Book Sunday – Betrayal – The Reader Betrayed

FBI Agent Fitzpatrick wrote about his time as an ASAC in Boston along with some other things he did in his FBI career.   He’s suggests that even though he’s Irish, he’s not Boston Irish indicating that there is something wrong with the latter.  After finishing his book, being Boston Irish I thought to myself, “thank God that he isn’t Boston Irish.  He has a lot of problems.”

Fitzpatrick’s book reminds me of my grandmother, Ma Rogers, who went to my commissioning exercise at Boston College.  She was so proud of me when I paraded by with my fellow officers in our dress whites.  She told everyone, “You should have seen them march.  Matty was the only one who was in step.”

It seems when Fitzpatrick was in Boston as the assistant agent in charge everyone else in the FBI was out of step with him.

I have lots of problems with the book which I will address over time but the biggest problem is I find it difficult to believe much of what he says because he takes credit for something I know he almost nothing to do with.

Fitzpatrick writes that he came to Boston in the spring of 1981, I figured sometime in April or May.  He arrived just as the wiretap on the headquarters of the local Mafia leader, Gerry Angiulo, which ran from early January to mid-April, was wrapping up.

Angiulo had been targeted by a Boston FBI unit that worked through the late ’70s developing evidence against him.  In 1980 Federal Strike Force assistant US attorney O’Sullivan (who Fitzpatrick constantly knocks) and the FBI agents in FBI Supervisor John Morris’s group  gathered evidence against Angiulo.  Agent Ed Quinn wrote the affidavit for warrant that allowed an electronic listening device (bug) to be put in Angiulo’s office at 98 Prince Street.   The three and a half months of interceptions provided the evidence which led to Anguilo’s indictment, arrest and incarceration

It took a little over two years before he was arrested in September 1983 because of the need to transcribe the tapes and present the matter to the grand jury.

Fitzpatrick had nothing to do with gathering the evidence.  All  the interceptions were done before he arrived in Boston.  Fitzpatrick claims he arrested Angiulo.  That may be so although others have also made the claim.

In making the arrest, Fitzpatrick performed a ministerial function. Yet, in writing about his time in Boston he takes credit for destroying Anguilo’s Mafia operation in Boston.  It’s like a secretary claiming credit for a Pulitzer prize novel because he typed it.

Here he is writing about it.

The LCN case fell under my domain and I was determined to bring down the Angiulo mob through traditional means and technical assistance, not relying at all on the bogus intelligence supplied by Bulger.

But I had more important things on my plate than [Whitey].  I was in the process of organizing the last remnants of the takedown (sic) of the Boston Mafia.  Gennaro Angiulo, the head of the Boston mafia, had run the Boston mob for a generation . . .

He tells how he arrested him.  After putting him in the car he gives him his rights and tell him that they have “your voice on the tapes.”   He writes, “This was an allusion to the years of clandestine, court-ordered wire recording of his house where he’d discuss the “secret” of his criminal enterprise”  He shows how little he knew of the investigation.  The wire recordings didn’t go on for years.  Most importantly, the bug was not at Anguilo’s home but at 98 Prince Street, his office.

(He’s out celebrating the arrest of Angiulo with his fiancée’ in the North End.  He said both have a bit of trepidation eating at that restaurant because Angiulo operated out of the North End? )  Referring to the arrest he says, “I had accomplished a great portion of what I’d set out to do upon coming to Boston, and was understandably gratified that in this OC “leg” of my assignment I’d pulled off what would have been impossible prior to my arrival.”

He’s talking about the SAC Greenleaf and the head of the Organized Crime section in DC McWeeney.  “The  fact that my squad had taken down Angiulo in  spite of Bulger, not because of him, left them with no cover and further complicated their plight”

On and on he writes about it.

“An unintended consequence of my squad’s takedown (sic) of mob boss Jerry Angiulo was a sudden void in the drug distribution market.

“My squad’s takedown (sic) of the Boston Las Cosa Nostra which had begun with my arrest of the underboss Gennaro Anguilo . . .”     

How do you believe anything this man writes?

But this is only the tip of the iceberg.  More to come on Sundays.




  1. I was a little unclear on my previous comment, thinking you would read between the lines…my fault. My point is that the author of “betrayal” may have other examples of revisionist history in his past. He seems to take great glee in pointing out your mistakes/criticizing you. I suggest you look into how his ” illustrious” career ended. Might give you some insight into his vitriol against the bureau. It seems like he omitted the last chapter. I don’t know who you talk to, but Nick, Jim G, and even John himself would be happy to fill you in, I’m sure.

    • Thanks for your interest. It was not your fault I missed your implication, I’m not good at picking up subtleties. I was bothered by Fitzpatrick’s story of his falling out with the FBI, it made no sense. But I had other bones to pick with him so I let it go. In response to his comments to me I’ve asked him to tell me his input in taking down Angiulo as he often stated he did in his book. I’ve heard no reply. There are other thing he’s written that I know are wrong like his involvement with Halloran I still can’t figure out why he turned in the SAC to headquarters for what seemed like wild speculation. I knew Marty Boudreau and had a good deal of respect for him. I’m always wary of a guy who portrays himself as the only one with pure motives in an organization. I’d like him to take me on with the issues rather than personally attacking me. What happens when you read a book and see that some things are totally wrong you say to yourself how can I believe anything he says. I’ve been so curious about him that I’m trying to find out something about the Abscam scandal to see what his role was in it.
      Again thanks for your help.

  2. I think there is precedent for an ASAC writing fiction. Ask Jim greanleaf about the asac that “retired” after writing a report detailing his involvement in an incident that he wasn’t even at!! I believe he “retired” rather than face an OPR investigation and the resulting charges. Maybe he just forgot to put it in the book!

    • There are many precedent’s for fake 302s, that’s FBI terminology for their reports. The late head of the Strike Force Jeremiah O’Sullivan testified that a SAC report he was read contained nothing but lies. Some I have read as obviously made up to make the FBI look good. Don’t forget Hoover wanted only to hear good news so these guys were smart enough to know how to write up fairly tales.
      What bothers me is that in this age of digital everything the FBI agents will still not record interviews. They take notes and then write down what they damn well please later. You never get to see what they write about you if you’re interviewed. That has to be changes.

  3. This guy apparently doesn’t read the entire book. The accolades are from the FBI not me. Matt, you should be more careful with your so-called ‘facts’. You don’t even have the courage to identify yourself as Matt Connolly former attorney first assistant under Dellahunt. Oh yeah the guy who did all the wires; sure!

    • Apparently this is the Robert Fitzpatrick who wrote the book. The problem with the book is that you claim to have taken down Anguilo when all you did, and this is controverted by others, is that you arrested him. Your description of your meeting with Billy Bulger is very weird. Why did you meet with him if you were so spooked?
      You claim there were all these investigations of Billy. If so, why did nothing come of them. It is easy to investigate someone but if you do and you are unable to return an indictment, then it seems to me your investigation cleared him. The trouble with your book is its half truths and denigration of Billy Bulger.
      By the way, check the wiretap records of the late seventies and eighties and see how many were done out of Norfolk County. They are public records. If you want to know my identity, you can buy my book when it is published. It is called “Don’t Embarrass The Family.” Does that sound familiar to a retired FBI agent?