Well What Is It? Once and For All Decide: Was Whitey An Informant

hare_2074103iI believe it is appropriate on the last day of 2015 to once and for all come up with a conclusion to the question was Whitey an informant. I’ve discussed the matter during the month going from showing that it is likely that he was and on the other hand it is likely that he wasn’t.  How then do I want to leave it.

I suggest the best way to approach this is to eliminate certain things.

Whether he was or was not had nothing to do with the Boston Mafia. In 1975 he was not in a position to give the FBI  information about it since he was from Southie and the Mafia had no deallings with Southie people. He also, as previously explained, at that time had nothing to fear from the Boston Mafia since he was under the protection of his Winter Hill partners Howie Winter and John Martorano as well as Steve Flemmi all of whom had good relations with the Angiulos. As a final point, the FBI in 1980 prepared an affidavit for a bug that it did in the beginning of 1981 on the Boston Mafia, in both the offices of Angiulo and Zannino, without needing any information from Whitey.

It follows that the story in Black Mass as told to it by FBI Agent John Connolly was fictitious. Connolly had a good imagination. He needed it to justify his many meetings with Whitey Bulger.

We can eliminate the FBI informant file to justify the belief Whitey was an informant. I believe it is clear that Whitey never knew such a file existed. It is also clear that in the FBI an informant file can be set up without a person knowing he is considered an informant.

After eliminating the Mafia and the file, we must consider that both SAC Sarhatt and ASAC Fitzpatrick believed the information that Whitey was providing did not justify him being kept on as an informant, especially a Top Level one who was being protected. If there is any doubt he was being protected we just have to look at the note SAC Sarhatt affixed to the end of his memorandum of his four-hour meeting noting Whitey should be closed out and targeted. This clearly shows the FBI  was keeping hands off when it came to him.

We must remember Attorney Brennan’s showing that information in Whitey’s file came from other informant files and the FBI agents who complained about Connolly going through the files of others. Along with that keep in mind Whitey’s protests that his history with respect to dealing with law enforcement showed he was not an informant and his Irish background would make him refuse to become one.

Much out there suggests he was not an informant especially when we consider the reasons most people become informants: to get out of jams, to get money, to get revenge, to eliminate competition.

We do know he had a close association with FBi Agent John Connolly. It was even greater than that, they had become friends of sorts. We  do know that Connolly was able to get information from Whitey’s partner Steve Flemmi (the physical layout of Angiulo’s Prince Street office, the new Mafia headquarters at Vanessa’s, the induction ceremony);  also information from Whitey (the Quincy police entering his condo, stealing his trash) ; also that when Connolly had them meet with FBI agents they showed up. We also know that Connolly was protecting Whitey by passing information on to him. We know Connolly made it clear to all in the FBI, even clerks, that Whitey was his informant.

What does it all come down to. It is two (or three) people approaching a relationship from a different point of view.

Whitey established his relationship with Connolly in the correct belief Connolly was protecting him and giving him information. He too would give Connolly information about what was going on as part of their ongoing discussions but never any that would lead to someone being targeted.. He never dreamed Connolly was putting this information into a file he had set up labeling Whitey an informant. He never considered himself an informant.

Connolly did consider him an informant. He was getting information from him. He was also getting it from Flemmi when he was with both of them. Whitey even told us of a time Stevie Flemmi gave him something specific that he later objected to him giving. The three of them, Whitey, Stevie and Connolly spent time together and some of their discussions Connolly put into their informant files.

Connolly enjoyed their friendship even though Whitey was probably the Alpha Male – as Whitey said he gave the directions. It gave him “creds” in the FBI office; a way to relax while working; and the intelligence he needed to do his job. The bits and pieces he picked up may have provided good intelligence for others to work with. Some, like the false information on who may have murdered Halloran, was erroneous. That is only known in retrospect. Connolly, like he would do with all informants, would report what the informant said. He, like every other FBI agent making a report, did not guarantee the truthfulness of the statement.

Here is my final word on the matter. In Whitey’s eyes he was not an informant nor would he ever be one; in Connolly’s eyes Whitey was providing him with information on matters the FBI was interested in learning. That would make him an informant. They enjoyed each others company: two Irish Catholics from Old Harbor Village. Connolly protected Whitey because it was his job to do this and because he liked him; Whitey gave Connolly information as part of their ongoing relationship without being aware Connolly was writing it down.

Whitey cooperated with the FBI at Connolly’s request because Connolly told him that was necessary if they were to keep up their relationship. Whitey wanted the continuing protection; Connolly wanted the continuing ability to have intercourse with Whitey.

That’s the bottom line. Two men on opposite sides of the law doing their jobs. If there is some fault in the whole matter, it was Connolly’s gift for the gab. As an Irish story-teller he bamboozled the media with stories of Mafia intrigue where none existed.





11 thoughts on “Well What Is It? Once and For All Decide: Was Whitey An Informant

  1. Matt
    Why isnt it also possible that Connolly opened an informant file on Bulger to cover the fact that Bulger was in fact paying for information. Why dont you think Connolly and Morris were corrput FBI agents who got greased by Bulger for information?

    1. Jerome:

      Anything is possible. I like to try to go with what the evidence shows. We have to accept that we have been corrupted and conditioned by the past false history concerning Connolly put out by the Boston media. I have been trying to point out that no one wants to really explore that it was the job of Connolly to keep Whitey safe and secure out on the street while he was a Top Echelon Informant (TEI). That meant he could tell him anything. The only problem is whether Whitey should have ever become a TEI in the beginning and then carried on for so many years under the protection of the FBI.

      In one sense Morris was clearly corrupt taking money from two TEIs; on the other hand if his taking money did nothing to affect his job performance he may not have been. To be corrupt a person has to do something or not do something for the gratuities given. If it was Morris’s job to advise the TEIs of things to protect them and they reciprocated by giving him money then nothing was wrong.

      It is beyond his relationship with the informants that makes Morris corrupt it is his disclosure to the Globe that Whitey was an informant and his hope that Whitey might be killed once that information was out that makes him corrupt. The problem with Connolly is there is no smoking gun when it comes to him taking money. That he may have been living a life style above what others similarly situated were doing is something that is as American as apple pie. Look at all the people who were living in million dollar homes who were unemployed because banks were handing out money like Halloween candy at one time as we learned after the market collapsed.

  2. Matt
    I will have to re-read some of these posts on Whitey being or not being an informant. My first initial reaction is you have not done a clear and concise job “enough” as to WHY Bulger got the perks of being an informant if he was not an informant. Why would Morris, O’Sullivan, and Ring (maybe not Ring) go to bat for Bulger in the Ciulla race fixing case. Also, it is definitively clear that Flemmi was an informant but not so cut and dry Bulger was is still perplexing to me.

    In this post you say Bulger did in fact provide Connolly information, therefore doesnt that in fact make him an informant? even if its not much useful information he is still engaging in the ACT of informing.

    You wrote: ” Connolly protected Whitey because it was his job to do this and because he liked him”

    If it was Connolly’s J-O-B to protect Whitey then and only then can we conclude Bulger was an informant. You are not saying Bulger gave $$$ to Connolly to get information. No. You are saying it was Connolly’s job to protect Whitey and the only job that falls under is protecting ones informant.

    It seems Bulger was an informant but not a very useful or “good” one and that is why it was suggested he be shutdown. It is possible that Connolly and Bulger had a special relationship in which THEY BOTH pretended Bulger was providing information in order to get the perks of being an informant without REALLY giving useful information. A s a matter of fact that would be part of the Bulger Maciavellian mindset and also is incredible ability to manipulate people to get what he wanted without giving them anything they could really benefit with for their goals

    1. Jerome:

      Whitey could have gotten the perks of being an informant (protected) because Connolly liked him and wanted his approval; or because of his relationship with Stevie; or because he was giving information to Connolly that Connolly thought was worthwhile while Whitey thought it was just street talk and not being recorded any where.

      The thing you point to is deciding what is an informant. Whitey can be called an informant just by talking to an FBI agent (as could you) by giving information about lots of innocuous matters. We have yet to decide what is the definition of informant which may differ in various situations. Can a witness to a crime be considered an informant? Must the information result in an arrest or just something corroborative?

      I am firmly convinced Connolly believed Whitey was an informant as was the FBI. Connolly’s liking Whitey probably made him unable to assess the value of the information he was given. I believe Connolly stated that Whitey did not believe he was an informant but considered himself a facilitator or something like that. Once the FBI hierarchy approved him as a TEI then Connolly’s job was to protect him. That’s why the TEI program is so corrupt – it blurs the lines and allows relationships like Connolly/Whitey to exist.

      Connolly and Morris (Ring wasn’t around) went to O’Sullivan because they wanted to protect Whitey and Stevie as Top Echelon Informants (TEIs) and be able to advise them to stay away from the Angiulo/Baione crowd during the time of the wiretap. Flemmi was used to give the FBI a diagram of the layout of Angiulo’s Prince Street office even though it was not necessary.

      Your last paragraph is almost right on the money. I don’t think Connolly pretended. He was blinded by his relationship with Whitey – I think he always believed Whitey was a good TEI even though he was really getting nothing of value from him. Whitey was getting protection from Connolly because they were buddies. Connolly glowed under the idea he was the hadler of Whitey – it made him a big man in the FBI which others like Fitzpatrick resented. He would do anything to have that continue. Whitey made good use of Connolly. The thing to keep in mind is Whitey had a criminal’s mentality and Connolly a cop’s; I’d guess I come close to the truth by believing Whitey was handling Connolly and being as cheap as he was he did not need to give him any money other than a few bucks here and then.

  3. Afterthought: As I recall it, we both believe Bulger’s second claim, that he didn’t kill those two women. Steve Flemmi, rot in Hell.

    1. Dan:

      He admitted killing Davis to Martorano when he said he accidentally strangled her. How Whitey got thrown into that case is one great prosecution deception. Then, Whitey had nothing to worry about from Flemmi’s step-daughter. Flemmi was embarrassed she was a drug addict and into prostitution which he caused by his abuse of her as a child. You are right where Flemmi will go and so will all those who dirtied their hands with him.

    1. Dan:

      Sometimes the real truth can never be known and one has to come down on one side or the other.

  4. ” Whitey cooperated with the FBI because Connolly told him it eas necessary if they were going to keep up their relationship. ”


  5. Walllllllyyyyyyyy CLEAVERRRRRRRR …. LEAVE IT TO BEAVER … A natural and irrepressible curiosity about ALL MATTERS FBI/BULGER nettles the head, as JOHN NAIMOVITCH did wear that CROWN OF THORNS.

    COUNSELOR : WHO SET HIM UP? ???? Not buying State Trooper Tom Foley as the principal progenitor of his persecution, and prosecution with Trooper Foley being the hapless pawn of Agent Mattioli. Did John ever suspect anyone else of having colluded with the FBI you rightly assevered everyone was terrified of at the time, in the Norfolk County DA’S OFFICE ???

    Were your noble efforts being undermined even in your own house ??? WHEN I SMELL A RAT I DRILL DOWN . I know this is a very painful subject for you ; yet you raised it. And now your tergiversations belaboring whether or not James Bulger was an Informant raise spectres.

    When you basically say that John Naimovitch ” covered for his guys as usual ” on the ” OPPORNOCKITY TUNES BUT ONCE ” blown VENETIAN RESTAURANT ABE SARKIS SURVEILLANCE, you open the manula folder, but we suspect do not disclose all its contents. Yes, apparently John was himself the TARGET OF THOSE TERRIBLE AND WILY FEDS at that point. But the FBI BOGEYMAN explanation leaves a lot still unexplained. NORFOLK ADA, YOUR, OFFICE. was the ORIGIN OFFICE of that Investigation. YES 🙂

Comments are closed.