I truly think as strange as this may sound that the prosecutors have already won the case. I’d suggest they go back and review what they plan to do, cut it to the core and move on as rapidly as they can to the end so that the jurors will not forget what happened this week. prosecutor could rest and walk away with a big win.
The Photos. I noted before that Bobby Long got his revenge on Whitey getting away 33 years ago because he took photos and videos of Whitey hanging out with the mobsters at the Lancaster Street garage. You must conclude after viewing these that Whitey and Stevie Flemmi were together all the time and that some very despicable people kept them company like Larry Baione/Zannino and Danny Agiulos identified as Mafia bosses along with people who were top bookies. Jump and shout as much as you want about federal corruption but it wasn’t federal corruption that had Whitey hanging around with all these many gangsters. This is one thing the jurors will bring home with them. The idea as set forth in Carney’s opening, and I think the thrust of his defense, that Whitey was not connected to the Mafia is very damaged. Now all the team of Fred Wyshak, Brian Kelly, and Zac Hafer (WKH) must do is to get that old FBI tape where Zannino said: “Us and the hill are the same thing,” and that should put to rest the idea Whitey is not a vicious gangster.
The Guns: Tommy Foley the former leader of the state police showed up. He was picked on by Carney for not following up on the murders committed by Pat Nee, Howie Winter, and James Martorano. All the time Carney and he were crossing swords, a dozen or so machine guns and revolvers sat on the table in front of the judge. You couldn’t help but glance over to them at times and get the shivers. Foley spent a long time identifying guns – there were well over 50 of them along with assorted other criminal paraphernalia taken introduced into evidence through photographs aside from the ones that sat on the table staring back at the jurors. He showed they came from a hide (a closet hidden behind a wall) in a small one story enclosed gazebo-like structure behind Stevie Flemmi’s mother’s house which is separated from Billy Bulger’s house by a sidewalk that runs between both homes. Obama could adequately arm the Syrian opposition with the weapons seized.
The guns are already connected to Stevie Flemmi and both he and Weeks will come in and connect them to Whitey. In case the jury has trouble believing Whitey had a fondness for machine guns, etc., WKH showed that he had the same type weaponry seized at the time of his arrest in California from a hide in the wall. The jurors can’t help thinking over the weekend that the defendant James Bulger hung around with lots of criminals and had a fondness for machine guns.
Then Jimmy Katz stepped on the stand. I had indicted and convicted Jimmy at least two times in the past. He was one of the best bookies who ever picked up a telephone. He testified he was a bookie. Asked what his hobbies were he answers “gambling.” Here was a man who loved his work. I’ll write more about him in a later post.
Jimmy came across as a guy who was jammed in by the feds and was willing to cooperate with them to make a deal. But the real impact of his statement was he continually linked Whitey and Stevie together using their names interchangeably as if they were Siamese twins. He told how he was terrorized by them. How they changed the percentage the bookies charged from 10% to 20% – he called them the Bulger group – he said if you didn’t go along you’d end up in the hospital.
He met with Stevie Flemmi who told him not to let something happen or he’d be in trouble. He told how all the bookies he worked with had to pay a commission or rent to Whitey and Stevie or sometimes to George Kaufman who worked with Whitey and Stevie.
Jimmy’s a slightly built guy with a nice disposition as befits a bookie. I found him believable. Not at all a tough guy. The jurors took away from this that the guy in front of them was not James Bulger but was Whitey Bulger. He was partners with Stevie Flemmi and they were powerful enough to change the percentage and demand monthly rent payments and injure anyone who didn’t go along.
Then came Dickie O’Brien a life long bookie. O’Brien’s not a nice guy although his demeanor on the stand hides that. O’Brien testified how Whitey (again Whitey) and Stevie charged him rent. O’Brien first worked with the Mafia telling how he cleared it through Zannino; then he switched over to paying Whitey rent after meeting with Whitey and Stevie, Jimmy and John Martorano. He knew Whitey was in a gang war in Southie and they shot people.
But Dickie found paying them rent made them useful to him. He’d take any of his agents who didn’t toe the mark in to meet with Whitey who’d scare them into following Dickie’s orders. It was like Whitey and Stevie were working for Dickie but whatever you thought of that, there was no doubt Whitey and Stevie inspired terror in other people.
The jurors in their weekends dreams will see Guns and Gangsters, Whitey and Stevie, and Threats and Terror. All the federal corruption in the world won’t make those go away.