From my perspective the indictment of Robert Fitzpatrick is a delicious moment in its intrigue and its wrongness. My immediate post after learning of the indictment told of the federal horror in indicting this 75-year-old man for perjury on matters almost two years old and which had little to no effect on the trial. This is so far out of the course for an experienced prosecutor, even a vengeful one, that something else must be happening to bring it about.
I sent an email to Fitzpatrick – “Bob: I was sorry to see that you have become a victim of Wyshak. I’ve read the indictment and must say that I find it unconscionable that you have been charged with perjury and more so obstruction of justice. As i (sic) understand the law for perjury you must testify to a matter material to the trial and something that you do not believe. None of the matters you testified to are (sic) material to the charges against Whitey (whether he was an informant or not was not material except in Wyshak’s brain) and most importantly you believe them to be true or you would not have testified that way. I’ll do some posts showing that I believe you have been wrongfully charged. I hope someone above Wyshak comes to his or her senses and sees these are frivolous, vindictive and accusations without merit. If I can help you out in any way let me know. I wish you the best and I hope that this doesn’t get you down too much. You’ve been a fighter all your life so don’t throw in the towel yet.”
I do not know how he took that. I do believe that Fitzpatrick believes what he testified to is the truth even though what the truth is may be substantially different from what he thinks it is. When I first read Fitzpatrick’s book I was bothered by some of what he wrote. I highlighted one episode where he wrote about a visit to Billy Bulger with John Connolly when Billy was president of the Massachusetts Senate. He said he “could not have been warmer or more gregarious.” He then says of the 20 minute meeting he had with him “I caged the rest of the meeting in a framework that Billy too, was a con man used to getting what he wanted and taking whatever action was necessary when he didn’t.” The use of “too” was to compare him to Whitey. Fitzgerald continued: “Shaking hands was just part of his con.”
It was this episode that made me realize Fitzgerald saw the world a little differently that other people. There are other things he wrote that suggested he was marching to a different drummer I’ll talk about later. Wyshak should have known this and acted accordingly.
Prior to meeting Billy in 1981 Fitzpatrick had met Whitey in Quincy at Whitey’s condo. The meeting went quite poorly. He then went to see Billy at the behest of John Connolly a low-level agent as apparently an FBI tradition to introduce new SACs and ASACs to people in high positions. No one forced him to go since he was second in charge of the office. He wanted to meet Billy. Billy being gracious and friendly to him as he would have been to any visitor was turned into something evil. He pointed to nothing happening out of the ordinary. It was the usual meeting with a politician. He quoted Billy as saying: “Anything I can do for you while you are in town, just call.”
He said he walked back to his office thinking, “Billy Bulger was a bully using power in place of his fists. And he wanted me to know I was alone, helpless against powerful forces I could neither control nor fully comprehend. . . I felt strangely like I was back at the Mount again, hanging by the steam pipes of Cottage 3, my flesh blistering as the sadistic counselors Scatvelli and Farber waited for me to drop. . . . Only, this time I was no longer that frightened, lonely child. This time I would fight back. I would do what was right, just like the brave heroes recalled from This Is Your FBI playing over the radio down the hall from Sister Mary Assumpta’s bedroom.”
This was the thought process of the man who was made second in charge of the FBI office in Boston after meeting with Billy Bulger where nothing Billy said or did is pointed to that brought it about. Fitzpatrick went on that driving back from the meeting with Bulger (I’m not sure why they were driving since the location of Billy’s office and the FBI office were just about next to each other) he “knew exactly what I needed to do: close Whitey Bulger and put the Boston office back on track, no matter how many names I had to take or asses I had to kick.”
Without any facts or evidence Fitpatrick tells us he has determined Billy Bulger is evil merely because Whitey is his brother. Wyshak would later come to the same conclusion without anything to back it up. Both men in powerful positions began Ahab-like crusades against Billy; that he was a man of the highest integrity and ethics accounts for his survival. For we see how easy it is for Wyshak to indict someone with his indictment of Fitzpatrick. What is delicious about the whole affair is that these men who aimed to destroy an innocent person are now going to destroy each other.