Whitey Weekend Wrap – Week Ending July 12, 2013

benji ditch 1The witness most jurors will remember if any seek to look back on the week is Anne Marie Mires. She was the forensic anthropologist of whom some who had not seen her testify questioned her qualifications because, as they said, she’s been fired by the Medical Examiner’s Office. However if you listened to her clear testimony as presented by Fred Wyshak you’d have no question at all about her expertise or excellent ability to present her testimony. She was present at the location of the six bodies pointed out by Kevin Weeks were unearthed. It was compelling testimony taking a full day and into the next day. There is no doubt that she recovered, examined the remains, and identified them as belonging to Arthur ‘Bucky’ Barrett, John McIntyre, Deborah Hussey, Thomas King, Paul McGonagle and Debra Davis.

There was no cross-examination of her, yet during her testimony, at time, there were objections when she’d suggest others concurred with her. I didn’t understand this. I know she was technically not supposed to bring in the opinions of others but since this was an issue in the trial that was not being contested why demand absolute purity of testimony.

Although visions of body parts will float through the jurors minds, they will also recall the major witness implicating Whitey in the crimes, Kevin Weeks. The jurors won’t like him seeing him as a hot head when he offers to take Carney out in hallway and see what happens if he calls him a rat and also with the ‘FU’ exchanges with Whitey but they are also going to think that Whitey and Weeks chummed around together and that Whitey used him as his pit bull. What kind of guy is this Whitey that he has a mad dog as his daily companion – yes, daily companion as Carney stressed to the jury.

Carney wanted to put them a close as the two insides of a peanut butter sandwich to show Weeks never saw anything that would lead him to believe Whitey was an informant which he needed to gain to salve Whitey’s ego. That closeness also shows that those pesky bodies Dr. Mirer talked about, which Weeks led the police to, had to have arrived there courtesy of the two amigos.

Carney did a good job showing Weeks was quick to flare up, well paid for his evidence, an admitted liar, and ignorant of Whitey being a rat but he walked away from – well not so much walked away – he never got within a city block of the evidence about the giant elephant in the room, the murders.

Weeks testified to the murders of Halloran and Donohue being gunned down on the waterfront and the same masked man in the back seat – to Whitey shooting Bucky Barrett and John McIntyre in the head at  the house at 799 – to Deborah Hussey’s murder “I was glad when I heard she was coming to house – didn’t like being in house – felt I could be next – with a woman coming nothing would happen – came down stairs saw Jim choking her on the floor – took four minutes.”

Then he added in Jim’s admission to being involved in murdering John Callahan, Paul McGonigle, Eddie Connors, Tommy King, Spike O’Toole, Joe Notarangeli, and Debbie Davis. Weeks dropped ten murders on Whitey’s lap and Carney let the jury stare at them and in effect saying, “yeah, Weeks said he did all those, but don’t believe him, he’s a liar who got a good deal to lie.” 

The jurors have also heard another liar Martorano connect Whitey to the murders of Callahan, Connors, King, O’Toole and Notarangelli. There too I guess the only defense will be to say the same thing.  But aren’t the jurors going to think if all these people are being murdered by Whitey’s best friends (and we’ll still hear from Benji Ditchman tying him into these) isn’t Whitey involved in them. Or are they to believe Whitey is like Pat Nee. Weeks puts Pat at the scene of some murders but just before the murder happens he tells us Nee goes out and gets a submarine sandwich.

We also heard from the guy who stored the guns for Weeks. Weeks tied those guns to Whitey. They were left on the table to remind the jurors of the fire power Whitey’s friends had.

The other witnesses were a couple of drug dealers (Anthony Accardo and Paul Moore) who told us what we already knew that you had to pay Whitey if you wanted to do drugs in Southie or else you would be hurt. Then a bookie (Kevin Hayes) came in and said he received the same message about his booking.  Accardo and Hayes also told us how they had money extorted from them because they violated Whitey’s Rules of Order. It seems unnecessary to have these individuals testify to these discrete incidents because all the criminals who have testified have told us that to do business without being hurt you had to pay Whitey. It was one grand and glorious extortion scheme.

The defense team were able to show that Whitey only let cocaine and marijuana into Southie while keeping all the bad drugs out. I thought of all the guys under Whitey who did heavy time for dealing in cocaine. I thought of the people I had prosecuted for that crime. I recalled how in Massachusetts you could get a minimum mandatory of 15 years for what Whitey did. Carney presenting this as a benefit to the neighborhood is not going to find anyone buying into it.

It is now clear to me that team Carney and Brennan (C&B) have the date of November 23, 1984, firmly fixed in their mind.  Perhaps it was Connolly’s trial in Miami that gave them that idea. It was on that date in Miami that Doug Flutie threw his Hail Mary pass. That’s all that is left for C&B – the fiction  suggestion that AUSA Jeremiah O’Sullivan gave Whitey a pass that allowed him to do all these things.

It was a good week for the prosecutor tying in the guns again, getting in the rest of the murders without contest, having some bickerings over issues that don’t matter much, and showing the fine work of their experts in identifying the bodies. This on top of last weeks puts the prosecutors way ahead.

Yet it is still theirs to lose. Perhaps Benji Ditchman will turn it all around and put it back in the hands of the defense team. Believe me, he can do it. If I were on the prosecution team I’d leave him where his name suggests he lives and not have him foul the courtroom.

16 thoughts on “Whitey Weekend Wrap – Week Ending July 12, 2013

  1. Hi folks:
    ~ Hi MTC9393 and all,

    Another naïve question, or seven…Actually Anonymous’ and Ernie’s posts above regarding “Cathy” reinvigorated a thought of mine that has been nagging.

    1.)How “political” are the courts? Some attorneys?
    2.)How “politicized” is this case?
    3.)Why would Catherine Greig choose an appellate lawyer (Dana Curhan)who advertises his ties to Romney (look at his cv on his website – photo of him with Mr. and Mrs. Romney)?
    4.)Was she thinking that if Romney became President her attorney would have more “juice” to sway the court or pull strings?
    5.)Given Curhan’s ties to or affiliation with Romney and the outcome of her sentencing appeal being so flatly denied in stark and utter contrast to the sentencing the courts gave confessed multi-killers, could “politics” in fact, have been at play there?
    6.)Was the court against her attorney for his politics? Or, for hers?
    Or both? Or,
    7.)Was her attorney the type to allow his own “politics” to consciously or subconsciously affect him such that she did not get zealous representation on her sentencing appeal?

    Thanks – I can’t help but always think that courts are far more politicized than they let on to be…because if the courts let all those killers off so easily in concert with the deals the feds made, then the courts have become nothing more than the feds’ rubber stamp, and therefore, no longer an independent branch.

    1. ~` Alex,

      I suggest much of what you’re asking about is explained by the phenomenon, “Bulger hysteria”, a phrase coined by Attorney Robert Jubinville in a TV interview. In a nutshell, anything Bulger-related gets extraordinary media coverage. That coverage causes all bureaucrats, including judges, to act differently and to cover their asses by taking extraordinary steps to make certain the media cannot criticize their actions. It’s all part of the POOF cycle. It feeds on itself. I think it is political only to the extent bureaucrats are driven to extremes by the media and the rule of law suffers.

      The Greig matter is a good example. She was prosecuted for conspiracy to harbor a fugitive. That’s a relatively lowly charge, yet she was prosecuted by the head of the US Attorney’s entire Criminal Division. Carmen Ortiz attended all Grieg hearings, the alleged victims of Bulger were allowed to curse and denigrate her in court, and the media recorded it all to sell through their outlets. Everyone involved in Greig’s prosecution from judge down to the Marshalls were acting out of the ordinary for the media. The sentencing judge, Douglas Woodlock, lost his head the most. He tripled Probation’s recommended sentence for Greig. Woodlock’s lifetime appointment is purposefully designed to let him rise above political winds and hysterias. He grossly violated his oath.

      Dana Curhan is known as a very effective appellate attorney. He’s ethical and represents clients vigorously, regardless of political affiliations. If anything, his connections to Republicans should have been an advantage to Greig’s case. Federal judges are most heavily influenced by fear of the media. If the judges aided with republican making a cogent legal argument on behalf of Mrs. Greig, that should have given them some appearance of impartiality to protect them from the media. Unfortunately, the power of Bulger Hysteria prevailed over the law.
      Sadly, many other people have suffered under Bulger Hysteria, too. Greig’s twin sister and niece were POOFED. Kevin Weeks arranged for them to take phone calls from Cathy Greig while she was on the lam with Bulger. Then Weeks turned around and testified against them under immunity. In turn, they received disproportionately harsh sentences. In fact, all three women received harsher sentences than some murderers who are lifetime criminals.
      So, that’s how I think justice gets turned on its head in Boston……fear of the media. Politics only come into play further down the line.
      P

      1. ~` Good points patty. Where r the women’s groups on this. The women in this saga are treated worse than martorano and weeks.
        The choices made seem arbitrary and not made with justice being the priority.

      2. ~` Thank you, Patty, I needed another angle on it. Got it. Confidence restored in her representation, questions put to rest on that end. A personal “Vote of no confidence” remains for me with respect to her sentencing though.

        Your comment, however, about Weeks is most intriguing. If it is true that Kevin Weeks arranged for the women to take phone calls while the Bulgers were on the Lam and then testified against them while he was immunized, then Kevin Weeks would have had knowledge of Bulger’s general whereabouts or at least be in the position of having a potential lead that could find him, no? Given Weeks’ close relationship and immunity with the feds, is it possible that they actually had Weeks do that to try to locate the Bulgers? In other words, was Weeks serving as an immunized informant at that time for the FBI in order to assist the Feds with respect to “keeping tabs on” and/or locating Mr. Bulger? Which begs another question, if so, and those calls were arranged early on by Weeks when he was in such capacity…than wouldn’t the FBI have had access to or general knowledge of the Bulger’s whereabouts back then or at a minimum a good starting point to trace or track it? If those calls occurred, say anytime before 2011, why did it take so long to find him again?

        If the government had entered into an “informant or immunized” relationship with Weeks, and if the government had that information or reasonable access to it by virtue of its relationship with Weeks, but then failed to act on it, could the victims families sue both Weeks and the government under an “agency” theory in a civil suit arguing that the government was negligent?

        I saw the clips of the Donahue Family speaking and noted with interest that it was C&B who were the ones that extracted the apology from Mr. Morris (of all people. go figure.) I can’t imagine the utter frustration – and downright betrayal – that that family feels with respect to how their government has treated them and continues to treat them, and the Davis and Hussey families too. And the Wheeler family…and all the families. Thank God Mrs. Donahue is the tough cookie she appears to be, is authentic about her feelings about things, has the strength to squarely look the culprits (plural)in the eye…and has the courage to tell like it is…from an angle none of us can ever really understand.

    2. Alex:

      Answers to your questions of the other day:

      1. As to political courts: Courts are made up of humans. And, so are the members of the bar. So best answer is it depends.
      2. This case has been prejudged years ago by all the books – the judge is doing a good job to be fair – she doesn’t have to be because there are already appeal court decisions deeming Whitey guilty so anything she does will be upheld – the prosecutor Wyshak seems more like a crusader.
      3. She had Kevin Reddington as a trial lawyer – can’t figure out why she pled guilty – Curhan is a good lawyer to have.
      4. Doubt she thought other than that Curhan would give her a good appeal representation.
      5. See # 2 – lawyer didn’t matter – all in the case connected to Whitey are POOF – they can’t be helped in the court system.
      6. Court does not like POOF.
      7. Attorney on the level – most will be and be concerned with client’s interest first and leave politics out – Curhan did a good job – but had no chance – the POOFing made it impossible.

    1. Whiyey tried. Said he would plead guilty to everything if they let Greig go. The feds said screw.
      I know. It doesnt make sense

    2. I disagree with Anonymous. No more cut deals hiding facts!!! Let James Whitey Bulger tell his side of the story, and spare no names and no feelings. Trooper Robert Cerra agrees with me on that, as I recall his Newton Tab op-ed piece. (2) Talk about Rats!!! Begin with Howie Carr, the biggest rat mouth of them all; a true rat face. Rat’s too good a name for him, Weeks, Martorano, Flemmi, Salemme, Morris the other serial murderers and drug pushers: I’d call them Vermin or lower than pond scum, because they’ve led lives knowingly, intentionally, pre-meditatively hurting people. (3) Like Matt said long ago, they think because they went to confession all is forgiven: they’ve made no amends, we can see; and they continue to walk, strut and talk like the criminally minded bully boys they’ve always been. (4) I should stop throwing stones, but when you’re dealing with people who’ve killed your friends and neighbors and friends’ relatives and assassinated their characters, it’s tough not to. I’ll make an Act of Contrition before Mass & Communion tomorrow. (5) THIS FROM TODAY’S Cape Cod Times: “Patricia Donahue did get one answer in (to Carney’s questions, as the judge sustained Wyshack’s objections; The Fix is in again: Here’s Patricia Donahue’s one answer: “I don’t understand why all these people that were involved in my husband’s death are walking around like nothing ever happened. I don’t think it’s fair and I don’t understand why the government lets that happen.” Associated Press Sat July 13, 2012, by Denise Lavoie; reprinted in Cape Cod Times, p. A7., July 13, 2012. We don’t understand it either.

  2. Peter Gelzinis notes the following in his Sat. 7/13/13 article in the Herald. It appears that someone in MSM is getting it.
    “Carney and his co-counsel, Hank Brennan, have, with uneven success, assumed a kind of whistleblower strategy. The idea is to remind the jury at every opportunity that Whitey Bulger was a gangster who killed people, extorted bookies, shook down drug dealers, and went about his criminal business under the full care and protection of the federal government.
    Is that a winning strategy? No. Has it unnerved the trio of assistant U.S. attorneys trying this case? Absolutely.
    – See more at: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/columnists/peter_gelzinis/2013/07/gelzinis_her_hatred_for_whitey_bulger_only_eclipsed#sthash.hIBfDmKE.dpuf

  3. Matt: the New York de facto pardon of Massino shows the FEDs do conspire with killers to allow them to get away with murders. Also, in grading the trial, I talked with a lifelong friend, not a lawyer, but political science major with minors in literature and music (or vice versa) who says some good may have come out of this extravagant travesty of a trial: We know all know how corrupt the FBI and DOJ are. He’d give zero points and a flunking grade to the prosecution’s parade of serial killers and serial liars. He asked me rhetorically, “How can you believe one word that comes out of these career criminals’ mouths.” So, I”d give the prosecution a big fat F-minus for their last dozen years work working with serial killers and known perjurers. The defense I give a solid B+plus. The B.C. team (Brennan-Carney; beauty before age) have done a good job with the bad hand they’ve been dealt.

  4. Another deal made by the Feds:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/11/nyregion/Judge-Commutes-2-Life-Sentences-for-Mob-Boss-Joseph-Massino-Who-Became-Informer.html?src=recg

    I guess Massino’s cooperation has been instrumental in the NYC cases, and maybe he’s too old and made too many enemies to go back into that life. But it sure makes you wonder: be a lifelong criminal (and the last old school mafia godfather in the late 90s and early 2000s; who was also among the major players in the Bonnanno wars of the late 70s and early 80s when Joe Pistone infiltrated the family, wars in which he helped orchestrate the plot that resulted in the deaths of Alphonse “Sonny Red” Indelicato, Dominick “Big Chin” Trinchera, and Phillip “Lucky” Giaconne), serve 10 years, cooperate, and leave a free man.

    Thoughts?

    1. And the judge called Massino ” the most important cooperator in the modern history of law enforcement efforts to prosecute the American Mafia.” Something like being the Decider and Chief, I imagine.

    2. Jon – I think it is crazy.. I think they milked the health card which could or could not be valid. But as far as cooperating I think he has really told the truth even though in my eyes he should be in jail for life, bloody hell he was a blink away for being up for the death penalty, so he must have blabbed some verbal gold AND backed it up. 10 years though wow not enough at all.

      1. I agree Doubting. As William says, it’s a “de facto pardon”. At the very least though, I hope that he did indeed give up some “verbal gold”.

Comments are closed.