Understanding Whitey

IMG_1736On August 12, 2013 it was reported that Rabbi Levi Krinsky of Chabad Lubavitch in Manchester, New Hampshire when asked to explain the actions of a man who killed his son and then himself said of that man whom he knew : “The sane mind cannot comprehend the thoughts of the insane mind.”

To understand the story of James “Whitey” Bulger you must keep in mind what the Rabbi Krinsky said, but alter it a bit, a very little bit, to “the non-gangster mind cannot comprehend the thoughts of the gangster mind.”

To decide if you can comprehend how a gangster thinks ask yourself if you would consider yourself a good person if you shot an unarmed person in the back of the head. If you say yes, then you possibly possess that ability. To tell if truly possess the ability to comprehend a gangster’s thoughts, ask yourself if you murdered 20 people in a like manner would you still think you were a good person. That is what John Martorano told us. If you believe like he does, you can comprehend the gangster mind.

There is no doubt in my mind Whitey Bulger feels he too is a good man. If asked he’d explain that, despite what the jury said, he had nothing to do with the murder of the young women; he’d also probably say he was against the Wheeler/Callahan murders, in that he was doing very well on the local scene and had no desire to get outside his comfort zone. As to the other murders they were either kill or be killed by another gangster, as one gangster testified in the John Connolly trial, or the person brought it upon himself by being a rat, or in the case of someone like Bucky Barrett, a potential rat. He’d explain, that what he did to Bucky was what President Bush did to Iraq, it was a preventive strike.

Bottom line Whitey would say is he was in the gangster business and for the most part the only people he hurt were his competition, other gangsters in that business. Like in any business, he’d point out that there is always some collateral damage where unintended consequences occurred such as  a person not a gangster got killed. He’d be glad to tell us he feels bad about that type person.

The gangster sees the world differently just like an insane person. The insane person can not conform her conduct to the standards the rest of us follow because of a mental disease; the gangster can not conform her conduct to the those standards because they interfere with her chosen way of life.

Aside from understanding the gangster mind, it’s nice to have  an understanding of the gangster world, or as some call it the Underworld. The real gangsters live by two very important ideas. The first, Kevin Weeks summed up best when he told us in his book that Whitey told him the idea behind committing a crime is not to be caught.

A true gangster will not go about bragging about what she is doing or has done. She will limited the knowledge of her criminal actions to others who are necessary to its carrying out. If she gets the word that another who was with her, such as we saw in the case of Eddie Connors blabbing to others about how he set up Spike O’Toole for Winter Hill, she’ll quickly try to shut that spigot.

The second part, also told by Weeks, and confirmed by others, is the absolute necessity of knowing what is happening around her. She and her associates will always have their antennas up and their feelers out to see who is doing what to whom. Just like the FBI uses informant information to keep track of what the criminals are doing, so to do the gangsters have people, many times the number available to the FBI, who are constantly feeding them information. You can be sure that what the FBI gets is pretty much what has become old news in the Underworld.

Gangsters hang around with gangsters and they are continually talking. Sometime a drink or two will loosen someones lips and what is said magically spreads like a wildfire. I say magically because those on the inside doing time sometimes know more about what is going on outside than many outside. It might seem strange that on the one hand secrecy is essential yet the news of what happens flows freely. Much of the news is pure scuttlebutt but within it gems of truth float about. Like with anything, those with the ability to find the gems rise to the top. Those with the ability to keep their mouths shut and to insure through brutal fear that their accomplices do the same thing also rise to the top. Often they are the same persons.

In the Underworld the law doesn’t apply. To be in there is to experience what happens when law and order breaks down. Those most vicious, the brutes, the ones most willing to murder become the Uppers. The Uppers make the law. Others in that world pay them obeisance; are expected to do what the Uppers demand; and do so to stay alive.

To understand Whitey, you first must keep in mind you’ll never really understand him because you can’t think like him; but you can make an attempt if you understand the world he lived in.


21 thoughts on “Understanding Whitey

  1. Understanding Whitey

    Well, I’ve been mulling it over, and I want to give it a try:

    See, it all starts with my parents bringing me and the rest of my family to Mass a lot.
    And me being the oldest, I’m the first one on the altar.
    And they’re all so proud.

    And, of course, the old bum that everybody told me about tries to help me out back, and I get away, no problem.
    But the Big Guy comes to our parish and starts treating me special.
    My parents are so proud.

    So the Big Guy decides a few of us can see his place.
    So we go and my friend disappears for a while while the rest of us are getting roast beef sandwiches from the housekeeper.
    I say I’m going to bathroom, but I go looking for my friend and I can hear him kind of crying but real quiet. The water’s running and the Big Guy tells him to come on in and take care of things.

    I say, hey, don’t go in there.
    And he looks at me like he seen a ghost.
    And I say, hey, don’t go in there.
    And he’s says it’s no use.

    And the Big Guy says something disgusting like Now there you are my pet or some such stupid thing like that.

    And I go back to the kitchen and I look at the housekeeper, and she’s just sweeping crumbs off his counter like there’s nothing finer in the world she could be doing. And that’s enough for me, and I walk right out the front door.

    I tell my parents what happened, and they act like most all the other parents and hit me for my lies and hit me again for my backtalk, which is when I realize they have no idea in the world what is going on. I mean, they give this guy their money. It’s pitiful. And they sent me back to that altar, and I said fine, you want me on that altar? I’ll go back to that altar.

    And the Big Guy is saying Mass and winks at me, and I wink back. It’s a long trip in his big car across the city but I know right where I’m going when I get back to his place. How ya doing I say to his housekeeper as I go right upstairs, right by the wine and those ridiculous sandwiches and into his bathroom and turn on the water.

    He’s calling me from downstairs, don’t I want to come down and enjoy some of Mrs. so and sos luncheon and I go right, yeah, sure, I just have to talk to you for a minute.

    Now? he says and I say Yeah, now. And he comes upstairs and into the bathroom where his tub is running. And I’m sitting there on the edge of that tub with my shirt unbuttoned all the way and I’m thinking he’s as stupid as a prune and he looks at me and I nod at him and he starts taking off his clothes which is when I start taking out the knife.

    I need some money, I say.
    No problem son. It’s downstairs in the jar by the door in the kitchen.
    And I say, No I need a lot more than that and I grab his john, and it really was pretty big for a son of a bitch, and I hold my knife all near him and say First, the money. And he’s breathing heavy and I say four hundred. I say I figured out how much he got for last week and I’m leaving him plenty to get by. Of course he says it’s not possible and that’s when I ask if he wants me to cut off his stones and throw them over to Logan.

    And I tell him to put on his clothes and get in the car and drive and maybe he’ll get lucky.
    And as we’re driving back into the neighborhood I sees my friend walking up ahead and I pull out my knife and lay it on my thigh. It’s folded up but it’s layin on my thigh. Pull over, I says. You touch him again, I say, You touch him again and that’ll be your last Mass.

    And he asks if it would be alright if we park the car over by the little store and I say, Sure but don’t think you’re going anywhere alone about now. You won’t be going anywhere alone til I get my four hundred. And then, maybe, you’ll be going somewhere alone. And it was really pretty easy after that.

      1. Matt et al.,

        If nothing else, I’m clumsy and naive.
        I tried to take your challenge and “understand the world he lived in.”

        You said he didn’t play sports, that he was a bully of sorts.

        Now some of the kids I’ve known are bullies for no apparent reason.
        Some have reasons.

        I tried to find a reason if there is one.
        If not, he was born that way.

        But if he figured out it out early on, then my ridiculous story was an effort to understand how a kid can figure out the score early on AND take care of a friend who saw no way out AND take advantage of a situation that was profiting from good people.

        So, I tried.

        I probably proved that the rabbi was right:)

        1. Firefly:

          Whitey was born to be bad. Broke his father’s heart. Was doomed to a life of crime when he went away to federal prison for 9 years. There are some among us who even if it is easier to do it in a straight way will take the crooked course. Don’t try to go where you can’t and that is into the mind of a criminal. Think that Flemmi thinks he still should be released from prison; Martorano thinks he is a good man; and Weeks wants to prove he is still a tough guy. Where do they come from?

  2. Matt,

    FYI my family took the advice that the OIG of USDOJ may have oversight review jurisdiction of my family’s complaints. In August 2009, the OIG referred our complaints back to the USDOJ Crimial Division. Since we had gotten no response from the USDOJ Crimianal Division in 4years we wrote back to the OIG for assistance. On July 26 2013 the Criminal Division said we need not contact them any more on the “same” matter. No definition was given of “same”.

    I have now just been informed that OIG no longer has jurisdiction over “the matter”. Your tax dollars at work.

    In the interim the guy who has been trying to kill me, and most likely contracted to kill my mother has recently brutally stabbed his wife to death, and it has been reported he is now dead too. Clearly, he has been one of the protected ones…and even in death still is, but there are others…we just heard the likes of them testify in the WB trial…Where is our family supposed to turn for justice. Dialing 911 is not working for us. And, we still believe John Iuele was an alias used by Mr. Bulger. Many questions that no one appears to want to own up to the awful, awful truth.

    1. Jean:

      As long as the media is dependent upon the DOJ for “inside” information it will protect it. As long as the DOJ is not responsible to anyone other than itself you will have limited recourse. Remember, an agent from the OIG worked hand in hand with the prosecutors for at least 8 years. When the investigator is holding hands with the persons he is supposed to oversee then we have the problems that you seem to have.

  3. Eddie Connors and his brothers owned/managed Connors Tavern and the Bulldog Lounge. Carr’s book Hitman has a plant in Connors’ Bulldog Lounge who sees OToole leave — we know he left with another guy, a good guy we personally knew — and THE PLANT telephones the HITMAN: Martorano, et al, who supposedly were waiting on a side street near a phone booth nearby. All hearsay; Carr writes that is the way it essentially happened based on his sources; our sources are stronger and better than Carr’s. We lived there, we grew up there, we hung out there: Carr didn’t and generally Carr the character assassin is indifferent to the truth; he’s just trying to make things plausible so he can make more money selling his crappy books.

    1. William:

      Much that Carr writes is fiction like his Bulger Brothers story. Yet he has a good audience of followers who believe his every word.

  4. (1) I worked with guys with advanced degrees from places like Yale who dropped out (or stepped up, in my book) to become Carpenters; I grew up with guys who were bankers and one was an “IBM Man of the Year” who took the road less travelled and became bartenders and contributed immensely to society”: good friends, good family guys. (2) Eddie Connors I knew personally as a friend; my wife and I stayed at his cottage down Falmouth free of charge; he cooked us breakfast; I’ve heard negative stories about him I don’t believe; he wasn’t a saint, nor was I, but I don’t believe he blabbed about setting up O’Toole and I don’t believe he set up O’Toole. In fact, in Howie Carr’s book, he has Whitey-Flemmi planting a guy in Connors’ tavern who telephones Martorano when O’Toole leaves the tavern, and then Martorano ambushes him on the corner of Dot Ave and Savin Hill Ave. Eddy was involved in some non-violent truck hijackings, I’ve heard–no one was hurt; goods were stolen—and when caught by the cops was alleged to be co-operating; that’s why Bulger-Martorano-Flemmi killed him: same with Barrett: they feared he MIGHT talk. I’ll stick with my understanding of the events; I don’t believe second-hand and third-hand tattletales. I also prefer to hear and remember the good about my friends, not the baseless hearsay defamations.

    1. William:

      Like Whitey was judged by the company he keeps, so did Eddie Connors keep similar type of company. Whitey and Stevie admit they murdered him so what was the reason? If it was that he was cooperating then he must have been cooperating against them so that he had information from his relationship with them. You can’t associate with gangsters and not expect some spill over.

  5. My father said that in the end we all live by our own rules. I believe that is true.

    So why be a plumber? Can anyone that is not a plumber completely understand why someone would be a plumber?

    There is a man here in town that marvels at me because I have been a carpenter for over 40 years. He was born the year I started banging nails. He is a finance expert and wants to manage hedge funds. He is rich but wants ten times more than what he has now. Maybe fifty time more. He got the degrees and worked hard and all along the way he has been extremely careful to not break the law. He has explained to me how easily he could make much more money if he was willing to break rules. He knows that that could ruin it all so he chooses to be honest. He is living by his rules.

    Why does one person become Hitler and another become Mother Teresa?

    You are right. The further you drift into criminal life the more you realize that disregard for all things civil must be your pathway if you want to ascend. The more vicious you become the more respect, of a kind, you will receive.

    1. Honest:

      I can understand why someone would be a plumber when my plumber gives me his bill. It’s a tough life but guys that do it seem to do well. A long time ago I learned that when your goal is money you just keep moving the goal posts back because what was all you wanted is no longer all you wanted when you get it. I’m slowing up blogging because I want to get back and do some work with my hands like carpentry or gardening or fixing up my yard and house. There is marvelous satisfaction in being able to build something that comes out well, even though a professional could do it better and in half the time that it takes me. My goal in the fall is to build a mantle over my downstairs fireplace. When I get my fill of working with my hands I’ll do some more writing or traveling. As for money, if you have enough to keep up the lifestyle you are used to then be happy and thankful and content. Too many people know nothing other than continually acquiring money and at the end someone else gets to enjoy it. Your friend is wise to stay on the straight side. It’s a nice feeling to put your head down on a pillow at night and not to have to worry about the cops coming through your door.

      1. Ah, know the feeling. Me and the significant took a week long
        class at the Shelter Institute in Bath Maine to learn how to build our own post and beam. We designed the structure cut the frame with a Japanese Joinery fellow from New Hampshire and raised the frame on the side of a mountain in the middle of Belgrade Lakes Maine. Then we built a second house around the post and beam frame. No the cops haven’t come yet through the doors but I am sure they they have thought about it.After organizing the 1st Annual Conference Investigating Crimes Committed by FBI agents at Boston University my tires were repeatedly slashed including my tire coming off while I was driving the vehicle after my lug bolts were loosened. Our transmission plug was loosened and brake lines cut. The favorite technique was to let out the air from the tire so if we did not catch it we could have a fatal blow out from driving with tires under inflated.Soon my tenants cars had their windows smashed and well you know the drill. Did I mention the phone calls at 2 am with nobody speaking on the other end of the phone. Of course that is just the tip of the iceberg. We did the conference for 13 years so you can imagine,eh? Next time I will tell you the story of a meeting I convened a couple of years ago with Meryl Nass MD see http://anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/ , Mitch Lansky author of Beyond the Beauty Strip, attorney Russ see http://books.google.com/books?id=rAZwYhKPCRcC&pg=PA290&lpg=PA290&dq=russ+christiansen+maine&source=bl&ots=kfEHScyD6k&sig=PT-fk8-s4xmyIg_gPavBGHkXqO0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=R-MNUv_GCbHeyQHM_IBI&ved=0CEQQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=russ%20christiansen%20maine&f=false . Mike Vernon, Nancy Oden and Abby Shahn could not attend the meeting. The theme that unified everybody was they were all activists and had their homes burned down. I represented my mother at the meeting. And then I discovered the New York Times article of FBI agents burning out activists. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F60716FA3D59157493C3A8178CD85F428785F9

        1. MS

          Is there some kind of ‘dirty tricks’ play book that they use? During the WB trial we learned that Agent Margolis has been the ‘fixer’ for at least 4 decades. Has he ever been questioned? I know he was dropped from the defense witness list. I was hoping to hear what he had to say under oath.

          Our ‘dirty tricks’ experiences are many. And, after each disaster we dialed 911. No investigation, has been the response even to arson. My family’s cottage in Center Harbor, NH was almost burned down in 2003. The arsonist(s) incorporated a heavy metal into the substance to start the fire. I had been out and just came home in time to put the fire out before it really caught on. I inhaled the fumes and 6 months later I was rushed to emergency with a burst appendix. I was full of heavy metal poison. I had made a timely 911 call to police and NH AG, but they refused to take the call. No investigation.

          The Concord Hospital refused to treat me just days after the fire, and when I began to show jaundice signs due to the poison. Instead they tried to put me into the mental ward, but then they were stopped by a case worker.

          I have experienced tire slashing experiences. I have been attacked with a blunt weapon, most likely a sap, and left bleeding out from the head, for dead, on the floor of the same cottage. Again, I dialed 911 and no one would investigate. Intentional gas leaks have been experienced: Also at the same cottage. Finally, I was arrested and evicted from that same cottage. The charge was criminal trespass. The complainers filed a false affidavit with the court, using a known ROBO SIGNER, Victor Parisi.

          My mother was killed under suspicious circumstances, in 2001. Again, we dialed 911 and no one would investigate.

          On September 11, 1997 our businesses attached to the High Birches Springs in North Woodstock, NH were sabotaged with a cocktail of chemicals to include heavy metals. I found the sabotage. This was after the pump house at the High Birches Springs property had been sabotaged, in March of the same year. I again dialed 911 in September, and this time they came and blamed me. I became the primary suspect. The State of New Hampshire took $100,000 from those whom I am convinced did the sabotage, and they took possession of the land. But, they were not able to steal the water rights. And, therein lies the reason why I am still in danger.

          In 1996, had been subpoenaed to testify in an Organized Crime Task Force case. I testified for the prosecution. When I asked whether the OCTF would also investigate my complaints, this was in March 1997, I was told that the request was denied first by the Boston FBI and then FBI HQ. The major persons in the complaint were Gene Philips,a person with know NY Mafia connections, John Iuele ( whom we believed at that time, and still do was a alias for James Bulger, and Reginald Danboise, among others).

          My family had complained that the hands on person in both sabotages, could only have been Reginald Danboise. But, he has been a protected person due to his ‘connections’. I had already filed criminal complaints against him in Massachusetts in November 1996. Those complaints were also expunged. Danboise threatened my life and personally physically attacked me. Nothing ever came of any of my complaints. Danboise promised to make our lives a living hell. He did. He was protected. I could go on, but you get the point.

          My family has continued to try to get justice. We just heard at the WB trial that the Boston Office FBI secretary confessed to obstructing justice under 18 bosses. We were told by an agent in the Boston Office sometime in 1997 that our complaints had been destroyed. They contained information about the Winter Hill Gang, and Danboise, among others whom the FBI has also protected, to include those we named for the OCTF earlier.

          In the last two weeks my family has received letters from both the US DOJ Criminal Division, and the US DOJ OIG that neither have jurisdiction over our complaints. But, neither letter was specific enough to say which of our complaints, since there have been many ‘dirty playbook’ incidents. And, no statement that any other agency had taken jurisdiction.

          So I am left with no US ID because the US DOJ CD is the only agency that has jurisdiction over stolen social security number issues. Again, Danboise was the main suspect in that matter too. But, now after brutally stabbing his wife to death, he too is dead. Although I still own the water rights to the High Birches Springs without the assistance of the both the US and NH State authorities, we are stymied. And, still a threat to those who covet the water rights.

          So, MS, I guess you can say my family ‘get’s it’. But, as Matt keeps saying, and I believe he is correct, the general public either does not know, or worse, does not care to see that the rule of law is operational.
          Once a person, or family, has been POOFed, and the BIGS are protected from prosecution by the current administration (in our case several administrations both Dem and GOP) the POOF is SOL in the US.

          As Euripedes said 400 years ago “Where do we seek justice, if the injustice of power is our destruction”? If you have the answer to that question, then we should talk.

        2. I empathize: There are elements in our government, Federal and State, who work with gangsters —we know the DOJ-Boston has killers on the payroll; their called TEI’s and their paid with their freedom and license to commit crimes and sometimes the gangsters “help out” their FED buddies by doing their dirty work. I always wondered how it is that eight serial killers (or their henchment-bully boys) were allowed to remain free in Boston courtesy of the DOJ-FBI and how three career gangsters ended up with the best lockers at my gym, L-Street, taking of the lockers of such career Good Guys as Father John Saunders, Commander Hop Swift father of five girls, Chief Graphic Artist Joe Parrish father of nine, tailor John DiMaggio father of twelve, and postal worker Tommy Leone, from Somerville, still swimming and dancing in his nineties. Decent men, mostly combat veterans, who contributed immensely to society. Now the lockers are taken by Martorano, Weeks and Nee!!! So, FED-sponsored or FED-incited slashing of a professor’s tires is an old story and our friend John Stuen Parker has relayed how under perceived pressure from the FEDs he fled to Australia with his family of six. There’s malignancies in society and some cancerous agents are at work in our Federal and State governments. There are such things as corrupt FEDs and corrupt cops and gangsters and evil people inside and outside government; some wear black robes, others three-piece suits; and some of these think they are doing “good” like the neo-cons and imperialists in our State Department and CIA. All must be confronted, outed and stopped. Our freedoms, no kidding, are at stake. And the enemies or the constitution are on the right and left of the political spectrum. Speak out against them!!!

      2. SENSEI- I have been running on the hamster wheel of finances good 5 years now I am 32 September 1 . But honest pay does allow you to rest easy about no storm troopers kicking the door down but I am as equally restless about not making it through the month 1 full time gig and a part time gig barely gets me there and I have no student loan debt. I am starting to understand how a person can break the law for financial gain if they are under honest real financial stress not just being a greedy pig.

        1. Doubting:

          You and Whitey have birthdays within days of each other. That should make you feel good even if it is a monthly struggle to survive. I can’t appreciate the struggle you and countless others like you are engaged in since I grew up in a different era where things seemed much more under control and most households had one bread winner who could support the family. Now even with two bread winners it seems it is getting more and more difficult to survive. The temptation has to be great to stray a little to make things easier. When I first got married we struggled a lot. I was lucky that the woman I married came from a background where she had little so she didn’t mind counting pennies and doing without. It eventually got better. I know no way other than to persevere and hope for a little luck and right timing.

  6. Is the gangster mind comparable to the Bolshevik mind? They were the most violent and brutal. Is it a variance on Nietzche’s will to power? Or is the modern day terrorist similar? Pat Nee said he wanted to be a gangster because they had the money, the cars and the girls. Is it sheer opportunism? Is it indolence? They don’t want to work a lifetime to accumulate assets. It’s easier to steal and have them when you are young and for minimal effort.

    1. N:

      I knew a guy named Henri Boothan. If you ever met him I’d ask you if you knew how his mind operated. One thing I think I understand is that a gangster never thinks of helping another person but every situation makes him wonder ‘what’s in it for me.’ I think of the gangster mind as being akin to the people who searched homes of starving people to make sure they weren’t hoarding food which was a mark of the Bolshevik manner of doing business. The modern day terrorist is not a gangster since he is doing it for a cause rather than himself.

      It’s more than the desire for money. Many non-gangters like banksters have that as a goal. It’s not indolence since it requires a lot of work because your companions are also gangsters the must untrustworthy people in the world who will readily give you up to benefit themselves so you have to stay a step ahead of them. Most gangsters are narcissists. As I said, it’s hard to understand how their mind operates.

      1. It’s a matter of degrees: we all break/hedge/clip/ignore “the law” from time to time. We speed, jaywalk, inside trade, “lessen” our tax burdens; lawyers know how to “cheat” within the law or on its edges; criminals, even petty shoplifters, say “screw the law” Big time gangsters like big time FEDs crave POWER, control and all the worldly stuff that goes with it: money, cars, “friends”, parties, girls, drugs. Gangsters are complex human beings, who kill and/or hurt others deliberately, to retain their power; like some FEDs, some gangsters are sadists who enjoy hurting people; like some FEDs, some gangsters are godfather types, who while involved in bookmaking, hijacking and some muscling, also contribute a lot to charity and their communities and raise nice families whose children go to Ha-Ha-Vid, BC or BU. Accepting all that, you have to consider sociopolitical factors (the barrio, the ghetto, the corner mentality, the herd instinct, the desire to belong, to fit in, or to lead) then you have to understand psychology, psychiatry, philosophy, and apprehend psychopaths, sociopaths, and just plain evil people who chose to do evil. Some FEDs and some Gangsters in my book are evil.

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