The Outrageous Betrayal of Retired FBI Agent John Connolly by the FBI:

As I mentioned, I’m reading Judge Gertner’s findings on the Teddy Deegan case. The last thing on my mind was John Connolly. He wasn’t even in the FBI at the time Deegan was murdered.

He joined it in 1968  and came to Boston in 1972. He was put into the organized crime unit. Shortly after arriving, Dennis Condon an FBI agent nearing retirement turned over to him the informant he was handling, Stephen Flemmi, who had been an FBI informant since 1965. A bit later he brought on James “Whitey” Bulger as an Informant.

At the time he brought on Bulger as an informant in September 1975 how much about his background did he know. In 1997 John Martorano would implicate Whitey in many murders but we can’t attribute that knowledge to Connolly back in 1975 since no one knew about it until over twenty years later. Yet, if you read the media you’d think Connolly when he recruited Whitey knew of his murders.

Prior to the time Connolly brought Whitey on as an informant the federal prosecutors implicated him in the four murders done by John Martorano for Mafia boss Gerry Angiulo where Martorano said Whitey was not in the car doing the shooting but in another car in the area ready to give help; the murder of Spike O’Toole where if Martorano is to believed others did it because Whitey didn’t have a gun with him; the murder of Paul McGonagle which was done by Tommy King; the murder of James Sousa which was committed by John Martorano and Howie Winter; and that of Eddie Connors, the one murder which he actually fired a weapon and for which he was responsible.

The jury at Bulger’s trial found that of all those which the government alleged Whitey committed before he became an informant, only the murder of McGonagle and Connors was proven by the prosecutors. McGonagle’s body was buried so there was no evidence he was murdered; the police had identified no one in connection with Connors murder. It is extremely unlikely that John Connolly knew that Bulger had committed any murder at the time he put him on the roles as an informant.

There is little doubt that he knew Stevie Flemmi was a murderer. FBI Agent Condon knew it since he was his alternate agent when he was indicted for blowing up Attorney John Fitzgerald’s car and the murder of Billy Bennett. He’d also have known of the murders he committed while involved with the Roxbury gang’s fight against the McLaughlins from Charlestown.  As far as Connolly was concerned in 1975 he had one Top Echelon informant who was a murderer and another who was his partner who may or may not have murdered anyone.

No one outside the FBI  knew Flemmi and Bulger were FBI informants until two FBI agents secretly passed that information on to the Boston Globe in 1988. No one raised cain about it until ten years later when Flemmi in an attempt to beat racketeering charges admitted in open court that he had been an Informant for 25 years.  Then all the media rose up in a loud clamor condemning Connolly for having Flemmi and Bulger as informants.

Me too! I found it totally inappropriate for Connolly to have these two men who were known to be high level gangsters who oversaw gambling operations joining hands with the FBI. While the media bleated on and on about how inappropriate it was, the prosecutors had a big problem on their hands.

Flemmi testified that Connolly said they, he and Whitey, could commit any crimes they wanted as long as they didn’t hit anyone. If the government could not disprove this the case against Flemmi and others may have been thrown out. To do this the government turned to the FBI agent who had leaked to the Globe Whitey’s status as an informant.

The FBI went into covering its butt mode. It pretended that what Connolly had done was something out of the ordinary. Connolly it suggested was a rogue agent. But it never really said what it was he had done was not appropriate.

It attacked the Boston office itself. It distanced it from the rest of the FBI. It went along as if things had gone totally out of control.

It was all a great charade. Connolly was wrongly left twisting in the wind. He’d be tried and convicted and sentenced and then convicted again of what he had previously not been convicted of doing all with the FBI help.

The FBI deliberately ran from a man it should have defended. Why it did it was because it was up to its neck in corruption. I saw that when I read the Gertner decision. I’ll explain tomorrow.


16 thoughts on “The Outrageous Betrayal of Retired FBI Agent John Connolly by the FBI:

  1. Janet Uhlar is a poor soul with mental health issues.

    She enjoyed the the attention of being a juror on an important trial.

    Wish her better days ahead.

  2. This article contains factual errors.
    Upon review of the Federal Hearings conducted under Judge Wolfe, Bulger was not recruited as an informant by Agent Condon.
    The testimony reflects that Condon attempted to recruit Bulger but was refused by Bulger.
    Court transcripts do not support the
    statements made by author.

    1. L.C.

      We are all aware that Condon tried to recruit Whitey in 1971, opening him in May and closing him in September. The article had nothing to do with that.

      I wrote: “He[referring to Connolly] was put into the organized crime unit. Shortly after arriving, Dennis Condon an FBI agent nearing retirement turned over to him [Connolly] the informant he was handling, Stephen Flemmi, who had been an FBI informant since 1965. A bit later he [Connolly] brought on James “Whitey” Bulger as an Informant.

      Wolf, by the way, was plainly wrong in some of his findings but noting he said in his findings or the hearings or the transcripts which you refer to in anyway contradict what I have said.

  3. Matt, you have a lot of questions in you post that I will addr4ess with you in person once I return to Mass from Florida. I will have the evidence in hand and you can see for yourself that the FBI knew that Flemmi and Bulger were involved in murders, but they had no evidence to bring charges. Let’s meet at the DD on the cape side of the Borne Bridge. And a footnote: The IRS did a net worth audit on John Connolly and FOUND NO irregularities regarding John Connolly’s life style and spending habits. He did everything with a mortgage. Lastly, Bulger gave a deposition stating that he NEVER GAVE CONNOLLY A DIME. HE DID SAY THAT HE PAID MORRIS CLOSE TO $700,000. More later. DB

    1. DB:

      Thanks. You’ll have to wait for any meeting until I get back from Florida. At least we agree on that — it has better weather than New England. I don’t believe Whitey or Flemmi gave anyone big money. They really were very tight. When I would indict their bookies they had to pay the fines so they’d push them to take probation rather than be fined. As for Morris getting $700,000 that too is a joke. Morris was always scraping by trying to support his ex-wife and Ms Noseworthy and trying to get a week’s vacation in Florida off of that Chelsea bookie who was his informant. Bulger also said he gave Connolly a half of million. Bulger, Flemmi, Martorano and the others only tell you what they think you want to hear.

  4. Most of the writings on this blog are pretty much on point. However, I must point out that John Connolly, who is a very close friend, is no rogue agent as Judge Tauro described him in court and during John’s sentencing. I would like to point out that Connolly developed several Top Echelon Informants, aka TE’s, and during the course of developing the targeted individuals, he made sure that the targets were not allowed/authorized to commit any violent crimes, aka murders. They were authorized to continue with their respective illegal criminal activities, again, short of murder, to maintain their credibility within the criminal arena. Yes, all were probably murderers, but there was no evidence proving that these individuals actually killed anyone; other than “rumors.” You cannot, for the most part, convict the bad guys on hearsay evidence. Now, let’s start with Steven Flemmi: he was a murderer, a bad guy, and he did furnish information to the FBI on a regular basis. Steven Flemmi was debriefed by Wyshak, etal, regarding his past criminal activities and during this debriefing session, he was asked many questions; I will narrow just three of the questions that were asked of him by Wyshak and company: [1]Were you ever asked by John Connolly to kill anyone on his behalf? Answer: No. [2] Did you ever tell John Connolly that you were going to kill anyone? Answer No. [3] Did you ever tell John Connolly that you had killed anyone? Answer No. Flemmi made a comment in words to the effect that it would be unthinkable for me to tell John Connolly that I killed any as he would have arrested me! I could go on and on, but I will leave future comments for another day regarding Flemmi and Bulger. One last thing I would like to mention; the FBI met with the USA’s office in Boston to discuss the protection of Flemmi and Bulger. It was agreed that Flemmi and Bulger would be protected from prosecution while they were engaged in their criminal activities; again, no murders. This authorization was memorialized in a memorandum and forward to the DOJ in Washington for their blessing. This memorandum, documenting the protection of Flemmi and Bulger, was put under “Executive Privilege” seal. The USA/DOJ was the “Enterprise” element in the RICO indictment of John Connolly in his 2002 trial. John Connolly did not have the authority or wherewithal to protect Flemmi and Bulger from prosecution; the USA/DOJ did! As they say, the rest is history. Now, moving forward to the Florida debacle; Wyshak visited John at Butner, NC Federal prison and presented his with demand; tell me the names of FBI agents that took money or I, Wyshak, will get you indicted in Florida for the murder of John Callahan. Well, John told him what he could do with his demand in colorful language. The only person that took money was John Morris, period! At the present time John is languishing in prison in Florida for a murder he had absolutely nothing to do with. The criminal justice system is corrupt and we have the evidence to prove it. More later.

    1. DB:

      Connolly and Morris tipped off Flemmi and Bulger about wiretaps and about people who were informing on them. This was part of that they were supposed to do for top echelon informants which was to keep them safe. You want to suggest that Flemmi gave the correct answers to Wyshak then you have to ask whether his testimony in court against Connolly was correct. You really should not be choosing when to believe him and not believe him unless you have addition corroborating evidence.

      It is clear the FBI put James Flemmi on its rolls as a top echelon informant. It knew at the time he had murdered as least six people and his goal was to be the top hit man in the area. Why was that done? Wasn’t it clear that he intended to commit more murders?

      At the time Connolly promised to protect Bulger and Flemmi from indictment it was understood that an FBI agent did have the ability to give immunity to his informers. If you read Judge Wolf’s findings and the appeal it is clear that Wolf believed it. The Court of Appeals for the First Circuit decided then that an FBI agent did not have that power. That was long after Connolly had finished as an agent.

      Where did you get this information: “One last thing I would like to mention; the FBI met with the USA’s office in Boston to discuss the protection of Flemmi and Bulger. It was agreed that Flemmi and Bulger would be protected from prosecution while they were engaged in their criminal activities;” How come Whitey did not bring it up at his trial but used the Jeremiah O’Sullivan defense. Are you making this up or can you provide the document to me. Who made that agreement? Why didn’t Connolly use it at his trial? Why didn’t the DOJ or FBI tell the Court of Appeals about it? You may remember that Donald Sterns and his top assistants in the Department of Justice had to meet with four FBI guys to find out if Flemmi or Bulger were informants at the time they were being indicted. I’d very much like to know where that agreement is kept that so many did not know about it. Perhaps Whitey’s attorneys would also have liked to have had that.

      If you have evidence of Wyshak’s meeting in Butner I’d like to see it. If you have evidence the criminal justice system is corrupt why are you sitting on it if it will help Connolly? Maybe you should get together with Janet Uhlar who suggests Connolly got $500,000 and Morris got $500,000. Or perhaps talk to Bill who says “The TEI program works because the Informants are told no violence, no murders”

      The problem with people seeking to help Connolly is they are all over the place. It is difficult to focus on the issue which is that Connolly was given the job to recruit top echelon informants and to protect them. That meant he could do whatever he thought necessary. I do not suggest Connolly knew of the murders. Should he have suspected some of them, perhaps, but that’s a far cry from knowing about them. I agree with you that Connolly is wrongly imprisoned – I say that because even assuming he told Bulger that Callahan might not hold up if the FBI questioned him which is another way of saying “stay away from the guy” he had the right to do that as the handler. I agree Connolly never told anyone to murder anyone. There would be no motive for him to do that. He was not, and no one has alleged, involved in their criminal activity.

      My complaint is not with others but squarely with the FBI that used Connolly as a scapegoat when it should have stood up for him and said he was doing what he was supposed to do. Did that agent who was intercepted in the state police wiretap saying to his top echelon informant that “my job is to keep you safe” get called a rogue agent. No, he continued to work (as far as I know) for the FBI handling informants. He was doing what the FBI charged him with doing. Even John Connolly because of his loyalty to the FBI is looking elsewhere for the culprits rather than to the job that abandoned him.

      Early on the FBI should have defended him. As things progressed it should have gone into court under the Supremacy Clause and stopped the state prosecution. It also should have gone into federal court suggesting there is double jeopardy here. Perhaps the Supreme Court decision soon to come down in that area will help him. All I want people to do is keep the eye on the ball which is Connolly was wrongfully incarcerated in Florida because he was doing what he was supposed to do under the worst take of the evidence.

      Thanks for writing. We disagree on the manner and methods but our end is the same which is to remedy this outrageous injustice.

  5. If the US was a free country and had Jews and black people in 1999 then why can’t the USA be a free country now?

    If the US was a free country and had women in 1999 then why can’t the USA be a free country now?

    If the US was a free country and had corporations in 1999 then why can’t the USA be a free country now?

    If the US was a free country and was not an anarchy in 1999 then why can’t the USA be a free country now?

  6. The FBI in the eighties was a good outfit. It convicted the Mafia dons, the top financial swindlers( Boesky, Milliken, Levine and Keating) and major drug dealers. In the 90s when the Clintons took over, the DOJ and FBI were totally compromised. Mafia killers are set free and no Wall Street shysters are prosecuted. Today it is a mess. Bill is right. The malfeasance is not limited to the FBI. The DOJ, judges and FBI played a role in the bogus Rogue Agent fantasy. Who prosecuted Connolly in Florida after he had been exonerated in Boston in the Callahan matter? Whyshak from the DOJ. But your basic theory is sound and accurate. Something is rotten at the Moakley Courthouse.. 2. Happy St. Patrick’s Day

  7. There was only one rogue agent: John Morris leaked the names of informants Whitey and Flemmi hoping they would be murdered. He also admitted taking money from the mobsters.
    The Sterns Gang, Fed Prosecutors and their bosses in DC including Muellar, cooked up the rogue agent theory for two reasons: To lessen their civil liability and public humility; and to get Billy Bulger.
    John Connolly was singled out for dual purposes: To get their ultimate target Billy Bulger, a neighbor and friend of John (this is political jihadism conducted against other pols, cops and probation officers, etc) and to make him the fall guy, when the Civil Suits against the FEDs began.
    Two innocent cops, H. Paul Rico and John Connolly, were persecuted and fried by the FEDS; other innocent cops like JIm Ring were persecuted, as was Boston cop Kenny Conley.
    You see how evil these FED Prosecutors and their bosses were. They cooked up the Rogue Agent theory to make themselves look good and to settle political-ideological scores. Evil Bastards in suits and their abetting colleagues in black robes in the Federal Courthouse in Boston and Federal Offices in Washington DC.
    How goes that search for the leakers of Bill Bulger’s grand jury testimony and the other leakers inside that DEN OF INQUITY, THE FEDERAL COURTHOUSE IN BOSTON?

    1. Bill:

      Keep your eye on the ball. It was the FBI that betrayed Connolly. It put him in the position that had him interacting with Whitey, Flemmi and other TEIs. When it came out he was doing it the FBI turned against him. I think suggesting the culprits were prosecutors or judges spreads the blame so widely that it end up no one is to blame. The FBI should never have left the prosecution in Florida go forward. It should have gone into federal court and accepted that Connolly was acting in the scope of his authority if he did tell Whitey that the FBI was planning to interview Callahan. The TEI program was a long term agreement between the FBI and top criminals that it would protect them as long as they gave the FBI information.

  8. I have great respect for the man who wrote this article and the life that he has lived. The problem is what I call the mists of time. To many other men have written that the FBI agent in question was all about moving his life forward in a manner that other people questioned as the years went on. Do I think that this former FBI agent is in prison because the powers that be could not nail Billy Bulger no matter how hard they tried ? Yes! If John wanted another kind of life he could have stayed teaching. He joined the FBI and found himself coming up short in the musical chairs of the media blame game. God bless this author. The true story of Boston gangsters and law enforcement from from 1960 through today is like peering through thick fog at sea and trying to determine where you are by sight.

    1. Norwwod,

      Thanks for the kind words. You sound like you’ve been at sea in a thick fog so you use an appropriate analogy. Hopefully the fog can lift a bit.

      1. Matt, Connolly was aware that Bulger and Flemmi were murdering certain individuals because, according to Bulger, he (along with Morris) sold information which they knew would lead to the murder of these people…. Bulger paid the duplicitous duo (Connolly/Morris) approximately $500,000 each for such information.

        1. Janet:

          Bulger and Flemmi were too cheap to pay for information. Sorry to burst your bubble about those guys but there is nothing to back up their allegations. I know more than one person said all they were interested in were women and money. They are gangsters, they are not philanthropists.Kevin Weeks who would know never mentioned anything more than $5,000 and that was at Christmas.

          Whitey tried to have it both ways – Connolly was an Old Harbor Village guy who wanted to help him out. If that was the case why pay for it. The first time he ever mentioned paying Connolly was at his trial when he came up with the far fetched story that O’Sullivan gave him immunity.

          1. Matt:

            When you’ve got seven hundred grand in a poke in the wall and you are living the usual low profile low maintenance get the box of bargain socks cause you was always yankee frugal and God Love You but you threw quarters around like MH covers jeans and sneakers white car coat cap shades modus if you think you possibly could vivendi … As Usual . And this comports in every way with your known character . Chances are , as I said at time here, that was largely Jimmy’s Stash . Not exclusively . Largely.

            There are no safety no safety no safety boxes .

            That nonsense supported well earned agent vacays in exotic worldwide locales as the global search for the Santa Monica Kid went on at great Public entrancement for many years .

            The very idea of forking over cake like that to an easily manipulated , because morally weak , Morris , at the least , would have been a total non starter .

            Now . That does not mean that Janet cannot elaborate on and shop that. –Jimmy Said — this or that to me–around as a movie script . It beggars belief, but so do ninety percent of the misprisioned, at best, accounts of him .

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