The FBI agent that has the information that O’Sullivan gave Whitey immunity is John Connolly. He is spending the rest of his life in a Florida prison. He is, of course, the handler of Whitey Bulger and the one who would know. His involvement with Whitey is spelled out in my book, Don’t Embarrass The Family.” In a recent interview he asserted that O’Sullivan did request a meeting with Whitey. I wrote about this and suggested there is some type of coordination going on between Whitey’s lawyers and Connolly’s lawyers. Connolly’s claim came out about the same time as Whitey’s lawyers were making their claim. That doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with those parties being in contact. If Whitey’s lawyers learned during a debriefing of Whitey that he was making that claim, they would by necessity want to verify it through Connolly. That is the only thing that makes sense. It would not have arisen as an issue until Whitey’s capture.
I mentioned yesterday the Connolly’s supervisor FBI Agent John Morris said he did not know why Whitey and Stevie were cooperating. He said he went to Connolly and asked him what they wanted in exchange for the information. He said Connolly responded all they wanted was a head start, that is to be tipped off is some charges were coming down against them so that they could flee.
Morris’s sometimes incredible testimony is spelled out in the book. How likely is it for a supervisor not to know what the deal is with a top echelon informant? How likely is it that Morris who took money, gifts, socialized and had sit down dinners with these gangsters didn’t know what they wanted and what they were doing. Weeks testified, something Morris omitted in his testimony, that right after Halloran and Donohue were gunned down by Whitey, Morris was drinking beers with Whitey discussing the murder. He told him the FBI had the plate of the car he was driving at the time.
That wasn’t bad enough. Shortly after doing that Morris went to Glencoe, Georgia to attend a course. He asked Connolly to have Whitey and Stevie come up with a thousand dollars. He wanted to fly his girlfriend, Debbie, down to Glencoe, Georgia to keep him company. They gave him the money and Connolly gave it to Debbie.
You’d understand if you listened to Morris testify or read his testimony in my book that he was play acting. He testified Whitey called him Machiavellian. To my way of thinking, he’d have to have been pretty devious and conniving for Whitey to pin that tag on him. Yet he acted in his testimony like a six-grade boy playing junior G man. He said he didn’t know he was taking bribes when he was getting cases of wine and money from Whitey. He put the whole relationship on Connolly and portrayed himself as a child strapped in a car seat in back of the car during the ten-year ride.
Morris was in a bind. He was up to his neck with his sordid dealings with Whitey. He tried to have him killed by leaking he was an informant. When Flemmi testified he had carte blanche from the FBI to commit any crime he wanted except murder, Morris figured out what he had to do that to get his deal from the prosecution team. He knew the prosecutors had to rebut Flemmi’s testimony. Morris said he’d deny that was the deal if the feds didn’t prosecute him and let him keep his pension.
The feds had no choice. The problem is Morris testified he really did not know what the deal was other than that one time conversation with Connolly about the head start. No one believes that. In fact, the feds charged Connolly with a RICO violation precisely because they alleged that he gave them a head start. Morris said Whitey and Stevie were Connolly’s informants and he never dealt with them on his own.
Morris’s denial of knowledge was helpful in the prosecution of Connolly in Boston. Now, in the prosecution of Whitey, his attempt to shift the whole knowledge of the deal between Whitey and the FBI onto Connolly’s shoulders is backfiring. He testified he depended on Connolly to deal with Whitey. He never met him alone. He is unable to testify the meeting between O’Sullivan, Connolly and Whitey never took place.
There are three people able to do this, one of them has died and two will come in and tell all about it. The two witnesses before the jury will say O’Sullivan gave Whitey immunity; the other witness’s testimony is in a transcript. It is confusing and contradictory. In the normal course of things, a live witness will beat the reading of the contradictory testimony of an absent witness.
Whitey’s lawyer J.W. Carney and his associate Hank Brennan will make mince meat of O’Sullivan’s denial. Initially, they will note that he had no valid explanation for indicting five of the seven leaders of the Winter Hill gang and not indicting Whitey and Stevie, who he knew were murderers. They’ll show O’Sullivan admitted that both Morris and Connolly asked him not to indict them but denied that was why he did it. They’ll point out how foolish he’d look if that were the case — not indicting two murderers because a couple of cops ask you not to do it. They’ll use that to show that O’Sullivan had hoped his deal with Whitey would never become public and now that it had, he tried to walk away from it but none of his explanations hold up.
Here’s the nub of the issue as I see it. O’Sullivan was a federal prosecutor during the years in issue. From 1973 through 1989 he was with the New England Organized Crime Strike Force as a special attorney, assistant U.S. attorney, and as chief attorney. These were the years when Whitey and Stevie Flemmi were top echelon informants for the FBI and wreaking havoc with one and all throughout the area as if they were immune to prosecution. There are FBI reports showing O’Sullivan urged the Boston agent in charge to keep them as informants. O’Sullivan denial of doing that will also weaken his other denials because 302 reports indicating that at the time exist. O’Sullivan’s denial before the Congressional committee is hard to believe when everything is lumped together and two witnesses will testify against him.
The Congressmen confused by O’Sullivan’s testimony,wanted to know what he did to go after Whitey and Stevie who were the leaders of this organized crime game when he was the leader of the Strike Force. He said two things. Both don’t hold up. I’ll talk about them tomorrow.