I mentioned in my last post on Whitey that he has been exploded into a legend by willful people stating: “there was a need of other parties to jump on the ship to inflate his reputation for their own less than straight forward purposes.” One of those parties was the FBI.
It’s good to keep in mind what exactly Whitey is supposed to have done. He was charged with 19 murders which considering the information available to the prosecutors pretty much had to be all of the murders he had been involved in. Remember the prosecutors had his partners and right hand man giving them information, men who had been with him from the beginning of his murders.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Whitey came late to the game of murder. He was born in 1929 and probably didn’t murder anyone until 1974 when he was 45 years old, a time when most men have passed on those duties to others or should know better than to get involved in murder.
Whitey’s alleged murders can be grouped into a two main categories, those murdered by others where he was an accessory and those he murdered himself. Those murdered by others were mostly murdered by John Martorano: when he was working for Gerry Angiulo (Milano, Plumer, O’Brien and Notorangelli); when it was in the interest of Winter Hill (O’Toole, Sousa, Castucci); and in the Jai Alai matter (Wheeler and Callahan). Whitey was charged with these nine murders, found by a jury to have done three, even though he did not do the actual killings. (Those in bold were found proven by the jury.)
The second category is those murders where he did the shooting or strangling: in the interest of Winter Hill (Connors); rivals from South Boston (McGonagle,King, Leonard); he believed were ratting on him (Halloran, Donahue, McIntyre); helping his partner Flemmi (Davis, Hussey) and one extortion victim who he thought might complain (Barrett).
11 alleged murders took place from 1973 to 1975 yet only four were found to have been proven. My best guess is he did four: his rivals from Southie and Eddie Connors. Between 1981 to 1985 he was alleged to have murdered 8 people of which 7 were proven. The eighth, Debra Davis, he was involved in as much as he was the Wheeter and Callahan murders, if not more so.
Whitey’s involvement in the murders certainly justified him being placed on the FBI’s most wanted list. This was not done until 1999 or until after the time he was indicted for those murders based on the testimony of John Martorano and Kevin Weeks. Others have been on that list for a lot less murders. Judging from the list the FBI does a pretty good job getting its man – even capturing some of them between the time it decided to add them to the list and the time it actually did it.
The FBI had good reason for putting Whitey on that list but it wanted to make more of him than really there was. It did this because of the often forgotten report of Judge Mark Wolf (which is better reading, or at least more accurate than the books) where he suggested there was something rotten in the Boston FBI office.
Wolf was on to something in his report because what he saw of the FBI’s operation of its Top Echelon Informant (TEI) program he found repulsive. Wolf only had access to what was happening in Boston, he had no idea whether or not the same thing was happening in all the other FBI offices throughout the country, which was probably the case.
The TEI program was used throughout the FBI. The idea behind it is so sordid that its hard to believe a group of people could conceive it. But once they did, their only desire was to do their best to hide it because it continues until today.
The FBI couldn’t do it from Wolf, he was a little bit too wise to their ways, but it could do it from the rest of the world if only they could come up with the right scheme. In a sense the FBI acted like the bishops of the Catholic Church who tried to hide the abuse committed by its priests; the FBI thought the best way to proceed was to hide what it had been doing to limit the damage rather than changing. The best way it could do this was to suggest that at least one agent, perhaps two, had become rogue agents but other than them every thing was hunky-dory.
The scheme which fit well into the plans of some in the Boston media was to hang Agent John Connolly out on the line suggesting that his relationship with James Bulger, and by inference Steve Flemmi, was wrong and not authorized. The truth is that what Connolly was doing was what he should have been doing. Everyone in the FBI from the director to every special agent in charge and his assistants and supervisors knew what Connolly was doing in having Whitey and Stevie as informants. How could it be wrong if everyone knew about it and no one, I mean no one, did anything about it?
So Connolly was put out in the point position for people to fire at while the rest of the FBI hid in the bushes. He has been castigated and imprisoned for life for doing his job. Unlike some who put guns to people’s heads and murdered them, Connolly never fired his gun at anyone. His conviction in Florida of murder by gun after the statute of limitations had expired is so tainted that an impartial viewer of the Florida’s judicial system has to question its idea of justice.
Inflating Whitey in to the all time king of criminals allows the FBI to have people consider his crimes without thinking of the FBI’s role in them; it allows it to suggest his malignity was such that it turned one of its agents into a bad agent; it lets them continue doing what it has done with the TEI program.
Congress examined the events in the Boston office and its use of TEIs. It found the FBI “made a decision to use murderers as informants beginning in the 1960s. Known killers were protected from the consequences of their crimes and purposefully kept on the streets. This report discusses some of the disastrous consequences of the use of murderers as informants in New England. Beginning in the mid-1960s, the . . . [FBI] began a course of conduct in New England that must be considered one of the greatest failures in the history of federal law enforcement.” Unfortunately it limited itself to Boston for the same program used there was used throughout the United States.
Hiding under the bright lights of Whitey, the FBI has imprisoned an agent doing his duty for life and hidden its own disgusting role in the affair.