Whitey Wasn’t An Informant – Put That In Your Pipe And Smoke It!

IMG_3933A  lot of you who have struggled along with me in this blog know at some point early on as we developed a better insight into matters when I tried to throw of the fetters that bound me to a certain way of thinking and approach the story of Whitey’s life anew, going back to the earliest days.

Doing that I found much that we had been told by certain authors that was plainly untrue. These authors, and their minions in the press and Department of Justice, had bought into a story about Whitey that simply did not stand up to close scrutiny. I pointed this out as I proceeded to tell the life of Whitey based upon my background in some of these matters and from independent sources that I could find.

Writing it I came upon two truths I was pretty certain about: Flemmi was an informant of the FBI since the early 1960s up through the early 1990s; and the FBI’s records as to who are informants do not truly reflect a person’s status.

Morris confirmed the latter point today. He said people are not told they are informants, he knows of no case where an FBI agent ever took that “pink sheet:, the sheet that’s on top of an informant’s file and showed to an informant. I suggested in the past that there could be an informant file on all of us and we would not know it.

I pointed that out specifically with respect to the time in 1971 when FBI files showed FBI Agent Dennis Condon opened Whitey as an informant and closed him three months later as not being productive. I suggested without being sure that it was likely Whitey had no idea Condon did that. Now Morris confirmed that was most likely true.

Think of that a second. You can be listed on the FBI files as an informant and not know about it. You can be opened and closed on the files and not know about it. It’s all on paper and has no relation to actual facts. Which makes it crystal clear why the FBI has a saying: “If it’s not in writing it doesn’t exist” because the corollary of that is “If it is in writing it exists.” Therefore the FBI can make you an informant whether you are or not. Not only that it can put in your file 209 reports of information you passed on to them even if you never did.

The other thing I was certain of when going back through Whitey’s life was that Flemmi was an informant for Paul Rico, Dennis Condon and then John Connolly without interruption from the Sixties. I went through what happened back then to show that this was so. Flemmi would admit to the court that he was an informant.

One thing I struggled with in writing his life’s story was the question how did Whitey become an informant. Black Mass had the ludicrous story of Connolly meeting him at the beach and bringing him on board to help the FBI with the Mafia. I noted how little sense that made. He knew nothing about the Mafia. I also noted the authors skirted around the question how Whitey told Stevie Flemmi he as an informant.

Howie Carr was bright enough to know that didn’t fit. He came up with a theory that Whitey became an informant because the FBI agents knew some day his brother would be a big shot and could get them jobs. He too blurs how one guy told the other.

I couldn’t figure it out but since I assumed he was an informant. Yet within me I kept trying to envision a circumstance where one top hoodlum who was an informant would tell another top hoodlum that fact and on top of that convince the other to become and informant too. It just doesn’t happen.

But there was his informant file and everyone knew he was an informant so assuming he was one was easy. Right now I don’t remember how I worked it out but I was never comfortable with it.

I never entertained the idea he wasn’t an informant. Never gave that possibility a thought. But if I did, as I am now doing, I can see that what I could never envision occurring might not have happened. It is easier to believe Whitey was not an informant than that he was , because it never made sense Flemmi telling Whitey he’s been a rat since the Sixties and saying won’t you be my partner in ratting out people

Everyone struggled with, well some just ignored it, the unlikely fact that the two leaders of a criminal gang would both be informants. We believed because the FBI had informant records on them it was true. We never thought it may not be true. But after listening to Brennan’s cross-examination of Morris today where he has shown so much information in Whitey’s informant file was almost identical to information that existed in previous files, then I’m left to wonder whether Whitey was an informant.

If he wasn’t the consequences are enormous.

15 thoughts on “Whitey Wasn’t An Informant – Put That In Your Pipe And Smoke It!

  1. jon,
    im not convinced that the winter hill had no reach beyond the greater Boston are, since the race fixing of the 70’s was all up and down the east coast and the jai lia , callahan murder was not in mass, But yes the italian mob was much more powerfull than them but they were def no errand boys!

    1. PATZE

      Winter Hill did reach a little bit beyond Eastern Mass but it was mostly a local gang. Had no influence in Springfield or Providence unless it went through the Mafia. It really was a group of low lifes willing to kill other people. Never really took on any other group after the gang war of the Sixties in which it played a role. No errand boys as you say but nickle dime when it came to the Mafia with whom it was in league.

  2. I think it was just win at all costs. I never understood why people thought he wasn’t a rat? If he would murder innocent people, extort civilians, tarnish his family name, He would most certainly rat on his enemies and partners (whitey has no friends). I personally think John Morris needs a good smack in the mouth. A full blown filthy former fbi alcoholic who wanted to be a gangster. check the paperwork on Martorano’s winery, Morris is probably on the payroll.

    1. Doubting,

      Random question given our past back and forth on the Frenchman. You said he and his crew moved heroin and cocaine in the Fall River area. Any sources on this? Where did they get their supply?

      1. JON- Factually speaking as far as THE FRENCHMAN goes he profited from everything, Mello was #2 under him. when I refer to his crew im referring to Mello and his soldiers/associates, Had a nice operation going as far as drugs and bringing them in through the port for tempest fisheries, believe it was 5 fishing vessels bringing in weed, coke, heroin. Mello was a heavy duty drug addict (heroin). I can only come to the conclusion THE FRENCHMAN was getting tribute, but he did not last in Fall river long he was in by 95 out by 96 I believe. I really need to get Frenchman’s book. Mello is out of jail now , word is he cooperated for an early release. If you have anything else Jon let me know.

        1. Thanks Doubting. Ouimette went away in 1995. His book is very self-serving and he likes to rant against informants and the FBI (in a sense he’s part of our crew!) The title “What Price Providence?” is meant as a kind of accusation against all the guys over the years who chose to inform, as if to say, at what price did you sell our omerta principles to the Feds? He was one of the few who did not compromise.

          At any rate, it does give a lot of detail about underworld activity that I found very valuable. Stuff about relationships and who knows who and how things worked. Like the time he was hanging with Larry Baione in Boston and Baione heard he had recently met with Neil Dellacroce of the Gambinos and got excited and told the Frenchman to send his regards to Dellacroce the next time he saw him. Shows you that the underworld really was a society unto itself and the mob families and satellites around the country were interconnected and these guys really did know each other.

          Contrast that with the Winter Hill crew which as I understand it had no reach beyond Boston. This lends support to Matt’s view of the killing of Richard Castucci, that it was ridiculous to think that Martorano and his crew would scare three guys from the NY mafia who came to collect on the Castucci debt. Or Martorano’s view that Callahan would take over Jai Alai and pay Winter Hill for protection from the mob. Even if NELCN was hurt badly in the late 80s, the Italian mafia was always more powerful because of its national reach.

          1. Jon- great feedback pal, just a quick story , did you ever here Neal Dellacroce explain to Gotti Sr’s idiot big mouth soldier quack quack Ruggerio about having to turn fbi tapes over to Paul Castellano . it is entertaining to hear this old dying man tell this guy how to be a stand up guy it basically shows you in that tape that omerta was dying along with NEAL Dellacroce.

    2. Doubting:

      I’ve no doubt Whitey would rat out his friends if he had to but what if he didn’t have to do it. What if he got all the protection he wanted just for paying some money. I’d still say he’d be tempted to undermine others as you have suggested. The case is geting more complicated. Going to be hard to find 12 jurors who will think he’s a rat especially if they come to the case with an open mind.

      1. Doubting: I’ve listened to those tapes. “That’s what you don’t understand. The boss is the boss.”

        Matt: your coverage has been masterful. I have found it rare to discover passionate but fair-minded inquiries into highly charged cases like the Bulger saga. You are parsing through this case like a true professional and I admire your work. It has been enormously helpful to me in understanding the intricacies of this history and has forced me to ask questions I might not have done on my own. It is hard to find a knowledgeable mind with a lust for the truth, that is equally passionate and dispassionate about a very complicated and highly charged case, and it is truly refreshing.

        PAT2E: thanks for the comment. It’s a good point.

        1. Jon:

          Thanks but I can only do it because of people like yourself who chip in and keep me on the straight and narrow.

  3. Another question: unless the dinners and other social occasions with Vino and Connolly were fiction, Whitey at some point would have to have known Stevie was an informant. How could he then pretend that he was not an informant? Maybe because he always knew he had nothing to give compared to what Stevie had? So then Stevie was the rat and Whitey was along for the ride, only having to come up with a few G notes for Vino every now and again to get inside info on Operation Beans and the like. But then, isn’t Whitey guilty of associating with a rat? How could he not know Stevie was a rat? And how did it in fact happen that Whitey and Stevie came to team up? They were just two peas in a pod?

  4. Matt,

    You just articulated exactly the thought that went through my mind when I read Black Mass – is it really possible that one gangster asks another when they should partner up as informants? And I accepted it as true because this was as conventional as conventional wisdom gets.

    One question though: since we’re saying Morris is a Machiavellian liar, why are we to
    give credence to his testimony now? Because he’s under oath? You might have already discussed independent corroboration of this claim, but I’m forgetting it.

    1. Jon:

      He lies when he’s at risk. When he tells things that do not affect him directly he will give the truth. The oath doesn’t matter one way or the other. When he was questioned by the FBI OPR he was put under oath and lied. I think that is how his testimony should be examined. I think he’s lying about how much money he got from Whitey because that hurts him; if he’s talking about FBI procedures he is probably telling the truth. If he knows he can be shown to lie he will tell the truth. With respect to O’Neill I credit his testimony because he thinks O’Neill is his friend. I’m sure he would not deliberately injure that friendship intentionally so he probably felt telling the truth was no big thing but he doesn’t see the big picture there.

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