The documentary was presented through the eyes of the victims’ families, mostly from those related to Debra Davis and Michael Donohue; from the opinions of those who wrote books on it; and through the words of the prosecutors and defense lawyers. It had Whitey talking over the phone with his lawyer, the criminal Kevin Weeks appeared as did lawyers for the Donohue’s and FBI Agent John Connolly. David Boeri’s made some presentations; court room testimony was heard as well as some witnesses.
All had a chance to throw in their two bucks worth. Those of us who have been following it closely were handed a few worthwhile gems. They were dropped probably unknowingly. These support much of what we have concluded that differs from the mainstream propaganda which we have been fed.
I’ll do my best when discussing the statements of people to be as accurate as possible. Some I will produce almost verbatim but others I summarize. There are many issues touched upon that fill in or support the picture that I have been espousing that is contrary to the accepted public version. There are other matters that need to be clarified or put into perspective. I assume it will take at least six posts to cover the topics. They will be on the Whitey days: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until I exhaust the subject (and probably your patience).
The documentary is a highly sensationalized version of the Whitey Bulger saga. It reaffirms what I have been saying. Much of what is pumped out to the public is pure fiction.
Steven “Stippo” Rakes was first up and last. Initially he spoke about the extortion of his liquor store by Whitey. No other side is presented even though Kevin Weeks the one who tells the other side is used in the documentary. Weeks has always stood by his story that there was no extortion. Weeks has said Stippo came to them wishing to sell the store, they agreed on a price, he then upped it, and it was then that they thought he was trying to stick them up. They refused to pay more.
Is that what a documentary is supposed to do, to present only one side I wondered? With Weeks as part of the documentary, why was his version omitted? It showed from the beginning the documentary was going to be slanted.
After seeing Rakes we were told that Whitey was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list; then David Boeri talked about Whitey sticking guns in people’s mouths and machine guns in their groins as if it happened often rather than once; and then Steve Davis, who would be seen most often, came in with such nonsense as – Whitey “showing body bags to people before shaking them down”; and “70 or 80 people missing every day”; and “bodies being found left and right”; and Whitey (rather than Stevie Flemmi) “pulling teeth out of the victims.” None of which was close to the truth.
Right off the bat it appeared Berlinger had no desire to tell a truthful tale. He had taken the bait laid down by the Boston media story tellers. This was going to be a regurgitation of everything they had written.
That made me pause to look up the definition of a documentary. One definition is “a non-fiction movie that in some way “documents” or captures reality.” That definition went on to say: “Documentary filmmakers are often motivated to make their films because they feel a particular story or viewpoint is not being (adequately) covered by mainstream media.” That certainly was not the case here since he was playing the same tune that we had heard over and over again.
Searching further for a definition I learned that there was no standard definition of what it is or what it should contain. A quote from Marcel Ophuls a maker of documentaries is: ” Documentaries-or whatever their directors care to call them-are just not my favorite kind of movie watching. The fact is I don’t trust the little bastards. I don’t trust the motives of those who think they are superior to fiction films. I don’t trust their claim to have cornered the market on the truth. I don’t trust their inordinately high, and entirely undeserved, status of bourgeois respectability .”
The Berlinger film went off the rail when in the middle of the movie we are presented with several minutes of Stevie Davis going around looking for Stippo Rakes who he had not been able to contact for a day or so. We ride with him through parts of Southie, see him knocking at Stippo’s door, watch him when he gets the news that Rakes is dead, listen to the speculation about his murder, and see the scene of his murder. The impression is left that his death had something to do with Whitey or the Government. It is only at the end that we are told it did not. He was poisoned in connection with something having nothing to do with the case.
Whitey, the documentary, is not supposed to tell a truthful story. It tells only that the director wanted to tell. Viewing the cast of characters he used told me where it was going. I went along for the ride, as I said, I was looking for some overlooked gems.