Daily Wrap – July 23, 2013 – Brennan’s Masterfull Performance

DSC_0245The only thing the United States should use Steve Flemmi for is to clean out the latrines at whatever semi-prison facility he presently occupies. He is truly a despicable man and all of what he is about was shown on cross-examination today by Hank Brennan. He’s a true gangster right to the core. And keep in mind, he was not necessary as a witness to convict Whitey of any charge, all the evidence necessary to do that was in the possession of the government before he came along. It was the obsession of the prosecutors to get Whitey that made them deal with this vile reprehensible man.

I have said this before and I can’t repeat it enough because I’m fearful that it is true. I know Prosecutor Wyshak’s mindset in this case. He said (Retired FBI Agent John) Connolly got in trouble because he was “too close to the Bulgers and South Boston.” It is that thought that drives Wyshak. Whatever it takes to reach that grail of destroying the Bulgers that is what he will do.

Flemmi testified he has given evidence in 17 other matters since he decided to cooperate with the government in 2003. In this case he apologized to Judge Wolf for his extensive perjury before him in 1997 and 1998. He, in accordance with the plan of the prosecution, inappropriately placed the blame on Whitey for the murders he committed with him, especially that of the young women, washing himself out of them because he only lured them into the death trap.

I’m reading between the lines in all this. I sense there is a side deal here. I have this anguish in me caused by my feeling that Prosecutor Wyshak will soon be standing before Judge Stearn and explaining to him the great services Flemmi made on behalf of the Department of Justice. That will result in a trifecta win for the people of America and those in Greater Boston: Murderman Martorano, Fortnight Weeks, and Benji Flemmi will be walking the streets of our fair city carrying well over 40 murders among them to join those other murderers who our government has failed to prosecute, Frankie Salemme, Howie Winter, Pat Nee and Jimmy Martorano.

The latter part of today’s court session found the judge trying to keep Flemmi under control. She said something I didn’t pick up but her voice carried a note of levity. Flemmi looked at her and broke into a big smile and settled back in to his act of not answering questions. Despite the act, and despite the play-by-play in the tweets that dutifully repeat Flemmi assertions without giving the sense of the courtroom, Brennan effectively destroyed him.

Some of the disgusting treasures from his mouth later in the day were: Brennan asking him if he didn’t want to blow up Attorney Fitzgerald’s car, why didn’t he just not get involved in it. He looked down shook his head in disbelief and said: “Mr. Brennan, you don’t understand the underworld, you understand nothing, you’re an attorney, you don’t know what is going on. I’m telling you the real world.”

Talking about is killing of Walter Bennet he says: “he was implicating me in a murder . . . when someone implicates me the best recourse is to kill him. Everything like that is a potential threat.”

Talking about killing Punchy McLaughlin and whether he looked him in the eyes, he said “I shot him. I don’t recall all the particulars. The particulars blend together. I don’t recall looking in his eyes. . . . I looked at him, he looked at me.”

When Brennan was coming at him hard and he was taking the heat he started to talking back to Brennan with no questions being asked. The judge said something and he replied: “I’m an aggressive person. Someone attacks me I attack them back whether verbally or physically.”

Brennan said to him you’ve told us about all the murders you and Frankie Salemme were involved in have you ever testified against him in a grand jury or at trial; he also asked him the same question about Howie Winter, leaving the idea that there are many murderers, as we know, who are out and about and neither the state nor federal prosecutors have done anything about them because they sold their soul to this corrupt man.

Again and again Flemmi minimized his role in the murders having someone else doing them or suggesting he had no choice but to do them.  He murdered his friend and mentor Edward Wimpy Bennet because Salemme wanted to make an impression on the Mafia; he was involved in the bombing of lawyer Fitzgeralds’ car because Larry Zannino insisted on it; he was involved in murdering Tommy Timmons because Zannino insisted; he had to kill Peter Poulos in Nevada because Zannino insisted, well you get the picture. Zannino, of course is Larry Baione a captain in the Boston Mafia – and Flemmi tells us how much he didn’t like the Mafia.

He regreted all his murders. So much like Martorano regretted all of his. Yet it is not like they did one or two, or even perhaps three. They did twenty or more. Well I do stand corrected. He did say he regretted them all but that of Punchy McLaughlin. That one he didn’t because Punchy shot his brother.

Brennan purposely egged him on and slammed him here and there bringing out the violent and cold aspects of the man. His cross-examination accomplished everything he could have hoped for. Early into the questioning after recess he suggest to Flemmi, “you’ve told us all your acts of violence have been based on the assistance of someone else.” He then went on questioning him and I’ve shown Flemmi continued to blame other people.

He used the time after recess to show the jury what life was like with Flemmi before Whitey came on the scene. He was a vicious hardened murderer who’d kill his friends and anyone else he perceived as a threat. But it wasn’t his fault, it was the way things were done in the real world of the underworld.

Brennan hasn’t finished with him but Flemmi is finished as a believable witness. Brennan’s final flurry will be to impress on the jury that this man was far from subservient to Whitey, as he pretended in his direct examination where he suggested Whitey was overbearing, but he was a hardened killer who really took orders from no one.

It’s too bad it’s all futile but it will give Whitey the satisfaction of knowing his counsel were up to the task he set out for them.


  1. Of the three non-O.C. murders, acquit on the Debbies, then indict Benji for them. Whitey pays the price for Donahue.

  2. I just got home feeling pretty beat down after a rough 12 hour shift but I’m all better now after reading this article. I doubt that prison latrines would be cleaner after contact with Flemmi, though. You know he isn’t sleeping well now with more of this on the way.

    Did he get grilled about strangling Hussey himself after Whitey was finished with her? Fortnight Weaks testified that he did so, thinking she was still alive. I really hope Brennan latched on to that.

    What if Whitey’s hypothetical testimony ends up jiving more with Connolly’s story than Flemmi’s (as to their relationship with the FBI)?

    I know that the whole “Feds gave me permission” defense may still be to come & Connolly isn’t testifying here, but the possibility of Connolly’s & Whitey’s stories agreeing against Flemmi intrigues me. That could redound to Connolly’s benefit down the road somewhere.

    • Jeff:

      Brennan did go into the other version of Flemmi strangling Hussey and Davis. He asked him about the duck tape on Davis and telling her that she is going to a better place. He denied it but the jury has had it with him so just suggesting something gross about him will have the jury believing it.

      Whitey’s story will be the opposite of Flemmi’s who said he gave Connolly information but it won’t help Connolly because he will say he paid Connolly for the information and didn’t give him any. Connolly comes out the loser all around; actually, the big loser. It is likely he will die in prison and Flemmi may get back on the street. How’s that for making you feel bad. Get some sleeep.

  3. Speaking of FBI corruption, I was happy to see an ACLU lawyer mentioning the Ibragim Todashev situation on Emily Rooney’s show tonight. This lawyer said they fast-forwarded the deportation of Ibragim’s girlfriend, too, in order to cloak this crime further. I hope the ACLU is at least on the case.

  4. Dear author, The vast amount of frustration that so many native new englanders had regarding the fbi protecting whitey and stevi for so many decades is now well known. however today july 23rd, 2013 a very simple new question has come up. will anyone from the fbi be held responsible for what many people feel are sweetheart deals , kevin weeks, steve flemi, the murder man, never mind the question of pat nee? also can anything be done in a legal way regarding so many if not most of the quote unquote whitey books and their misinformation and outright lies? regards,

    • Norwood:

      The FBi will not be held responsible. The propaganda the people are fed is all those horrible things happened under the old FBi and we now have a new FBI – as if a leopard can change its spots.

      Nothing can be done about those books except to properly label them as fiction. It is really outrageous that so many books were written that were so wrong. They all followed the big lie which was Black Mass.

      • AnotherMatthew inTexas

        Whew! The installment of the new improved FBI is a relief. One question regarding the timing of the new FBI; did this happen in 2010 when the Mark Rosetti TEI story was exposed or did it happen this year when the whole “we knew about the marathon bombers but didn’t tell anyone” incident? Thanks for clarifying, I want to make sure I have it right for when I have to help my children with their history class in a few year!

        • Another:

          The FBI has a new policy of continually renewing itself. That is why it no longer worries about being embarrased. All the evil is done by yesterday’s FBI, not todays. It’s one of the major miracles of the American experience. Teach your children well.

  5. Anyone else want to find out if Whitey did take a 16 year old on a trip to Mexico?

    Question: Let’s say Bulger takes the stand and tells the truth including copping to some murders. Let’s say that the Defense continues to paint a clear picture (including current day) of a corrupt government. Bulger the charmer may lead the jury into throwing out much testimony and going with what he is saying as the truth. Assuming this scenario, what is the range of sentence which Bulger can get?

    • Margaret:

      How can we ever know if he took a 16 year old to Mexico – can’t believe anything Flemmis says – and if Whitey denies it what have you?

      If Whited is acquitted of everything, which is almost inconceivable, he will still not get out facing gun charges in CAlifornia and murder charges in Florida and Oklahoma. If he’s convicted of anything here, he’s looking at a minimum of 20 years.

  6. Another Matthew in Texas

    the 19 murders are one predicate count in this case. Therefore, I think they only need the jury to find the defendant guilty of ONE of the 19. Is this correct? If so, I think Halloran/Donahue will be enough for this single count. The arguing over the women, while certainly viable from a legal perspective really won’t matter if the jury finds him guilty in any of the other 17. The defense is fighting for vanity.

    • Another:

      33 or so counts are pending against Whitey. He has all but conceeded 32 of them. The one count he is opposing is the RICO (racketeering) indictment. That has 19 predicate offenses. Those are the murders. He has to be found guilty of two. The jurors have a good half dozen to convict him on. He’ll probably testify and admit to those. The case is all about how he wants us to remember him. This is his last chance to tell his story. The result has been a foregone conclusion since he was indicted. It was just interesting to see how it played out; just like when you went to the movie Titantic you knew the ending.

  7. I’d love to know what the general public thinks of the DOJ using all of these vile lying witnesses? If I were a juror I wouldn’t believe a word these guys say. I would be so disgusted at the testimonies of these paid off informants that I would probably forget all about the evidence which MSP Boblongo presented.

    I would most likely vote not guilty due to the Govt paying criminals like them to lie under oath as well as letting them go free…all to get one guy.

    Of course that would be if I were able to sit through hearing all of the informant testimonies without walking out first.

    But that’s me. It will be interesting to see what happens. How much longer do you expect the trial with last?

    • Bingo. Very well stated. While there can be little doubt as to WHITEY’S guilt or innocence, or the ultimate outcome of this trial, the prosecution, i.e., the Feds and their witnesses are as equally if not more loathsome as the defendant, Whitey Bulger ! Like you “Question”, if sitting on the jury I too would vote NOT GUILTY for exactly the same reasons !

    • Question:

      I’d guess the trial lasts no more than two more weeks. Prosecution may end tomorrow. Motions will be argued. Defense will begin. The only long witness for defense will be Whitey. If the prosecutors are smart they will tighly restrict their cross examination.

      Yes,there is a chance the jury could be so disgusted with the prosecutors case it would send a real big message to the DOJ of not guilty on everything. But keep in mind this is Whitey’s big show, the only time he can tell his story, so depending on what he says will depend on what the jury does.

  8. Matt: In regard to the murders of the two women and Whitey being an informant, the issues in which the defense is strongly contesting, do you think Flemmi’s testimony impacted either side of the argument?

    • John:

      Good question – as to the women Brennan did a good job casting doubt on Flemmi’s story so that Whitey’s testimony will have the ring of truth – I think the jury could see through his blaming Whitey since the reasons for wanting to kill Debbie Davis would apply to many other people and the reason for killing Hussey is so lame no one would believe it.

      On the informant issue Flemmi makes a more compelling case suggesting that Whitey was always doing the talking and he would give Whitey the information to give to Connolly. He also puts it that he never met with Connolly outside of Whitey’s presence so even if he was conveying the information then certainly Whitey knew it. Whitey will have a much harder time rebutting that.

      But remember the jury will not be making a decison on whether Whitey was an informant or not, but it will be deciding whether he murdered the two women. So if he can pull it off and have the jury say that it wasn’t proven he killed the women, he can extrapolate from that the idea the jury also believed he was not an informant.

  9. Matt and StealyTom: great comments and observations. How low can the DOJ go, trusting the word of Flemmi.

    • William:
      The DOJ has inextricably tied itself to Flemmi. It needs to stand by him forever. It needs us to forget him as soon as Whitey is convicted and they figure out how to spring him back onto the street.

  10. Great summary and comments. Who knows, maybe this gives Whitey some space to testify effectively at least as to the women’s murders, and pin some of the other violence on Flemmi. And could this be the prelude to Whitey arguing that all the informing really came from Flemmi, with his ample mob connections, with Whitey’s true leverage coming from delivering and refusing to rat on Flemmi?

    Meantime, good to see our tax dollars, the ones that go to Carney and Brennan, are being well-spent.

    • Steely:

      Yes, no matter what Carney and Brennan may charge we got our money’s worth from them. Your other point is well taken – when Whitey testifies and tells the truth it will be like a breath of fresh air in the room. He will admit the crimes he did and won’t say someone else made him do them. It will make the prosecution look shabby and its witnesses a bunch of, as they say in Ireland, cute whores.