The Whitey Bulger Murders: Richard Castucci

EvilRichard Castucci was a nightclub owner who liked to hang around with the wise guys. He was a well-connected guy and known to be associated with the Mafia. He was found murdered on December 30, 1976 and found in the trunk of his car shortly after that. The belief among law enforcement was that he was murdered for past posting bets.

Like Louis Litif, Whitey Bulger, and Steve Flemmi, Castucci was a top echelon informant in the FBI. Unlike the others his handler was not FBI Agent John Connolly but FBI Agent Thomas J. Daly. In the case against Connolly the federal prosecutors sought to show that the information Agent Daly put in Castucci’s informant files was available to others in the Boston FBI office including Connolly. Three was no showing that Connolly ever accessed the file only that he could have done it if he so desired. The prosecutors wanted the jury to believe Connolly gave Winter Hill information that Castucci was an informant.

Daly had been getting information from Castucci about the whereabouts of Joe McDonald and Jimmy Sims who were on the lam. They  had murder charges pending against them. They were hiding out in New York City. Martorano had helped them rent an apartment there. They had gone through a guy named Jack.

Jack was a top echelon informant for the New York City FBI. Jack was also a friend of Castucci’s and a NY Mafia member. Agent Daly’s file showed that Castucci was slowly feeding him information about the NY City location of McDonald and Sims. Daly was conveying that information to the NY FBI office. What I found odd about the whole matter was that the FBI NY informant Jack knew where they were. Why had he not given the NY office that information?

Jack also was the NY Mafia’s connection to the Winter Hill (WH) which had been borrowing money from the NY Mafia. WH would use Castucci as a courier to bring the money owed back Jack on behalf of that Mafia group. WH had run up a debt of over $400,000 to it and still had to pay one hundred fifty thousand dollars. One thing we learned is that the WH gang did not like paying back money. We also saw they liked to hand over packages and then take them back.

They told Castucci that they had the money for him to bring to NY. When he came to Marshall Motors where WH had its headquarters they gave him the money and told him to count it down the street at Joe McDonald’s house. He went there. He was sitting at the table counting it. Whitey was said to be sitting with him. John Martorano walked in and shot him in the side of his head. WH took back the money.

When the NY Mafia called in its loan WH said it did not owe them anything. WH said that it paid Castucci all the money to give to them. They said he had been killed by others who took the money so they did not owe it. They beat the Mafia out of the money owed.

Martorano testified that the reason Castucci was murdered was because he was an FBI informant against McDonald and Sims. He said they learned that information from Agent Connolly. The Boston federal jury did not believe him. The jury not only did not believe that but believed nothing that Martorano testified to during his time on the stand.

Agent Daly would testify at the trial for the defense. He said he had no idea how anyone would know Castucci was an informant. He said he never told Connolly he was one. He did not recall Connolly showing any interest in Castucci.

Martorano is the one who provided most of the information on this. Flemmi would corroborate some of it. To  what extent Whitey was involved in planning the hit on Castucci is difficult to figure. There is not doubt that he was a rising star in WH and would have benefit from the Castucci murder.

Whether Castucci was murdered because it was learned he was an informant or because WH wanted to rip of the NY Mafia or because he was past posting bets really does not matter. He was murdered by WH. Whitey was a high member in WH in 1976 and stood to gain from it. T his murder can  be put squarely on Whitey’s plate.


12 thoughts on “The Whitey Bulger Murders: Richard Castucci

  1. What the…?

    You stopped right in the middle of a ……………………..

  2. Dear Friends, the following position was unanimously adopted on
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    CURE’s Expectations for a Justice system

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    Anyone accused of a crime shall be represented by an attorney who has
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  3. David,
    I believe you are right. Mercurio was in Connolly’s stable. He also was point man for Guild St. He was a pretty valuable TEI if you ask me.

    McDonald?………….he was a choir boy. Just kidding, read the link I posted above by his cousin. Your question gives me an idea, though…..

    Please fill in this list-

    Top 5 Most “Capable” Winter Hill Gangsters All-Time IN ORDER:



    from all your loyal followers/commenters at TTTT.

    1. Rather:

      I read the cousins story about Joe. Interesting he talks about how Joe McDonald liked to be up close doing his hits and not at a distance, something I noted in the past as being different about the way Whitey murdered people which was more from a distance.

      By capable you mean a guy who had no problem murdering another guy. The top two spots would clearly be held by John Martorano and Steve Flemmi from the Roxbury gang who were both up close killers. After them you would have to add in the guy who was their leader Howie Winter who we know was in on the murders associated with the Indian Joe killings and had to have some connections with the McLaughlin murders since he took over the Somerville group after McLean’s murder and achieved victory of the Charlestown group. It was also Howie who could give protection to Whitey so he has to be among the top three.

      Those would be the pick of the litter and the others would each have a claim to the fourth and fifth spots – McDonald, Sims, Jimmy Martorano, a made man, and Whitey. You look closely at the murders connected to Whitey and in most he plays the backup role. Unlike the top three he never did a hit on his own as best I can tell while McDonald did. When it comes to that, Pat Nee was more capable than Whitey.

  4. Hi Matt and is it true that Sonny Mercurio brought the mobsters from New York to see the Winter Hill Gang to talk about the debt?

    How dangerous was Joe McDonald?

    1. David:

      Not sure who brought them to the meeting. Martorano presents it as a staged event to scare the NY guys. He said they told them would not pay off because their guy “Jack” was an informant. That makes no sense; at that time no one would have know Jack was an FBI top echelon informant. Also, it is unlikely the NY mob would be frightened off by Martorano and friends. NY had the top hit men in the business.

      Joe McDonald was supposedly very dangerous. He was there murdering Wheeler and Callahan and probably killed his best friend Jimmy Sims along with some others. As for Whitey, McDonald and Sims being the original guys with Winter they never warmed up to him from all I understand. McDonald had been a WWII Navy veteran who survived the sinking of his ship – he was older than others in the group born in the late teens – probably 12 years older than Whitey which would make him much less impressed with his tough guy image.

    1. Rather:

      Joe’s cousin has little first hand knowledge. Jimmy Martorano allegedly told his cousin that Joe did not like Whitey. He is way off base on the reason for the Castucci murder.

  5. Another interesting fact…..As you say, Daly “did not recall Connolly showing any interest in Castucci.”
    Why would he, if his doings didn’t affect, or pose a threat, to his personal favorite older buddy, fellow Irish-Catholic, Southie-guy gangster, Jim?
    It is also possible that the hideout information was disseminated to Connolly and he was in NY fishing for a McDonald or Simms and fortuitously caught a Cadillac instead.

    1. Rather:

      The prosecution wanted to show Connolly knew Castucci was giving Daly information and he passed the word on to Winter Hill and that was the reason Castucci was murdered. You are right there was no reason for him doing this. The whole idea was made up by Martorano afterward so that the prosecutor could charge Connolly with Castucci’s murder. The Cadillac had been locked up years before this. If you understand the mind of these gangsters no one cared whether McDonald and Sims were captured in New York. They would have been two less mouths at the trough in the sty.

  6. Matt,
    I had to read this one three times and am still scratching my head saying “Where is the evidence directly tying James J. Bulger to this murder. THERE IS NONE.
    Whitey was, at that moment, officially in the gang…. it’s designated rising young star, and would presumably benefit from Castucci’s murder…as they all would,,,yeah,…so?
    Martorano (who admittedly was the one who shot him) probably was the one who owed the money to NY with Howie, had the most to gain. He could have said anyone was in that apartment with him.
    In my humble opinion…if the ONLY evidence is the word of Martorano and Flemmi,
    then NOT GUILTY.

    1. Rather:

      That’s it – Martorano. The Boston jury listened to him and the prosecutor an refused to believe Connolly had anything to do with the Castucci murder. Eliminate Connolly as the tipster then you eliminate Whitey’s involvement since he has not need to be involved.

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