The Great Charade – Like the Red Sox Parade

CircusThis week we see the commencement of the Great Charade which will receive as much coverage in the local media as the Red Sox Parade. If some had their innermost wishes fulfilled, Whitey Bulger would be fettered to a stake on the back of a duck boat and driven through the streets of Boston. Then the great mass of the citizenry could shout out vile epithets at him and children under twelve allowed to throw small stones at him. Instead of this Lady Godiva-like tour, the event will be held in a courtroom and limited to a handful of people. As for the small stones, the ever mindful courthouse security will search all pocketbooks, backpacks and pockets to ensure no one sneaks any in.

Having attended all of Whitey’s trial, I will be sure to miss this tawdry display hearkening back to the Colonial Days of stocks and scarlet letters. But don’t get me wrong, I’ve not a handful of sand’s worth of sympathy for Whitey. It’s the extraordinary absurdity of the event and its effect on the judicial system that bothers me.

You may remember the extensive media coverage of the sentencing hearing of John Martorano when the families of his 20 victims came into court to express their grievances; or the one involving Steve Flemmi where the families of another 20 or so victims spoke out forcefully. Then you must also recall the publicity when the victims of Frankie Salemme spoke at his sentencing; or even those of Kevin Weeks or the families of the Mafia victims. If you don’t remember that media coverage don’t feel bad. It never happened.

We’ve also had the coverage of the victim’s families fighting over the division of the spoils of Whitey’s 25 million dollars that sit in the hidden safe deposit boxes whose location is only known to a woman now residing in southern Minnesota. We weren’t privy to how Martorano or Flemmi’s money was to be divided. They murdered more people than Whitey but kept some, or in Martorano’s case, all of his assets.

Why then are the families of some victims more entitled than others? It is because what will take place this week is unique in American jurisprudence. No other American gangster has ever gone through such a prosecution induced, court sanctioned, media inspired, public excoriation.

My take on all of this is that Whitey became last weeks’ newspaper the day after his verdict which never was in doubt. Once he was arrested in June 2011 it was clear he would never step out of prison again. His trial gave us a chance to see his base character and to see again the sordid type of individuals he assorted with. It was a chance to be fascinated by people like Martorano, Weeks, and Flemmi, tough guys with guns, squirming on the stand suggesting that somehow Whitey made them do it even though Martorano had murdered a half-dozen people and Flemmi a baker’s dozen before they met Whitey.

Once they paraded into the sunlight Whitey had his chance to speak out. We had the pleasure of hearing his cry-baby whine that he was treated unfairly, as if anyone cared. Or as if one didn’t immediately think of the way he treated so many others.

What a way to slink out of the case with a whine! It tells us much about the man’s narcissism when being in a hopeless situation and being a most undeserving character he’s accorded some of the best defense lawyers and a spirited defense, which probably could have been even better except for the strictures he placed on counsel, and he’s whimpering about his treatment.

I’m told that he may be speaking in court during this hearing. That he thinks he has anything to offer shows the man’s delusional view of the world. It also demonstrates, at least to me, how all the matters involving Whitey have perverted our system of justice. There was no need for this circus. It’s not because Whitey said he would have pleaded guilty to everything in exchange for Catherine’s freedom and the trial could have been avoided, since I don’t believe he would have done it; it’s just that a simple trial on the gun charges would have accomplished the same thing as we’ll now see: Whitey dying in prison.

What all this has done is played into the hand of a man who has this inflated ego who thinks his life has amounted to something of value and that he has something to offer. He loved the crowded courtroom and massive media attention. We should never have given him any of it. He wasn’t the worst criminal that existed, those who testified against him bettered him. He was far from the brightest or the most vicious. He took over no waterfronts or unions or other legitimate businesses. He wasn’t the bravest or toughest. He was just a small time gangster who resorted with other vicious individuals and preyed mostly on other criminals.

Yet this small time hoodlum whose kingdom was mostly confined to the narrow streets of South Boston has been the subject of around 30 books. I call it the George Zimmerman effect: the media taking an everyday event, tragic though it may be, and making a mountain out of a mole hill.

As for the families of Whitey’s victims, I suppose venting will give them some satisfaction but nothing really can make up for losing a loved one. I refrain from criticizing any by suggesting that if one lies down with the dogs she rises with the fleas. Surely some of the victims made poor choices in their lives; but that didn’t give Whitey the right to murder them.


19 thoughts on “The Great Charade – Like the Red Sox Parade

  1. Matt,

    Your Ledger article contains several unfounded statements, but one is particularly harmful and problematic.

    Your article states that “….the spoils of Whitey’s 25 million dollars that sit hidden in safe deposit boxes whose location is known only to a woman who resides in southern Minnesota.” Clearly you are referring to Catherine Grieg.

    There is no basis in fact for that statement. It is false and illogical. Were it true, it’s unlikely we would learn of it for the first time in the Ledger. It is illogical because Greig would not be in jail if she knew the location of “Whitey money” she could trade for her freedom.

    An unfounded statement like this one in the mass media is harmful and problematic because it leads directly to the very phenomenon your article seeks to expose. Grieg does not need to be pushed into the process again by media hype and mistreated over imaginary money. Please don’t make her a target for a government charade.

    I hope you really think about this from Geig’s viewpoint.


    1. Patty:

      I have a hard time believing Whitey had all his money hidden in the walls of his apartment in California. Therefore he must have it secreted in other places throughout the United States or even overseas. In fact, during the trial wasn’t it brought out that all the money that was seized from him in California was printed after 1995 after the time he would have secreted his millions. After all it was his lawyers who told us he made millions upon millions. So where it it. He certainly didn’t spend it during his days holed up in California. My conclusion is that it is somewhere and someone who was close to him knew about it and that is the woman in southern Minnesotta.

      I’m not sure anything I say is particularly harmful for anyone since the federals have arrived at that conclusion a long time ago and that is shown by 25 million forfeiture action wherein they believe that Whitey has access to such sums. It is also shown by the grossly excessive sentence handed out to Greig. Why would she give up the millions for her freedom when she knew that would not be enough for the federals. They also want to know how she and White were in contact with the people back home while they were hiding out in California. She didn’t want to cooperate under any circumstance especially since giving up the money would have saved her little time.

      There’s is nothing I wrote about that can hurt Catherine Greig, she has already been overly punished for her actions. If I thought I was disclosing something that the federals were not thinking about every day, of course I would not have done it. Catherine, unlike all the others involved in this trial including Whitey, is the only one who stood up and took her punishment like a woman and kept her mouth shut. Why would I diminish or jeopardize her?

      1. Matt,

        If it’s just a ‘belief’ then it shouldn’t be stated as fact and published in a newspaper article.

        My recollection of the trial is the defense wanted the jury to have access to the cash in the jury room. Part of the defense argument was that “some” bills were printed after 1995. The prosecution argued against giving the jury access, noting that Bulger often traveled to Las Vegas (while he was “holed up” in Santa Monica) and could have exchanged the cash for newer bills at casinos. (Clearly a factual inference for the jury, but I think Judge Casper invaded the jury’s province again and sided with the prosecution.)

        Frankly I don’t believe the Wyshak Team’s story about $25 million. Anything they say is suspect. You can believe them if you want. I wonder how they calculated this figure? Did they net out all Whitey’s payments to state, local and federal law enforcement? Somehow I suspect a Wyshak didn’t delve too far into auditing that line item.

        I submit the Wyshak Team has many incentives to exaggerate the existence and size of any cash. I believe they did. It’s sexy. It sells. It gives them reason for more grand juries and to keep their Team together until retirement, among other reasons. They’re just changing the game from Where’s Whitey to Where’s Whiteys Money…..only nobody knows if there is or was any money.

        To summarize, the prosecution has many incentives to embellish the “The Lost Fortune of Whitey.” It is the same hyperbolic garbage from the same Team that sold us the bill of goods called “Whitey, The Worst Criminal in America.” Believe what you want, but consider who you’re relying on and their motives.

        Usually you’re pretty good at parsing out facts that are consistent or inconsistent with the “wise guy” persona. If you apply it to the story of “The Lost Fortune of Whitey” it might temper your beliefs. How did the wise guys you knew treat money? Did they throw it around to make themselves look big? Did they spread it around for good will? Did they give it to old ladies, priests and poor people to make themselves feel better? What kind of cars did they drive? Where/how did they vacation? Did they travel around the world first class and rent luxury cars? Have boats? Multiple houses? Condos in Florida? Did they spend money on masses of guns and ship some I them overseas? Did they lavish gifts on women? Buy rounds for the bar? Gamble big money at casinos so people would look at them? Did they buy fine jewelry? Chelsea clocks as gifts for federal agents? Fine clothes?

        Did you ever hear the term “easy come, easy go”? How about “live fast, die hard”? “You can’t take it with you?” Whitey was in a ‘high turnover’ business. He knew his ticket could be punched at any time. “Winning” for him, as it is with every wise guy in the world, is the high of throwing cash around. One safe deposit box with $50k in it does not mean there’s more all across the country and the world. But you can believe that if you want. Cool story. If it were true.

        The truckload of Nike sneakers Whitey distributed at the D Street Projects can’t explain away millions, but it is evidence of a lifestyle. The thanksgiving turkeys, Christmas presents for cops and kids, the $5k for the Korean War Memorial, $10k for the Vietnam Memorial, $ for the food pantries, rents for for people down on their luck….self serving perhaps, but all evidence of the wise guy lifestyle. Its a very expensive lifestyle
        I don’t believe its consistent with amassing a fortune. That would be nothing more than 25 million reasons for Martorano, Nee, Flemmi or Weeks to walk up behind you…

        I believe the story of “The Lost Fortune of Whitey” is more bullshit from the Wyshak Team playing to media hype. He dripped a little blood in the shark tank by saying there’s fabulous riches somewhere for ‘victims’ and their lawyers. The result is positively Shakespearian. Believe what you want.

        This bogus treasure hunt is a dangerous game. Putting Cathy Greig in the middle of the feeding frenzy by declaring as fact that she knows where the “Lost Fortune of Whitey” is located puts her in harms way. It would be more appropriate to throw Weeks into that pit than Greig. I believe you were dead wrong to publish that in a newspaper. But you believe what you want.


        1. Patty:

          1. My conclusions are based on what I believe the facts are. They are not influenced by anything that the proseuction or the newspapers tell me.

          2. You point out the high living of the usual the gangsters. Whitey was not a usual gangster. He led a relatively quiet and disciplined life planning for the future by secreting money away in different locations. Your suggestiong that his life style would prevent him from gathering together a large fortune is given lie to bey the existence of the large fortune in cash in the walls of his place in Santa Monica. I happen to believe his lawyer who told us that Whitey made many millions. His lawyer would not have said that unless Whitey told him that and OK’s it. Those many millions were in cash and tax free. Yes, I believe there is a lot more money out there. I can’t prove Ms Greig knows where it is located but I surmise someone does and she is the most likely person.

          3. As far as suggesting I have endangered her I have to say that there are many people out there of Whitey’s bent who are much more adept at following the trail of money than I am. Those criminals are five steps ahead of me in figuring these things out and I suggest if you asked any of them if they though Whitey still had money floating around the answer would be in the affirmative.

          4. As for the 25 million I suggest that is a figure pulled out of a hat since no one knows how much money Whitey made over the years – he had to be making a million a year at a minimum in the latter years considering all the extortions we heard about and the many which we don’t know about as well as the weekly and monthly tribute from the bookies and drug dealers. Unlike what you say, Whitey knew his ticket could be punched at any time. He felt he was protected as indeed he was over the many years.

          5. You seem to lean to the side of Whitey being some sort of a Robin Hood with the helping the priests and old women, the people down on their luck, the Thanksgiving Turkeys, the Christmas gifts. You seem to want to overlook the kids who lost parents or the families who lost siblings because of Whitey. What Whitey gave away was equivalent to spare change and anything he did was probablly on part of a recent extortion.

          6. Judge Casper did nothing to affect the outcome of the trial or are you in the Whitey camp suggesting that he did not have a fair trial. He was toast the second or third day into the trial when the pictures of his association with Mafia hoodlums and the parade of guns came into the courtroom. The rest was just window dressing. He had the best jury he could have asked for that gave him a break on six of the murders even though he hardly contested the evidence of the prosecution.’

          7. Whitey will duly get what his actions demand during the sentencing hearing. He shed no tears for those whose lives he took and we should shed no tears for him or his associates nor offer excuses for his actions.

          8. As for those Nike sneakers he gave to the kids at the D Street project, I hope none of the kids burned his feet when they tried them on.

  2. Lead FBI investigator in Boston bombing speaking in Mich. Updated: Monday, November 11 2013, 08:44 AM EST AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – The lead investigator in the Boston Marathon bombing case will speak Monday night at the Cooley Law School Auburn Hills campus. Rick Deslauriers will address a national security law class on topics relating to the FBI and April’s Boston Marathon bombing.

    Read More at:

    1. MS:

      Dollars to specks of sand he won’t speak about the Marathon Terrorist Attack. I wonder if he will take questions. First, why did you get kicked out of the FBI? Next, tell us what was done when you first heard the name Tamerlan Tsarnaev and what attemts did you make to have him become an informant? Then, why did you go public with his picture when you had FBI agents that knew him? Finally, what were your agents doing in Cambridge the night you released the photographs. We’d just had the biggest terrorist attack on the United States since 9/11 and you have teams of agents working on something else that night two days after the attack. How do you justify that?

      You have connections every where, see if you can get those questions to them to ask. I’m sure you have your own which may even be better than mine.

  3. Hello again, Matt
    As usual for this trial and aftermath, I turn to you to tell it like it is. I am kind of sorry you won’t be in the courthouse to then tell us what really went down but I understand your point that you don’t want any kind of participation in the charade.
    Nevertheless, I look forward to your take on the sentencing.

    1. Margaret:
      Thanks for writing. I’ve no regrets in not being at the sentencing as I indicated. Sorry to have disappointed you but if we don’t know by know that Whitey was the personification of pur evil in the minds of the families of the victims we would not learn it from seeing them throw their barbs at him today and tomorrow. The words of the victims will have as much effect on Whitey as the snow is having upon me as I sit in Starbucks having a coffee – one of the great pleasure in life as odd as that may seem.

      With respect to the sentencing I may have something to say but really whether he gets one, two or three life sentences won’t matter. It will be interesting to see which of the family members can come up with the most creative description of Whitey’s vileness.

  4. Matt, I agree with your response to MS. We shouldn’t waste our energies on the implausible. We have plenty of pressing problems.
    2. The DOJ, FBI have real problems: such as its use of TEIs, its excessive secrecy and its propaganda: this blog has addressed many such problems.
    3. The Moakley Courthouse —judges, clerks and prosecutors—have real problems with the truthful equal, fair administration of justice. Oftentimes, the Court seems to be overly politicized, the handmaiden of the Press.
    4. The Press is out of control. You’ve pointed out how the latest version of Black Mass fails to mention the following facts: (a) A federal criminal jury acquitted John Connolly of any involvement in any murders: the jury declared Connolly “not guilty” of leaking any info; (b) John Connolly was not represented by counsel at the “Federal Civil Trial” where both the defendants (DOJ/FBI) and the plaintiffs (victims’ families) tried to portray Connolly as a “rogue cop”; some “fair” trial where all parties single out one defenseless man and say “he’s liable”; (c) The Civil Trial Judge nevertheless found that Connolly in fact acted at all times within the scope of his employment; in other words, the DOJ/FBI, Connolly’s bosses, were ultimately found liable for the “wrongful deaths” of Bulger/Martorano/Flemmi’s murder victims. At least, that’s how I understand it.
    Finally, on the issue of perjury, I bet Lehr and O’Neil didn’t spend much ink on explaining how in grotesque violation of John Connolly’s constitutional rights, the FEDs in the person of Fred Wyshak tried him twice for the same crime: once in Boston (not quilty for leaking info that led to Callahan’s death) and once again in Florida (“guilty of second degree murder for leaking info that led to Callahan’s death.) Nor I suspect did Lehr/O’Neill explain how the chief witness against Connolly, the vile Mr. Flemmi, had changed his stories multiple times over the course of his thirteen years in federal prison. Why should “award winning” reporters alert the public to serious issues of double jeopardy and equally serious issues of federal prosecutors’ repeated use of flagrant perjurers like Flemmi, Martorano and Salemme? It seems to me that it was the press and federal prosecutors who got in bed with the gangsters: the press to make money selling newspapers and books; the Feds apparently in an overzealous attempt to make Connolly a scapegoat and perhaps to get another innocent man, Bill Bulger. Is it not a matter of public record that Wyshak said John Connolly’s problem was that he got too close to “the Bulgers”.
    So, onward Christian soldiers: Fight the good fight!!! Happy Veterans Day and a belated Happy Marine Corps Birthday. Don’t forget the Health Corps’ birthday, whenever that is.

    1. William:
      1 & 2.- We agree going back 50 years will not help us with the problems staring us in the face now.
      3. The Moakley courthouse has a lot of good people working there. It may not look like that but for the most part they are good public employees trying their best. What we sometimes see are the few bad apples who are more interested in themselves than in justice, or the handful who may not be quite up to the responsibility they have taken on their shoulders.
      4. We have seen by now that the media tells only one side of a story it want to present. We’ve know that especially since we know about the concept of POOF. You are right about the civil trial – how is it a trial when one party doesn’t show up?
      5. Lehr and O’Neill only want to lift the shade up so far – preferring that facts that contradict their thesis be given the head in the ground treatment. You cannot depend on them for the truth since they have a dog in the fight. Lehr jumped the shark when he suggested to Dave Boeri that the 26 year old Whitey starting his prison term of 20 years reached out to Father Robert Drinan in order to bring him onto his team of criminals.

      The Health Corps birthday is September 3rd. It was founded at the Bull and Oyster in Boston in 1929. That happens to be the same day Whitey was born. It was the hottest September 3rd ever in the history of record keeping. Some have suggested the reason it was so hot was the Devil made an appearance on earth that day to look after one of his disciples who was just born.

      1. Matt, I mostly agree, plus no one ever heard of my branch, the Health Officers Corps, and most Americans doubt its existence, even though most Americans believe in the Devil and a great majority of Americans believe the Marine Corps can beat the hell out of the Devil and his Minions whenever and where-ever they rear their dastardly ugly heads. Always be faithful!

        1. William:

          Most Americans also believe Saddam was behind 9/11 and the men (or women or things) arrive from outer space at Roswell, New Mexico. Most Americans used to like the wars we fought from Bosnia, to Panama, to Grenada, to Iraq I, to Afghanistan, and to Iraq II but it is beginning to dawn on them that wars are loser’s games and the money we are spending on them could be better spent at home on our infrastructure. We invade a country and end up having to pay to rebuild it while our own country falls apart. That’s the country as a whole since it is reported “The top 10 percent of earners took more than half of the country’s total income in 2012, the highest level recorded since the government began collecting the relevant data a century ago.” So you see although most Americans believe the playing field to be even it is far from that. Which leads me to believe when most Americans are voting they have no idea what they are doing. Amen, brother!

          1. Matt, we agree: Think about this: Government (20% of people), fed, state, local, consumes 47% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and as you point out the top 10% of the wealthy consume more than 50% of the nation’s income, that makes 30% feeding off 97%-plus of the nation’s goods and services, which leaves about 2% of the Nation’s wealth to be split between 70% of the rest of us. I know I’m mixing apples and oranges, but let’s face it: out bloated government “fat cats” and wall-street-banker-lobbyist “fat cats” are ripping off the rest of us. 2. Remember, the majority of people in 1930s Germany were “good” people, too. Sometimes the good guys lose to the baddies; sometimes the greedy baddies take control. Look how some people like and admire the corrupt fatso, Howie “the Character Assassin” Carr. “All that is necessary for the Wyshak-types to triumph is for good people to do and say nothing.”

            1. William:
              1. When you read about the pocket books of those who run the show you see why the upper crust stays that way.
              2. Most people are too busy to get involved in these things. Last night after my talk in Falmouth a guy came up who knew a former poohbar from Savin Hill: Tommy Tucker. He first asked me if my nickname was “Sammy.”

  5. If anybody considers most of the victims (or their family members) as having anything worthwhile to say to listen to at sentencing, likewise, it seems Whitey’s words should then be considered worthwhile also since most of them were all involved in the same criminal enterprise……

    1. Ms:
      I read the article about False Flag operations. I suggest the history of false flag set out there is wrong (a ship hanging the flag of its enemy and then attacking its own ships). The False Flag did come from the days of wooden ships but it was used by pirates to deceive privateers. In other words it just means to portray yourself or an act as other than it is.

      Blaming the Nazis for the Reichstag fire seems a stretch, sort of like blaming the FBI for Kennedy’s assassination.

      I wouldn’t put it past the KGB to conduct the bombings in Chechnia but I also think the Chechens were fully capable of doing it themselves.

      I do not the movement afoot to blame the FBI for the Marathon Terrorist Attack. Its alleged purpose is to get an increase in its budget. We’ll be inundated with the idea that the Joker is being set up. I find such suggestions do more harm than good. We’ve enough problems without going out into the bleachers looking for more.

  6. My thinking here Matt is you are in a wonderful position to set up a visit with Whitey in person and see if he will work with you on writing a book.
    What is the worst thing he can say? No? As we approach the anniversary of the JFK assassination I have been receiving lots of emails. This came in yesterday from my buddy in Quincy Ed Tatro who is a buddy with Dick Russell.
    I have another buddy in JP Ross Gelbspan who recently retired from the
    Boston Globe. He covered our 1st annual conference investigating crimes committed by the FBI held at BU in 1988 for the Boston Globe. He went on to write a book the next year called BREAK INS DEATH THREATS AND THE FBI published by South End Press. Ross is also a buddy of Dick Russell.
    see his website Anyway Ed Tatro forwarded this link of a video interview that Dick Russell sent him about his new book
    dealing with the JFK assassination.

    also see this from Ed which just came in this morning


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