The Masterful Stroke

Patiently Waiting For The Right Time
The FBI Conferring Honor To Agents For Destroying The Mafia

There’s the big picture here that the judges, the mainstream media and the people seem to have missed. Or, if not missed, knew about and played either a witting, ignorant or agnostic role in it.

The vaunted FBI should have picked up on it and fought back to defend its agents. Maybe it was so obvious the FBI just missed it — laid out there in plain view like the letter in a Sherlock Holmes tale. Or perhaps seeing it, because of its timidity when the fat is on the fire and its desire not to embarrass the family it remained silent as sleeping sheep.

It may involve one of the biggest coups ever brought about by organized crime. The biggest get back in criminal history. It exemplifies an old Pashtun proverb, yes a belief strongly held by the people we are up against in Afghanistan. The the Pashtun proverb has been adopted by the Mafiosi in Sicily.

Here’s the big picture.  In 1931 during prohibition days the North End Mafia eliminated the leadership of the Irish South Boston Gustin gang who were interfering with their bootlegging activities. After that the Boston Mafia was the top organized crime group in the area. Business slowed up with the repeal of prohibition, the depression and WWII but as things got better after the war the Mafia again found business profitable. In the early Fifties Raymond L.S. Patriarca was in charge of the Patriarca Family whose territory was most of New England. He had Gerry Angiulo who had served four years in the Pacific theater during WWII as his underboss. Under Patriarca’s leadership, Angiulo, with the help of his brothers and others, controlled the criminal enterprises in the Greater Boston area from his North End headquarters.

In the late Fifties and Early Sixties the Irish again were building up their own criminal enterprises. One group was stationed in Somerville and the other in Charlestown. They were encroaching on the Mafia’s territories and were not welcome but tolerated because times were good. The notorious Irish Mob war began after Labor Day in 1961 when guys from Somerville beat up the brother of the leaders of the Charlestown mob. The hot-headed Irish decimated each other while the Mafia guys sat back and not only watched but also encouraged some of the violence. The outcome would be a more powerful Mafia and a greatly subservient Irish mob. This violence did not affect South Boston which had its own little dust-up occurring.

The Mafia’s plan for good times evaporated when it decided to stick it to Joe “The Animal” Barboza who used to work with it but was sitting in the can looking to get out on bail. Joe had a couple of guys working to raise his $100,00 bail. They’d come up with around $85,000 when they were murdered by the Mafia in a North End joint. Armed with that knowledge, FBI Agent Paul Rico was able to convince Barboza to testify against Angiulo, Patriarca and other Mafia types. Patriarca and some of his lieutenants ended up in prison. Angiulo reached the jury and beat the rap.

Agent Rico had Stevie Flemmi as an informant who kept him apprised of the Mafia’s doings. He would pass on information he got from his friendships with Frankie Salemme and Larry Baione. Rico left  Boston in 1970 while Flemmi was on the run from a murder indictment. Flemmi stayed in contact with Rico’s partner Dennis Condon.

Condon made it possible for Flemmi to return to Boston in 1974 after he made arrangements to wipe out a murder charge and other serious charge that had sent Salemme to prison for 16 years. The FBI desperately needed Flemmi. Angiulo was still at large. Condon retired in 1975 turning Flemmi over to FBI Agent John Connolly.

Connolly with Flemmi’s help was able to get some of the evidence needed to put an electronic bug in Angiulo’s and Baione’s locations. They’d both be put into prison and out of action. Their successors were likewise undermined by Connolly. Finally, in 1989, the year before he retired, Connolly brought about the downfall of Raymond’s son and the remaining Mafiosi when he managed to bug a Mafia induction ceremony.

Two FBI agents, Rico and Connolly, brought down the Patriarca Family and prevented the Mafia from reestablishing a foothold in New England. Rico died in jail; Connolly will also.

Now back to the Pashtun proverb which states revenge is best served with a clear mind and not when you are hot with anger. The French suggested “revenge is a dish best served cold.” Sicilians agreed. As explained in the Urban Dictionary “Old saying from the Mafiosi in Sicily. Tells that the best payback is the one that comes with planning, and that brings the most horrendous pain to your enemies when they are not expecting and are just enjoying the fruits of all the dishonor they brought upon you. One must wait so he can really inflict pain to those who wronged him. Careful planning is necessary so your enemies will suffer terribly, but you won’t be harmed by the Law or by your enemies’ allies.” 

Is there any better example of this than what happened to Rico and Connolly? Has there ever been a greater betrayal than the FBI letting two of its finest agents be destroyed by gangsters for fear of embarrassment?

30 thoughts on “The Masterful Stroke

  1. If Whitey Bulger had contact with FBI Agents, serving and retired, after he went on the Lam, and stayed in contact with them whilst in Santa Monica, and can prove that fact, could that be an Ace in the hole for the defense?

    1. JC:
      If that were the case the FBI would never disclose any improper conduct on behalf of its agents. If Whitey were to testify about it, nothing would come of it. You have to understand the Government, especially the FBI, wants this case to go away. It has so far successfully made people think there was one FBI agent who was corrupt and what happened with Whitey was an aberration, when in fact it is part of an ongoing program with the FBI which the FBI seeks to hide. No one will believe anything Whitey testifies to, especially about the FBI unless it is confined to evil tales about Connolly.It won’t help the defense.

  2. Patty:

    Thank you for the recommendation. I will definitely have to read that book. I do not at all claim to have mastered the history of the Deegan murder, and have wondered just how much “truth” came out of those court hearings in the 90s that freed Limone and Salvati. In fact, Vinny Teresa says in his book (pp. 172-173) that Barboza got the order to hit Deegan from Limone, and also that Barboza, Cassesso, and Grieco were the ones who “turned their guns on [Deegan] and killed him in an alley next to the bank.” Teresa says that Tameleo did not authorize the hit and heard about the next day in the newspaper, and also says “I don’t know if he was telling the truth, but I guess in a way it’s justice. Tameleo set up a lot of other people and got away with it.” Of course, one must be careful about relying on Teresa. In this case, he makes no mention of Jimmy the Bear, who, as I’ve read in other accounts, was the one who killed Deegan.

    So I’ve been trying to piece together that history for some time now. I’ll look forward to reading that book.

    And mtc: thank you for that tidbit that FBI wiretaps confirmed that Barboza had to get the OK before carrying out the hit.

    1. Jon:
      A couple of things.
      One problem that has happened with respect to the whole Whitey Bulger situation including the facts surrounding he Deegan is the FBI informant reports. Many of them are written straight from the mouths of the informants. For instance, if an informant A1 says X,Y, and Z were involved in the murder of Q the FBI agent will write that down. That doesn’t mean that X,Y and Z murdered Q or the FBI agent believed X,Y, and Z murdered Q it’s just a raw report of what A1 said. Another informant A2 may be telling the FBI that M and N killed Q. Years later, if C & B are convicted of murdering Q, it doesn’t mean they didn’t do it. All you can really conclude from it is A1 and A2 had wrong information or were lying about their information, or the FBI agent made the whole thing up to look like he wasn’t shopping in Filene’s Basement. It doesn’t mean C & B are not guilty.
      Another thing is that in the early 60s the FBI had bugged Patriarca’s headquarters and were getting information from there but since the bug was not authorized by a court the information could not be used in court so it was only useful for intelligence purposes. Sometimes it would be used to get warrants by describing the bug as an informant. There were no FBI bugs that I have heard on that targeted the McLaughlins or others in the Boston Irish Mob battle of the ‘60s.
      In July 1965 the FBI ceased doing its illegal bugs after LBJ told them to stop. When the gangsters talk about FBI bugs they speak very loosely. They have said the FBI bugged McLauglins but there is nothing to back that up. Thus Howie Carr’s story about Agent Rico wanting to murder them because they called him a homosexual is based on gangster nonsense.

  3. I’m a little disappointed by the lack of a response to my post on the perjured testimony of Barboza that Rico and Condon let happen. I was looking forward to a reply that might deepen my understanding of that whole affair. This is an ongoing area of research to me, and I’d like to learn more about that episode. So is it not so simple as Rico and Condon cultivating perjured testimony and sending away innocent men to prison? I’d really like to know.

    1. Jon,

      The author who wrote about the Boston Strangler case just published a new book on Barboza. You might find that an interesting read….keeping in mind how distorted history gets when authors have to rely on reporters and police reports/302s.

      Steve Flemmi’s proffer contains his view of the Deegan homicide. Essentially, he claims some number of the 4 guys who were falsely convicted were actually involved in the conspiracy and contract to kill Deegan. They just didn’t pull the trigger. Nonetheless, I find it repulsive for anyone to be tried or jailed on fabricated testimony.

      -P

      1. Patty:

        You can read Barboza’s own story (fantasies) at the Chelsea or Everett library. I heard he dedicated the book to Edward Harrington but the copy I saw had no such dedication.

        I’ll have to take a look at that book. It is true that Barboza never placed some of the people who were convicted at the murder scene. He said, and FBI wiretaps confirmed, that he had to get the OK before killing Deegan. I think it was his testimony that some of the guys who went to jail were involved in giving the OK or soliciting him to do the hit. From what I’ve heard, and I admit it is hearsay, the only innocent guy was Joe Salvati and Barboza didn’t like him for some reason or other and threw him into the mix.

    2. Jon:
      Sorry for the late response to your thoughtful post. I had other business to catch up on which caused the dealy.

  4. By the way, it’s not really related to the subject matter of this site, and it’s a small point, but given your posts on Connolly and so-called “slurs against South Boston”, I still think it’s worth pointing out that the situation in Afghanistan is a bit more complex to justify saying we’re up against the Pashtuns. Certainly the Taliban arose as a student movement out of Kandahar consisting of Pashtun students (talib translates into “student”) recruited from madrassas in both Afghanistan and Pakistan by militant emirs and commanders most famously associated with Mullah Omar and Bin Laden. But Pashtun is an ethnicity that comprises a host of militant groups, tribes, and Afghan citizens. President Karzai is himself a Pashtun member of the Popolzai tribe (might be the Ghilzai tribe; I get it mixed up). And though tensions have been high between the Obama administration and Karzai, surely we don’t think of Karzai as an enemy we are up against. So just as we don’t want to stereotype all of South Boston, we don’t want to stereotype all of the Pashtuns in Afghanistan.

  5. Let me preface my remarks by saying that I find this blog to be well-informed and stimulating. It asks good questions and is provocative. That said, I find some glaring omissions in the above post.

    I understand it to be true that Paul Rico and Dennis Condon were instrumental in convincing Barboza to testify against Angiulo and Patriarca in those trials in the late 60s (I believe it was 1968). But I’m not sure just how crucial they were. I understand from Vinny Teresa’s account that Barboza read about the killing of Bratsos and DePrisco (the two guys who were going around trying to obtain his bail money, probably through shakedowns) and then, enraged as only “the animal” could get, was able to get a message to Chico Amico to kill Mafia henchman Phil Waggenheim. The mob found out and killed Amico, who was one of Barboza’s closest friends (he once said, if I recall correctly, that Amico was like a brother), and this put Barboza over the top. He supposedly called Patriarca a “fag” and started threatening anybody and everybody. Which of course didn’t go so well with Patriarca, and the contract was out on Barboza, who then found out about it from Rico and Condon (of course one should be careful relying on Teresa, but it matches up with other accounts).

    So you could argue that the killing of his close friend Amico, as well as the awareness that the ferocious and obstinate Patriarca was determined to kill him, were just as crucial to convincing Barboza to testify.

    Note also that, while all in all it is true that the mob decided to “stick it” to Barboza, Barboza was not otherwise just an innocent and well-liked pawn in the war against the Irish. The mafia never liked Barboza. They called him the N word because of his dark Portuguese complexion, and never really trusted him because he was so combustible and unpredictable and volatile. He couldn’t be controlled, just like his buddy Jimmy “the bear” Flemmi.

    Which leads me to the most glaring omission in your post that I think your readers may want to know about, if they do not already. Barboza testified in three separate trials: (1) the case against Angiulo for the DiSeglio murder, (2) the case against Patriarca for the Will Marfeo murder, and (3) the case against Lou Grieco, Henry Tameleo, Peter Limone, Roy French, Ron Cassesso, and Joe Salvati for the murder of Ted Deegan. You are right that Angiulo escaped but Patriarca didn’t. In the third trial, however, anyone who has reviewed the “Barboza story” knows about the wrongful convictions of Lou Grieco, Henry Tameleo, Peter Limone, and Joe Salvati. Barboza lied. Grieco, Tameleo, Limone, and Salvati were not involved, and I seem to recall reading somewhere (I could be wrong) that Limone even warned Deegan about plans to kill him. I believe Grieco, Tameleo, and Limone got the death penalty which was later commuted to life imprisonment. Salvati got life. Tameleo and Grieco died in prison, but Limone and Salvati ended up getting released in the late 90s and eventually won a $100 million settlement against the government for their wrongful convictions. And who was instrumental in getting these wrongful convictions? Rico and Condon. They said nothing while Barboza lied on the stand, though they apparently knew Barboza’s testimony was nothing but perjury.

    Moreover, it’s worth nothing that the real killer was Stevie’s brother Jimmy the Bear, but Jimmy the Bear was one of Rico and Condon’s first inroads into the world of informants until he proved too volatile and they went after Stevie who proved more manageable. Wanting to keep the Flemmi brothers under their wing working as informants (esp Stevie), they decided to flip Barboza and let him perjure his testimony to convict innocent men. Based on all I’ve read about Jimmy the Bear, it would have been better to put him in jail for the Deegan murder (especially since he actually committed it, but also because he was a sociopathic loose cannon). One thing you can say for the mob: at least they had rules about violence; certainly there was an arbitrariness of interpretation which man mob justice into a kind of kangaroo court, but for the most part citizens who steered clear did not have to worry about walking into a bar to buy cigarettes and get their head blown off as happened to a guy who walked into a bar as Barboza and Jimmy the Bear were carrying out a hit. Those guys were total sociopathic loose cannons, but they were cleared of the Deegan murder (I’m not sure off the top of my head if Barboza pled guilty to being involved but got a small sentence because of his cooperation).

    Now, I’m not going to shed tears over Tameleo (Patriarca’s right hand man in Providence), Limone’s (Angiulo’s henchman in Boston), or Grieco (another henchman in Boston’s LCN). But I understand that Salvati was just a guy who hung around some these bad areas and somehow had begrudged Barboza along the way. So at least one of these guys apparently didn’t “deserve it”. Even so, let’s say Tameleo, Limone, and Grieco got what was coming to them. Maybe they didn’t kill Deegan, but they should have been in prison anyway. The end justifies the means. Somehow, I don’t think the lawyers reading this site and concerned about the scapegoating of Connolly and Rico will like hearing about compromises of due process to take down LCN members.

    It wasn’t the only time Rico played fast and loose with the law. Say what you will about Howie Carr’s book on murderman Martorano, but he relates the interesting story of how Rico set up Ronnie Dermody to be murdered. During the Irish gang wars, the McLaughlins sent Dermody to kill Buddy McLean (as part of a deal whereby they’d kill the husband of the girl he was after – hey is anyone innocent in this world?), but he ended up shooting someone who looked like McLean. The Somerville guys found out and Dermody was a marked man. Dermody went to Rico for help. Rico told Dermody to meet him in a dark secluded spot unarmed in Watertown. Then Rico called McLean. Dermody was found shot to death in his car.

    And btw, as for Callahan, it’s not the only case when a leak by Connolly ended in the murder of someone. This started happening at least as early as around 1976, when Winter Hill got word that Richard Castucci was an informant who told the Feds that Jimmy Sims and Joe McDonald were staying in Jack Mace’s place in lower Manhattan while on the lam. Word reached Connolly that Castucci was an informant, and Connolly passed the word to Winter Hill. Castucci was killed (my “murderman Martorano”). This is another anecdote I picked up from Howie Carr’s book, so feel free to ask your usual provocative and thoughtful questions.

    Anyway, I thought it was worth pointing out the perjured testimony of Joe Barboza, the wrongful convictions in the Deegan murder, and the complicity of Rico and Condon in cultivating that perjured testimony, which years later would result in a $100 million settlement to Limone and Salvati for spending all those years in jail for a murder they did not commit.

    Again – I’m not shedding tears for Tameleo, Grieco, or Limone. In fact, Limone would become boss of New England LCN in 2009 until he stepped down while under indictment for running a gambling ring.

    1. Jon:

      I agree with a lot of your post but I have to disagree with some of your assertions. It’s good to hear from someone with a deep knowledge of what is going on. By disagreeing with you I’m not suggesting you are wrong it’s merely I’ve come to a different conclusion from some of the same facts.
      There were more factors involved, like you have spelled out, that induced Barboza to testify. I tried to shorthand my way through that part.
      Notoboyo would point out that Tameleo, Limone and Greco should not have been incarcerated just because they were Mafia guys. I agree with him. But I also agree with you that even though it is wrong it is not as great an injustice as happened to Joe Salvati who was thrown into the mix by Barboza to cover for his lunatic friend Jimmy the Bear. You join the Mafia which is sworn to a life of criminality it’s hard to shed tears that you get jammed in on something you may not have been involved in. I don’t know enough about the Deegan trial in Boston at this time to comment further on the case except to note Jimmy the Bear was never and informant for Rico. He was a cooperating witness.

      You’ll note Howie Carr doesn’t give Rico’s background. He does say that after Rico set up Dermody to be killed by McLean he then hid Mclean in the basement of his Belmont house. You may be interested to know Rico was married and had five or six kids. Do you believe a person would jeopardize his family like that. I don’t. The Dermody story is a Howie Carr or some other invention. Why would an FBI agent have a stake in the Boston Irish Mob war? If you’re going to take part i a murder you have to have a good reason to do it. Did Dermody have something on Rico?

      The Castucci murder as told by the gangsters is another bunch of lies. The Boston jury that heard it rejected it. Castucci wasn’t killed because he was an informant against Sims and McDonald. Remember these gangsters loved it when their buddies were on the lam. Those were less hands in the pot. Castucci was murdered because Winter Hill owed a ton of money to the NY mob. Winter Hill had used Castucci to ferry the money from them tp New York. They came up with a scheme to screw New York out of the money. They murdered Custucci and told the NY mob that he had been given their money and whoever murdered him took the money. NY mob and all the Mafia, if we believe Martorano and Flemmi, were afraid of Winter Hill. Such nonsense. The Mafia didn’t bother Winter Hill because it used them to do some of its dirty work. Do you really believe the Five Families of New York and Patriaca’s mob feared Winter Hill? There are hundreds of guys tougher and more brutal than any of the Winter Hill gang walking the streets of New York City everyday.

      Good post though. I like some of the things you mentioned because I had forgotten them.

      \

      1. Thank you for your reply. It is much appreciated. Discard a reply I just posted to the point on Pashtuns about being disappointed about lack of response to this post. I just hadn’t seen this yet.

        As I said, this is what I was hoping for. I find your blog to be well-informed and very thoughtful, even if I’m not sure I agree with everything. I’m just trying to deepen my understanding of all this fascinating history. Thank you again.

        1. Jon:
          You’re not supposed to agree with everything because people come from different back grounds and use that to draw the inferences from facts. Even people from quite similar backgrounds come to very different conclusions based on the same facts. Your comments are important since they are factual and on point. We are dealing with a situation where it is difficult to get to the truth because of the events occurred so long ago and the tales told are by people who were involved in the events are not interested in the truth as much as helping themselves out.

      2. Haha, I’m vaguely recalling the story told by Martorano about three NY mob guys coming to a meeting with 20 or 30 WH guys and feeling lucky to come out alive. Maybe, but if that’s supposed to make us think NY was scared of WH, nonsense. I do seem to recall Carr referring to Castucci as a bagman who got caught up in WH’s debt saga, but memory is hazy on that one. Thank you again.

        1. Jon:
          It wasn’t only Martorano in his testimony in Boston and in his book who told about the fearful Mafia coming to collect money in Winter Hill but Flemmi on the stand in Miami put out the same story as a reason why John Callahan wanted to bring Winter Hill in to protect World Jai Alai if he was able to take it over. The five or six guys from Boston would scare off any Mafia guys. It is important for them to put that story out because it justifies Martorano saying Winter Hill was involved in the murder of Wheeler to get his deal when it probably wasn’t.
          Another problem with the “Castucci murdered because he was informing on Sims and McDonald” was that Castucci’s connection with the NY mob was through Jack. Jack was an informant for the NY FBI. He knew exactly where Sims and McDonald lived. If anyone gave up their location he did.

      3. One more note. On the Dermody point, Carr does make the case that Rico had a grudge against the McLaughlins because they had been overheard on wiretaps supposedly attacking his sexual orientation. So it was natural for him him to take sides with the McLean gang, and thus protect Buddy McLean. I found it worth asking: would an FBI agent really be so “juvenile” as to take personally what gangsters are saying about him to the point of taking a side in the gang war? I suppose one never ceases to be amazed by human nature, but I find this an odd claim.

        As for the point about sheltering Dermody and jeopardizing his family, can’t you ask the same question about John Morris hosting dinner for gangsters while his wife objected?

        1. Jon:
          Good question. See my post today re: Carr. Carr’s scenario about Rico’s grudge based on gangster stories gains a currency by its repetition. Like many of his stories upon a second look, not even a close look, fall apart. The last place a gangster would want to live is in the basement of a house with five kids who would be talking about him through the neighborhood. If you were a bad FBI agent and you called up a gangster to kill a man, I suppose you’d then want to get as far away from that person as you could after that call. You would’t be going to the scene and driving him to your basement. With Carr and the gangster stories you have to first agree to stop thinking and using your common sense about how things happen.
          My favorite Carr lie is that he was smart enough to be puzzled why the FBI made Connolly an informant. He wrestled with the knowledge, unlike the other authors, that Whitey had no Mafia connections. (I give him credit for that.) But to explain the reason, he says the FBI made Whitey an informant because it knew his brother Billy, who was a very junior state senator, would be in a position to get them jobs when they retired.
          I don’t see any analogy to the Morris dinner with gangsters. The wife didn’t like it. Morris passed it off as part of his job. Other FBI agents were there aside from Connolly at least on one occasion. It was just for a few hours. No one was hiding out or staying over.

      4. Just a note that I was reading over the July 26, 2007 memorandum and order re: bench trial in Limone vs. U.S. and on page 28 it cites exhibits to say that Jimmy the Bear was assigned to Rico as a Top Echelon informant on the actual day that Deegan was murdered.

        1. Jon:
          If that were the case then Rico would have been indicted for perjury.
          Congressman Burton. “The Justice Task Force search determined that around the time Deegan was murdered Vincent James Flemmi was an FBI informant. According to the file maintained in the FBI, efforts to develop Flemmi as an informant focus on Flemmi’s potential as a source began about March 9, 1965. So yu folks weer working with him well before the murders?
          Rico: “I don’t recall working with Vincent Flemmi at that time.”
          Burton: ” . . . how did they find out there was going to be a hit on Deegan and Flemmi did it, and you guys had him as an informant if somebody in the FBI didn’t know about it?”
          Rico: “There’s two brothers, Steven Flemmi and Vincent Flemmi?”
          Burton: “Yes, but Jimmyu Flemmi was an informant before this?”
          Rico; “Well he wasn’t my informant. He wasn’t my informant. He might have been Dennis Condon’s informant.”

          1. The memorandum I cited writes that the Jimmy Flemmi relationship was not revealed until the release of the so-called Durham docs. I don’t know when that happened, but maybe after Rico died? Anyway, the memo further states that Rico’s name and signature are “all over the Jimmy Flemmi documents” and also that Jimmy’s informant status was closed about six months later. So it seems to me quite possible Rico was not telling the truth, but also not as a conscious lie but because his memory was hazy. This may hinge on when these Durham docs came out. I really urge you to read thru pp. 25-50 of this memorandum.

            I don’t know enough right now, but I do think one must grapple with the Limone/Salvati case and the allegations that Rico, Condon and maybe others deliberately suborned perjury.

            1. Jon:
              On April 11 you made reference to the Durham docs, can you be more specific about them? Thanks.

  6. While checking Boston.com to see if Milton Valencia corrected the error related to recusal, I noticed another major error.

    The last lines of Milton Valencia’s story today read: “Stearns ruled that Bulger would not have been entitled to immunity for crimes as serious as murder under any standard, so he prohibited Bulger from raising the assertion at trial. CASPER HAS INDICATED SHE WOULD NOT REVISIT BULGER’S REQUEST.”

    Here’s what Judge Casper really said about Stearns’s immunity ruling, “I can’t say as I sit here now that I am necessarily going to revisit the issue of prospective immunity,” said District Court Judge Denise Casper, in her first hearing after being assigned to the case.

    It’s beginning to look like Wyshak wrote today’s Globe article like he does for Shelley Murphy and Kevin Cullen.

    1. Patty:
      Don’t check. It won’t be corrected. It’s put out there so some historians will miss the true story.

  7. 100% correct. The FBI’s greatest crime in it’s history is allowing LCN to frame the two innocent agents who did the best job against the Mafia. Abandoning Connolly and Rico was beyond shameful. Similarly The State Police’s conduct in failing to defend Naimovich ( save Lowell) was craven. Naimovich was the only cop to get Martorano. Don’t these Federal and State cops realize that each one is just one bogus Globe story away from being in Connolly’s shoes. Ask Cahill and the Probation people. What is the message? Take no action against OC and you’ll be left alone. Investigate and prosecute them and you end up framed. 2. Don’t bother waiting for the Globe to correct misstatements. Remember S. Murphy ( she can be somewhat excused as she was a victim of busing at G. St. and was thus part of the lost generation) reported that Connolly orchestrated the Callahan murder. What a blatant lie. There is a better chance that Connolly orchestrated D_Day than what happened in Fla. 3. Who ordered the bombing of Attorney Fitzgerald? LCN. Fitzgerald represented a co operating witness Barboza. Barboza later murdered by LCN. Wouldn’t you think the legal community would frown on such activity? Attacking and maiming lawyers who are assisting law enforcement. Apparently not. The DOJ in Boston has managed to liberate Flemmi and Salemme the LCN agents who planted the bomb. 4. Maybe it’s all hopeless. Racine the French dramatist wrote a story 350 years ago ( Litigants) which made fun of the justice system which everyone knew was corrupt and immune from reform. Dickens’ Bleak House echoed the same theme 150 years ago. The DOJ looks more and more like the Office of Circumlocution.

    1. Ishneal:
      I don’t include you and a small group of others but almost no one has factored in the idea that two guys who dedicated themselves to law and order and against whom there is not objective proof they did anything wrong have lost in the areas of credibility to these gangsters. Gangsters gang up. As we’ve seen they’ve fooled law enforcement agencies and the courts to accept their version of events over guy who dedicated themselves to fighting them.You are right about the lesson, leave OC guys alone and they’ll leave you alone. Any cop dealing with an informant has to know that in a pinch the informant if he’s a good criminal and gets the willing ear of a fed will turn against her.
      2. I pointed out the Globe has a policy not to correct mistakes made against people in the POOF group. The only expected change in the policy will come about after the NY Times returns Duranty’s Pulitzer Prize. Imagine how long it would have kept it if Durante worked as Hitler’s press agent rather than Stalin’s. Imagine if Durante reported there was no Holocaust in Germany like he reported there was no Famine in Ukraine.
      3. The legal community who gets heard are those representing the gangsters F/ Lee Bailey and Joe Balliro. A great exchange occurred at the Congressional hearing when Chairman Burton (somewhat a dullard bully) asked Rico: “Mr Bailey and Mr. Balliro, they testified tht the FBI had taped a great many phone conversations by reputed members of organized crime in Boston and north Boston area. Is that true? Rico replied”I would imagine it would be true. If anyone knows about organized crime, it would be Joe Balliro.”
      4. I still believe in the Justice system but I have to admit it seems to dispense uneven justice. I’ll have to read Racine. But maybe Kafka or Camus might be better. Yes, the federal court system has become the Office of Circumlocution. I takes forever to get heard and you age substantially waiting for an appeals decision. Its becoming like shopping in a Soviet store where the people crowd up to the counter and the salesperson won’t move.

  8. Excellent blog and good perspective on the Globe and Staerns. Stearns is one of the “boys” and has been taken care of and takes care of his frineds in DOJ.

    1. Notaboyo:
      I never understood why Stearns wanted to hang in there. It was like he was highly offended that someone would dare suggest he might have a leaning one way or the other. He took it as a challenge to the authority of the court. Of course, the Globe has its long held animus toward anything Bulger or South Boston.

  9. Matt,

    Excellent description of the travesty of justice against scapegoated FBI Agents. It speaks volumes about the DOJ machine.

    The Globe’s Milton Valencia reports today on the US Attorney’s filing to preserve Judge Stearns’s riling on the immunity defense. Wyshak’s filing is littered with the usual non-legal media soundbites and Valencia laps them up. The most interesting part of this Globe article, however, is Valencia’s description of the recusal. He writes, “Bulger’s lawyers had asked Casper to vacate the decision made by US District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns, WHO RECUSED HIMSELF FROM THE CASE OUT OF CONCERN THAT HE WOULD HAVE A CONFLICT IN OVERSEEING THE TRIAL.” (Emphasis mine.)

    This may be an innocent, but major reporting error by a guy who doesn’t know anything about the law. It is proof, however, that a reporter who overlooks a historical opinion like Justice Souter’s is not qualified to report on this case. More cynically, maybe we are seeing the DOJ spin machine whitewashing Stearns’s humiliating spanking.

    Will the Globe bother to correct this glaring error?

    1. Patty:
      Thanks for the tip on the Globe article. The Globe will correct it the moment after the NY Times will give back the Pultizer Prize won by Walter Duranty.

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