The Many Lies of FBI Agent Robert Fitzpatrick Exposed: Part Three

FitzpatrickThe part whether Whitey was an informant or not was a big part of the trial. It was really a tempest in a teapot. Whitey’s lawyer made much of it; the prosecutors also seemed hell-bent on refuting it. In the big picture it mattered little. Take your choice on the issue. The overwhelming evidence is that he was an informant.

What is important was whether the premise upon which Fitzpatrick wrote his book and gave his testimony was true. He tells of all the people who would not listen to him when he urged them to close Whitey out. But he admitted that he never advised Whitey be closed.

It turns out Fitzpatrick did nothing to bring him down even though as ASAC he was the one in the position who could easily have done it. His admitting that he had “never advocated that James Bulger be closed as an FBI informant” goes to the heart of who Fitzpatrick is.

Let me explain.

When I first read his book I had problems with it as I noted here. He told about his meeting with Bill Bulger. Everything at the meeting was fine. Agent Connolly set it up. Fitzpatrick wanted to meet him. Bill sat with him and Connolly for a little longer than twenty minutes. He told him, as he told every other person whom he met, that if he could ever help him out he would be glad to do it. It was the usual dog and pony show put on by politicians as part of the daily routine. Fitzpatrick wrote: “Billy couldn’t have been warmer or more gregarious.”

Then Fitzpatrick wrote: “when I shook his hand I had the same feeling as when I’d first met Whitey. . . . I caged the meeting in a framework that Billy, too, was a con man used to getting what he wanted  . . . . The specter of that arrogance never once rose in our carefully worded, yet cautious exchange. . . . We exchanged more small talk but nothing of substance”

He wrote that Connolly asked him if he wanted to meet with Bill. He went on “I knew he was bringing me to see Billy Bulger as the guy who posed a threat to his brother and, perhaps, to him by connection. Or, maybe, I thought, Billy had requested the meeting  so that he could get a look at his nemesis.” Yet he admitted in pleading guilty he posed no threat.

He wrote about walking back from the meeting ”I knew what it was like to be bullied, pushed around, and that’s the feeling that grabbed hold of my gut. Billy Bulger was using power in place of his fists. And he wanted me to know I was alone, helpless against powerful forces I could neither control nor fully comprehend.” He pointed to nothing to justify this alleged feeling.

He then told how he faced fear before but as he “drove back” to the Federal Building (hardly likely they drove from Center Plaza to the State House) “I knew exactly what I needed to do: close Whitey Bulger and put the Boston office back on track, no matter how many names I had to take or asses I had to kick.” Yet he admitted he did none of these things.

Sadly it is all a lie. He wrote that after meeting with Whitey he “spent all night working on a detailed report that I presented to Larry Sarhatt the following morning. My unequivocable (sic) recommendation was to close Bulger as an FBI informant.” That never happened; no report ever surfaced.

 In pleading guilty he admits this is false. If it is false so is Bill having any idea he is Whitey’s nemeses. So is his statement about needing to close Whitey.

Worse, he wrote when Whitey went on the run that “Bulger’s disappearance dredged up all the painful memories about my failed attempts to close him. The fact that Bulger was now on the lam presented a real threat to me. . . . “

He writes all this yet he admits in pleading guilty he never did anything that would have made Whitey have any grudge against him.

I wrote about his book a second time here I said: “I find it difficult to believe much of what he says . . . . “   Now it is clear to me why that is the case.

The prosecutors did a public service in bringing us the truth. The instincts of the judge were right on the mark when he said about the punishment that: “he perhaps earned more.” The prosecutors may have been of the same mind. His health gave them pause. Instead, they rested comfortably knowing the truth was established.

I was wrong in criticizing the indictment. It served a valuable public purpose. It helped set the record straight.

26 thoughts on “The Many Lies of FBI Agent Robert Fitzpatrick Exposed: Part Three

  1. Hi Matt, I think Fitzpatrick’s prosecution was a waste of time and money by federal prosecutors who were never able to push this case any higher than agent John Connolly. Fitzpatrick is a fantasist whose Bulger testimony was effectively undermined on cross examination. That said, you’re right. It’s deeply disturbing to think this man’s entire life is a lie. He worked on very important cases and was made the No. 2 man in the Boston FBI office. Did anyone in the Bureau ever notice that Fitzpatrick was, well, crazy? The whole case is topsy turvy. A supervisor, John Morris, is given immunity in order to nail a subordinate? What planet are we on?

    1. Dan:

      I thought it was a waste of time for a while but in rethinking that I recognized that it was important to set the record straight that Fitzie did not come to Boston to clear up any mess – that is good to know because it shows at FBI headquarters there was no concern with Whitey being an informant; that he never advocated closing Whitey and that Whitey never told him he was not an informant also puts things in a different light. It would always be thought that Connolly was doing something that he should not have been doing.

      The federal prosecutors could have pushed the case higher but politics dictated that they go with the one rogue agent theory and then the FBI could go merrily along with its usual way of doing business by pointing to its rules and regulations while letting its agents do whatever they wanted to do as long as they did not get caught.

      I’m am sure that Fitzpatrick was known for being out of step with the others. I did talk to an agent who worked with him at the time and your description of him was accurate. I would like to have seen the evidence the prosecutors had that made Fitz plead guilty; it must have been overwhelming.

      Wyshak went after Fitzpatrick in a pique and also pushed by others in the FBI who felt he wrongly injured their reputations. He actually helped Whitey and Connolly by doing this because the closer we get to the truth the less reliable Wyshak’s case appears to be.

  2. …Four days in a row…..the same picture of Fitzpatrick up top with the incredulous look on his face…..yet no one mentioned the striped shirt and plaid jacket…..A crime in itself…
    Where are the sharp eyes and inquiring minds on that one?

    1. Rather: Stripped shirt – plaid jacket – that is truly a crime. He should have been indicted for obstruction of justice for wearing that combination. J. Edgar had he seen him at work dressed like that would have immediately sent him off to one of the resident offices in Alaska.

  3. Matt,

    Interesting to note that in the comments to the article that you linked on here, Fitzpatrick leaves a comment where he criticizes your post. I pointed out that it wasn’t his first attempt at fiction writing; he was basically kicked out of the bureau for writing a report claiming he was at an event that he was not at. He quickly disappeared from the comments once he saw that someone knew the truth about the real reason he left the FBI with an axe to grind!

    1. Declan:

      In one of his relies he mentioned he was a gold glove fighter so he would go down fighting. That too turned out not to be correct. He actually wasn’t kicked out. He was demoted and sent to Rhode Island. There the guy in charge had sympathy for him and told him he was not going to have to do any heavy lifting — all he had to do was show up and go through the motions — he was close to having his 20 years in. Fitpatrick by that time had figured he was unfairly punished for having filed the documents you described so he decided to quit. He then invented the crusader image. My recollection is that he told in his book how much he loved the FBI yet at the same time he was attacking it.

  4. Has any criminal in modern day times been the center of so many books in the past five to ten years as Jimmy Bulger? Every once in a while I will see a young police officer on the street and ask myself , I wonder if they will have total recall in thirty five years about criminal events happening now? This former FBI agent is on probation and Pat Nee is a free man walking the streets?

    1. I think the decline of the Mafia has a lot to do with the Bulger boom. A substitute was needed pronto for various book and film projects. I also see there’s still talk of Bulger’s “criminal empire,” which actually seems to have been a seedy and slightly depressing liquor store in South Boston. Pat Nee isn’t the only guy walking the streets. John Morris is selling fine wine and collecting an FBI pension. Meanwhile, Bulger’s girlfriend is doing hard time. What planet are we on?

    2. Norwood:

      You are right that no criminal, not even Al Capone, has had anywhere near the books written about him as Whitey, He was made into a super criminal which he wasn’t — if he affected anything it was a small section of Boston (Southie) – – most people never heard of him prior to his flight in 1994. It was good press to make him into super mobster – mostly done for revenge (against Billy) and to make money. Someday he will be put into a proper analysis which will show he was a small time local hood who threatened bookies and drug dealers along with his buddy Flemmi. He was involved in less murders than the guys who testified against him and even in most of those murders he was not the trigger man.

      The books tell very much about him; I suppose we can even learn what brand of toothpaste he preferred. But none ever told us the truth about him since they all sought to glorify his tawdry deeds to make themselves a little money on the side.

  5. Indictments shouldn’t be about setting the record straight. They should be about whether a crime was committed. No crime was committed. Nothing he said at the Whitey trial was materiel to the charges against the defendant. No one should be indicted for extraneous statements. His testimony had no bearing on anything. His indictment was completely gratuitous. It was punishment for telling the truth that Morris was the leak and not Connolly thus exposing the whole Connolly case as a fraud.. 2. Set the record straight by writing books and filing civil suits that refute Fitzpatrick’s claims. Using criminal proceedings to that end is an abuse of process and clear misconduct by the prosecutor.

    1. nc,

      Good point.
      It’s almost as if the indictment of Fitzpatrick served no other purpose but to throw the sheep a bone, and show that Whyshak and Co. weren’t afraid to go after ex-FBI.
      Sour grapes for testifying for the defense.
      …..and a day late and a dollar short.
      JOHN MORRIS, not Connolly or Fitzpatrick should have been indicted.

      Great comment nc.

    2. NC:

      1. Agree indictments should not be about setting the record straight but I am glad that it was done in this case. Also agree that no crime was committed but Fitzpatrick and his Lawyer apparently thought that pretending one had happened was better than going through the motions of trying to beat the rap. i explained before as you note that his testimony had no effect on the trial other than to make the jurors think he was a good guy.

      2. I would suggest that no one should be indicted for a federal offense that will only lead to probation. That means it was not significant; and many of the cases the federals are not taking on properly belong with the state.

  6. Who bears the blame for the unjust dismissal of Mooney Tata, the Latin school boss? The mayor, the Globe, the NAACP, the DOJ, the Globe subscribers or the buyers of Red Sox tickets? There was as much racial discrimination at BLS as there was criminal activity by the Duke lacrosse team.

    1. NC:

      Teta was not dismissed, she resigned after being harrassed and humiliated by the federal investigators and being abandoned by Walsh (fighting not to be indicted) and the Superintendent (incredibly naive thinking the ACLU is on the level)

      The Globe tried to undermine her but its reporters having gained access to Latin School actually pointed out that it was well run and pretty much free of problems, racial or otherwise. The NAACP is the most irrelevant organization around but it has the ear of the federals and its goal is to have a superintendent at BLS who is African-American.

      Red Sox nation is not to blame – their interest does not run to academic matters. Although rumor has it that there will be two headmasters at BLS both named Dave: the Sox president Dumbroski and its next bobblehead Ortiz.

      You do not understand. Times have changed. If one seventh grader insults another by using a racial epithet then the headmaster is to blame. The Latin school situation is another joke upon the public just like the idea that Whitey was a master criminal.

  7. Ok.. Maybe not great stories I hope I didn’t over hype them but I enjoy them! First of all as everyone knows now he wasn’t demoted due to his intrepid investigating skills and determination to bring down Whitey Bulger. He was demoted because he was supposed to go out to and enforcement action on the Cape but being a lazy ass that he was he stayed home. Unfortunately for him it was a minor shooting incident. Rather than admit to Greenleaf that he sent home on his lazy ass he made up a report detailing his involvement in the nights activities. Sound like a pattern haha!!??

    One day I was chatting in the office of the FBI polygraph examiner, Tom Donlan. His office was right across the hall from Fitzy’s. A young guy was leaving the Boston office to take a job as a surveillance squad member in New York. It’s a step below agent but generally a path that some of the young guys took to become agents. I heard him in Fitzy’s office as he told him how much he appreciated his work in the Boston office, and how he would never forget him and if he ever needed anything just give FItzy a call. He often spoke about himself in the third person. “Remember if you ever need anything just give Fitzy a call…I’m never more than a phone call away anything I can ever do for your kid just dial that phone I don’t forget my friends” etc etc! The kids left the office probably feeling pretty good about his friend in high places. He was barely around the corner when I hear this: “Hey Desi, who was that”? Desi was Jim Greenleafs secretary by the way!

    Now the interesting post script. Guess who the agent was? J M D…Google “FBI agent arrested Cohasset” You might’ve read about him recently. He was the agent that was recently arrested in a Chinese restaurant in Cohasset for pointing his service weapon at a woman’s head at the bar…two women…neither his wife, by the way, were fighting over him. He was allegedly staggering drunk when he pulled out his gun. Think that embarassed the bureau, Matt? I guess he didn’t call Fitzy in time because he was locked up..rumor has it he put his papers in the next day. Small world right?

    1. Declan:

      Those are great stories. Nice to read them. Things must be pretty desperate in Cohasset with two women fighting over an FBI agent in a Chinese joint – obviously neither one was his wife since she was happy he was out of the house.

  8. Dear DanC, You wrote: “Meanwhile, Bulger’s girlfriend is doing hard time.” The feds squeezed her to give up Whitey’s stash. I’ll put a “Gaga” book extract that describes Whitey’s 1950s girlfriend, Jackie McAuliffe, getting his stash. I’ll next post what Gaga says about Catherine Greig.

    “I went to federal court. Whitey was in the bullpen. You could talk with prisoners. Talk through the bars. Give them cigarettes. Give them food. Give them almost anything. Jackie was in the courtroom. They had her locked up too.
    I said to Whitey, ‘Why did you plead guilty?’ ‘I made a deal to get Jackie ten years probation.’ I felt like saying, ‘Boy, are you a sucker.’
    Whitey tells me about a garage. ‘P.’ And East Sixth Street. ‘You’ll see two tomato cans. Laying on the ground. Make sure Jackie gets them.’
    I’m sitting with Whitey’s father. I said, ‘That’s a tough break. Him having to plead guilty.’ When Whitey got twenty years. The father had tears in his eyes.
    Whitey took his personal stuff. Gave it to his father. He said, ‘Give Gaga the garage keys.’ The father grabbed car keys. Whitey says, ‘No! No! These keys here (points finger).’ Whitey said Jackie’s getting out. ‘She’ll know what to do.’
    So I waited. Drove Jackie to the garage. She didn’t want to come in. I thought bodies was in there. The way she dodged it.
    The garage was empty. No cars. Nothing. Just two tomato cans. Middle of the floor. Give them a kick. Out comes the money. Seventeen hundred in one can. Two thousand in the other can. Couple of hundreds. Mostly twenties. And fifties.”

  9. “Catherine Greig got eight years. She told her lawyer, ‘I have no regrets.’ Because Whitey promised his stash. Instead of cash. She’ll get diamonds. And platinum jewelry.
    Whitey grabbed Bucky’s jewelry. Whitey has a BIG jewelry stash. More than twenty million in jewelry. CATHERINE GREIG KNOWS WHERE IT IS NOW.”

      1. Greig would first have to get out of jail. Then she’d have to retrieve the stash without detection. And then she’d have find somebody to move the jewels. All this would put her at risk of going back to prison. I don’t think there is a stash, or at least one that hasn’t already been discovered. This has all the makings of Fred Wyshak searching for the lost city of gold.

    1. Jon,
      Totally plausible.
      The contents of his apartment in Santa Monica show that he was a mini-hoarder, …if not having a slight disposition to O.C.D. (see excessive unnecessary amount of firearms, paper towels/toilet paper, books on O.C., even dollar-store socks stretching out on empty two-liter bottles lined up on his bedroom bureau)

      I think ol’ Jimmy came across a fair amount of jewelry in his time…including Bucky’s…..it and it would be just the M.O. of an old-school Southie thief to stock it up and stash it ……very easy……could be buried anywhere.

      Maybe he and Catherine had an agreement.

      For one, it could explain why she never gave in to testify.

  10. Bulger had $822,000 in cash in the walls, a tidy sum, really, for an elderly couple living in a rent- controlled apartment. So how much more did he spend during 16 years on the lam? I’m guessing that Bulger took off with about $2 million. Is there more? Doubt it.

  11. Hanssen applied for a cryptographer position in the National Security Agency , but was rebuffed due to budget setbacks. He enrolled in dental school at Northwestern University When the Soviet Union collapsed in December 1991, Hanssen, possibly worried that he could be exposed during the ensuing political upheaval, broke off communications with his handlers for a time.

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