The Whitey Buger Murders: Arthur “Bucky” Barrett

murder houseArthur “Bucky” Barrett was murdered in August 1983. His murder will be the ninth that I feel confident can be attributed to Whitey. I am not sure exactly how the murder went down. Both Weeks and Flemmi have Whitey shooting him the head but Flemmi’s story about the way it happened was somewhat confusing. It is as likely that Flemmi shot him as Whitey but it seems certain that Whitey was there and participating in it.

One thing you will note about those murders attributed to Whitey is that they were all of people who were criminals except Donohue who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The three Mullens, the two Savin Hillers, Castucci, Halloran, and now Barrett. Three were gunned down on the public highway (four including Donohue); three were buried after being murdered; and two were put in the trunk of an automobile.

This is the only murder where witnesses said Whitey took a handgun and shot a person up close is Barrett. Those who said it were fully capable of doing it themselves. The Barrett murder was odd in another way. It, like others, started out as a shakedown to get money from him. Other witnesses who testified about being shaken down by him were not murdered. Why was it that Whitey had to murder Barrett?

All this was done at Pat Nee’s brother’s house. No one puts Pat Nee there but he might have been. Weeks who could have put him there covered for Nee throughout the matters in discussion. Barrett’s body was buried in the cellar of the house where there was a dirt floor. When Pat Nee’s brother planned to sell the house Barrett’s body was removed from there and reburied in Dorchester along with two others which were buried subsequent to Barrett.

Prior to this time Whitey and Stevie Flemmi had tried to put the arm on Barrett to get some of the money he was believed to have from his role in the Medford Depositor’s Trust robbery on Memorial Weekend in 1980. Barrett was friendly with Frankie Salemme who was serving time in Walpole. He passed the message to them to back off which they did.

There really is not much to the story. Jimmy Martorano drove Barrett over to the house. My memory is he was told they had some stolen diamonds they wanted him to fence. He got there and was set upon by Weeks, Whitey, Flemmi and perhaps Nee and Martorano. They tied him up and started to torture him trying to find out where he kept his money.

At some point they would go to his home after he called his wife and told her to leave. They seized some money from there. Weeks would go in town to a joint and up some money being held for Barrett. After they had extracted as much money as possible from him, they took him to the cellar and buried him. Flemmi did his usual job of taking out his teeth; Weeks did the digging. Whitey who they said did the shooting went up to take a nap.

There was no need to murder Barrett other than they thought he would go to the cops and turn them in. They never worried about that before with other persons they extorted so it is difficult to understand the unnecessary brutality. It indicates to me a growing savageness in Whitey.

He allied himself with a group of guys who enjoy murdering people. He sits on the sidelines watching them do it as we saw with the Mullen gang. His friends were so hardened they had a big laugh over it. He wants to join in the fun. His first real chance is with Eddie Connors which he reminisces over – remember his “rat-a-tat-tat; rat-a-tat-t” bragging on the jail’s recorded line. He gunned down Brian Halloran and Michael Donohue and enjoyed the feeling of power after that.

The Sperazza truth about the hardest part is doing the first murder and the rest are easy is now apparent in Whitey’s actions. He wants to get up close and personal and see what it is like to put a bullet in a man’s head standing right next to him. He has his chance with Barrett and he takes it.

For the first time he joins in the depravity of Martorano, Salemme, Nee, Flemmi, and Winter.  He is fifty-four years old.

Still no one knows this. We read about these killings when they are disclosed in 1998. The media and courts attribute the knowledge of them back to the time they happened. That’s why the courts have so cavalierly put the blame for not stopping them on the FBI and especially John Connolly without a scintilla of proof that they had knowledge of these murders.

Weeks told us that Whitey taught him: “the idea behind committing a crime is not being caught.” These guys lived by that motto. They did not talk to others about their murders. Even today no one has admitted being involved in Louis Litif’s murder nor have any of the criminals heard someone accepting responsibility for it.

There are two murders which have been attributed to Whitey that I have yet to cover. To this point we can feel confident he was involved criminally in nine of them and not involved in seven; and one, yes on further thought there is one which I decided he had nothing to do on which I might change my mind. But more on that later.


15 replies on “The Whitey Buger Murders: Arthur “Bucky” Barrett”

  1. Arthur “Bucky” Barrett
    Brown hair. Six foot. And well-built. A good dresser. Bucky was a hustler. Another guy like me. He finds a score. A decent guy’s there. “Do want to work? Come on.” Bucky does the front work. They do the score. Bucky divides it. Or sells it.
    Resorts close for the season. They leave the safe open. So the door don’t stick. If somebody robs the place. They won’t rip it apart.
    On the safe door. A little plate. You unscrew it. Read the combination. The combination’s lined up. Because the door was open. I never had a chance to do it. Bucky was one sharp son-of-a-bitch. He taught us a lot of stuff.
    Bucky was the king. For casing EVERYTHING. He said, “I got a score in the Bahamas. All you need is a jackknife.” Gave us the layout. And says, “They’re passing a bill. To LEGALIZE gambling.” It was the first casino. That opened in the Bahamas.
    This was part of the casino. Where you go in. And buy shirts. Expensive cigarettes. They used drawers. Pull the drawer open. Throw the money down. Shut the drawer. Run here. Run there. They’re all over the store.
    Bucky said, “It ain’t going to be like that for long. Once they start gambling. They’re going to put cash registers in.” The gambling wasn’t legal yet. They had the tables. And everything ready. For the opening.
    We left Miami. Checked the score out. See that it can go. Waited for the next weekend. Hit the drawer with a screwdriver. It wasn’t even locked. “Wishew.” Newspaper full of money. Under my jacket. Quill blocked me. Out the door.
    The real big casinos. They have shopping centers. That sell alligator boots. Five thousand dollars. Seven thousand dollars. We made the score. Zinged out of the Bahamas. Partied it up.
    Bucky ransacked the Bahamas. When gambling first started gambling. They used old-time safes. He’d get the combinations. Spin the door cylinders. Make the keys. Hotels with room safes. And hotels with office safes. Little box for each room. He made beautiful hotel scores.
    Bucky put the time in. Checked it. And everything else. He come down with BIG SCORES.
    Tommy Timmons’ wife was with Wimpy. Timmons was with the f****t. In the Braintree Mall. The f****t said, “I can climb the pole. And shut down the alarm.”
    They did the score. Sears & Roebuck. Bingo. Maybe a sixty grand score. Timmons runs to his wife. “Honey. I love you.” “Oh. That’s wonderful.[Redacted]………………………….. She calls Wimpy up. “I got to see you.”
    Wimpy. And Stevie Flemmi come over. Stevie slapped Timmons around. Took all his jewelry. And kills him. The f****t screwed to California. But the secret was out. You can climb telephone poles. Shut down bank ADT alarms.
    Bucky brought the f****t back. Guaranteed him to be okay. We went to work. Robbing the banks.
    Two alarm wires come from a bank. Get a wire with two clips. Put one clip. On one wire. Put the other clip. On the other wire. That disables the alarm. Nice. Simple. And easy.
    B&E the bank. The night deposit safe. Pull it from the wall. Instead of dropping in the safe. Deposit bags fell on the floor. Banks put in a steel chute. Deposit bags slid in the safe. We cut the steel chute. Bags fell on the floor.
    The safes couldn’t be opened. Safe deposit box rooms. They could be opened. Out come the screwdrivers. And L-bars. “Balump.” “Balump.” “Balump.” “Balump.” “Balump.” Empty the boxes. Put them back. One pop. Bingo. Duffel bag. Clean it out. Back in the hole. Duffell bag. Back in the hole. Bingo. Bingo. Bingo. Bingo.
    No looking. Just pop them. Empty them out. Put them back. Bing. Bang. Bing. Huffing. And puffing.
    First we mangled the joint. Throwing down the boxes. Rip them. Throw them down. Rip them. Throw them down. Couldn’t get some bottom boxes.
    Two guys lift the suitcase box. Empty it into the duffle bag. Number of bags varied. Fifteen. To twenty-two duffle bags.
    The biggest thrill was the Holiday Inn. Two double bedrooms joined together. Push two big beds together. Empty the duffle bags. Cover the beds up. Cover them this high (raises arm~two feet).
    Now you start dividing. The best you can. For three days. THREE DAYS. Dividing. Dividing. Dividing. Half the guys worked. Half the guys sat back. Money. Jewelry. Stocks. Bonds.
    We burned the stocks. And bonds. We DESTROYED them. Didn’t pull any Brinks bullshit. It took time finding the right apartment. With an outside incinerator. For throwing in trash. The housing projects had incinerators. We wanted one far away. Walk over with the shopping bag. “Whiskkk.” Wait a couple minutes. Another shopping bag. “Whiskkk.”
    Everything finally straightened out. A LOT of work. Dump the bad cars. Get the good cars. Now it was exciting. You could sit down. And have a drink.
    Bucky robbed ten banks. Bing. Bang. Boom. Bam. Boom. Bam. Crash. Bingo. The guineas got nothing. These was IRISH. Even Raymond got nothing.
    The reason Bucky was successful. Wimpy knew nothing about it. And Stevie knew nothing about it. This crew here. Was nice. And quiet. Among the thieves. Ben Tilley come muscling in. “Do you need a man? Help me out. I owe Raymond fifty grand.”
    Tilley was the watchman. Bucky was the boss. The brains. The f****t was the alarm guy. He’d tell the f****t, “Okay. Here’s your lollipop. Get the f… out of here.” The f****t would go home. Redacted.…………..
    Bucky got inside banks. Right through the front door. He brings in the crew. Out come the screwdrivers. And L-bars. “Balump.” “Balump.” “Balump.” “Balump.” “Balump.”
    Bucky was all over the city. When going in the Pen. He’d bet ten thousand. Twenty thousand. THIRTY THOUSAND. On one horse. Bucky didn’t fix races. But if he heard. Put his money on it.
    There was such a big score. Bucky went undercover five years. Still come in the Pen. Then the Medford bank. Guineas kept jewelry in that bank. The gold weighed a hundred pounds!
    Today bank alarms have separate power sources. Walking around sets the alarm off. Because anybody can climb a pole.
    Bucky gave me the Bahamas score. He gave Whitey shit. That’s why he got killed. Kevin Weeks lured him to Southie. Pretending he had diamonds to sell. Same house Whitey strangled one broad. Whitey. Weeks. And Stevie. They tortured Bucky. Robbed his jewelry stash.
    Weeks’ book mentions Joe Murray. It says Bucky called him. Trying to get money for Whitey. Joe Murray hung the phone up. He might have been an out. Buying some of Bucky’s jewelry. Dumping the bulky drug money.
    Bucky lived in Medford. When they searched his house. Weeks guarded him in Southie. Weeks said Bucky recited prayers. He knew it was the end.
    Bucky was a good guy. Top-shelf guy. He never hurt anybody. His two boys committed suicide. Over the heartbreak. Losing their loving dad. The Red Line subway train. They jumped in front of it. That don’t matter to the FBI. Weeks helped killed Bucky. And helped killed more. Today Bucky’s rotting. Weeks is FREE (bangs table)!

  2. Dear, Matt, NC and Rather Not,
    I don’t want to clog up “comments section” with another “‘Gaga’: The Real Whitey Bulger/ Irish Mob Story” chapter, but posting the “Auther ‘Bucky’ Barrett” chapter might accomplish several things. For example: Matt stated, “My recollection is Barrett was the alarm guy;” NC stated, He wouldn’t actually break in;” and, Rather Not stated, “I don’t remember Bucky Barrett being mentioned in the book…”
    Most important, posting that chapter might help focus attention on Kevin Weeks committing perjury. The federal court accepted two under-oath testimonies concerning the Brian Halloran and Michael Donohue murders – one from a witness who had no reason to lie (my brother Jaime) and one from a person with a major reason to lie (Kevin Weeks). How could a federal court accept two completely different testimonies about the same murders?

    1. Jon:

      I did a very little editing in your story on Bucky by taking out some words I feel are not appropriate for this blog. As I explained before there are certain descriptions relating to people or to relationships that I recognize are part of your story and must be included but I prefer to keep them from the blog. The editing is of those things. I indicate where I have done it and those who are interested in finding out what I find not appropriate can secure your book on line. If you object to this then I can remove the comment altogether.

      I note that Howie Carr the other day gave you a little write up. That should be good for the publicity of your book. I guess you got under his skin which is nice to see. I’m not sure how he discovered your book but either you have written to him or he has been reading this blog since his article came shortly after you returned from your extended absence from the blog.

  3. Miss you my friend. You were an honest prosecutor swimming in a sea of scum and always seemed to do justice . Respects to you always .

    1. Kevin:

      The same back to you. No tricks you just played the hand you were delivered and did very well. I watch you contininuing on in amazement in a very hard business. You follow in the footsteps of other Brockton greats, Rocky Marciano and Pat Piscetelli who knew how to put up a good fight. Nice to hear from you. The best, Matt

  4. Matt
    I think you are leaving a crucial part of the Barrett murder out of your post. Wasnt it rumored that Barrett was possibly working with the Feds in accumulating information for them? Wasnt Barrett arrested on some charges, held, and then released not too long before he was murdered? You bring up some valid points about Whitey Bulger extorting many other individuals without murdering them. There are some holes in the telling of just exactly happened to cause Barrett to be murdered. You make it sound like Bulger may have killed Barrett just for kicks, no?

    1. Jerome:

      If Barrett was working with the Federals that was not known to Whitey. No one suggested he murdered him because he was a rat. Whitey had no dealings with him that would have put him in jeopardy prior to the day when he murdered him. Whitey was not on a crusade to rid the world of rats; he was only concerned with people who might be able to give information on him. John puts things in perspective when he says we really do not know what happened by saying the ones who were there always put the gun in the other guy’s hands. He also makes a good point noting that Flemmi with his friend in the NOrth End would have more of a reason to kill Barrett than Whitey.

      My sense is Whitey has been around all these murders and has not committed a close up murder himself. These guys are always trying to keep up their credential with their buddies and maybe he thought eliminating Barrett would give him some. Keep in mind he is with the brutal Flemmi who does enjoy killing people so he must have felt the need to show him he also could have done it. But with Flemmi around it is equally likely he did the murder.

  5. Thanks for an interesting article and what is your understanding of the Medford Depositor Trust Robbery?

    How dangerous was Indian Al Notarangeli?

    1. David,
      I read the book “The Cops are Robbers” in 1989 based on the Medford Robbery.

      From the best of my recollection the guys that were behind it:
      1 Gerry Clemente- Former MDC police (We used to call them the Mets) captain also involved in promotion exam scandal

      2 Tommy Doherty- Medford PD detective, loose cannon, cokehead, got jammed up on gun charges, broke open the case

      3. Brother O’Leary- North shore criminal

      There were a few other guys, but I forget their names.
      The interesting thing is how they did it. The used the noise and cover of a Memorial Day weekend parade outside, while they were blasting through the vault from the basement of the business next door. They had been at it for a few days.
      I don’t remember Bucky Barrett being mentioned in the book, but I believe that there was some inference there that some of the safety deposit boxes that were rifled belonged to Winter Hill and/or North End operatives.

      1. Rather:

        My recollection is Barrett was the alarm guy. He knew how to bypass them. The North End guys were the ones who allegedly had the safety boxes; it had little to do with Winter Hill.

    2. David:

      The Medford Depositor Trust was an amatuer job because they got caught.

      Indian Al Notarangeli murdered one of Gerry Angiulo’s bookies. That made him dangerous.

  6. Very good story on Jo Nigro. Barrett was part of Connors’ burglary crew. He would turn off the alarms of banks or other depositories. He wouldn’t actually break in. He would get his share after after the job was complete. His big mistake was the Medford bank. Many of the safe deposit boxes there were Mafia guys. He may have paid tribute to Salemme but that may not have been enough. The North End may have ordered his killing to warn would be Mafia robbers what price they would pay. 2. Brexit may be a good idea for the Brits. Countries should control their own borders and regulate immigration. If you pass those functions on to an extra national body how much of a country are you? It doesn’t involve hate or nativism to assert those rights.

  7. If Bucky Barrett had Frankie Senior covering him then he was a protected guy. What chain of circumstances led to his execution therefore remains unreliably accounted for by the self-adnitted participants. The degree to which Flemmi was an extension of deeper Mob intrigues is yet uncharted: In Jimmy Martorano”s World, less so.

  8. Mr. Nee was a Bulger nemesis. Yet the two are implicated in the waterfront deal and now in this matter Mr. Barrett. Cognitive dissonance in this criminal pairing somehow . Another perturbed button button whose got the button gangster composite tale where anyone is holding the gun except the person telling the tale who may well have been holding the gun. This nefarious murder has shades of the shade of John McIntyre in it. Its brutality is reminiscent of that seaman’s murder. You have conjectured, clearly and I think rightly that the McIntyre murder was not a Jimmy Bulger deed. The actors aggrieved in the Medford deal were more likely Mediterranean in appearance than Irish. Seems like another Flemmi Flam .

    1. John:

      Good points. Could not agree with you more. No one who has ever turned state’s evidence has ever admitted he/she was the shooter. It’s always the other guy with the gun and the prosecutor has to believe that because it is the only evidence that he has even though everything suggests otherwise. Also, the Medford deal was all Italian and it was the Italians who sought their pound of flesh. Wasn’t it Jimmy Martorano who drove Bucky to the death house?

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