Blogging About Whitey Bulger Means I Have To Venture Into Other Subjects During These Dog Days of the Trial

I got a little off topic because of the Annie Dookhan matter which I expect will happen on occasion. The results of Dookhan’s alleged actions are dire.  I’ve been able to see that the DAs are aware of this.  It looked like the higher-ups in the Commonwealth were giving it the head in the sand approach but now they seem to have paid attention.  I’m at a loss as to the SJC’s seeming indifference to this possible calamity in the criminal justice system.

I’m bothered by the washing of hands by everyone who should have some responsibility for insuring the drug laboratory operated properly.  Does this mean everything is going to be dumped on Annie’s lap?  We’ve seen it before with Connolly and Abu Ghraib. Strictly speaking Dookhan’s matter is not related to Whitey but in as much as it relates to the justice system and is of public interest I’ll try to stay on top of it.

Last Thursday in the Herald it was reported that there was a conference on the Probation RICO case.  AUSA Wyshak is prosecuting that case.  A schedule of future events was discussed.   Wyshak said he was scheduled to start Whitey’s case in March 2013 and he predicted a three-month trial.  (Others have said two months, I’m predicting at least five.) The judge was told by defense counsel that they’d be ready in the Probation case at some time in the fall of 2013.  It will be interested in seeing how the two cases are jockeyed into position.  At this point I don’t see Whitey’s case starting in March.

Also mentioned at that hearing was the case against the former State Treasurer Timothy Cahill.  One of the lawyers in that case is also involved in the Probation matter which is affecting the scheduling.  I’ve made my feelings known on the Probation case which I suggest is an extreme overkill.  I have the same feelings about the case against Cahill.  I will digress at times to talk about them.

Thinking about these side events, I had to consider what I intend to concentrate on in this blog.  There are several issues I am interested in addressing which are part of the Whitey Bulger era and the things that spun out of that.

There’s the Naimovich case — I want to show how the FBI’s desire to cover for Whitey produced a victim.  I want to show how the FBI co-opted the state police and used spite and jealousy to undermine a 23 year veteran.  I received a comment by a person who vacationed with Naimovich named Henderson.  Read that to get a different insight into the man so many went against.  I will show the federal investigation from the time of the affidavits to the trial where he was acquitted to show the transparent falsehood of its prosecution and the witting participants in it.

There’s Whitey himself — I’m interested in doing an examination of him from a psychological point of view (is there a reason he is like he is or is it he is simply bad to the bone).  More importantly I want to better understand the immunity issue.  Is it possible, as his attorney has suggested that Whitey had immunity?  We should understand that better.

There’s John Connolly —  I have no problem with his conviction in Boston but a great deal with the one in Florida.  But with respect to both of them, I want to examine the history of the Top Echelon Program and other actions with respect to the FBI’s lengthy involvement in criminal activities.  I’d like to figure out why the Justice Department did not step in to prevent the state from prosecuting him for his actions as a federal agent.  But most important, I want to find out whether he was operating under the protection of the U.S. executive.  One of my earliest posts suggests the executive has the right to murder people if it chooses in doing its duty.  We’ve seen it in the War on Terror and the War on Drugs.  In Afghanistan we drew up a list of 50 high level heroin dealers and planned to kill them until the Afghani government objected.

There’s the FBI —  it’s willingness to abandon Connolly is understandable.  What I want to talk about is its culture that makes that understandable.

And Billy Bulger — I want to analyze all the so-called corrupt acts he’s alleged to have committed.  I will set them out so people can make up their own minds.

And the gangsters — I want to put more flesh and bone on their victims, make them more than names.  I want to try to see how their families were affected by these killings.

Then there is the trial — I want to stay on top of the actions of counsel as we approach it.  There are two skilled counsel; Fred Wyshak for the government; J.W. Carney for the defense.  Both have excellent lawyers behind them.  It has to be a  bare knuckle, drag down, kick-in-the head type trial with no holding back.  I’ve noted I don’t see those guys going out for beers after this is over but then again, guys that good and that experienced sometimes can keep the fight in the courtroom.

I appreciate the comments I’ve received to the blog.  You give me a chance to reexamine my positions, and offer me good insights and bring up other events that seem troubling.  As you can see I have a lot to cover so if I don’t get to highlight your issues it’s not because I think them unimportant it’s just I’m trying to limit myself but please feel free to comment and chastise me where you feel necessary.  I’ll try to answer every comment — some answers will be long, others short.

The Quincy Patriot Ledger posts some of my blogs.  I have people commenting there.  Some are good and thoughtful (one comment correctly took me to task for misstating the law giving the DAs jurisdictions over murder and lucidly spelled out reasons why he believed DAs should not be in charge of homicides); others are by people who write one or two line insults which unfortunately add nothing to our knowledge.  I am not able to answer people who comment on the Patriot Ledger.  If they want to comment and add something to the discussion I suggest they comment on my blog.

When I started out I said I wanted to discuss these matters so we’d all have a better understanding of them.  I know I’ll change few minds but I simply ask you to consider my points.  I hope we can continue to do this in an amicable manner even though we differ greatly.  Let’s leave our fights in the comment section but outside when we meet have a beer.




  1. I find your depth of these issues amazing. I am a victim of Bulger and know some of the players involved. Sincerely, Paul McGonagle

    • Paul:
      Thanks for your kind words. Sorry to hear you were victimized by Whitey. He did cause a lot of harm to many people and had he not been protected by the FBI much of it might not have happened. There’s a lot more to this story than I ever realized even though I’d been in the prosecution business for many years. I appreciate you taking the time to write.

  2. Typing on my phone, so I’ll have to be brief. First, I’m curious as to what you would cite as an example of “the defense bars campaign to dirty up the Feds”. Second, I think the fact that you point to the jury being out four hours supports Mr George. In fact, I have been told they deliberated for well less than four hours, which tells most observers that they didn’t do their job very well. If there was ever a case with reasonable doubt, this was it…the fact that they found twelve people that wanted to go home early rather than look at the facts is scary…more to follow, when I don’t have to type on this bloody phone!

    • My statement about the the defense bar in the Bobby George case came from interactions with some defense lawyers and listening to some of them being interviewed. They all proclaimed Bobby’s innocence and suggested that DEA had unfairly targeted Bobby by using a bad guy to get him. Their attitude was that underhanded methods were used by the government to get Bobby to do what he did. I was pretty well convinced that they had a good defense to the charges.
      A jury being out for four hours in a case like Bobby’s tells me the governments evidence was very strong. As I noted one of the jurors who was interviewed said the tape recordings were all they needed to convict him. In my experience a quick verdict doesn’t mean they did not deliberate well but that there was very little disagreement in the jury room. It’s very rare that twelve people will agree to go home early and disregard the evidence.

  3. William M. Connolly

    Another side bar, just to set the record straight. Ann Gianelli served one year in prison. The prosecutors had recommended 18 months after a plea deal and the judge sentenced her, as I recall, to 18 months. In the plea deal she admitted to 12 counts, and the FEDs agreed to drop 141 counts of money laundering. Before the plea deal she faced a lengthy prison sentence. (I incorrectly wrote elsewhere that prosecutors had recommended 8 years and she was sentenced to 8 years. My mistake. We all make mistakes.) 2. Wyshak recommended Mrs. Congressman Tierney get probation for “laundering” or “managing” eight million dollars of her brothers’ illegal gambling empire and for pocketing $223,000 which she said was both “a gift” and money she’d “earned” and “did work for”. She admitted she was “willfully blind” which is a new crime I didn’t read about in law school. Judge Young sentenced her to 30 days in jail and 2 years probation. Howie Carr says she laundered 8 million dollars and bought a %500,000 helicopter for her brothers. The Globe today (9/27) gives details. Sne apparently paid herself $1,000 a month for ten years, I deduce that from the Globe’s article which said “most of the $223,000” was paid to her in monthly $1,000 installments. So, if most of 223,000 is about $120,000, $1,000 a month equals ten years. She testified that she wrote another $1,000 check to her mother each month and her mother wrote her back a check for $1,000 a month. So, she dodged the IRS and avoided gift taxes by getting “a gift” from her mom of $1,000 per month and another “gift” of $1,000 per month from her brothers. Nothing suspicious there, I guess!

    • Gianelli got a year sentence with six months home confinement on a bracelet according to the docket sheet.

      Mrs Tierney got a good break. Young is a good judge. I don’t put much faith in anything Howard Carr says because he’s like Jay Leno or John Stuart, an entertainer. I’d suggest the decision on Mrs Tierney’s recommendation was made at a much higher level than Wyshak. She got a month in jail and five months house arrest. She was not charged with money laundering. She was charged with aiding and abetting the filing of false returns. Couldn’t find the Globe article but then again some say that is a terrible source to rely one.

      Because some people get breaks and others don’t does not mean there is corruption. I once heard of this probation officer who was always giving breaks to people who had sponsors vouch for them. The idea of a democracy with elected leaders is that those who have relationships with those in power will get better breaks than others. Why run for office if you can’t help some people out. Who should a politician help, those who worked to put him in office, those who opposed him, or those who were indifferent.

  4. William M. Connolly

    Just one interesting sidebar: I’ve read that the man who accused Gianelli of threatening to burn down his bar had an ulterior motive. It seems that he and Gianelli were business partners or business associates of some kind. He owed Gianelli One MIllion dollars and Gianelli actually brought a civil suit in Superior Court to recover his money. Obviously, the suit was pending at the time his business associate came up with the story that Gianelli threatened arson. It would be interesting to research whether in his responsive pleadings he’d mentioned anything about arson or coercion. Anyway, Gianelli’s lawyer, of course, claimed the Feds cut deals with felons, twisted arms and forced (enticed) felons to fabricate stories (“cooperate”) to smear Gianelli with as much mud as possible.

    • All these gangsters have reasons why people are turning on them. Of course the feds cut deals. We’d still have the Mafia running Boston if the feds didn’t cut some deals. There are gangsters out there. The attitude of the defense bar seems to be there are none; or if there are the feds are dealing with the wrong ones or overcharging or causing people to fabricate stories. They put out the idea the feds are always wrong and the gangsters don’t exist. For years the defense bar argued there was no Mafia. Don’t get sucked in by the defense bar’s notion that the feds are always wrong because no matter which ones of a group of criminals the feds indict the defense bar will say they got the wrong ones. Gianelli’s story on the arson is the type of story Whitey and Stevie live by, that is the victim deserved the consequences. Look at the Bobby George case, the defense bar undertook a campaign to dirty up the feds in their prosecution of him. The case went to the jury and it was out for four hours. One juror said there was no question because the tape recordings buried Bobby.

  5. Was there a political aspect to the Connolly trial? Was W. Bulger the target?

    • No. Wyshak is totally non political. Wyshak believed that John Connolly may have had some evidence that Billy Bulger was involved with Whitey in some manner. He thought by prosecuting Connolly that Connolly would disclose such evidence.
      That is not political. It is a standard procedure used by prosecutors who try to pressure people to force them to give evidence against other people. It was done in the DiMasi case. It is a time honored method of getting evidence against people who the prosecutor believes is higher up in the chain of command.
      Wyshack used it to pressure Arthur Gianelli into pleading by indicting his wife Mary Ann. Gianeelli’s wife pleaded out and she received a one year sentence which apparently was to be served at home wearing a leg bracelet.
      Gianelli who was paying $2,000 a month to the Cheese Man Carmen DiNunzio went to trial. He was convicted along with his associates — Dennis “Fish” Albertelli, 56, and his wife, Gisele, 54, of Stow, and Frank Iacaboni, 65, of Leominster of a variety of charges, including illegal gambling and racketeering conspiracy. Dennis Albertelli and Iacaboni were also convicted, as was Giannelli, of arson, which carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in prison, for plotting to burn down the Big Dog Sports Grille in North Reading. Gianelli was convicted of attempted extortion for trying to take over Clarke’s Turn of the Century Saloon in Faneuil Hall and McCarthy’s Bar and Grille on Boylston Street, both in Boston, from 1998 to 2002.
      Some have said that Gianelli’s prosecution was politically motivated.

  6. William M. Connolly

    Ned Connolly’s point is not a narrow point; it is a broad indictment of a politicized judiciary and politicized prosecutorial offices. The much publicized personal verbal clash—a verbal shootout that was quite nasty and almost came to blows between Connolly and Delahunt, as I’ve heard the story told for decades at L-Street, YMCAs and other places; I recall the newspapers covered it—was the tip of the iceberg. It reflected long-standing animosity of twenty-years duration between Delahunt and the FBI, in fact animosity that went back to the early 1970s and preceded Connolly’s involvement with Delahunt. 2. You concede Delahunt hated the FBI, but won’t concede he hated the FBI’s top investigator, Connolly. Perhaps the milder way to say it is “Delahunt had animosity toward the Boston Office of the FBI” From this, I conclude he relished seeing local FBI agents hung out to dry; he thought they were getting their just deserts; he thought someone should be punished for gumming up his investigations, but he didn’t understand why from the FBI’s point of view they had to gum up his investigations, else he’d arrest Flemmi and Bulger and blow the whole FBI undercover operation against the Mafia. 2. Delahunt may have hired Bulger’s son because he was the most qualitied or because he wanted political favors from Bulger a powerful politician and president of U.Mass. or because he wanted to mend fences. The full story is that Delahunt was one of the Grand Inquisitors along with Congressman Lynch and Tierney who grilled Bulger when he was dragged before Congress, a veritable SAlem Witch Trial ensued. Some say, the grilling was merciless and inappropriate. Many lost all respect for Lynch and the other Massachusetts Congressman (who had previously ingratiated themselves and professed admiration for Bulger when he had power) because of it. So, it is a mischaracterization of NedConnolly’s comments to say that he said that one notorious clash led to the political and judicial persecution of Connolly and William Bulger. There were mega-political forces afoot and longstanding personal and political scores to be settled. As for Wyshak, it’s a safe assumption that he has read the Globe, the Herald’s Howie Carr, the novel Black Mass—its been revised three times—and the writings of Alan Dershowitz in the Globe and Boston Magazine, all of which falsely painted and continue to paint falsely Connolly and Bulger as demonic characters; Remember Dershowitz’s 2002 article in the Boston Magazine called Bulger the leader, “the godfather” of the Winter Hill Gang. Such scurillous, degenerate writings and opinions worked their way into Wyshak’s mind, and Durham’s before him, and Wyshak the zealot went on a rampage, trampling on the spirit of the concept Double Jeopardy. Wyshak is an ethically challenged dupe, in my humble opinion, and I’d like to know who put him up to his constitutional-defying and death-defying antics. It’s no game to put a man close to death row! Twenty years and more of jihad—recall Dershowitz’s mudslinging against Bulger and JUdge Paul Mahoney around 1990; recall Carr’s and Dershowitz’s incessant attacks on Bulger and Carr’s garroting of Connolly in his columns; recall a forty year jihad against South Boston, conservatives, and Bulger by the Globe; recall the forty year split in the Democratice party that drove most conservatives and moderates out of it or to the sidelines; look at the big picture! ask who else influenced the Federal prosecutors and Federal judges; what were the judges and prosecutors’ political connections, political proclivities; what extrajudicial junk were they reading; who were they having coffees with and playing golf with? I didn’t see any of them at L-Street in 25 years. I didn’t see any at the St. Pat’s Day Parades? I didn’t hear one of them speak up for the Veterans during the four-years (1992-1995) St. Pat’s Day parades debacle. The Connolly-WilliamBulger show trials, in the Federal Court and Congress, were plain and simple political persecution. EVen “honest” judges can be unaware of their own personal biases and subconscious biases. Viz Stearns: David Boeri consulted America’s foremost authority in recusal, and the authority said, even without knowing half the facts, that Stearns should recuse himself from the upcoming Bulger trial and that it wasn’t even a close call. Stearns is not aware of his own personal and professional biases; he is blind to them. As was Tauro, in my humble opinion. Even “honest” judges lean one way or the other politically, personally, socially. I could go on. I have “gone one” in a half-dozen books—books that nobody reads. The public persecution and politicized prosecution of Connolly and Bulger are grotesque injustices that cry out for redress: and everyone in the press and publishing houses are complicit in it or silent about it. Dave Boeri may be the sole person in the press with the integrity to ask the tough questions. Judge Napolitano on Fox News has spoken eloquently in general about prosecutorial bias and prosecutors’ “legalized extortion.” Most are asleep at the till; content to see the judicial system politicized and favoritism, ideology, and “settling scores” rule the day. On a larger scale, consider Raymond Donovan, Judge Robert Borke and the Duke Lacrosse case, and you’ll come closer to apprehending the 20-plus years jihad against Bulger, Connolly, and the more recent jihads against O’Brien (probation) and Cahill, and the federal set-up of Councilman Chuck Turner, and the inordinate sentence (seven and eight years in prison) for Dickie McDonough and Sal Dimasi (first offense, convicted of accepting $65,000 in bribes) and the leniency afforded Tierney’s wife (30 days in jail for laundering eight million dollars and failing to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in income.) Finally, on an ironic note: As I read Tierney’s cross-examination of William Bulger before Congress, I noted then that he seemed to be obsessed with and focused on asking questions related to “gambling.” At least, that is my recollection, without going back and rereading the record. But it struck me then as strange that Tierney’s family was knee-deep in off-shore gambling enterprises,and his mind seemed to be preoccupied by the subject matter. I wonder why!

    • Unfortunately you’ve got everything wrong when you talk about Delahunt. As to the rest, if the system is as bad as you suggest then there is no hope for John Connolly. I can’t disagree more with what you said or the sources you seem to rely upon.

  7. Many have asserted that the entire case against Connolly was political. If you look at the Dershowitz letter( Connolly just a cop force him to testify against Bulger) one could get that sense. But their was also a personal and professional aspect to the case. Connolly wasn’t prosecuted for personal reasons alone. I was not present when Delahunt and Connolly engaged in a public shouting match but I was told it took place. Others have said they heard the same story. But even if it didn’t happen can anyone deny the animus that existed between Connolly and Delahunt on a personal level and between the FBI and the State Police( Norfolk DA) on a professional level. In Fitzpatrick’s book he points out that in 1980 O’Donovan refused to work with the Feds or Boston Police because of possible leaks. Every law enforcement agency was blaming other police departments for compromising their investigations. This dipute explains Connolly’s 1980 report saying Delahunt and Bellotti would accuse him of leaking. Remember Connolly and Clougherty were the agents working with Sperrazza against Connors while Reagan and the State Police were protecting him. The most important financial, cultural and poitical people in the nation(the benefactors and curators of the top museums) were clamoring for his imprisonment. Plus he made the Feds look stupid on the Rembrant heist It may have been a frame job but the Establishment thoght it was required. So too was Connollys trial a frame job. 2. As for the political nature of the case one has to look at the battle within the Democrat Party for control thereof. The book “Character Assassin” by W. Connolly explores this in detail but a shorthand version is the old guard led by Gov. King, AG Quinn,Moakley, Bulger and Magee were in a struggle against the reformist branch( promoted by the media) of the party led by Dukakis, Bellotti, Delahunt and Frank. These two factions were rivals at least and more probably enemies. Do you concede that Bellotti and W. Bulger were political enemies? When W. Bulger ran the State House he essentially excluded the reformers from power and the patronage attendant thereto. This created bitter feelings. He also mocked and ignored the press where great resentment festered.He also pulled the chain of a self important, humorles law professor. Up until 1993 the reformers had no opportunity to redress this grievance but when they took over the U. S. Attorneys office their time had come. The reformers used the criminal justice system to seek their pound of flesh. Why would a neutral party observing Connolly’s 2002 trial conclude that the Feds real target was W. Bulger not the retired FBI agent? Was the Federal Court used to settle political scores? Bear in mind that Connolly’s corrupt boss Morris was let go as was the State cop Schneiderham.3. Is justice going to be done in the Whitey case? Without a change of venue it would be an impossibility. Professional wrestling is more on the level than the Moakley Courthouse. Since Whitey fled in 1995 drug use has exploded. Is there a connection? When Whitey was around the drug lab functioned honestly. A special counsel is needed to determine if political forces influenced the criminal cases 4. There is a statue in London honoring Cromwell, in Bejing one for Mao, in Moscow one for Lenin and a memorial to W. Duranty at the NYT. Are they all winners?

    • Your theory that a supposed shouting match in a barroom led to Connolly’s criminal case seems way out there. I’m surprised you use Fitzpatrick’s book as a source. Your idea that somehow Delahunt had a personal animosity against Connolly is wrong. Connolly was just another agent as far as he was concerned. Connolly’s 1980 report was to cover his butt it had nothing to do with anything beyond that. If Delahunt so hated Bulger why did he give his son a job in his office?
      I don’t see Wyshak as being involved in any political disputes among the so-called political enemies nor any support for your suggestion that the U.S. Attorney was involved with one side in a Democrat dispute over another.
      Suggesting Whitey somehow kept drug use down is plainly wrong. Read some of the books by the people who worked under him cutting him into their drug dealings.