has expressed the hope that DOJ will work it out so that he can get released. The DOJ has not committed to not doing that.
It was not only that the DOJ treated these murderers with kid gloves, in order to get their cooperation it made other deals with them not to go after other murderers. Pat Nee a partner of Whitey Bulger who it is alleged was involved in several murders is being protected; Howie Winter who arranged for several murders with Gerry Angiulo the Boston Mafia head has also been left alone; Jimmy Martorano, the brother of John, who is a Mafia member has also been overlooked. Frankie Salemme, the head of the New England Mafia who has been involved in upwards of a dozen murders was let out of jail early in return for his evidence.
Even worse, the TEI program the John Connolly was part of and which brought about his downfall is still in operation. Throughout the country the FBI is still protecting murderers and top criminals who agree to work for it from investigation and prosecution. It, and the authors who have joined hands with it, point the finger at John Connolly to divert attention from this ongoing wrong.