Arthur “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.