The Great Myth Continues: Even Respected Well-Intentioned Authors Fall For It

(6) Old HarborT.J. English really blew it. You would think with his background in dealing with criminals and writing about them he would not fall for the claptrap that the local media has dispensed that Bill Bulger was involved with Whitey. I mentioned this before but I’ve talked to others about it so you’ll have to hear it again how I almost fell out of my chair when I read what he wrote about this.

He is wondering why Pat Nee did not do anything when his partners were murdered. One reason, as I have suggested, is he may have been involved in the murders; the other reason is Pat benefited from them taking their share of the booty. The reason Pat offers is nonsense.

English has befriended Pat so unfortunately he buys his stories as they say hook, line and sinker. That’s always a problem when you get too close to a source then you lose your objectivity. English knows as well as everyone else that Pat was probably the guy in the back seat of the car who gunned down Halloran but he is reluctant to put him there. He like all the media give the prosecutor a pass on Weeks’s lie that he did not know who went to a murder party with him when there were only three of them. How many times in the history of mankind have three people gone to a murder a guy and one guy doesn’t know who is going with him?

T.J. English rightly identifies the status of Whitey “in the mid 1970s, he was a garden-variety Boston gangster.” Reading the media you would believe otherwise. That at least shows English is more perceptive than most media people.

English wrote: when it comes to killing he was no “Joe Barboza, or John Martorano, or Steve Flemmi” – I would add he was no Frank Salemme, Larry Bione, Jimmy Flemmi or Pat Nee. If he was not a stone killer like those other guys, why was it he was not taken out.

English  concludes what made him different, and the reason no one wanted to take him out, was his brother Bill – “Billy Bulger’s standing in the city protected Whitey Bulger from retribution.”

Unfortunately for English he takes the Kool-Aid along with so many others who should know better. I mentioned before that back when Pat Nee’s partners were being murdered Bill Bulger had no power because he opposed busing that was white-hot in the mid-1970s.

The truth is that Bill protected him from no one. I have pointed out that from 1976 into the 1990s I was in charge of doing wiretap investigations for Norfolk County where Whitey lived. I worked with detectives who were hell-bent on getting him. We worked in conjunction with other agencies including the DEA and State Police. We had no qualms about going after Whitey. I have often told in all our discussions and investigations about Whitey no one even mentioned the name of his brother Bill in any way never mind that we should not go after Whitey because of him.

It is only the media who were not doing the investigations and writers like English who were not on the scene who imagine that Bill gave some protection to him. You don’t have to believe me but you should look at the objective facts.

Bill first started to accrue some power in 1978 when he became president of the Senate. The law enforcement agencies that would have been most affected by Bill’s power would have been the district attorneys and the state police. He could have squeezed their budgets.  I have told how my office, the Norfolk DA, was after Whitey. If you don’t believe it read the FBI reports where Whitey claimed we had a vendetta against him.

The Massachusetts State Police under Colonel O’Donovan were also trying to bring him down. You all know of the 1980 bug put in at the garage on Lancaster Street where Whitey was conducting his operations. The State Police did that in conjunction with the Suffolk DA. How would that have happened if Bill Bulger was thought to be protecting his brother.

These people demean law enforcement when they make the suggestion that any investigative agency backed off from going after Whitey because of his brother.

If Bill could not protect Whitey from the law, how are you are supposed to believe he protected him from the criminal element? Back then when the Mafia was strong it could have easily taken out Whitey if it wanted to do so without consequences. Unfortunately few want to examine what happened. They all like simple thing like Whitey was the top Criminal (which he wasn’t); his brother the powerful state senator helped him out (he didn’t).

Someone did though. His reputation was made because he partnered up with John Martorano and Steve Flemmi, who English rightly pointed out were at a much different level than Whitey. It was also because J. Edgar Hoover set in motion a monster program called the Top Echelon Informant program that recruited as it members top murderers like Flemmi and Pat Nee and even lesser luminaries as Whitey.

Few, if any what to tell that story.


14 thoughts on “The Great Myth Continues: Even Respected Well-Intentioned Authors Fall For It

  1. Jerome, At whitey’s trial It came out the Nee was the back seat shooter. Fred Wyshak said so in his closing.
    No speculation here by Matt

  2. Jerome,

    There were some attempts on Whitey’s life by other wise guys and even by the federal government and the Boston Globe. Coward Harr would always write that Whitey had many millions in cash on the hopes it would motivate someone to kidnap him or kill him. there was at least one attempt outside his house where Whitey was ambushed by at least 2 wiseguy shooters who missed .

    A common ploy wiseguys used to keep themselves from being easy targets for elimination was to be closely aligned with another person who had a reputation of being a capable killer. Any plan to kill one partner would have to include both, or else the survivor would be obligated to retaliate. The hunter had to be certain of 200% success, or he would become the hunted. It is many times more difficult to murder two men simultaneously than just one. It was too risky for most to try.
    History has also proven that murdering one man often calls for murdering several more to ensure the killer’s long term safety. Examples include the Bennett brothers, McLaughlins, Jimmy Flemmi and Joe Barboza, Larry Baione and Frank Salemme, Whitey and Stevie… Perhaps Flemmi appeared to Whitey to be the best choice for a partner, however wrong that later proved. Flemmi could ostensibly protect Whitey from the MSP, FBI, LCN, and a Pat Nee type would not make a move on Whitey unless Flemmu was also eliminated.
    Ultimately, Pat Nee won the war of which criminal partner offered more protection from law enforcement. Still, Nee would not have been a good partner because he exudes the real Irish curse, deep and consuming Envy. Nee was also prone to drink and do cocaine, gambling, and he would do impulsive and unpredictable things while he was on a toot. He would have buried Whitey in his cellar in a heartbeat if he could be assured Flemmi wouldn’t come after him.
    Flemmi got the same sort of protection in return from Bulger. In addition, Bulger was sober, predictable, disciplined, capable of earning money for Steve, and he was popular with women.
    Flemmi had loads of “partner protection” to offer Whitey from people like Salemme…In retrospect, it probably appeared to make good sense at that time, at least from Whiteys distorted survival perspective….in the short term.
    Another thing that kept Whitey alive was his instincts and discipline. He would always drive because you can’t shoot the driver of the car you are in. He would never visit Salemme’s house in Sharon or similar places because he knew he could easily be killed there. Whitey avoided routines and generally made himself a difficult target. He knew very well how men were killed and he didn’t put himself in those positions.


    1. Patty:

      Whitey was so aware his life was in danger he paid a kid $5.00 to start his car each morning.

  3. There is nothing tough about killing people . Too many backseat masked gunmen and plain fabrication by compromised actors in the Whitey Saga to be able to seperate fact from fiction. When one states …. ” We all know that … ” etc. you have made the fatal Whitey Saga acknowledgment of ” knowing ” what we suspect we do not really know ; thus the reassurance of the ” We all know … ” statement.

    I respect your abilities as an investigator, but wryly note that you cannot in many previous comments and posts challenge Weeks as to his masked gunman fabrication and then just select who you want to be the masked gunman in the masked gunman Weeks’ tale. Is it not just as likely therefore that the ” masked backseat gunman ” never existed? Where does that leave T.J. ?

    The problem with ” the balloon is in the air, ” an alleged walkie talkie burst Weeks said he tipped the gunmen with when Mr. Halloran appeared, is that the account is patently false. No walkie talkies – no Kevin in the catbird seat. It may well be enough to accept the legalized, highly legalized at this srage, Weeks sanitizing version of events. But please, let’s use common sense in selecting any Weeks’ statements concerning that day as factual starting points.

    1. John:

      Weeks knew who was in the back seat. Flemmi knew who was in the back seat. Whitey knew. Flemmi said it was Nee. Nee is an admitted gunman. Freddie knows and admitted, I’m told, it was Nee. Weeks’s deal was he could protect Nee and hearing his testimony and reading his book all points to Nee. We all know it was Nee but he is being protected so we will pretend we do not know.

  4. Matt
    You wrote: “English wrote: when it comes to killing he was no “Joe Barboza, or John Martorano, or Steve Flemmi” – I would add he was no Frank Salemme, Larry Bione, Jimmy Flemmi or Pat Nee. If he was not a stone killer like those other guys, why was it he was not taken out.”

    Taken out as being killed/murdered by any of those aformentioned? Any idea how Bulger got along so well with Flemmi who you described as dumb yet Bulger was a well read individual? you would think Bulger would have been put off by Flemmi’s dumbness. Granted Flemmi is almost a street smart genius for outlasting and outliving the Irish Boston Mob Wars and dealing with the Anguilos and Baiones…..

  5. Matt
    Have you read the book Valhalla Arms by John Loftus and the mother of John McIntyre?

    Also, and I am probably guilty of being manipulated by the media, do you think Whitey Bulger was/is tougher than Frank Salemme, John Martorano, and Steve Flemmi? Based on the way the media describes Bulger he is tougher than those men yet they killed plenty of people

    1. Jerome:

      Why would I read such a book when the author is so wrong on what happened to McIntrye?

  6. The recently found body of Steven DiSarro (former manager of The Channel)…..
    There’s one they can’t pin on Whitey.

    1. Rather:

      The feds have known for years that Salemme did it. The amazing thing is no one will prosecute him for it even though the evidence is available because Wyshak has protected so many gangsters that he has obstructed the abilitiy of the the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to prosecute murderersw.

  7. While you were at the Norfolk DA’s, did anyone from the FBI ever tell you to stay away from any of their informants?

    1. Bob:

      The FBI would not do that because that would disclose the identity of their informants. When I was with the office after about two years we had very little to do with the FBI. We were very active in doing wiretaps which were directed at the bookie operations = although we did not know it at the time these were paying tribute to Whitey. If he FBI learned of anything we were doing they would tip off their informants although I had such a secure operation I cannot say that ever happened. I believe that was a cause of frustration to it and it was because they came up with a scheme to have a state police captain who worked with them put in charge of the state police unit I was working with so that it could find out what I was doing. That was the first time it got a view of our operation and it so threatened their informants that they went after the state trooper who was working with me and brought about his federal indictment.

  8. I have not read the T.J.English story although I would like to. These stories are not published for the truth of the matter.The local media has continued its effort to slime a decent man because he recognized them for what they are,businesses for profit like insurance companies and banks. The myth of the newspapers as seekers of truth is just that,myth.

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