The Whitey Bulger Murders: Goodbye to the Mullen Leadership of South Boston 3 of 4

Busing RogerNee would tell author T.J, English: “The killing of Paulie [McGonigagle] was a shock to all of us.”  It is hard to see how that was the case when it was Tommy King who put the gun to his head and shot him and according to court testimony according to author English Nee and King buried him at Tenean Beach in Dorchester. Even author English who had developed a close friendship with Nee could not understand how he and King, or after King and Leonard was murdered, he and others could stand back and let Whitey kill off his competition in Southie.

English would wonder about Whitey saying; “when it came to killing people he was no Joe Barboza, or John Martorano, or Steve Flemmi. In many ways, in the mid 1970s, he was a garden-variety Boston gangster.”  English says: “he was able to rise above the fray because of one single factor that put him in a category by himself: his connections.”

English said he asked Pat Nee “Why didn’t you kill Whitey Bulger? He was whacking out former partners of yours left and right. You’d begun to feel like maybe you were next on his hit list. Why didn’t you kill him before he killed you?”

English continued: “Pat’s answer was always the same: Billy.”   He went on: “To kill the brother of the most powerful political figure in the community . . . . would hae brought abobut a level of lheat that would have . . . wiped out the city’s criminal rackets.  Billy Bulger’s standing in the city protected Whitey.”

That, of course, we know is nonsense. First, Nee was not worried about Whitey whacking him out because he was in the planning with Whitey to whack out the others. Second, the stuff about Bill Bulger is the same stuff that fairy tales are made up out of. It is the type of stuff that we see over and over again in this case. We learn from some in 1997 or 1998 that Whitey was involved in some murders and we suggest that back in 1978 people should have known that he was a murdered. We see that Bill Bulger became the president of the Massachusetts Senate in 1978 slowly gaining power after that and we say that back in 1973 he was a power political figure.

Bill Bulger did not get elected to the Senate until 1971. In 1974 and 1975 he is far from having any power. Rather, during that time he was probably the least powerful politician in the Senate. Those were the days when South Boston was being torn apart by the federal court busing orders. Bill was one of the lone voices opposing busing while every other powerful figure in the state was on the other side from the federal courts, the Boston media, the Boston and State police who cooperated fully with the busing mandates. It would have been simple to knock off Whitey at that time if he presented a threat.

The bottom line is there was no reason not to take out Whitey who was a relative unknown at the time despite his brother being elected.

Author English and Nee did not stop there. He wrote that Whitey had another connection who was John Connolly of the FBI. He called Connolly a gold plated connection. Unfortunately we see that the time line is off. Paulie McGonagle is murdered in 1974. At that time Whitey is not an informant for Connolly. He will not become an FBI informant for John Connolly until September 18, 1975, and did not become a top echelon informant until February 4, 1976.

To suggest that because Connolly was protecting Whitey back in 1975 as the reason why Nee and others in the Mullens did not kill Whitey is totally misleading.  None of the others would have known about the relationship back at that time. Whitey also might not have known.

We saw that Agent Dennis Condon opened Whitey as an informant on the books on Ma 13, 1971. The FBI  practice is to do this without the party knowing that he  is having a file opened on him. Condon had one bland conversation with Whitey; he opened a file; he was then pressed by Headquarters FBI to get more information; since Whitey was not an informant he found the well was dry so he closed him on September 10, 1971. Whitey was never an informant for Condon but a file would show that was the case.

4 replies on “The Whitey Bulger Murders: Goodbye to the Mullen Leadership of South Boston 3 of 4”

  1. Matt, Did any other gangster in Boston have a direct family member as a member of the Massachusetts State Senate in the 1970s besides Jimmy Bulger? It has been written that the Massachusetts State Trooper at Logan in 1987 who was involved in the episode of money smuggling to Canada pertaining to Jimmy Bulger and his girlfriend was asked for a written copy of what happened. Would you say that episode helped the long term promotion chances of that trooper in the commonwealth? More than a few gangsters have been quoted saying they were well aware that taking out Jimmy meant dealing with Billy and all his power. You seem not to see the forest for the trees regarding this matter.

  2. Matt
    It is easy for me to criticize, heck easy for anyone to criticize, but after watching the Dateline Crossing the Line John Connolly trial a few thoughts:

    1. How is it possible that Connolly’s lawyers missed the deadline to submit the paperwork requesting the charges be dismissed due to statue of limitations? Did I understand the video clips correctly?

    2. Based on the clips it looks to me like Connolly’s lawyers did a very poor job breaking down what the Top Echelon Informant program is to the jury. A meticulous and thorough explanation may have swayed the jury to understand the very gray area Connolly was working in in terms of giving information to Bluger/Flemmi crew.

    3. I think you said Connolly was found innocent of receiving money from Winter Hill Gang. How is this provable? On the witness stand Flemmi accused Connolly of taking a lot of money

    4. How come Connolly’s lawyers were unable to completely discredit Flemmi/Weeks/Martorano testimony based on their incentive to lie and throw Connolly under the bus?

    5. Did Connolly’s lawyers ever air out that Connolly was a target simply because he would not give up anything on Bill Bulger to Whyshak?

    6. Were you witness to Connolly outburst against Whyshak?

  3. Matt, insightful articles. I like how you show how the gangsters’ get their timelines mixed up: ex: Bill Bulger had no “power” in the early 1970s and John Connolly had just arrived back in Boston.

  4. Thanks for an interesting article Matt and what was a motive for Nee to help Bulger to kill Paulie and the other Mullens?

    What kind of relationship did Bulger have with Howie Winter?

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