I am sure that almost every person in the Greater Boston area is convinced from all the publicity they have seen and read that Whitey was this master criminal who murdered lots and lots of people and ran a huge criminal gang that vied with the Mafia in the Greater Boston area for dominance among criminals and was widely feared throughout the area.
The publicity and suggestion of this is as absurd as saying Alfalfa in “Our Gang” held folk in great terror. Boston Globe reporters have placed him, Whitey not Aalfalfa, above criminals like John Gotti and Bonnie and Clyde to the point where they said he is first in line of all the criminals that existed in America. Truth be it – Alfalfa is to Whitey as Whitey is to the real American criminals as Gotti and his ilk.
Take Bonnie and Clyde: they murdered upwards of a dozen in their very early twenties before they were gunned down themselves. Whitey did not commit his first murder until he was in his fifties. It is hard to put him in their class.
As for John Gotti, he had folk who would take orders from him to murder other people including his predecessor, he controlled businesses, he had all the leaders of the New York’s Mafia families reporting to him; Whitey had no one to give orders to other than Kevin Weeks, he ordered no one to murder anyone else, he had control over a liquor store in South Boston, and no one of any consequences reported to him.
Steve Flemmi, his partner who turned on him, and Whitey did receive tribute from drug dealers and bookies to operate. They did not depend on them to run their businesses and their interaction consisted solely of paying not to be beat up. John Gotti’s gang which operated in New York City consisted of hundreds of Mafia guys; Whitey’s gang in Boston consisted of three including himself.
The hyperbole surrounding Whitey is beyond imagination. Are you aware the most of the people he is alleged to have murdered were murdered by someone else? Whitey was part of a joint enterprise as a member of the Winter Hill mob. Any murder committed by another member of that mob was attributed to Whitey. If Whitey was the accountant for the Winter Hill gang, he could likewise have been charged with murders committed by the others. That is how the Government tallied up Whitey’s murders by putting on his plate murders done by others while at the same time not charging the guy who was paid to do some of the murders and who ran the gang when it was a gang, Howie Winter
Using the government’s joint enterprise rationale it is accurate to say that Whitey was not even the guy with the most murders on his hand who was from South Boston. There was another guy in Southie when we apply that rationale to him who may have murdered more folk than Whitey. If you decide things on motive and opportunity rather than the words of other gangsters as to who was murdering whom he is right up there with Whitey in Southie.
We also know that there were other guys in Boston who actually murdered many more people than Whitey – therefore they were much worse than Whitey – who were given a pass or received ridiculously low sentences for their murders because they cooperated with the government,
I suggest a good examination of the cases surrounding Whitey and the motive of the folk who hyped up his villainy shows Whitey was a bad guy but he was not near as bad as others. Why then did the media and federal folk hype him up so? That too is obvious if you put on your thinking hat. What did Whitey have that no one else did?
An irony of it all is that Whitey started to believe what he read about himself in the media. He began to think he was a somebody. Didn’t the FBI elevate him to the top of it s Most Wanted list? That of course came about years after he was a threat to anyone. However, during his days of operating the FBI had him as a Top Echelon Informant. If he was so bad as to be pushed to the top of its Most Wanted List after he was a nobody, how was it he was not so bad as to be its informant when he was operating. .
As as time permits I’ll get back to Whitey. It is a fascinating story of how a city was duped by folk with an agenda to destroy another person other than Whitey but used him as a vehicle to bring this about.