WHITEY: The Joe Berlinger Documentary Film: The Obligatory Bringing In of Billy

P1010306I’ve pointed out more times than you probably think necessary that the specter of Billy Bulger, Whitey’s brother, was never far from the mind of the media, people who wrote books about these matters and the prosecutors. I found support for my belief in this documentary. His name was unnecessarily brought up three times, if not directly, at least through inference.

You will note that throughout these matters involving Whitey with the numberless criminals that have been combed through by the prosecutors and investigators and with the extraordinary deals offered to some of them, there has not been any mention of Billy Bulger except in one instance. That was when John Martorano, whose testimony was totally rejected by a Boston jury, testified about it using triple hearsay.

He said that Whitey came back sometime in 1975 to the group of leading gangsters at Marshall Motors in Somerville. He had begun to associated with them in 1973. On this day he announced that he had met with John Connolly the FBI agent.

According to Martorano, Whitey told them that he met with John Connolly who told him that Billy Bulger told him to take care of Whitey. That was why Connolly agreed to give Whitey information. That garnered gleeful headlines in all the local media the next morning after that testimony.

Martorano said Whitey had to do this to protect himself. He said if any of them knew he had talked or if they saw him talking to an FBI agent that would have been the end of him. Of course we are not supposed to know that Stevie Flemmi had been doing precisely that since the mid-1960s and nothing happened to him. One had to wonder why Whitey felt the need when Stevie did not.

Anyone with the slightest awareness of the situation would understand that Martorano’s story was an impossibility. Whitey never told anyone anything that would reflect badly on Billy never mind a bunch of gangsters. No other gangster associate of Whitey, even those closest to him such as Weeks or Flemmi, ever said Whitey mentioned Billy.

Martorano created a fictitious situation. We know that Martorano under the imperative of getting the fantastic deal for his twenty murders knew the prosecutors wanted some dirt on Billy. He willingly offered it.

In the documentary two of the three mentions of Billy were from Dick Lehr, one of the authors of Black Mass, who has spent a good deal of his awake hours trying to destroy him. Each time he opens his mouth he tries to impugn him. He added nothing to the story. Early in the film he tells us Whitey was a Houdini-like crime boss and then officiously adds: “whose younger brother Billy Bulger, senate president, the most powerful politician in Massachusetts.”

Twenty minute later in the film he is shown for the second and last time. This time he pushes his fictitious story about Connolly growing up with Whitey and being in awe of his Hollywood looks (Whitey was 11 years older than Connolly. Before he was ten-years-old Connolly moved out of the area. hardly are kids 9-years-old or younger admiring the looks of guy 11 years their senior). Lehr adds to that saying Connolly had a “connection with the Bulger family.” These gratuitous additions of Billy into the Whitey story again show Lehr’s malignant mental state toward him. It taints all his writings and must be kept in mind since he proclaims himself the “expert on Whitey.”

Then, near the end, Prosecutor Brian Kelly tells us that the Whitey Bulger prosecution let the people “know that no matter how politically connected one is . . . “  the federal government will still prosecute him. The inference intended is that Billy was out there protecting Whitey.

I have often said Lehr and the prosecutors have always had a goal of trying to destroy Billy Bulger even though there is nothing other than his sibling relationship to connect him to Whitey. They keep suggesting some other type relationship. Sadly, many buy it despite the absence of supporting evidence. They should know full well if there were any we would have been showered with it.


25 thoughts on “WHITEY: The Joe Berlinger Documentary Film: The Obligatory Bringing In of Billy

  1. Matt- What was the situation with the Davis father? I thought it was a possibility that Flemmi allegedly did that one also? Do you recall that?

    1. Doubting:

      He died mysteriously according to Howie Carr shortly after Debbie took up her relationship with Flemmi which he opposed. Very little has come out about it. Something I might check into some day. Maaybe Stevie Davis would enlighten us on that.

  2. Matt, Thanks for repeatedly pointing out the malicious and fallacious attacks on President Bulger by local media and the US attorney. You could not say it enough. Especially when so many fall for what they read in a newspaper. ALL who have actually met and know the man know how evil the detractors are.

    1. Eyre:

      Thanks for noting that. It has been disgraceful how a few mendacious people could destroy a man of integrity.

  3. Matt
    The Stippo extortion is an interesting part of the saga. Its hard to tell who is lying about what really occured regarding the sale of the Market. On one hand WHY would weeks lie about what really took place when he has admitted to aiding and abetting Bulger in extorting other individuals. what would Stippo have to gain by saying he too was extorted by Bulger and Weeks? On the other hand it has been documented that part of being extorted by Bulger meant actually lying to grand juries as instructed by Bulger and Flemmi, no?

    1. Jerome:

      The way Weeks continually responded to Stippo’s assertions when it really made no difference one way or the other to him is telling. He showed a great distaste for Stippo who many in Southie seemed to have had. Stippo was boxed in on a perjury charge and he had to offer some pretty good stuff to have his prison sentence lifted so he had a lot to gain from blackening Whitey even more.
      Of course Bulger and Flemmi counseled people to lie to the grand juries to protect themselves.

      1. Matt
        Do you think Stippo is telling the truth (that he was extorted) or do you believe that Weeks is telling the truth (an admitted habitual liar too). You brought up a good point (I think) that the prosecution dropped Stippo as a testifying witness because his testimony probably differed substantially from Weeks. the hard thing to sort is “knowing” when these individuals are lying and when they are telling the truth.

        1. Jerome:

          I prefer not to talk ill of the deceased. I met Stippo a half dozen times during the trial. Once over at Castle Island in Southie. I happened to like the guy. He told me some stories about his involvement with Whitey especially how he came back shortly after his flight and how he fled the L Street Bathhouse when he saw him come in. Before I met him I heard all sorts of stories about him from guys from Southie how he was not to be trusted – even some things about his involvement with his first wife.
          Stippo’s wife at the time of the transfer of the ownership of the liquor store was the daughter of the sister of a friends of mine. Her brother I convicted of conspiracy to murder but don’t believe I knew of the relationship at the time I convicted him. He got 19 1/2 to 20 years, the maximum sentence the judge could give was 20 on a conspiracy to murder. My friends were good people as I expect their sister was but it seems the son got caught up in drugs; as for his sister I knew little about her.

          My opinion is there is a little truth in both of their stories – Weeks, though, was so adamant in persisting in his version even to the point of suffering for maintaining it makes me think the picture painted by Stippo might have been more of a prosecution hoped for story.

  4. Matt
    I look forward to the rest of your posts about the documentary. I have mixed feelings about the documentary. I do think the filmmaker needed to discuss Billy Bulger because he is part of the story. Yes it is sensationalized that the two brothers went such different paths in life but the filmmaker is as guilty as the rest of the media trying to paint billy in a bad light. I myself have been guilty of this and I think part of it is a basic lack of trust and faith in government officials. I dont know exactly what “point” the filmmaker was trying to make with the film.

    I find Steve Davis interesting, entertaining, and at times annoying but he seems like one of the few (along with the Donohues) victims who doesnt mind being on camera. I read his book and Davis indeed was a lifelong criminal and addicted to drugs at one point in his life. I imagine he feels tremendous guilt regarding the death of his very pretty and attractive sister at the hands of Flemmi. Hope you had a Great Thanksgiving

    1. Jerome:

      True, Davis loves being on camera since he had the camera man riding around with him a lot of the time. I did not know Davis had written a book. I’ll have to look it up. The thing about Davis and his family is that they all knew Debbie was involved with a top gangster and sat by and did nothing. He says she was in love with him so she put herself into that position. The strange thing is his antagonistic attitude toward Whitey when he should know he had nothing to do with her murder.

    2. Jerome:

      I disagree with you that Billy Bulger was part of the story. He never had anything to do with Whitey’s criminal activities which the story is supposed to be about. As for Lehr appearing, I hope that removes any doubt from you mind as to the vendetta he had against Billy.

      1. Matt
        Steve Davis is not credited with writing the book but you wills see he had a tremendous amount of input into the book:


        What I mean regarding Billy Bulger is that it simply has to be mentioned within the context of the story because of how powerful and influential Billy Bulger was as a politician. Sure, after extensive research one comes to the conclusion that Billy Bulger didnt “help” Whitey Bulger but he would still be mentioned simply because of who he is in relation to Whitey. Also, the fact that Billy Bulger lives right across from Steve Flemmi parents home and also not too far down the street from the murder house of Pat Nee brother.

  5. The entire world was cheered when a Galway man won the heavyweight championship. It was not unexpected to see a Hibernian beat an aged Ukrainian. Fury is the best argument against abortion that exists. He was a less than two pound pre mature baby that grew to be world champ. How many two pound infants have been killed by Planned Parenthood? Millions? The best football player extant is named Luke. The best fighter is T. Luke Fury. Is there magic in that name? 2. The film seems to be just a rehash of the false narrative the media has presented for twenty plus years. Oliver Stone type film making. His efforts were described as having contempt for history and contempt for the truth.

    1. NC:

      1. Tyson Fury is a Brit – even though he has an Irish background. Remember that many of the Black and Tans had Irish names. Please be careful what you say about Panned (you mispelled it as Planned but its incorporated name is Panned because they are against parenthood) Parenthood. If anything happens to one of their offices they will point to your statement as abetting the person who causes the trouble.
      2. No, the film is not Oliver Stone type – he at least came up with far out theories that few others accepted. The Berlinger documentary puts into film the old hash using the book writers and media cons to put the old story onto a new medium: talking pictures.

      1. Tyson Fury is a paper champion, if that performance on Saturday was his best output he is going to lose that belt fast. It was a god awful performance, even more so from Vladimir. If you follow boxing their is a young talented fighter named Anthony Joshua, remember his name because if the clause for the rematch is not picked up it will be impossible for Fury to dodge this young in shape at all times LION. Fury is out of shape and really has a bad habit of dropping his hands and trying to be a showoff. Props to him though for getting it done.

        1. Doubting:

          Ever since McNeally went down to Tyson I lost interest in the Heavy Weight championships.

          1. Matt- Who was you favorite Heavyweight when you were following great American Champions? I was curious what era you enjoyed most? Peter Mcneeley had a very bizarre documentary following him before the fight with Tyson, he was drinking booze and eating this huge cake before the fight at this party his hometown threw for him, it was one of the most bizarre things i have ever seen, i found it recently on youtube. My favorite division to watch now is the middleweights. Canelo Alvarez may be the next big thing.

            1. Doubting:

              My favorite heavyweights when real young were John L. Sullivan and Joe Louis. After them I would have to say it was Mohammed Ali. I know I should have liked Brockton’s Rocky Marciano but for some reason never warmed up to him. My favorite fighters of all time were Sugar Ray Robinson and Marvelous Marvin Hagler.

              I was joking about McNeely. A short time before he fought Tyson I went with my son to see him in a warm up match in Foxboro. He was fighting an out of shape stiff from Canada and almost lost the fight spending most of the time on one knee trying to catch his breath. He survived and on the judges card was called a winner even though he was soundly beaten.

      2. You know Planned Parenthood offers prenatal care, right? They are not against parenthood; they are against forced birth. There’s a difference. The vast majority of women (and men) who go to Planned Parenthood for health services are there for something other than an abortion. Not every Planned Parenthood medical facility even provides abortions. But acknowledging the truth of what happens there might not be part of your particular trek.

        1. Casmbridge:

          You are right. I should not have tried to make a joke out of Planned Parenthood’s name in such a way to indicate that they are against parenthood. It would have been better had I not done so. I recognize they do perform some good services for women. Even more so after the attack on their facility it is was not an appropriate time to be glib when writing about it. I stand corrected and properly chastised.

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