This is an overview of the prosecution case prior to the commencement of the defendant’s case. My fault with the prosecutor’s presentation is not that they will not be able to convict Whitey on most of the crimes charged, if not all, it’s just that at times they would interrupt an intriguing story and dwell in the land of extreme boredom. It was like going to the Daytona 500 and 100 miles into the racing seeing the red light go on, the race cars pull of the track, and a Pinewood Derby event start up for a while, before the race resumed again. Or going to a movie you were looking forward to, getting a half hour into it, and just as things were revving up, having the movie stop and a person come on the stage to talk to you about his program for making you a better person.
A good third of the prosecution case, if not more, was unnecessary. At times I thought they had forgotten what the case was about. Alternately, I thought, this was going to be their last day in the sun so they were stretching out their time for as long as possible.
There are three areas that were totally unnecessary to the trial. It seemed they were tricked into going down the wrong path by the defense team and their client when they decided that they’d say Whitey was not an informant. This apparently drove the prosecutors to the edge of sanity. Their whole world had been built on the idea he was an FBI informant. How could Whitey possible deny the existence of one of their fundamentals beliefs?
Where it plays into the trial eludes me. Despite all the time consumed by this side issue, in the end we’ll never find out one way or the other who won the match over whether Whitey was or was not an informant. The jury will not render any verdict on that issue. Take your pick, you can believe what you want and that’s why it had no relevance to the trial.
The second area seemed to be Wyshak’s constant slipping back into trying John Connolly the FBI agent. When he was first tried in Boston he was acquitted of leaking information that resulted in John Callahan’s death; unhappy with that result, Wyshak managed to get a rematch on that issue in Miami, Florida, where he won. At times during this trial I thought he figured this was a rubber match. He acted like Connolly was on trial and not Bulger. Strange as it seems up to ten of the murders Whitey was charged with happened before Connolly was on the scene; and only four or five of the others could be related to Connolly but only in a tangential manner.
Another part of this seemed to Wyshak’s penchant for bringing in FBI agent Paul Rico’s name into the mix. Rico had left Boston in 1970 so had no connection to any of the charges against Whitey. In fact, Whitey never met Rico. But the FBI group of Rico-Condon-Connolly-Morris seems to represent all evil to Wyshak; while the Martoran-Flemmi-Salemme- Weeks- Nee group are those with whom he has made his bed. Think about what it must be like having those ideas running through your head.
The final area involved money laundering. It’s hard to tell how long was spent on this topic because I had no interest in it. I thought it was forever. At one time it appeared the prosecutors intended to try Whitey only on the money laundering charges. That was the tactic they had been using with the bookies like Jimmy Katz who they managed to flip by nailing him on those charges and giving him some heavy time. But after doing all this preparation for Whitey, they then got the evidence of all the murders which made the money laundering charges seem to pale in significance.
They spent as much time during the trial proving the money laundering as they did the murders. It was as if having all the material prepared for the money laundering matters, they could not walk away from all their preparation even though it had only a tiny connection to what the case is really about. Maybe I’m not used to the tedious federal way of doing things.
The whole manner in which they try a case is to squeeze any life out of it. Their direct questioning involved reciting a script they have prepared, I noticed in their redirect they have the silly habit of repeating the highlights of the direct like, “You testified about John McIntyre’s murder. Who was it who murdered McIntyre?” It’s as though the jury forgot what they heard an hour earlier.
But enough of my criticisms. What the prosecutors had to show they did show in spades. They started off showing Whitey was one who liked to hang around with all types of criminal including the Mafia. No getting around those pictures. They then put a ton of weapons in his hands lining the table with machine guns and other implements of murder. They did a nice wrap on that issue by showing that he never lost his fondness for these weapons of murder when they introduced the number of guns he had hidden in his apartment in Santa Monica at the time of his arrest in 2011. Beyond any doubt the prosecutors established that guns for murder and murderers for friends were Whitey’s middle name.
They then took a strong three-way approach to him: (1) they brought in bookies and drug dealers to show his involvement in their activities but what they mainly showed through them was that they feared Whitey, and some of these were witnesses seemed to be fearless; (2) they brought in his buddies in crime, the guys he associated with, who were the dregs of the earth, murderers all, even those they didn’t bring in we heard about and they too were murderers; (3) they then introduced some of the brutal methods directly attributed to Whitey such as the gun in the mouth or machine gun between the legs routine.
Surprisingly, none of that evidence against Whitey – this vivid picture that the prosecutors well presented – a man who inspired fear by murder, guns, murderous associates and barbarity was never challenged – that was the theme that slowly built up through the trial. That is the music of the trial that will stay in the jurors mind long after they go back to their normal lives. So when the jury sits down to deliberate, that is the hand they are looking at. Turn it over, upside down, or whatever, it is a stark picture of a murderous criminal who is deserving of not the slightest bit of consideration.