Trekking Toward The Truth – A Journey With Others Over The Road Less Traveled

Originally dedicated to the vagaries of matters involving Whitey Bulger and the FBI but now expanded into more general topics.

TTTT - Trekking Toward The Truth – A Journey With Others Over The Road Less Traveled

The FBI’s Connolly is Doing 40 Years in Prison for Following Orders

I’ve been running on about the case in Florida where John Connolly was convicted of murder by gun of John Callahan, but I don’t think I’ve ever given the facts about that case so you can decide for yourselves what his criminal liability is and what would be a fair punishment.   A Florida state jury heard just about the same evidence as jury in Boston heard.  The Boston jury acquitted him of obstruction of justice in Callahan’s death.

John Callahan was a Bain-type businessman who had a penchant for hanging around with hoodlums.  He was the president of World Jai Alai in Miami.  Jai Alai is a game where men use basket-like gloves to whip a small ball at speeds of 200 to 300 mph against walls trying to earn points.  (Google gives you a good description)  People bet fairly substantial sums on the outcome of games.  Working for John Callahan was Paul Rico a retired FBI agent who had and deserved a bad reputation for being somewhat crooked.

Roger Wheeler an astute legitimate business man out of Tulsa, Oklahoma had recently bought World Jai Alai.  It wasn’t long into his ownership that he began to realize that some of the money was being skimmed off by others.  Wheeler decided to investigate how this was happening.  Callahan who had wrongly pocketed over a million dollars figured it wouldn’t take too long for Wheeler to figure this out and he’d be prosecuted.

We heard two stories of what happened next.  FBI agent Montinari testified he had an informant named Brian Halloran.  Halloran told him that in January 1981 Callahan asked him to come to his condo.  There along with Callahan were Whitey and Stevie Flemmi.  They told him about Callahan’s troubles and asked him to kill Roger Wheeler.  He said he’d think about it.  About two weeks later Callahan called him back, gave him $20,000, and told him to forget about it.  Halloran also said that Callahan told him “Johnny did it” when he later asked about Wheeler.  Halloran was telling him this information hoping to make a deal with the FBI to get himself some help on a charge of murdering George Pappas on October 13, 1981, which was pending against him in Suffolk County.

The other story is that Callahan approached Martorano.  He told him his problem.  He said he and another guy had tried to buy the business from Wheeler by offering him up to ninety million but he turned them down.  Now fearful of getting indicted, he asked Martorano to kill Wheeler.  Former FBI agent Paul Rico would help.  Callahan figured after that Wheeler’s widow would want to sell it and he’d be off the hook.

He promised Martorano that when he got the business he’d pay Winter Hill, (the hoodlum gang that Martorano, Whitey, and Stevie Flemmi ran) $10,000 a week for protection.   Martorano agreed, told his partners in Winter Hill, got another Winter Hill hood, Joe McDonald to go along with him, and they flew to Tulsa where on May 27, 1981, Martorano put a slug into Wheeler’s head at a golf course as he climbed into his car.

It took a bit of time before the Tulsa police and the Tulsa FBI office were focusing on Callahan and Boston.  They asked the Boston FBI for help which it never got.  Whitey got wind of Halloran’s attempt to give him up to save himself from FBI agent John Connolly, his handler.  On May 11, 1982,  Whitey then gunned down Halloran on the Southie waterfront in an area we now referred to as the Seaport District.

That removed an immediate threat. Montanari (one of the good FBI agents) started focusing on Callahan after his squeal Halloran was gunned down.  He figured that he could squeeze him into spilling out the deal that led to Wheeler’s murder.

A brouhaha was raised  in the Boston FBI offices by Connolly over Montanari investigating his informants, Whitey and Stevie.  ASAC Fitzpatrick resolved it by holding a meeting among all the disputants.  He listened to each side and made a decision which he set out in a memo, “It was mutually agreed that agents actively working the Wheeler case would coordinate their information with SA Connolly’s sources so that this matter can be quickly and effectively resolved.” (my emphasis)

You read that correctly.  Montanari testified that he was astonished the he was ordered to report what he was doing to Connolly who would coordinate the investigation with Whitey and Stevie.  ASAC Fitzgerald in his wisdom ordered Connolly to keep his informants advised of any information Montinari’s was able to dig up against them.  Doing what ASAC Fitgerald ordered Connolly told them Montinari was planning to squeeze Callahan until he started talking.   Connolly did as he was told not that he wouldn’t have done it in any event.  Whitey and Stevie had probably put two and two together much earlier and recognized the real threat to them was Callahan turning state’s evidence.

They turned to the hitman Martorano, who by the way considered Callahan a friend, having received money from him and stayed in his Florida condo.  They asked him to murder Callahan.  Martorano with at least 19 other murders under his belt was happy to oblige.   Without even raising a sweat in the hot Florida sun, he got on the phone, asked Callahan to visit with him in Florida, and lined up Joe McDonald again.  Four hundred twenty seven days after murdering Wheeler, on July 31, 1982, Martorano put a bullet into another man’s head, this time it was Callahan’s at the Ft. Lauderdale airport.

I’m told there’s a memo that shows even the bosses at FBI headquarters in Washington, DC, figured out there was a connection among the Wheeler-Halloran-Callahan murders but they did nothing.  The Boston office went into a lock down mode hoping time would erase the memory of them.

To sum up, Callahan wanted Wheeler killed so he could take over his business from which he was stealing. He, Whitey and Stevie tried to hire Halloran to do it but settled upon Martorano. He plugged him.  They figured Halloran knew of their role in it so he was killed.  Connolly at the orders of ASAC Fitzpatrick told them Agent Montanari was going to squeeze Callahan to implicate them. Martorano killed him.  Martorano gets 12 years for killing Wheeler and Callahan and 18 others.  Connolly gets 40 years for telling Whitey and Stevie what he had been ordered by Fitzpatrick to tell them.

Blame the Nuns at Saint Agatha’s in Milton for The Many Murders of Martorano

Martorano inundates us with his stories of how he murdered twenty people.  Like all thugs, he justifies all his killings.  You see he was mostly killing and testifying against rats.  Martorano tells us he did this because he learned from the nuns at St. Agatha’s school in Milton that the worst person in the bible is Judas Iscariot “who sold out his Savior for forty pieces of silver.”  So as Martorano figured it “it was his obligation, dammit” to kill these people and testify against them.

He suggests the nuns at St. Agatha would have understood.   Most if not all of those nuns have now passed on.  Knowing Martorano he would have tried to make a deal with the feds to give them up as accessory before the fact to murder.  After all Connolly was prosecuted for putting the suggestion in Whitey’s ear that Callahan would not stand up to FBI questioning and when Callahan was murdered Connolly was convicted of murdering him; it follows that the nuns put the bug in Martorano’s ear that rats killed his Savior so whenever Martorano killed a rat they stood a chance of being convicted of one or more the Martorano’s many murders.

Howard Carr his biographer does his darndest to put a shine on a sneaker by explaining how Martorano’s really a nice guy who is misunderstood.  Right off the bat in his prologue to his fawning book on Martorano,  Carr starts his litany of misrepresentations.   He tells us that Martorano is under cross examination in Connolly’s Florida trial and indicates that the defense attorney for Connolly is having a hard time getting anywhere.   He notes that back in Boston at the Connolly trial Martorano was the “prosecution’s chief witness.”  He writes that Connolly’s attorney “hadn’t been able to lay a glove on him.”  That’s funny.  Martorano must have gone down for the count after Connolly’s attorney Tracy Miner sneezed.  The Boston jury believed nothing of Martorano’s testimony.   It’s inconvenient to the telling to mention that fact.

One thing I’ll never be able to figure out.  Carr for years has been telling us that Billy Bulger is corrupt without really giving any evidence to support his statements.  He’s now hanging around with one of the most corrupt persons who ever walked the streets of Boston and one of its only serial murderers.  There is plenty of evidence to show Martorano is corrupt.

Maybe the sight of more money flowing in blinds Carr to that truth now that he made his bed with the worst of the worst.  Carr seems all puffed up about his friendship with Martorano.  He is continually boasting about it.  When something comes up about organized crime in New England he immediately Googles Martorano to find out the answer.

It’s interesting how one will stoop to any level to put some money into ones pocket and earn a little extra by living off people who commit crimes?   It seems Carr’s always wanted to be a big tough guy so he lives the life of a gangster vicariously through Martorano.   He condemns the crimes of Whitey but befriends a man who is equally as bad, if not worse.  As far as I know Whitey never ratted anyone else which puts Martorano in one of those lower circles in Dante’s Hell.  I wonder if the nuns taught him about that.

Carr tells us how in Connolly’s trial in Florida “Martorano was wearing the most expensive shoes in the courtroom: $700 alligator loafers, custom-made, imported from Italy.”  Carr is impressed by this and hopes we have the same reaction.  He doesn’t seem to understand how grotesque it appears that this serial killer is so flush with cash a year after getting out of federal prison after doing 12 years for 20 murders that he can afford the most expensive shoes in the courtroom.

I had to wonder when reading Carr’s book how the government attorneys feel  knowing that the guy they gave such a gift to is bragging about his exploits, dressing to the nine, proclaiming in answer to the question “so you put one over on the government”, referring to the fact that Martorano agreed to testify to a list of people that he didn’t know, that “Í didn’t put one over.  My lawyer made a good deal.” 

Martorano after making that remark probably turned to his cop friends who are now handling him and smiled like he did during the Connolly case.  They would smile back encouraging their new friend to continue with his wise guy act.  The sordid show would go on.

I wonder if the prosecution team has figured out how Martorano was flush with cash a year after getting out of prison.  When he testified in the Connolly case while he was in prison he said he had no assets.  That by the way was another little fraud.  He was supposed to have forfeited things as a result of being arrested and making a deal with the government but in actuality he forfeited nothing even though the government produced a list of things he forfeited.   He gave away or hid everything before the government got it.

You see the problem with making deals with guys like Martorano is that you become complicit in their criminal lives. Martorano probably had lots of money stashed in safe deposit boxes.  The government may know about it but can’t do anything because it needs Martorano as a witness against Whitey.  It has to tip toe around him with soft slippers to keep him happy.  Martorano now has carte blanche to do whatever he wants since there is no way the government would ever do anything to hurt his reputation.

I’m sure one thing the government did not expect was Martorano would be out telling people he put one over on it or spelling out his criminal adventures for all to see.  I guess Martorano never expected Whitey would be caught so he could tell his tales of fancy and keep his ill-gotten goods while the governments hands were tied.  I’ll bet the nuns didn’t know how lucky they were that Martorano wasn’t caught sooner.

Trying To Figure Out Why The FBI Picked State Trooper Naimovich As A Target

As you’ll read in my book “Don’t Embarrass The Family” I attended the trial of John Connolly because I never could figure out why the feds indicted John Naimovich the Massachusetts State Trooper.  I thought as part of the trial they’d be a discussion of that case.  It never happened.

The reason for this is that the trial was strange in one respect, neither side wanted to get into much of what went on in the FBI.  It seemed the government strategy was to pretend that only Connolly was to blame for the existence of Whitey and Stevie and limit its case to things surrounding those individuals.  In defending himself, Connolly didn’t want to open up the bag of worms by painting the FBI in a bad light fearing that if he made the Bureau look bad he would make himself look bad.

I found the trial interesting for a thousand other reasons but I never got out of it what I was looking for, the reason behind picking out Naimovich to be indicted.  I had a sense that he was targeted but as I’ve said I had this gut feeling from working with him, which eventually proved right, that he had done nothing wrong.  The more I learned about his case the more I could see that a decision was made to go after Naimovich prior to the time the federal government had any evidence of wrongdoing on his part.

It is something that I’ve found hard to accept that the federal government picked as a target a state trooper who had been on the job for 23 years who did not have a hint of a scandal or any taint of corruption surrounding him and decided they were going to make a case against him.  Out of the blue, as if turning a roulette wheel with the names of state police on it, the FBI had it stop on Naimovich and said that’s who we are going to get.

I guess that’s why after all these years it still boggles my mind that such a thing could happen.  What’s more astounding is no one else seemed bothered by it.  No one!  Everyone on Naimovich’s job was content to see him leave the job and just go away.  When I’d mention him to other cops or reporters they’d just yawn.  It was, as my secretary Sheila Craven who worked typing up all of Naimovich’s lengthy affidavits would say to me whenever I brought it up, “ancient history”.

How could it be?  If the FBI can do this to a state trooper how much more easily could it be done to some bloke who happens to incur its displeasure?

I’m sure you’re reading this with a bit of skepticism thinking it just couldn’t have happened.  Listen to me out and then make up your mind.

The last few Wednesdays I’ve been posting on Naimovich so to get the background you can go there.  Now I want to try to talk about Naimovich being targeted.

(Oh, and while I’m talking about this remember what I wrote previously how the FBI has new rules that allow agents to target people without any evidence they committed a crime.  The FBI can just go after you, look at your bank accounts and other personal records, just to see if they can find something on you.  And what’s great about it from the FBI agent’s point of view, they don’t even have to open a case file.  Yes, you can be investigated without ever knowing about it and some FBI agent can walk around with all your personal information in his pocket even though you’ve been squeaky clean all your life and if you ever wonder about it there will be no record that it happened.)

Keep in mind Naimovich has been involved in organized crime investigations for at least 12 or more years as part of the state police Special Services Unit.  Every investigation he’s been in has come out well.  He has a stellar record of taking down bookies and is considered the foremost expert in electronic surveillance in the state police.   He’s been working with me for over six months in 1987 and we’ve gone right up the ladder to the top of an organized gaming ring that may reach right into the heart of the North End or  Whitey’s Winter Hill group.

Prior to that time the FBI and state police were working on two other investigations: one involves Heller’s, a joint  in Chelsea where the bookies washed their money, and the other Vanessa’s, a place in the Prudential Center where the new Mafia leaders were gatheringing to make plans.  Naimovich is involved in the Heller’s investigation and from that has the ability to know that there is an investigation at Vanessa’s,  At Naimovich’s trial the FBI said the Heller’s investigation was not successful because they didn’t get everything they thought they’d get even though they grabbed over on hundred thousand dollars and filled fifteen pages listing items they seized.  The results of Vanessa’s showed that the wise guys may have suspected they were being intercepted.  I’ll get into those later even though now it is clear the leak came from within the FBI.

Trooper Foley first knows of the FBI interest in investigating Naimovich when FBI Supervisor Ring tells him that secret information he had compiled ended up in the hands of an OC big wig Vinny Ferrara.  (It was leaked by a FBI stenographer.  The FBI knew this at the time or shortly after it confronted Foley.  It never told Foley about it until months later.)  Foley is ordered into Ring’s office where he finds Ring and his boss Lieutenant Mattioli.  He is questioned by Ring about this information in Ferrara’s hands.  He felt he was being accused.  Ring let him sweat a bit.  He then asked him if he showed the information to anyone.  Foley had to tax his memory to remember if he did.  He recalled that his boss Mattioli had ordered him to show Naimovich the information.  It seems clear that Mattioli and Ring were playing a game with Foley because they already knew he had shown it to Naimovicht.  When Foley threw up Naimovich’s name he felt a great relief that he was no longer suspect.  He was taken in, hook, line and sinker, ready to do anything to prove his bone fides.

I’d guess Ring and Mattioli conspired to have Foley show that information to Naimovich, scare him, and then forgive him.  It’s probably they knew Ferrara had possession of the information before they told Foley to show it to Naimovich.  Foley is unclear about the dates.

I say this because the investigation seemed to consist of planting things on Naimovich.  They’d then try to show that what Naimovich was told ended up in the wrong hands.    Next week I’ll show how desperate they became to show Naimovich was a leak and the preposterous scenario Foley concocted.

Congressman Lynch’s Lack of Enthusiasm in Holding the FBI Accountable

FBI Agent John Connolly is well on the way to spending the rest of his life in jail.   Connolly as we all know was the handler of Whitey Bulger and Stevie Flemmi.  When this became known to the public, a general uproar occurred over the idea that these two top gangsters could be FBI informants.  Everyone in the FBI from the top to the bottom,  from the Director to the file clerks in the Boston office, knew Whitey was an informant.  When the public demanded an answer for what appeared to be a horrendous decision of protecting two men engaged in many murders and unable to deny that it happened, the FBI went into overdrive to protect itself.  It threw Connolly to the  angry mob, in effect saying Connolly had become a rouge agent.  The FBI vowed that this would never happen again.  The FBI hoped that Connolly would be forgotten and that the public would forget it had made this huge error and it could return to business as usual, using top criminals as informants and protecting them.

Let’s talk about a Mark Rossetti.  If you want you can find an article in the Boston Globe on August 31, 1983 telling of Mark Rossetti being sentenced to 10 years for being in a masked armed robbery.  In 2001 he was sentenced to a little over 4 years for being a felon in possession of a weapon. Or a December 5, 2003 article you can read about an affidavit filed in federal court that Mark Rossetti was a capo in the Boston Mafia.  Or May 21 and 22, 2010 articles telling how he was charged with trafficking in heroin. In October of that year, Kevin Cullen of the Globe quoted Lt. Steve Johnson of the state police, who was instrumental in bringing down Whitey, as saying, “It’s shocking.  Shocking that a person of Rossetti’s position in the LCN would be hands-on in the heroin business.  But this is where these guys are now.”  Johnson was saying the Mafia had become a shell of itself when the top guys were handling the drugs themselves.

Rossetti’s a Mafia capo in an outfit that pretty much has been destroyed.  He’s left to dealing heroin.  Then in August 13, 2011, Shelley Murphy of the Globe reports that the state police picked up Rossetti on a wiretap and learned that he was an FBI informant.  Look at Rossetti’s background I just set out and tell me how the FBI could have gone back to business as usual using another Whitey Bulger-type as an informant.

The Boston Globe to its credit asked what was going on.  The FBI and the state police hierarchy, ever the lackey to the FBI, responded,  according to Shelley Murphy’s article, “Specifically, the FBI employees responsible for handling this matter did not engage in any inappropriate activities and acted in accordance with the Department of Justice and FBI rules.  They demonstrated a high level of integrity and professionalism.”

Yogi would say “deja vu again.”  That’s what they said about the agents Morris and Connolly who handled Whitey.   Former colonel Tom Foley (the author) who we know was responsible for destroying Whitey and Stevie said, “After everything that we’ve been through with the Bulger case, nothing has been learned, nothing has changed.”

On August 21, 2011, Kevin Cullen rightly asks where is the outrage of the FBI again using top gangsters for informants.  Cullen indicated Rossetti has been an FBI informant for upwards of twenty years.  To be a Mafia capo it is said you have to be a murderer.  Rossetti is suspected of murdering 6 people and the FBI is protecting him. I urge you to read that column and a subsequent one on October 18, “Pants on Fire”.  My problem with the latter column is Cullen gives a pass to the handler of Rossetti.  I wouldn’t.

Then on August 17, 2011, the Globe, . . . . (let me digress a second.  Believe me when I say this, if  it wasn’t for the media we’d be walking in the dark.  My problem with the Globe is that it doesn’t devote more resources to these things.  During my days the Globe, the Herald and the Quincy Patriot Ledger had reporters in Norfolk Superior Court every day   Now most things seem to go uncovered.)   . . . inquired of Congressman Lynch who was on the Congressional Committee that grilled Billy Bulger.  The Globe asked Lynch what was he doing about the Rossetti outrage. Lynch said he had demanded a briefing from the FBI on the matter which was being scheduled.  The FBI and the US Attorney would not comment.

On August 24, 2011 Milton Valencia of the Globe reported Rossetti was told by the FBI “my job is to keep you anonymous and safe.  You don’t have anything to worry about if things down the road happen, but if that happens, we’ll have to deal with it as it comes, I will have to start working on it.”  This is an FBI agent talking to a vicious criminal suspected of six or more murders.  His job isn’t to stop this man it’s to keep him safe.  Who is the agent working for?

The Globe came back to it again on November 3, 2011 with an editorial saying Congress should oversee the FBI informants.  It tells about the systematic failure of FBI agents to follow the guidelines on handling informants.  It says Congressman Lynch is right to call for congressional oversight over the FBI’s use of informants.

On December 6, 2011 Cullen reported that Congressman Lynch and two other Congressmen met with the FBI.    The FBI said it was conducting an internal inquiry and promised a follow up meeting.  What’s the problem?  Rossetti is a violent criminal, a Mafia capo,  actively engaged in heroin dealing.   Why does the FBI need all this time to conduct this inquiry?

Almost a year after getting involved, again Congresman Lynch was asked about the matter.  In the meantime Rossetti had been tried and convicted of plotting to rob a drug dealer’s home and sentenced to seven to nine years in prison.  (Have you ever wondered why the sentences for career criminals seem to go down over time? Does it make sense?)  Lynch said, “There’s still more work to be done . .   in my estimation, at least what we’ve seen so far, what Rossetti was doing should have triggered a [halt] in his status as a confidential informant.”    He said he met with other congressional leaders and have met privately with FBI officials.  The agency’s internal probe is ongoing.  The agents have yet to talk to certain witnesses and evidence in the state charges that has been sealed so far could aid in the investigation.  Lynch said he has not made a determination as to the appropriateness of the relationship because the FBI review is not finished but early indications are the relationship was questionable.  He went on saying “There’s a whole litany of the guidelines, from A to Z, that we’re looking at.

All that sounds nice Congressman but it sounds like you’re letting the FBI off the hook again.  I know it is tough taking on the finest investigative organization in the world but you don’t seem bothered that a year after the FBI said it began an inquiry it still hasn’t interviewed people.   You in Congress are now looking at a litany of guidelines rather than the simple fact the FBI is still partnering with murderers and protecting these gangsters.

Let me put it straight.  Rossetti was a life long criminal like Whitey — armed robbery, gun possession, heroin dealing, planning home break-ins, suspected of murder —   who was being protected by the FBI.  You have an FBI agent intercepted telling him his job is to keep this vicious criminal safe.  The FBI had been protecting him for a dozen of years, just like Whitey.    There is no difference in the two cases.  Start from there.

Here’s what I want to tell you Congressman Lynch.  I have no idea how many other Bulgers or Rossettis are being protected by the FBI while they kill and commit other vicious crimes.  This was supposed to stop ten years ago but it continues.  I’ll ask you a simple question, do you know how many Bulgers or Rossettis are being protected?  Don’t you think that is important?  Don’t you think someone outside the FBI should have that knowledge?

Stop looking at a litany of guidelines.  Stop waiting for the FBI to investigate itself.   Stop being afraid.  Do something to bring the FBI in line.




Whitey Bulger Will Testify To Redeem His Family’s Name

James “Whitey”  Bulger has been in prison for a little more than a year.  He was locked up at age 81 and within a month he’ll have his 83rd birthday.  He’s smart enough to know that there is no way that he’ll ever get out of prison unless he escapes.  (Wouldn’t that be a great career ending move?)

If he bests the government in his 19-murder trial in Boston, a very dubious prospect, he’s off to the hell hole prisons of Oklahoma and Florida to face murder charges in those death penalty states.  If he beats those, which is unlikely seeing the result in the case of FBI agent John Connolly, he’ll be in his late 80s.  Then he’ll face the rock solid gun charges out in California or some other charges that will insure he’ll never shed his orange jump suit.

His decision now has to be how he fills his final few years given the limited control he has over his life.  Within the context of things he controls, the big one is whether to go to trial in Boston.  If he does, then he must decide whether to testify on his own behalf.

We can look for a hint to how he will make this decision by reading what his younger brother Billy Bulger wrote in his autobiography, While The Music Lasts.  He said Whitey always wanted to be a leader, a person in control of his life.

He went on to write that there have been many lurid allegations against Whitey.  He said of them, “I know some of the allegations and much of the innuendo to be absolutely false.” (Emphasis Billy’s)  He went on to discuss his flight after being indicted writing that he was subject to “planted press stories, absurd rumors, wild exaggerations, the lot.”  He then suggested the indictment against him was based on “purchased testimony” and noting “a ‘get out of jail’ card has been available to anyone who would give testimony against my brother . . . all of the evidence [against my brother] has been purchased.  Inducements more precious than money – release from prison, the waiver of criminal charges – have been offered time and time again.  Some of those who insisted they had nothing to offer at the beginning of their incarceration have had second thoughts and suddenly ‘remembered’ things they could barter for advantage.  Without such purchased testimony there would be no accusations.” (Emphasis Billy’s)

Billy is telling us that many of the stories about Whitey are fabrications.  Apparently he must have some inside knowledge about this or he would not be so bold as to assert it.  Given that, there is a need to have a forum in which to set the record straight.

Kevin Weeks, Whitey’s strong-arm thug, said Whitey would never want to stand trial because it would cause his family embarrassment.  Embarrass his family?  That’s a joke!  You’ve heard the derogatory term “his name is mud.”  Some attributed the saying to Dr. Samuel Mudd who fixed the leg of John Wilkes Booth.  Right now in the Boston area I’m not surprised that it is not replaced by the saying, “his name is Bulger.”

I’m suggesting that there is no way Whitey can embarrass his family by testifying.  The relentless assaults by a hostile media on everything Bulger and its the blackening of their name at every opportunity by providing people with a personal hatred or insatiable greed with a venue in which to spew their vile and villainous attacks has held up the Bulger name to general opprobrium.  Whitey is in a position that where no matter what he does he will not bring embarrassment against his family.

Weeks spent years by Whitey’s side.  He apparently had no idea of the man he was working with.  Everything within Whitey, who when I first began my study of him I thought he seemed to be somewhat of a coward but the more I learned of him I realized he was a man of immense courage and fortitude who feared nothing, will cry out for a chance to tell his story.  The last thing he wants is to have people like Martorano or Flemmi or Weeks write his life’s story.  He is too proud of a man to do let that happen.  He’s also not going to let Billy’s defense of him look like empty bluster.   Nor is he going to let the name of his beloved father, James Bulger, be wrongfully defiled by not answering the attacks against himself.

Whitey knows he has done some criminal acts and my guess is he’ll own up to them.  He has nothing to lose.  My background suggests to me he has not done others attributed to him.  When I lived in Southie I learned that if you got in trouble and got caught you don’t give up the name of the person with you who got away.  By the time I moved out of the project it seemed us kids had settled upon one name which we’d offer when pressed, Albie X.  (I omit his true last name.)  If you were running through the tunnels knocking over the barrels and were grabbed by a janitor or some other adult you’d deny doing it but say it was done by Albie X.  I learned that as my Southie friends got older and headed down the Cape or up to Hampton Beach they’d leave their identities home.  If they got into trouble they’d identify themselves as Albie X.  I heard the plan came a cropper when the cops found the three guys they arrested after a fight were named Albie X.

You get the idea.  All these hoodlums had their own Albie X.  It was Whitey Bulger.  If they killed a guy and were caught, they’d say Whitey did it or made them do it.  Just as the kids used Albie X as a way to escape personal responsibility, so do the gangsters use the name Whitey, as Billy said, to serve as a ‘get out of jail’ card.

When you wonder if Whitey will testify think of this.  He has no way to go but up.  His whole life tells us he will not let others tell his story.  We’ve only heard one side of many stories from those getting a break for telling them.  Whitey will fill in the blanks.  There are many people who hope he doesn’t.  I can hardly wait.

The FBI Hierarchy Knew and Approved FBI Agent Connolly’s Action With Whitey Bulger

It follows from the theme of the last two days dealing with former agent John Connolly that we should discuss the book of an ASAC who was his boss from 1981 through 1986, Robert Fitzpatrick, who wrote Betrayal.  I’ve written about it previously suggesting Fitzpatrick on occasion has the same relationship with the truth as Bram Stoker’s Dracula had with the wreath of garlic around Lucy’s neck.  Speaking of Dracula, when Fitzpatrick  tells of his meeting with Billy Bulger you’d think he was describing a meeting with a vampire and his escape from his office unharmed a miracle of the first order.

Fitzpatrick tells how much he loved the Bureau but how his love was unrequited.  It reduced him in rank and eventually made him drum himself out.  The reason he gives seems less than candid judged by the severity of the FBI action against him.  Shortly after he left as an angry ex-agent, Fitzpatrick admitted in his book that he gained his revenge on the FBI by publicly disclosing to the Boston Globe that Whitey was an informant.  When he wrote of others doing this in his book he said that revealing an informant’s name  is “an unethical, if not illegal, breech of policy”.

I’ve written of his books foibles.   Today, since it is book  Sunday, I want to show how FBI ASAC Fitzpatrick, no friend of Connolly, shows clearly that Connolly was acting in handling his informants pursuant to his duties as an agent and what he was doing was continuously approved of at the highest levels of the FBI.

Fitzpatrick said his first mandate in coming to Boston was to find out how valuable Whitey was as an informant because FBIHQ (FBI head quarters in DC) wanted Whitey to stay as an informant.  He writes how he met with Colonel John O’Donovan of the state police and other agents who all told him Whitey is worthless and should be targeted.  He then has what he described as a distinctly unpleasant meeting with Whitey.  He returns to his office and writes a two page memo saying Whitey should be closed as an informant.  (The two page memo does not seem to exist anymore.)  He discusses it with the SAC.  He writes they agree to tell Washington they were closing him.  Then he writes he was busy with other cases in the office and drops the subject.  We are left wondering what happened.

The initial urgency, his first mandate, seems to have vanished.  As I understand it an FBI supervisor can close out an informant.  The ASAC who is above the supervisor certainly can do it, especially if he has the agreement of the SAC.  Fitzpatrick doesn’t tell why this isn’t done.  He never writes another memo on the subject or seeks a meeting with the higher ups in the Bureau, if he had to do that before closing out an informant, to discuss the matter.  Instead he writes that he went into a self imposed cocoon and that he was going to go it alone.  He’s the second highest FBI agent in the Boston office and he tells us he’s going to strike out on his own to close out Whitey.

Was it he had no backing anywhere in the FBI to close out Whitey?  If that were the case, how does going it alone do anything?   At this point I’m confused.  At a minimum it seems if everyone in power in the FBI refuses to close out Whitey then Connolly was under enormous pressure to continue using him.

Fitzpatrick negates the idea Connolly is off on a lark of his own.  As I read on in his book you either assume Connolly had Hoover-like powers over everyone else in the FBI or that he was doing what they wanted him to do.  Fitzpatrick tells us he was “officially undercover” in the Boston FBI office reporting secretly to FBIHQ.   He writes that if he closed Whitey and made him a target he would undermine the investigation being led by Jeremiah O’Sullivan, the assistant US Attorney in charge of the Organized Crime  Strike Force against the Mafia head Gerry Angiulo.  In the next sentence he writes that Whitey had given O’Sullivan nothing of substance.  It doesn’t make sense.  If he gave him nothing how could closing him affect O’Sullivan’s investigation?

We then learn what happened to his memo to the SAC.  Connolly and Morris wrote memos opposing Fitzpatrick’s suggestion Whitey be closed.  (I had previously read those memos came in response to another situation.)  The SAC decided not to close him.  After this he said it became clear to him that “everyone involved wanted to take down the Boston mafia using whatever means necessary.”  This again shows there was great pressure on Connolly by the FBI to keep Whitey.

Fitzpatrick said he was in secret communication with the “top echelon HQ people.”   Some of these who were mentioned were Sean McWeeney, head of the organized crime section, the Bureau’s number two man John Otto, and the assistant to the director Oliver Revel.  He said because of these men “Whitey Bulger’s crucial status as an informant made him untouchable as the subject of a criminal investigation, lest the house of cards O’Sullivan and others had built got blown down.”   He then writes that he began to worry that his transfer to Boston was to, “Provide cover . . . for those at HQ who were afraid of the blowback when and if things turned.”

The more you see through Fitzpatrick’s eyes what was going on in the FBI the more you understand that from the highest levels of the FBI to the lowest Connolly’s relationship with Whitey was fully understood, encouraged and protected.  That the second in command of the Boston FBI office is in a tussle with a agent who will have trouble becoming a supervisor shows that agent was doing what the bosses in the FBI wanted him to do.

Fitzpatrick doesn’t believe the HQ people were involved in the corruption but they were “enablers, complicit in their unwitting facilitation of that corruption.”  It is hard to square that.  If Fitzpatrick saw corruption and was reporting it to them and they let it continue, then they were involved in it.  The problem is Fitzpatrick throws around the term corruption like Tom Brady tosses a football.  The difference is we know what a football looks like, but we don’t know Fitzgerald means by corruption.

Here’s an example.  When Halloran got gunned down by Whitey Fitzgerald said Jimmy Flynn got arrested for doing it because “Whitey had framed him with the help of his police and Bureau sychophants.”  He doesn’t mention that Halloran was still alive when the first Boston cop arrived at the scene.  Halloran told the cop that he had been shot by Jimmy Flynn.  Is this part of the corruption Fitzpatrick writes about?  This is the trouble with relying too much on Fitzpatrick’s book, as I said he recoils at the truth, he becomes a Don Quixote type figure thrusting out at windmills, making his case by omission, and too easily throws around the term corruption.

There are enough examples in the book to show clearly that the Connolly/Whitey relationship was well known and encouraged from the director down the hierarchy of the FBI.  Whitey, as a top echelon informant, was involved in top level criminal activities.  What is less clear is what that relationship should have entailed.  This was deliberately left vague by the FBI bosses as Fitzpatrick says to provide protection to them from any blowback that may come from his dealings.

To cut to the chase, the FBI director and the upper echelon of the FBI put Connolly on the front line, liked what he was doing with his informants, encouraged and protected him from interference in the Bureau and elsewhere.  When his association with these top echelon informants became known they washed their hands of him.   It is not something that should be tolerated.  If these top brass want to hide their involvement then they can do so, as the FBI brass has always been able to do when it decided to keep things quiet.  But if they want to close the books on this no one who was an intimate part of it should be left imprisoned for life.


The FBI Should Not Let Whitey Bulger’s Handler John Connolly Die In Prison

The Marines teach that you don’t leave your fellow Marines behind on the battlefield, whether wounded or dead.  Sometimes in doing that you may suffer other casualties but it is a risk you take because you know one of the stricken would take it for you.  It is always comforting knowing that your buddies will never abandon you whether dead or alive.  I can’t speak for the other groups in our armed forces but I’m sure that is the attitude of all who have to go into combat.

It seems a little bit different in our non combat agencies.  I can only tell you that from my observation the code of the FBI when one of its agents is exposed is something like “cut and run” or as we used to say as kids in some of our games — “every man for himself”.   It’s not too comforting to know that no one has your back, especially those in the command structure.

I’ve said Connolly should have gone to prison but I don’t think he should have to die in prison as now seems to be the case.  He should have gone to prison for what he did after he retired from the FBI, for the things the Boston jury convicted him of, even though I don’t believe the jury got it right on some of those things.

I don’t understand what justice is served when Martorano (20 confessed murders),  Weeks (5 confessed murders)  Salemme (a few confessed murders) are all free men.  Connolly never pulled the trigger on anyone nor stood by while victims were killed.

The reason Connolly is languishing in prison is that a jury in Florida believed Connolly told his top echelon informant, Whitey Bulger, that he did not think John Callahan would stand up to FBI pressure.   He has often stated that he felt that was part of his job as an FBI agent.  In Florida that made him an accessory before the fact to murder.  The government’s theory is that because Connolly told Whitey his belief that Callahan might rat him out Whitey then got Martorano to kill Callahan.  It’s not that it would not have happened if Connolly did not tell Whitey that.  Whitey knew that having arranged for the killling of Jai Alai owner Wheeler in Oklahoma and then having killed Halloran in Boston that someone was going to start focusing on Callahan who could dime him out.

Anyway, that’s the gist of the government case against him, telling Whitey that Callahan was weak.  None of Whitey’s murders: Castucci, Halloran, Wheeler, or whoever else should have been part of the Florida case.  Nor should matters involving the bribes, or the undermining of other investigations, or any other alleged or imagined criminal acts by Connolly.  It was a simple case of telling Whitey that Callahan would not be able to resist the FBI pressure.

Connolly received 40 years for that;  Martorano the hitman, as he proudly labels himself, who lured Callahan to Florida and put a slug in his head, 12  years which also wrapped up 19 other murders, or a net of 6 to 7 months.

Connolly alleged as an FBI agent handling informants he had the right to pass that information along to Whitey.  Unfortunately for him, that is an issue that has never been decided because he didn’t bring it up.  To date, almost fifteen years from the time Judge Wolf first started his hearings the issue of what can an FBI agent do to protect his top echelon informant is left open.   The FBI hierarchy has not been called upon to come into court to explain its boundaries.

There are two other issues in this case aside from the the actions of an agent when handling informants known to be killers.  I’ll mention them briefly.

First, there are legal issues with respect to Connolly’s Florida conviction which seem to suggest he was wrongfully convicted.  These are re-instructing the jury on a lesser included offense,  the running of the statute of limitations on that lesser included offense, the failure to show an essential element of the lesser included offense which was possession of a gun.  I don’t know enough about Florida law or procedure to address those.

Connolly’s appeal of his conviction was denied without any explanation.  That gives off a bad odor when a guy gets 40 years and can’t have his trial reviewed.  Sort of sends a message if you want to do crime don’t do it in Florida.

The other issue is the right of a state court to be judging the actions of a federal agent.   We have a situation where Florida is deciding what an FBI agent’s duties entail.  If that could be done I’m sure then President Obama might have some troubles ahead of him in one or two of the Red States.

My post here does not consider those issues.  I’m dealing with the big white elephant in the room that no one seems to see.  I am suggesting that when the  rules and regulations are deliberately vague and FBI agents are allowed to freelance with informants, just because this becomes public knowledge and the FBI is embarrassed, the FBI should not run away from an agent when it  knew exactly what he was doing and allowed him to think he was doing his job.

Even though Connolly didn’t stand up when he should have and testified,  he shouldn’t die in prison if the FBI in any way condoned his actions.  The FBI started the top echelon informant program.  Connolly had upwards of ten of these types informants.  We have no way of knowing how many top echelon informants were partnering with the FBI.  We don’t know what is permissible for an FBI agent to do with this type informant.

The FBI points to its informant guidelines that are written in books which have as many holes as Swiss cheese.  John Morris, the FBI supervisor of Connolly, who tried to get Whitey killed and then jumped in the prosecutions boat to pick up an oar aside Martorano, testified that he asked Connolly, “what do these guys want for informing?”  It shows how broad the discretion is that is given to an agent.  A supervisor asking the agent what was the deal.  The guidelines, the rules and regulations, may say one thing but the accepted practice is different.

Newman Flannagan a former prosecutor was trying a case against me.  I had brought in time cards from my client’s work to give him an alibi.  Newman got up in front of the jury during final argument and said, “we’ve all worked for the post office over Christmas — you know how your buddies will punch your time cards for you — never believe a time card.”

He was suggesting that the records can show one thing but reality another.  The FBI has all its rules and regulations to cover itself — but it operates in a manner totally different than that.

It’s time some of the top brass come forward and tell us what it was like.  It’s time to get over Hoover’s first commandment that all that matters is not to embarrass the FBI.  It has a guy who worked for it for 20 years and who retired with honor and great acclaim.  The Boston jury gave him a pass on what he did as an FBI agent with the gangsters understanding instinctively that was part of his job.   The FBI hierarchy did not help him when he was in the fight but now it can at least work to show that he was doing what he was supposed to be doing and that providing information to his informants was part of his job.

Whitey’s Bulger’s Handler FBI Agent John Connolly Was Properly Convicted in Boston But Should Not Still Be In Jail

There are some people who think former FBI John Connolly got a raw deal.  You won’t find many of them in the media.  I’ve suggested much of Connolly’s problem is due to him not speaking up when he should have done so.  I’m told if he did he would have somehow gotten buried by the prosecution team.  Well, it seems he could not be worse than he is now if he had gone down fighting in the ring rather than shouting from outside the ropes as he has done, continually maintaining he did nothing wrong — that his job was to give protection to top echelon informants who everyone on his job knew were murderers.

I’ve also suggested is those who want to correct the injustice they believe Connolly has suffered would be much better off if they painted with a much narrower brush.  What I mean by that is they should stop complaining about what happened in the trial in Boston.  They find fault with Judge Joseph Tauro, the prosecution team, the prosecutor behind the unraveling of Whitey Bulger and Stevie Flemmi’s  criminal enterprise, Fred Wyshak, the deals the government made with the gangsters to to get them to testify, and even the jury itself.

With respect to the Boston case, all of their complaints are misplaced and unhelpful to Connolly.  I haven’t heard Connolly or his counsel complain about the way the government tried the case or the court managed the trial or the jury rendering a wrong verdict.  .

The trial judge, Joseph Tauro is a fair, intelligent and upright judge, one of the best to sit in Boston’s federal court.  The prosecutors Durham, Boyle and Shepherd presented the evidence in a professional manner.  Fred Wyshak is a skillful, honest and hard charging prosecutor.   As far as the impact of using gangster testimony, it had little outcome on the trial.  Some suggest that Flemmi should never have been used in Boston.  He wasn’t.  He hadn’t agreed to cooperate by that point.  He only testified in Florida.

The trial was so expertly managed and the jury so attentive that Connolly was acquitted on the most serious charges.  The jury rejected the gangster testimony that related to any act Connolly did while an FBI agent.  The charges they found him guilty of were all corroborated by non-gangster evidence.  All but one, the bribery of his supervisor, occurred when he was retired from the FBI.  Some happened in December of 1994 or January 1995 when he was convicted of telling the gangsters to flee; the others in 1998 around the time of the Wolf hearings.

It is suggested that the sentence was overly harsh.  Judge Tauro imposed upon him a sentence of eight to ten years.  I believe it reflected Judge Tauro’s belief that Connolly’s sending of an anonymous letter to Judge Mark Wolf seeking to undermine the hearings involving Martorano, Flemmi, Salemme, gangsters and murderers all, was a strike at the heart of the judicial system.  The letter stated in part that the evidence before the judge was gained illegally causing Judge Wolf to hold additional hearings.  Those actions could not be tolerated, especially from a former law enforcement officer.

Added to that was the jury found Connolly passed on secret information to Weeks known to only four FBI agents about the expected date the indictments against Whitey, Flemmi and others which gave them an opportunity to flee.  No one has a First Amendment right to disclose secret law enforcement information to gangsters for malicious purposes.

These supporters of Connolly should accept the fact that he was rightfully convicted of the charges and the sentence was harsh but justified.  Alleging that Connolly was innocent only serves to muddy the issue and take away from what I believe should be their true grievance.

This is that Connolly was convicted by a state jury in Florida of having a connection with the murder of John Callahan.  That jury, unlike the Boston jury, believed the testimony of the gangsters.  One additional gangster, Flemmi, who had direct contact with Connolly was added to the gangster lineup.

In a sense the government got two bites out of the apple.  Some suggest that is not supposed to happen.  We do have an adage  “nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”  You may have heard it before.  It’s in the Fifth Amendment to our Constitution.

An article explaining its history suggests that those words don’t exactly mean what they say.  The Supreme Court has come up with a concept of dual sovereignty.  The United States and the individual states are different entities so each one can take a bite out the apple.  I know it is still two bites but because they are two separate sovereigns it supposedly makes a difference.  (If it doesn’t make sense to you keep in mind what my lawyer mentor FJD said to me, “remember, the law is what the judges say it is.”)

The idea behind it is a distrust of the states — a worry that the states will give someone a quick trial and acquit the person just to prevent the federal government for trying that person.  It brings back memories of the acquittal by white juries of the white killers of blacks in the some Southern states.  Years later they were convicted on the federal side.

My position on this is what happened in Boston to Connolly was the way it should have happened.  After he retired the evidence was clear that Connolly aligned himself with two gangsters, Weeks and Flemmi, to assist other gangsters.  That in itself is not criminal but his actions in trying to help them were.

I don’t however believe what happened after Boston was proper.  I’ll explain why tomorrow and tell why Connolly should not be in jail.












The Government’s Great Deal With A Serial Murderer Who Brags About His Deeds

Gangster Thursday is a good day to talk about Howard Carr’s big buddy John Martorano.   Martorano is walking the street after having murdered twenty persons.  People who kill that many people usually are called serial murderers and locked up for life.  In Texas and Florida people are executed for killing one or two people.

We like to be different in Massachusetts.  We extol serial murderers.  Carr the afternoon radio talk host who has nothing good to say about most people in the public sector writes a hymn of praise to Martorano suggesting that the man is brave and virtuous.

How is it that a serial murderer walks around like nothing happened?  The Justice Department attorneys indicate that Martorano deserved special treatment because he told how he killed the people and this was something we would not have known.  We are supposed to be thankful because he did this?

With Martorano,  everything is turned upside down.  Normally if a person tells the cops how he killed someone it is called confessing; in Martorano’s case it is called cooperating.   I wonder if a precedent has been set that in th future a person who murders another person can hide her body and a few years later go the the government and offer to talk about his murder if he can get a good deal on a sentence.  Then when he gets the deal try to have it sweetened up by offering to reveal the location of the body.

As part of the deal to serve no more than 12 years for 20 bodies Martorano agreed to testify against against Whitey Bulger, Stevie Flemmi,  Dick Schneiderhan, Paul Rico and some others.   Martorano said the government “knew how bad it would look, if I admitted to twenty murders, and I only had to testify against four people.”   Everyone was concerned with public perception.  Catherine Greig got 8 years for being with Whitey.  Martorano 12 for 20 murders.  The government had to do something to make the deal look better but Martorano would not budge.

How did they break the logjam?  The government came up with a way to scam the public if Martorano is to be believed.  Martorano said the government went back and returned to him with a list of people he would have to testify against.  Martorano said, “I loved that list, because I’d never known any of those guys, let alone committed any crimes with them.  So I was glad to say I’d  tell the government the truth about anything I did with them, which was nothing.”  Do you get the sense of the wise guy gangster here?

Here’s what you have to know about Martorano and his ilk, once a wise guy always a wise guy.  He knows nothing but crime and scams.  In dealing with him the government becomes more like him.  It was aware he didn’t know the people on the list.  Martorano said the list was the South Boston crew in the ’70s and ’80s when he wasn’t in town.  (One person who comments to the blog alleges a bias by the government toward Southie.)  The government had to know that when it made the list — but it needed cover for its six-months-for-a-murder deal so it phonied up Martorano’s deal hoping the public would buy it.

When he testified Martorano was asked by a lawyer, “Why did you agree to testify against somebody you didn’t know.”  Wise guy Martorano shot back, “That’s the best way to agree.

I had a chance to see Martorano testify in Boston at the trial of retired FBI agent John Connolly.  I wrote about it in a book I hope to publish shortly called “Don’t Embarrass The Family”.  He testified like the gangster he is.  In Boston he acted like he was a stand up comedian at some seedy night club.    He had an audience of friends that he was playing to.  These were the cops who had been dealing with him over the years.  They were his new friends.  When he’d arrive in court or leave he’d wave to them with a big smile and they’d respond.  He’d look over to them for approval when he made what he though was a clever remark.

I noted how he was asked by counsel what business he was in.  He said “I guess you could say the monkey business.”   The cops all broke out in laughter and he looked over grinning.  I looked at Judge Tauro.  He found no humor in the remark and was decidedly unhappy.  I looked at the jury.  All their faces showed disgust at this serial murderer being a wise guy.  I felt a little sick to my stomach seeing this macabre performance of a gangster with the blood of twenty people on his hands making like a clown in the court.  The jurors contempt for him was shown in its verdict.  Nothing he said was believed by them and they acquitted Connolly on the indictments that depended on his evidence.

I’ve noted before how the government when it makes a deal with a person accepts the person as part of the government’s team.   The daily proximity to a cooperating witness produces a friendship.  This is seen in Martorano’s case where the government investigators no longer see Martorano as a serial murderer but as a member of their team, he’s now become a good guy.  That’s why the investigators can find gangster humor in a highly serious matter where the average person or impartial observer is repelled by it.

When Martorano was sentence, the wife of one of his victims said, wait a minute, let me tell you first what Martorano said about the people he killed, “remember a lot of the guys I killed were rats.  A lot of the guys I killed had killed a lot of other guys and probably would have gone on killing if I hadn’t killed them.”   In his twisted mind, Martorano was doing our society a service by killing these people.  I hope to examine each individual Martorano killed to give lie to this fabrication.

At his sentencing hearing the survivors had a chance to speak.  Barbara Sousa, the widow of James Sousa who by the way never killed or ratted on on anyone, spoke:  “It is very hard to understand how a man who has admitted to killing twenty people can be regarded as giving ‘valuable assistance’ to anyone.”  Their are many next of kin and friends of the other survivors who feel the same way.

It is not enough that these people lost a loved one to Martorano.  Now they have the sad spectacle of him freely walking on the streets in their city and flaunting his actions in a braggadocio book and making money for himself and others by telling of his despicable life.  It’s bad enough he murdered their kin but now he gets to rub it in their faces.


How The FBI Framed An Innocent Massachusetts State Trooper

My telling of the story of Trooper John Naimovich must be like a serialization.  To understand it you have to know what I’ve written on past Wednesdays.  Serialization is as old as Sheherazade’s stories in One Thousand and One Nights.  It gained immense popularity in the 19th Century when most good authors like Dickens produced their books in segments.  Google tells of its history.

As a youngster I would attend movies that were serials.  After the first episode, each following week a segment would be shown that would be a continuation of the prior week. Like a magnet it drew me back each Saturday morning as the suspense built. To understand the movie, I had to make sure I saw each segment.

To understand Naimovich you have to have read most segments about him.  I’ll sum up a part of the story here.  Each Wednesday I’ll add to the story.  To get a sense of what I write about you’ll have to read most of all the Wednesday material including that previously posted.

The gist of the Naimovich story is that he was a state trooper with 23 years of remarkable service who successfully went after organized crime gaming syndicates.  On February 3, 1988, he was arrested in a humiliating manner in front of all the members of his unit.  He was paraded before the media.  When I learned of his arrest I called assistant U.S. attorney Jeremiah O’Sullivan.  He told me Naimovich had been undermining FBI investigations for many years by leaking confidential matters to the LCN.

Naimovich was abandoned by everyone on his job other than fewer than the fingers on your hand.  His union refused to pay for his attorneys.  Some on his job worked actively, perhaps over eagerly, to try to convict him.  The story that was patched together seemed solid.  When convicted the government planned to send Naimovich away for twenty or more years as a bad cop.

Tom Foley who had been a Massachusetts state trooper for a half dozen years, two of those working for the FBI, was heavily involved in the investigation of Naimovich.   He barely knew Naimovich but had this to say about him in his book, Most Wanted.  He was “A tough, burly guy, not far from retirement, Naimovich had all the personality of a nightstick.  Few liked him, and that is saying something in the State Police, which is a get along kind of group.  Naimovich would give you a grunt or a look, and think he was being helpful.”   You can understand why a person like Foley and some others would gleefully help the FBI.  As he said, “few liked him”.  He was not one of the guys, an easy and acceptable target.

I had worked with Naimovich off and on over ten years.  We weren’t friends by any means but we were close because of our work.  To say I liked Naimovich would be stretching it, to say I admired him would not be.  Naimovich was hard to like.  It was even harder to get him to like you.  You had to earn his respect not by talk but by the way you did your job.  It took time to do this.  Guys like Foley who liked the “get along kind of group” could never understand a Naimovich so he looked upon him with jaundiced and suspicious eye ready to turn on him at the slightest prompting,  especially if it came from someone he admired like the FBI.

Naimovich was all business all the time.  He was all state police but not in any showy way.  He dressed like a longshoreman.  He wore a gold earring.  He seemed slovenly.  He had no showing of any wealth living a very modest existence.  His was an odd name among all the Irish names.  His nickname, Ivan, bespoke of someone strange.  He was interested in doing his job as well as he could.  He had had a remarkable career including running a bookie office as an undercover trooper.  He had no plans to retire because he loved his job.

At the time he was arrested he and I were planning to set up a special unit in Norfolk County to go after the leaderships of all the organized crime groups.  We were both expert in electronic surveillance.  We loved working it.  I had developed a nick name Matt Tap among some of the cops.  (As a consequence of working closely with cops I picked up two other nicknames:  Monte and Fletcher, but those are other stories.)  I figured if we joined up we’d get tremendous results.  Naimovich was willing to leave the Special Services Unit (SSU) where he had worked for years and come to Norfolk because the SSU had been merged with another state police unit to create a new unit called the SSS.  This new unit was run in coordination with the FBI.  The new guy in charge of the SSS had an intense dislike for Naimovich and feelings of grandeur because the FBI let him work with its agents.   Naimovich felt the new guy was sort of a phony who didn’t earn his stripes.

After I learned Naimovich was arrested that was all I knew.  I knew nothing of what O’Sullivan or the FBI had for evidence against him.  I called around and tried to find out.  The few who were willing to talk to me told me nothing.   I had to assume the feds had a rock solid case.  After all, this guy had been on the job a long time spinning out one investigation after another which took down top organized crime figures.  You just don’t indict such a person unless you are absolutely sure you’ve got him good.

Even though I knew nothing about the case and had to believe the feds had him locked up solid I didn’t believe Naimovich was a bad cop.  For all I knew they had tapes of him talking to top LCN figures or pictures of him taking money from Mafia hoodlums.  But until I knew more I had to go with my gut.  As I said to O’Sullivan that morning, “you guys made a big mistake.”  A few  weeks later teaching a course to state troopers at their facility in Framingham and still without knowing the evidence I told the class that Naimovich was wrongfully accused.  (I was not invited back to teach again.)  I had put myself way out on the limb in my belief that he was wrongfully charged based only on the dealings I had with him and my feeling he’d never have compromised anything law enforcement undertook to do.

I’d come to find out he was set upon by the FBI with the complicity of guys on his on job.   The initial basis for their investigation proved false.  Gears were switched to find another basis.  They were intent on finding something, anything,  against him.  They went after him through his informant a low level bookie named McIntyre.

McIntyre was one of Naimovich’s long time informants.  The FBI found that there were telephone communications between Naimovich and McIntyre.  What’s the first thing an experience investigator should ask when he sees that?  Why is this trooper in touch with a bookie?  If the trooper is a road guy then it should raise suspicions.  If the trooper is involved in chasing after bookies then it should raise the idea that this bookie is his informant.

The FBI agent of 20 year’s experience who received gifts from Whitey and dined with him and Connolly said he never thought of that.  He also said he couldn’t ask anyone about it because it might compromise his investigation suggesting that everyone in the state police were suspect.   The normal thing was not done.  Rather the FBI with O’Sullivan’s help got a pen register to show Naimovich and McIntyre were in contact over the telephone which the people who supervised Naimovich knew.

The FBI twisted this normal relationship, added in things that would later prove to be false, and secured a wiretap warrant to listen to McIntyre.   The intercepted conversations showed McIntyre was running a bookie office which was well known to the state police and should not have surprised anyone.   The FBI got warrants against McIntyre and arrested him.

The night of his arrest he was interviewed.  He said nothing that would implicate Naimovich in any wrongdoing.  He told the FBI he was his informant.    The next day he had to meet with O’Sullivan who told him: you’ll go to prison for many years and lose every asset you have if you do not change your story of Naimovich’s innocence and implicate him in criminal activity.   A day or so later McIntyre came back in with a new revised story.