TTTT

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

Billy Bulger’s Adversaries In The Media Hid Their Knowledge Of The Truth To Present A Sinister Picture.

I’m trying to go back and reconstruct the 75 State Street story which some (many?) have used to suggest Billy Bulger is corrupt.  Billy served from 1960 to 1970 in the House of Representatives, from 1970 to 1996 in the Senate and of those years as the longest-serving president of the Senate from 1978 to 1996, and as president of the University of Massachusetts from 1996 until 2002. Most of those who suggest he did something corrupt while in public office for over 40 years point to the 75 State Street story.

I’ve already stated there was no extortion involved in his actions. Harold Brown could not be extorted. Two U.S. Attorneys and Attorney General Scott Harshbarger concluded no crimes were committed after their investigations.

Reviewing the event something really stood out for me. The Boston Globe went all out to hammer away at this story day after day pushing a one-sided story which demonized Billy at every opportunity taking the self-serving pleadings of Harold Brown as gospel, and the position of Billy as suspect.

In my research I came across an article by Gerard O’Neill one of the reporters who kept pressing the 75 State Street matter. This article was written on July 21,2003, almost 15 years after the story broke.

Here’s a little history.

O’Neill was one of the reporters for the Globe Spotlight report in September 1988 that suggested that Whitey Bulger was an informant.  He got this information from FBI agent John “Leaky John” Morris. He confirmed it through former FBI agent Robert Fitzpatrick.

Leaky John fed O’Neill information from the secret files of the FBI from prior to the September 1988 Spotlight article up until he left Boston. He said when he testified at FBI agent John Connolly’s trial in May, 2002 that he and O’Neill were friends. Leaky John was more than a friend. He was Boston’s answer to Mark Felt of the FBI. Felt was the infamous “Deep Throat” who leaked FBI information to Woodward and Bernstein at the Washington Post; Morris was a “Leaky John” who passed secret information to O’Neill and Lehr at the Boston Globe. Both men violated the oath to their jobs for personal gratification. (Felt was angry at Nixon who appointed L. Patrick Gray as FBI director, the job he wanted. Morris, as we know, wanted Whitey killed.)

Leaky John was a spigot for the Globe (as was Fitzpatrick). He told it all he knew about Whitey, 75 State Street, Edward McCormack, and anything else. When his job confronted him about leaking matters, twice he lied under oath denying it. He was briefly put on probation, later transferred and then promoted. Leaky John, a  friendless man, thinking he had a friend in O’Neill after he began his liaison with the Globe could not do enough for him.

O’Neill writes in this July 21, 2003 article:  “The real issue with Bill Bulger is whether he was part of the core corruption of the FBI’s Boston office as it covered Whitey Bulger’s back in the Boston underworld in exchange for dubious intelligence. .  . The FBI protection of Bill Bulger is an overlooked part of the long-running controversy about Whitey’s evil empire. And it started with his request that the Globe hold an exposé about his financial benefit from 75 State St.”

Unlike what is inferred, the request was nothing out of the ordinary. The Globe was not requested to hold an exposé, as alleged. O’Neill and Lehr met with Bulger at his office on November 27, 1988. They asked Bulger specific questions about his financial transactions in 1985. He was unsure of the answers and said he would check his records before answering some of their  He was travelling to Europe with the Boston Symphony Orchestra the next night of November 28.  He said he’d have his aide, Paul Mahoney, assemble the records and he would meet with them when he came back in two weeks.

Bulger wrote O’Neill agreed to hold the story. O’Neill said he told Bulger he couldn’t promise to do it. O’Neill released the blockbuster story on December 8, 1988, knowing Bulger was in Europe. In it he said Bulger’s assistant hadn’t responded to them in ten days. He left out anything relating to Bulger’s legitimate request or his Europe trip. In his 2003 article he turns it into something sinister: calling it a “perplexing request for a delay.”  It was nothing of the kind. It was the most normal thing  a person could have done to want to check his records.

It gets worse. O’Neill then suggests he checked his records in his attic and learned that on November 30, 1988 “The head of the FBI’s public corruption unit, John Morris, privately closes the file on 75 State StYears later, Morris admits taking cash bribes from Whitey Bulger, including $5,000 shortly after he opened the 75 State St. investigation in 1986.”

We are left to infer that Leaky John Morris is corrupt and did Billy a favor. Nowhere do we learn Leaky John is O’Neill’s friend. We’re not told that Leaky John was no friend of the Bulgers. He is portrayed as just the opposite. We’re not told Leaky John had been giving him whatever information he wanted from the FBI files as well as guidance and help for his article.

O’Neill knew there was nothing wrong in Leaky John Morris closing out the file on November 30. O’Neill would have asked him why he was doing it and must have been given a legitimate reason. Subsequent investigations by prosecutors showed that it to be the correct decision.

Back when Morris closed it out O’Neill had no problem. But in 2003 when we have forgotten about the O’Neill/Morris friendship, O’Neill pretends otherwise. He keeps hammering away with this half-baked story. O’Neill’s strongly bias manner does not reflect well on him. Malcolm X was right on the mark when he said “the media’s the most powerful entity on the earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty . . . .”  It’s easy to see how it’s done seeing how these facts were contorted.

 

Tipping My Toe Into 75 State Street And Wondering About Whitey Bulger’s Lawyer J.W. Carney’s Next Step

Yesterday, I mentioned we should know who the characters are who are involved with Billy. I suppose the ones I should initially talk about are those who were involved in the 75 State Street episode, the one matter that is the ace card of all those who suggest Billy is corrupt.

Alan Dershowitz in one of his diatribes against Billy wrote: “Billy, who was suspected of extorting a quarter-million-dollar bribe from the Boston developer who was building a skyscraper at 75 State Street. Business as usual.”

Dershowitz’s uses words loosely so it’s best we define extortion. Here’s what one site says: “Most states define extortion as the gaining of property or money by almost any kind of force, or threat of 1) violence, 2) property damage, 3) harm to reputation, or 4) unfavorable government action. While usually viewed as a form of theft/larceny, extortion differs from robbery in that the threat in question does not pose an imminent physical danger to the victim.”

That’s a fair general description. Massachusetts extortion law is in Chapter 265, section 25 of the General Laws. It reads as it relates to this matter as follows: “Whoever . . . verbally or by written or printed communication maliciously and unlawfully uses or threatens to use against another the power or authority vested in him, with intent thereby to extort money or any pecuniary advantage, or with intent to compel any person to do any act against his will, shall be punished . . .”

The thrust of the accusations against Billy is that he used his political office or allowed it to be used to take money from a Boston developer, as Dershowitz called him. The name of the developer happens to be Harold Brown. The money went from Brown to Billy through a conduit, Thomas Finnerty who was Billy’s law partner. Billy had no direct dealings with Brown.

The background is the 75 State Street skyscraper project. The time frame is sometime around the middle of the 1980s. It’s an interesting story that I’m not quire ready to tell because a wild woman named Sandy decided to blow in yesterday taking away my electricity.

I can tell you this about it right now. There was no extortion. Harold Brown was not a guy one could threaten. He said this of himself in relation to people he competed with, “”They’re tough, but I’m tougher.”  He was surrounded by lawyers, as we will see, and continually involved in litigation.  He is one of the biggest landowner Boston and a reputed billionaire. He used money to get things he wanted. He never gave up a penny without a purpose. The money Harold Brown gave to Finnerty was done willingly. This will be continued.

I’m also behind on a post I wanted to make about Judge Stearns’s denial of the motion by J.W. Carney to recuse himself from the trial of Whitey.  It was reported in the media that J.W. Carney without having been heard in oral argument lost. This is his second loss on this issue.

I have not read the motion of Carney nor Judge Stearns decision which he issue on Sunday. I did notice in the Globe a quote from it that I found quite curious. Judge Stearns wrote: “Defendant undoubtedly prefers not to be tried on the schedule set by the court, or not to be tried at all. . . But like [former associates] Kevin Weeks, Kevin O’Neil, Stephen Flemmi, and Michael Flemmi, all of whom have appeared as defendants before me in this case, James Bulger’s case will be adjudicated by the rules of the court, and not the contrary wishes of defendant or defendant’s counsel.”

Where did Judge Stearns ever come up with the idea that Whitey prefers “not to be tried at all”? It seems like a testy and unnecessary statement for judge to make. From all I can see J.W. Carney has never indicated that. All he has asked for is a chance to go through the huge volume of evidence to properly prepare the case.

Is Judge Stearns taking the heat from an article written by the Globe’s Joan Vennochi stating he should recuse himself? She wrote: “Stearns was an assistant US attorney and chief of the criminal division during many of the years that Bulger was allegedly committing heinous murders. Yet he writes that he knew zero about Bulger’s secret deal with the FBI and had no knowledge “of any case or investigation” in which Bulger was “a subject or a target.” “

 I weighed in on the issue after the first time Stearns turned Carney down.

Judge Stearns in his denial then offered up the names of four defendants who have appeared before him in order to show, I’m not quite sure what?  I can’t figure it out. He says those cases have been adjudicated by the rules of the court. I assumed that. I also assumed that every other case that has been in front of Stearns has been similarly handled in that manner. Why then the necessity to name those four persons. They may have been associates of Whitey, but their cases were totally different.

Kevin Weeks, Stephen Flemmi, and Kevin O’Neill all pleaded guilty. They did not have to prepare for trial. They all cooperated with the government and got good deals and then went in before Judge Stearns to have him give his approval to the deals. They are in no way analogous to the case against Whitey.

Michael Flemmi went to trial on gun charges and was convicted. He was accused of keeping the guns for his brother. It wasn’t a complicated case.  It in no way compares to the 19 murders, each of which has to be defended against, that Whitey is charged with.

Joan Vennochi said: “Stearns’s refusal . . . gives Bulger an issue to raise on appeal.” True, but as I’ve said, no appeals court will be interested in any issue raised by Bulger. If he is going to win it has to be with a jury. The judges have already settled on his guilt. But she also said that if Carney is not bluffing then “Stearns could be revealed as one more person caught up in the web of dishonor between Bulger and the FBI.”

I don’t know why Judge Stearns wants to put himself in that position.  Maybe he knows Vennochi’s criticism from the Boston Globe is an outlier. She might not write on it again and soon the Globe will be praising him.

Reading between the lines of the little I’ve seen of Judge Stearns’s denial is that this Thursday Carney will be faced with a big DENIED stamped on his motion for a continuance. Judge Stearns having set an arbitrary date for the beginning of the trial is not going to change it.

 

 

Only His Closest Associates Knew Of Whitey Bulger’s Murders Before Murderman Martorano Made His Deal

I began writing about Billy Bulger on Sunday. Before going on, I want to discuss two things that are important to know when judging Billy. First, we should know the characters that are part of his story; and, we should judge him and his actions by what was known in the past and not by what we know now.

Knowing about the background of characters who are involved permits you to make a more informed decision about the person’s veracity and to better judge a person’s actions.

When you interact with a stranger you go through a process to determine whether the person should be believed. You listen to see if the thing he is saying makes sense and you try to judge the person’s character.  The greater understanding you have of a person’s background, the better your decision as to his or her veracity.

A young man who settled in Boston after graduating from Harvard Law School at the age of twenty Louis Brandeis wrote in 1913 in Harper’s Weekly that “Sunlight is said to be the best disinfectant.” 

He was referring to the need of the public to be knowledgeable about the huge commissions being made by bankers and money trusts. He would also use the term in relation to the knowledge of what is behind governmental actions. I suggest it also applies to the people we read about or who we come into contact with. The more we know what makes a person tick, the better off we will be in making a decision relative to the person.

I’ll try to provide some more light on some of the characters we will read about when I write about Billy including Billy himself. This will give you a better chance to judge the veracity of the allegations made against him.

Another thing I suggest we keep in mind is that one is much smarter looking backwards rather than looking forward. We’ve all been taken in by a polite person with a winning smile only to find out later that evil lurked behind the benign countenance. We then wished we knew then what we eventually discovered. We’ve given money to good causes only to find out they were fronts for crooks. Life is full of mistakes that we could have avoided if we could see into the future.

It is best to avoid judging ourselves for our past mistakes by what we know now. I suggest we look at what we knew then even though it is hard putting yourself back into the prior position. I suggest this because in the Billy Bulger situation, so much of the judgment of him is made from what we know now.

For example, Whitey is accused of 19 murders and some suggest he was involved in many more. Many of us believe that to be the case. But when is it we first decided that? I chased after Whitey for years believing him to be the head of a violent gang without knowing anything specific about his involvement in these murders. There are a handful of people who knew about his murders or back in 1975, 1985 or even 1995. These were the people who did them with him. Looking back we can say perhaps we should have known more, but we do that in light of today’s knowledge. There is evidence that we could have stopped 9/11 from happening when we look back, but we live in an imperfect world so things obvious now had little significance then.

You’ve read about the Boston gang war in the early Sixties between the McLaughlins out of Charlestown and the Buddy McLean’s Somerville guys. A couple of dozen got murdered. Murderman Martorano, Stevie Flemmi, and Frank Salemme were involved in these. Whitey wasn’t, he was in prison for robbery.

Following that the Killeens and Mullins in South Boston had their own war where a dozen got killed. All the while Jerry Anguilo’s Mafia were doing their own killings with the help of the Winter Hill gang.  Few, if any, got convicted for those murders.

It is only when the gangsters joined the 1997 queue to protect themselves by ratting out others that we’ve learned something about them but not the whole truth because gangsters only tell what helps themselves. Murderman Martorano, Brutalman Weeks, Mafia Chief Frankie Salemme and finally Stevie Flemmi made deals with the feds that in exchange for leniency for their murders they’d tell about others involved in them.

Those who excoriate Billy Bulger do so as if we all knew about these murders so he should have known about them. At least it appears that way in the media and books. Truth be told, whatever murders Whitey committed it seems to me Billy would be the last one to know.

Whitey would never had told Billy himself for the simple reason he knew Billy would recoil in horror. He’d also be jeopardizing Billy, his wife, and their nine children. I suggest you keep that clearly in mind. Add to it the fact that the feds have been working to get something on Billy for all the years since the gangsters began ratting each other out and have come up with nothing.

Whitey is known for his disciplined way of life. He stayed in good shape. He avoided excessive alcohol and drug use. He had few friends. He trusted a handful of people. He is said to have eradicated those he did not trust.

It seems self-evident that gangsters like Whitey, Stevie and Murderman knew their safety lied in secrecy. Brutalman Weeks testified Whitey taught him the idea behind committing  a crime is not to be caught. That meant limiting your associates and keeping your mouth shut afterwards.

There is no evidence or facts to support the suggestion that Billy knew his brother had murdered anyone prior to 1997 or 1998 when it became public knowledge. Even then, I assume from reading his autobiography, Billy didn’t believe it.

The Portrayal Of Whitey’s Bulger’s Brother Billy As Being Corrupt Is Based On Self-Serving Desires More Than Fact

Sunday is a good day to start a discussion of  William M. Bulger, born February 2, 1934, who I will call by the name he is commonly known as Billy.  He is the younger brother of Whitey Bulger, born September 3, 1929, who, as we know is called Jim or Jimmy in his family and by those who talk to him face-to-face.

Billy spent most of his career in politics.  He represented his section of South Boston, Ward 7, in the Massachusetts House of Representative starting in 1960.  After ten years doing that in 1970 he moved onto the Massachusetts Senate after Joe Moakley resigned to make a run for Congress.  He was elected president of the Senate in 1978 and held that position for 17 years until he went on to become president of the University of Massachusetts in 1996, a position that he held for six years until he was forced to resign because he was the brother of Whitey.

Billy has been excoriated by those who have written about Whitey.  Howie Carr links him with Whitey and calls him corrupt; the theme is picked up by others who hint at it without being as bold as Howie, but follow it along as the children of Hamelin chasing after the pied piper. The overwhelming adverse publicity that Billy has received has made it a staple belief that Billy must be corrupt.  This is so even though a person such as Michael Dukakis, the Massachusetts governor from 1975 to 1979, and again from 1983 to 1991 (Billy was president of the Senate from 1978 to 1996) spoke of him otherwise. If there is one thing anyone can say about Mike Dukakis it’s that he was squeaky clean.  He had an inborn intolerance to anything that was not on the level.  He said of Billy: “There has never been any question about the integrity of the Senate since he has been president.

Howie’s take on Billy comes from his conservative talk show perspective. This  makes Billy a natural foil because of his liberal politics. Governor William Weld, who during his campaign against John Silber asked Billy not to run for election again as president of the Senate just because he was Whitey’s brother, told us of Billy’s politics that so infuriate Howie. Weld said Billy, is “the champion of the workingman and the guardian of the widowed, the trustee and protector of Massachusetts General [Hospital] and the patron of the public library, the man who would open the beaches of this beautiful state for all to enjoy, . . . the public servant who wants nothing more or other than to succor men and women as they toil on the graveyard shift to give their little children a humble home and a solid schooling, . . . “  Howie’s abhorrence of Billy is colored by his tendency to see any government program for the down-and-outers as a waste of money and also by the color green.

Another enemy of Billy’s who has propagandized against him is Alan Dershowitz the gadabout professor.  I’d suggest that unlike Howie he comes from the liberal spectrum but that does not necessarily follow. Former US House Speaker Tip O’Neil is famous for saying “all politics is local;” Dershowitz is an example of all politics being personal. What I mean is Dershowitz can decry some treatment of incarcerated people while at the same time suggest we can issue torture warrants against others.Those others are people he disfavors.

An article in The Boston Daily, a blog of Boston Magazine, noted that, “As those who follow Boston politics well know. There’s no love lost”  between Billy and Dershowitz.  Dershowitz  list of villains who facilitated Billy are, “the Dukakises, Whites, McCormicks, Welds, Moakleys, and Silbers, . . .cowards who appointed” him president of UMass, the reporters for 60 Minutes and The New Yorker. But he doesn’t stop there, he writes corruption “permeates every aspect of public life” in the “FBI, to federal prosecutors, to the state judiciary, to Beacon Hill, to building inspectors, to the State Police. Everyone — from governors to justices of the state’s highest court. . . .”  The way he writes  against the people of Massachusetts, if Dershowitz had his wish and could secure torture warrants we’d be continually surrounded by screams.

Unfortunately, along with Howie and Dershowitz, the media seeing it had become the de rigueur to jump on Billy all joined in as did the federal prosecutors. In my book, Don’t Embarrass The Family, I noted that attending the trial of John Connolly I came away with the distinct feeling that it was not so much against Connolly as it was against Billy.

This is all tragic when one considers the four-part Globe Spotlight series of 1988 titled The Bulger Mystique that discussed both Billy and Whitey. It is available on-line.  That series, as we know, gave hints that Whitey was an FBI informant telling of the relationship that he had with the FBI. The Globe knew he was an informant because two FBI agents, John Morris and Robert Fitzpatrick, violated the most sacred principle of an FBI agent which is to keep the identity of an informant safe. Morris who had been taking bribes from Whitey gave the Globe the information hoping to get Whitey killed by the Mafia; Fitzpatrick who had all but been drummed out of the FBI for certain questionable acts, not the least accusing the FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Boston office, his boss, of doing wrongful acts, did it for revenge against the FBI.

The Spotlight article painted a fairly good picture of both Whitey and Billy. It did not link them together in any manner other than their sibling relationship. There was no hint of Billy being corrupt. Eight years later, in 2000 in a book Black Mass the attitude of members of the Spotlight team had changed.  Howie who for years had been calling Billy a corrupt midget seemed to have influenced them. Howie added his book in 2006.

As I go along  I hope to examine their allegations. Obviously, if you are of the mindset of Alan Dershowitz that everyone is corrupt except him and you, don’t bother reading anything I have to say. You’ve already figured it out, like a friend I ran into years ago who was serving as a juror in Suffolk who told me he didn’t need any evidence, he could tell if a person was guilty by looking at them.

 

Whitey Bulger’s Claim of Immunity Is Backed Up By The Ongoing Immunity Given To His South Boston Crime Partner

Over the last three days we went into Whitey Bulger’s claim that Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremiah O’Sullivan gave him immunity. We’ve seen that the only people who would know about this are Whitey, his handler, FBI Agent John Connolly, and O’Sullivan. The prosecutors have made much of O’Sullivan’s denial that he gave immunity but the actions of O’Sullivan when viewed in a critical light, beyond the self-serving denials, show that it is quite probable that he had that arrangement with Whitey. I expect Whitey will testify he got immunity and from press reports John Connolly will testify to the same thing.

The media reported last Thursday that J.W.Carney, Whitey’s lawyer, filed papers making this claim. One person in the media went out to the usual contacts, some of the families of the victims, seeking their opinion. As expected, it was reported that they scoffed at the idea the federal government would give people immunity for murdering people. It would seem to be a far-fetched notion to persons not familiar with the operations of the Justice Department and FBI. It is not to us who have seen them operate in the matters surrounding Whitey.

In the comment section on my blog we have been talking about one person who is believed to be getting immunity from the feds at the present time for the murders he may have been involved in. This man is Patrick Nee who wrote a book about his exploits as a gangster calling himself a criminal. Nee brags how he tried to murder Kevin Daley shooting him twice from several feet away, then standing over him shooting him twice more with a .38 automatic, and finally kicking him in the face. He tells how he was involved in a gun war with another Southie gang.  He tells how Billy O’Sullivan, the top gun for the Killeen gang, was killed, as well as Donald Killeen. As expected, the guys he identifies as killing them are dead although some suggest that he left out one participant who was very close to his heart.

In 1972 Nee finally sought a peace conference with Whitey who was a member of the Killeen gang. They met at a restaurant and, as Nee wrote: “Whitey and I were now officially partners . . .”  He writes later talking about the time around 1974 or 1975 “Whitey and I were still in complete control of South Boston, . . .”

In May 1982 Whitey, and many believe Nee, killed Halloran and Donohue. The feds have evidence that he did it. Apparently Stevie Flemmi testified to that fact. Kevin Weeks is covering for Nee saying he wore a ski mask when an independent witness says he wasn’t masked. Isn’t Nee getting immunity from the feds if he’s the other gunner with Whitey?

Then there’s the killing of John McIntyre. He was the first mate on the Valhalla which made the trip to off the coast of Ireland and unloaded several tons of weapons for the IRA. When the Valhalla got back to Boston, the feds were looking for the crew and the people involved in the transaction. Nee was up to his ears in it, Whitey, according to Nee, backed it but half-heartedly.

It unclear whether McIntyre ever met Whitey. He was a skilled marine mechanic who was needed to keep the Valhalla running.  His only prior criminal involvement was as a member of a crew on a ship carrying marijuana. Yet the feds allege that Whitey murdered him.

Nee who had the motive to murder him says this of his murder. A grand jury was investigating the Valhalla and the heat was building. McIntyre was apparently going to give evidence to it. Nee writes, “Whitey asked me to bring McIntyre to see him at my brother’s house on East Third.” He drove to East Boston, picked up McIntyre, told him Whitey wanted to see him, and drove him to his brother’s house. He brought him there and walked into the living room and saw Whitey, Stevie Flemmi and Kevin Weeks sitting in there. Whitey “asked to speak to John alone in the kitchen.”   Nee writes, “I had some business at the club and told them I’d be back. I returned to my brother’s house an hour later.”  He returned and found Whitey, Stevie and Weeks in the basement and McIntyre lying dead on the floor.  He helped bury him in the cellar.

Kevin Weeks writes about the same incident which took place on November 30, 1984, saying  McIntyre was told by “another guy” who we know is Nee that he had to drop off beer at a party on East Third Street. They arrived around noon. Nee, carried in a case of beer and went out to get another one. McIntyre came in with a case and was immediately grabbed and tossed to the floor by Weeks. McIntyre remained a captive for six or more hours tied to a chair while being questioned by Whitey.

Nee has the motive to kill McIntyre. McIntyre is murdered at his brother’s house. Nee admits he brought him there and was there all but an hour. Nee admits burying him. Weeks said it took over six hours to kill him. Nee has him dead in an hour. It seems clear from this evidence Nee was involved in McIntyre’s murder. That he isn’t being prosecuted means he has been given immunity for this by the feds and he is probably a top echelon informant.

If right up to this date Nee, who is Whitey’s partner, can be given immunity by the U.S. Attorney’s office for his murders, why is it so difficult for people to accept that Whitey also was given immunity.

O’Sullivan’s Efforts Against Whitey Bulger Seemed to Help Him Rather Than Stop Him

I noticed yesterday that it was reported in the news media that Whitey was  going to claim Jeremiah O’Sullivan gave him immunity. Readers of this blog knew months ago that he was going to make that claim. J.W. Carney has also raised the issue of Judge Stearns sitting on the case. He asked him to recuse himself saying that he was an associate of O’Sullivan during the time in question. Judge Stearns has already denied a prior request that he recuse himself. I’ve suggested before that his denial under the circumstances may not have been the wisest move especially since Carney suggests he will call him as a witness.

We discussed O’Sullivan’s testimony before the Congressional committee that the prosecutor is relying on to suggest O’Sullivan did not give Whitey immunity. A quick examination has shown how inconsistent his testimony appears to be. The prosecutor also said the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has said Whitey did not get immunity but in truth the issue was never raised before by Whitey. Its prior decision was made without all the facts, so it will not be a bar to rising the issue again.

Yesterday, I told how the Congressman on the committee seemed confused by Jeremiah O’Sullivan’s answers. The bottom line was that despite his bobbing and weaving when the Congressmen attempted to pin him down, he had a strong case against Whitey and Stevie, two men he knew were murderers and in the leadership position of the Winter Hill gang, yet he decided to give them a pass.

He was finally asked, given that he was head of the Organized Crime Strike Force, did he do anything to go after these two men. Or did he not care, as seemed to be the case, that these two murderers were running wild. O’Sullivan said that he did go after them. He pointed to two instances in his long career. The first the Lancaster Street investigation and the other when he put a wire on a cop while investigating a bookie.

Lancaster Street was not a federal investigation. I’ve devoted a whole chapter in my book Don’t Embarrass The Family to it. It was a state police investigation that had been ongoing for over six months before O’Sullivan heard about it. Doing hard grunt work and sophisticated planning and execution, the state police were able to establish evidence that Whitey, Stevie, their associates, and the leadership of the Boston Mafia including Larry Baione and the Angiulo brothers were meeting  at a garage on Lancaster Street near the location of the old Boston Gardens. The state police  operation had been handled in a secure and safe manner and was known to only a handful of troopers under the command of Sergeant Bobby Long.

Having gone as far as they could using normal investigative procedures, the state police sought to do electronic surveillance, that is to plant electronic bugs, in the garage to listen to the conversations of the gangsters. Bobby Long went to Colonel John O’Donovan and they decided to seek the help of O’Sullivan in doing this. Their one stipulation was that the FBI not be involved because they didn’t trust the FBI believing that if the FBI knew of their investigation it would be compromised.

What O’Donovan and Long did not know which would have caused them to act otherwise and what O’Sullivan did not disclose to them was that he was in the process of working with the FBI targeting the Boston Mafia, some of the same people the state police were targeting. O’Sullivan knew that if the state police were to be successful in their operation then they would undermine his and the FBI operation. O’Donovan and Long also did not know that O’Sullivan lived in great fear of the FBI and would do nothing to interfere with what it was doing.

You probably can figure out what happened.  The state police got an order from a state judge to put the bug into the garage and soon they heard Whitey, Stevie and gang discussing what a good job the state police did patrolling the Mass Turnpike. They knew their operation had been compromised. At about the same time, FBI Agent John Morris who was working with O’Sullivan had a couple too many glasses of wine at an after work affair and he blurted out to a Boston police sergeant that he knew the state police had a bug in the garage.

Having lost months of work going after Whitey and Stevie, and by the way you’ll notice it was the state police going after them and not the FBI so that should pretty much make liars of people who said the state police were afraid to go after Whitey, O’Donovan and Long were highly upset. They called the FBI on it and Morris lied about how he knew about the bug. It seems pretty clear to me as I spell out in my book that O’Sullivan was the leak, as Flemmi testified during the hearings before Judge Wolf.

The bottom line is that when O’Sullivan offered to prove that he did some investigations of Whitey and Stevie by pointing to the Lancaster Street matter, the actual happenings show that he undermined the state police. That just leaves as the one thing he did was wiring a Boston cop to get evidence against Whitey.

All I know of that is that when the cop showed up at Whitey’s South Boston Liquor store to talk to Stevie, according to Weeks, Whitey reminded Stevie to “watch out he’s wired.” Here again, the other defense to his inaction by O’Sullivan was also quickly known about by Whitey.

Look at it this way, O’Sullivan when he had evidence against Whitey and Stevie did not indict them. Of the two attempts he pointed to in order to suggest he investigated them, one did not originate with him, and both were quickly known about by Whitey. Rather than doubling down and going after them full blast if he was bothered by this, he did nothing more against them in his long career. His inaction (assuming he didn’t actively compromise investigations against them) inures to Whitey’s benefit since it seems to support his argument that O’Sullivan gave him immunity. How else explain his indifference to these two murderers other than he gave them carte blanche immunity for their activities?

Whitey’s Bulger Claim of Immunity Will Be Supported By His Handler: The Only One Who’d Really Know

The FBI agent that has the information that O’Sullivan gave Whitey immunity is John Connolly. He is spending the rest of his life in a Florida prison.  He is, of course, the handler of Whitey Bulger and the one who would know.  His involvement with Whitey is spelled out in my book, Don’t Embarrass The Family.”  In a recent interview he asserted that O’Sullivan did request a meeting with Whitey. I wrote about this and suggested there is some type of coordination going on between Whitey’s lawyers and Connolly’s lawyers. Connolly’s claim came out about the same time as Whitey’s lawyers were making their claim. That doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with those parties being in contact. If Whitey’s lawyers learned during a debriefing of Whitey that he was making that claim, they would by necessity want to verify it through Connolly.  That is the only thing that makes sense. It would not have arisen as an issue until Whitey’s capture.

I mentioned yesterday the Connolly’s supervisor FBI Agent John Morris said he did not know why Whitey and Stevie were cooperating. He said he went to Connolly and asked him what they wanted  in exchange for the information. He said Connolly responded all they wanted was a head start, that is to be tipped off is some charges were coming down against them so that they could flee.

Morris’s sometimes incredible testimony is spelled out in the book. How likely is it for a supervisor not to know what the deal is with a top echelon informant? How likely is it that Morris who took money, gifts, socialized and had sit down dinners with these gangsters didn’t know what they wanted and what they were doing. Weeks testified, something Morris omitted in his testimony, that right after Halloran and Donohue were gunned down by Whitey, Morris was drinking beers with Whitey discussing the murder. He told him the FBI had the plate of the car he was driving at the time.

That wasn’t bad enough. Shortly after doing that Morris went to Glencoe, Georgia to attend a course. He asked Connolly to have Whitey and Stevie come up with a thousand dollars. He wanted to fly his girlfriend, Debbie, down to Glencoe, Georgia to keep him company. They gave him the money and Connolly gave it to Debbie.

You’d understand if you listened to Morris testify or read his testimony in my book that he was play acting. He testified Whitey called him Machiavellian. To my way of thinking, he’d have to have been pretty devious and conniving for Whitey to pin that tag on him. Yet he acted in his testimony like a six-grade boy playing junior G man. He said he didn’t know he was taking bribes when he was getting cases of wine and money from Whitey. He put the whole relationship on Connolly and portrayed himself as a child strapped in a car seat in back of the car during the ten-year ride.

Morris was in a bind. He was up to his neck with his sordid dealings with Whitey. He tried to have him killed by leaking he was an informant. When Flemmi testified he had carte blanche from the FBI to commit any crime he wanted except murder, Morris figured out what he had to do that to get his deal from the prosecution team. He knew the prosecutors had to rebut Flemmi’s testimony. Morris said he’d deny that was the deal if the feds didn’t prosecute him and let him keep his pension.

The feds had no choice. The problem is Morris testified he really did not know what the deal was other than that one time conversation with Connolly about the head start. No one believes that. In fact, the feds charged Connolly with a RICO violation precisely because they alleged that he gave them a head start. Morris said Whitey and Stevie were Connolly’s informants and he never dealt with them on his own.

Morris’s denial of knowledge was helpful in the prosecution of Connolly in Boston.  Now, in the prosecution of Whitey, his attempt to shift the whole knowledge of the deal between Whitey and the FBI onto Connolly’s shoulders is backfiring. He testified he depended on Connolly to deal with Whitey. He never met him alone. He is unable to testify the meeting between O’Sullivan, Connolly and Whitey never took place.

There are three people able to do this, one of them has died and two will come in and tell all about it. The two witnesses before the jury will say O’Sullivan gave Whitey immunity; the other witness’s testimony is in a transcript. It is confusing and contradictory. In the normal course of things, a live witness will beat the reading of the contradictory testimony of an absent witness.

Whitey’s lawyer J.W. Carney and his associate Hank Brennan will make mince meat of O’Sullivan’s denial. Initially, they will note that he had no valid explanation for indicting five of the seven leaders of the Winter Hill gang and not indicting Whitey and Stevie, who he knew were murderers. They’ll show O’Sullivan admitted that both Morris and Connolly asked him not to indict them but denied that was why he did it. They’ll point out how foolish he’d look if that were the case — not indicting two murderers because a couple of cops ask you not to do it. They’ll use that to show that O’Sullivan had hoped his deal with Whitey would never become public and now that it had, he tried to walk away from it but none of his explanations hold up.

Here’s the nub of the issue as I see it.  O’Sullivan was a federal prosecutor during the years in issue. From 1973 through 1989 he was with the New England Organized Crime Strike Force as a special attorney, assistant U.S. attorney, and as chief attorney. These were the years when Whitey and Stevie Flemmi were top echelon informants for the FBI and wreaking havoc with one and all throughout the area as if they were immune to prosecution. There are FBI reports showing O’Sullivan urged the Boston agent in charge to keep them as informants. O’Sullivan denial of doing that will also weaken his other denials because 302 reports indicating that at the time exist. O’Sullivan’s denial before the Congressional committee is hard to believe when everything is lumped together and two witnesses will testify against him.

The Congressmen confused by O’Sullivan’s testimony,wanted to know what he did to go after Whitey and Stevie who were the leaders of this organized crime game when he was the leader of the Strike Force. He said two things. Both don’t hold up.  I’ll talk about them tomorrow.

Whitey Bulger’s Secret Deal With A Federal Prosecutor For Immunity In Exchange For Betraying His Associates

Yesterday I wrote about Whitey’s one way to freedom. It is not through being acquitted before Judge Stearns in Boston of all the murder charges. That would help but it doesn’t spring him because the southern states of Florida and Oklahoma are waiting to try him and fry him for murder. His one way is to convince the jury that Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremiah O’Sullivan gave him immunity for all his crimes in return for being an informant for the FBI. If he had the federal immunity, he not only gets off on the federal murder charges but the states will be unable to prosecute him.

J.W. Carney and Whitey are going for the whole ball of wax. They know that 90% is not enough, it has to be an outright win. That’s why Carney is taking such a dogged approach to this case, probably more so than any other case he handled. He has to take a two tiered approach. spread doubt about Whitey’s involvement in as many murders as he can and convince the jury Whitey had immunity.

He probably knows he can convince a jury that Whitey was not involved in all 19 murders. (I know the burden is not on the defense to establish anything but in these gangster type cases reality suggests that despite the legal fictions the gangster must convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt he wasn’t involved.) He also knows that the more the jury doubts the government case, the greater the chance it will sign on to all of Whitey’s case, immunity being the big part.

We’ve discussed the first five murders that Whitey is alleged to have committed. These were all committed by Martorano (and his mysterious friend/relative) without Whitey having either a gun or firing a shot. It’s likely no jury will convict Whitey of those especially after getting a taste of Murderman Martorano’s act. We’ll go into the others later on, but on some of them it will be harder for a jury to acquit Whitey, not that it won’t. Carney has to go after each case and make the jury think that government’s evidence on each one is weak, that’s why he needs the time not only to go through the volumes of documents he received but also to go out and do his own investigation to undermine the government’s case.

All these crimes are of ancient origin so doing this won’t be easy but to carry off his planned escape to freedom for Whitey, this has to be done. The more the jury shuts its eyes to the government’s pitch, the greater Carney’s chances of pulling a rabbit out of the hat. That’s why the government is pushing for trial and Carney is delaying.

The rabbit is convincing the jury that even though Whitey may be guilty of some of the murders he was given immunity for these actions by AUSA O’Sullivan. As you can tell, the fewer the number of murders the jury is going to nail on Whitey, the easier it will be for them to accept the immunity argument. If the jury found he committed only one or two, they’d buy into the immunity. If it found 15 or 16, it would be reluctant to do this.

According to the Herald the prosecutors have scoffed at the suggestion that Whitey had immunity. The prosecutors responded last Friday that “O’Sullivan himself testified under oath before Congress he never extended immunity to either James Bulger or Steven Flemmi.” That’s true, in so far as it goes. What the prosecutors are not saying is that O’Sullivan also said things that contradicted that statement before the same Congressional committee.

O’Sullivan died at age 66 so he is not available. His testimony before the Congressional committee was confusing. I don’t think the prosecution team should be relying on it that much. Carney will be able to show that most of it was internally self-contradictory.  Without going too much into those contradictions now, O’Sullivan said the only evidence he had against Whitey and Stevie was that they cut up the money in the Race Fixing case, the case in which he decided not to indict them.  The evidence produced by the committee showed he had evidence that linked them to all parts of the scheme rather than just splitting the money.

For now lets just say that J.W. Carney and Hank Brennan, Whitey’s lawyers, have enough evidence to show to a jury that what O’Sullivan said to the committee is unreliable and self-serving. He made lots of statements that he ended up taking back or modifying under questioning. The big question that the committee members kept asking: “how is it you knew Whitey and Stevie were murderers and you had plenty of evidence to show they were involved in race fixing and you knew that they were two of the seven leaders of the Winter Hill gang and you indicted all the other leaders except them?”  O’Sullivan had no answer to the question that was not changed or contradicted.

A jury will say, that’s fine, O’Sullivan denies giving them immunity and we should not believe him, but what evidence is there that he gave them immunity. In other words, Carney and company have to give the jury something to hang its hat on. It can’t use Agent Morris. He is a professional liar and has already said he did not know why they were working with the FBI as informants. That leaves Whitey, who will testify to this. A jury will want more than Whitey’s testimony. Will they get more?

The answer is, “of course.”  It will have evidence from an FBI agent who will testify about a meeting that occurred in a hotel in the late 1970s that was set up at the request of O’Sullivan. He will say at that meeting O’Sullivan told Whitey in exchange for his being a top echelon informant and betraying his associates, he will be immune from prosecution.  I’ll go on with this tomorrow.

 

 

Whitey’s Bulger’s One Hope For Freedom Will Not Come From The Ongoing Discovery Battle

You’ve heard that the courtroom seems more like the Groundhog Day movie with Judge Bowler and J.W.Carney agreeing he is sounding like a broken record. The issue is still over discovery which should have been settled months ago with a little more cooperative effort  — or at a minimum with a court appointed referee who could sit down and separate the fluff from the rest of the stuff.

We’re all of the mind that Whitey is guilty and the show should get rolling along. That certainly is the mindset of the prosecution team which just wants to get this over. So one concludes that J.W. Carney, Jr., is standing in the way. That is the right conclusion but isn’t that his job. Despite the overwhelming condemnation of his client, as I recall, he is not guilty of any of these crimes unless found guilty by a jury after a fair trial. No matter how despicable we find Whitey to be, he is entitled to that under our Constitution, at least he was the last time I looked.

I am at a loss to see why the prosecution does not see that it is also in its interest to bend over backwards to give Carney what he wants. It’s not like anything that it will furnish him will diminish its case. It’s charging Whitey with 19 murders.  All it has to do is prove a couple and he’ll never get out of jail again not that he would even if acquitted of all the murders in Boston. There are still murder cases pending against him in Oklahoma and Florida. It looks like he’s going to die in jail so why rush the proceedings.

The way I look at is just by parading the following creatures in front of the jury: Steve The Rifleman Flemmi, John “The Murderman Martorano, Kevin The Brutalman Weeks, John The Liarman Morris, and Francis The Kingsmademan Salemme and telling the jury these are Whitey’s friends will be enough to have the jury stand up and proclaim with one voice he must be guilty.  Never mind adding to that the idea that among them they committed oodles of murders, some quite barbaric, without a scintilla of remorse and a couple wrote books bragging about their sordid lives. One is judged by the company he keeps. A jury looking at this crew will quickly figure out that Whitey must be guilty no matter how Judge Stearns tries to make sure that it is impartial.

What I’m suggesting is the prosecution has a rock solid case and they will eventually prevail in most of it. Whitey will be convicted and sent to ADX Florence. It should move from a position of fighting every discovery request to giving Carney what he wants, more than he wants, and move the case along.

I would think the last thing the prosecution would want and Judge Stearns would want is to let it appear that there was a rush to judgment. The prosecution has had the case prepared since before 9/11.  The defense did not get it until ten years later. Delaying the trial to the fall of 2013 would be in everyone’s interest. The additional six months will save years of recriminations.

Whitey is not going anywhere. Attorney Harvey A. Silverglate a prominent legal practitioner recently suggested that if there is any concern with critical witnesses being available, a deposition of their testimony can be taken. We’ve seen much made of the death of two persons, Theresa Stanley and Tommy Ryan, a bookie from Charlestown, but they had no evidence to offer about the murders Whitey’s is alleged to have committed. Stanley, Whitey’s female companion of 40 years, said she never spoke about his business with him. Ryan, was a bookie and would know nothing about the murders.  If the question arose whether Whitey was in the bookmaking business, I’d suggest that is so well-known that Judge Stearns could take judicial notice of it.

All of what is going on is important from a defense point of view. It has to contest each witness and has to know as much possible about them. That is the obligation that is placed on defense counsel’s shoulders, even if Whitey were to plea, it must be able to properly advise him of the strength of the evidence against him.

But to cut to the chase, there is really going to be one issue in this case that has any meaning. It was referred to in the Herald the other day. It is whether Whitey was given the right to commit all the crimes he is alleged to have done by someone in the U.S. Attorney’s office. I spoke about that issue previously. The Herald reported the prosecutors “scoffed at the immunity boast.” I hope that is not the case. This could be the one thing that lets Whitey escape from prison.  For if he was granted immunity, then he’ll be exonerated here and in Florida and Oklahoma.  I’ll discuss this more tomorrow and point out why I wouldn’t scoff at the claim.

Whitey Bulger Status Hearing: Sort of Like The Movie Groundhog Day

All the parties were in court by 2:30.  As usual the prosecution team of Kelly and Wyshak were there first; just before kickoff time Carney and Brennan entered.  The courtroom was not that filled, probably about 60% at this time.

US Magistrate Judge ­Marianne Bowler is on the bench just after 2:30. She asks so what’s happening with the discovery. Prosecutor Brian Kelly said he filed his response to the discovery request last Friday. He said the defendant is interested in nothing but delay. He then had two exhibits to offer to the court, A: which was a form that was redacted; and B: the same form as A, but with no redactions on it.  He said the defendant complained about the redactions in A and he already had the unredacted form B in his possession. Kelly said he received 2,200 forms from defendant complaining about redactions and 1,500 or so were like exhibit A, that is, they had already provided unredacted copies of the forms the defendant was complaining about. He said the defendants want the prosecutors to do their work and they are falsely raising problems where there aren’t any.

Carney responded saying that the prosecution pointed out the exact issue that the defendants faced.  Rather than just providing the unredacted form to defense counsel, it also provided the same form many times over that was redacted. Carney said the government was playing a game causing defense counsel to  think some forms are redacted when they are not. This brings about confusion when you have a team working to figure out what it’s received.

Judge Bowler responded to Carney that he wanted everything that related to Whitey and that’s what he got. Carney replied he only wanted one document not many of the same documents. The judge replied it is his problem to sort it out, that out of an abundance of caution he received everything. Carney said that was the problem. What they received was designed to waste their time.

Judge Bowler said Carney sounded like a broken record. He agreed. He then complained that he submitted a discovery letter to the prosecution for 26 or so items. That he took time with his associate Brennan to visit the prosecution and the prosecution  was not prepared to respond to them. Kelly got up and said they did discuss some of those matters and the defendant withdrew two requests, numbers 8 and 9, and they agreed to give them 24.

Does it all sound familiar?  It should. It really is the same thing that’s been going on for months. On September 10 I made a suggestion for getting to the bottom of this predicting unless that was done we’d be doing the argument over discovery endlessly. I also suggested on September 9 that the prosecution seemed to be going about this discovery the wrong way.

Here’s how I look at it. The indictment Whitey is facing was filed against him in May, 2001, before 9/11. It charged him with 19 murders. I assume the government at that time had binders with all the evidence to support these indictments. There seems to be very little more that would have occurred over the past eleven years that would have changed these charges. Had the government turned over to defense counsel the binders it made back in the summer of 2011 in an orderly form that made it easy for defense counsel to figure out what was going on and what was needed, we would be hearing substantive motion at this time.

But the best I can figure, the government didn’t turn over orderly folders, it did a document dump. I’ve explained how that works. I had a case with a firm that Eric Holder was associated with in DC. I asked for certain discovery. I was told what I was to be given. It was going to be hundred of thousands of documents packed up in box after box without any indexing. I forget the exact number but even before I could consider accepting them, I recalled the first thing I had to find out is where I could find space to store them. That was going to be difficult enough, then I realized it would be impossible to ever go through them so we put off the request.

Carney is now saying it will take him until next May to go through the discovery. He does not want to file substantive motions until he has done this. The judge keeps saying he got everything he asked for. She doesn’t seem to understand that you can get it in an orderly fashion or in a dump. It makes a big difference.

Judge Bowler sent them out to meet after the hearing and to go through the discovery letter. Carney said it was a waste of time. She then ordered him to meet with the prosecutor face to face and be civil to each other and no walk outs. I don’t  hold out much hope for the  meeting. As I suggested a while ago, they need a referee.

Bottom line, another status hearing is set for November 1. Carney is going to file a motion for a continuance of the trial date. Judge Stearns is going to set the time for the substantive motions to be filed. So on November 1 we should have a better idea of things.

I’d like to think that since we all believe Whitey is guilty of at least some of the charges, Judge Stearns would not want to be doing anything that would give Carney reason to squawk. I’d give him the continuance he wanted so that when the case goes to trial it is done cleanly. Everyone can say the defendant had a fair trial before he is sent off to ADX Florence.

I can’t predict what will happen. We’ll just have to wait and see.