There’s the story of Sid Gold who lived in the first floor of a three-decker who’d stay up to watch the 11:00 p.m nightly news and the first half hour or so of Johnny Carson. The husband and wife in the apartment above him worked the 3:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. shift and he would hear them arrive home as he watched Johnny and listen as they tramped their way to their abode above him. He’d go to bed a little after midnight but never could go to sleep until his upstairs neighbors were in bed. They had a nasty habit of taking off their heavy work shoes and dropping them on the floor making a loud thud which if he had fallen asleep would wake him and then he’d be up for all hours. He’d wait and then would come, thud, and a thud, and a thud, and the final fourth thud. He would then fall off into a deep slumber unafraid of being woken until the alarm went off.
For months Jerome has been asking me to talk about each of the 19 murders that are attributed James “Whitey” Bulger. In his latest comment he asked in addition to that whether he had murdered other people than those he was alleged to have done in the indictment naming 19 people.
To answer Jerome’s question I have to go back to the time Whitey was in prison to set the stage for the discussion.
I will first set them out by setting out the background of the murders and putting them into six groups in the first five parts of the series. I will then consider them individually as part of a follow-up series.
Starting with Jerome’s last question. Was Whitey involved in other murders? Outside of Louis Litif for which he was not indicted and Donald McGonagle which some have pinned on him, I have not heard of any others.
One thing to keep in mind is that during the so-called Boston Irish Gang wars of the early 1960s when upwards of 80 hoodlums were murdered (a war that got its name because it allegedly began because of a feud between two Irish gangs, one in Somerville under the leadership of Buddy McLean and the other in Charlestown under the McLaughlin brothers) Whitey Bulger was sitting in federal prison for robbery.
They are all charged with extortion under the Hobbs Act or conspiring to extort property of the Top Chef company namely: “money to be paid as wages for imposed, unwanted, and unnecessary and superfluous services” through the “wrongful use of actual and threatened force, violence, and fear of economic and physical harm to [Top Chef] and others.”
The indictment sets out the acts leading up the crime. It first tells how Top Chef came to the area and had filmed shows at the Museum of Science, Fenway Park and Cheers. (Didn’t Boston U.S. Attorney say they were chased out of Boston. That hardly seems the case but then again Ortiz likes to use bombastic language.) Now here are the criminal acts set out in the indictment.
On September 8, 2015, the prosecutors in Fred Wyshak’s Public Corruption Unit brought a charge by means of an information against Boston Police Detective Brian Smigielski for actions that took place between late 2009 and April 2011, four years after the last incident. The charge was a conspiracy to defraud the United States as set out in 18 U.S.C. s. 371,
That law reads: “If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”
Smigielski is describes as: “a highly decorated detective.” Smiglielski in March 2014 was awarded the Boston police commissioner’s commendation for a 2013 arrest; likewise in 2008 he received the award for catching a suspect after shots were fired; and in 2009 he was awarded the state’s George Hanna Medal of Valor after he was hit in the head while he chased a man with a loaded gun into a backyard. Though stunned, he stopped the suspect from fleeing over a fence and arrested him.
“Beginning in the spring of 2014, Company A, a non-union production company, began scouting locations to film . . . in Boston.”
Why is the identity of the company hidden in the indictment? All the articles tell us it is the “Top Chef” company. Would it be too difficult to spell it out in the indictment?
Then there is:
“On or about June 9, a representative from the City of Boston called the Omni Parker House?”
At some point we are going to find out who that person is. Why is it hidden at this point?
“[A] producer for Company A had a conversation with a Local 25 official.”
You would think both the producer and the local company official had no names. Why aren’t they named? Is there a problem with identifying them at this time?
We are told that Company A was planning to film in Milton. (I wonder why they put the name of the town in the indictment. For consistency should they not have said “a town in Massachusetts.”)
The laws I have set out below are being openly flaunted by people and nothing is being done. Walking through South Station the other day billboards announcing the ongoing taking of these bets were everywhere; watching football on television over last weekend it appeared that the people running these gaming operations were closing in on spending the same amount as the beer or automobile advertisers.
The Patriot Ledger reported on September 17, 2015, that Attorney General Maura Healey was “reviewing the legality of the Boston-based fantasy sports website Draft Kings.” Another article about her is here.
What is there to review? Fantasy football is pure and simply gambling.
You want the real proof it is gambling well here is DraftKing’s site. Here’s what it says: “Build your team in only minutes and watch your scores update live online.” What skill is involved in that? Absolutely none. Anyone with enough money can take a chance.
You want more proof it is pure chance. I could go on the site and construct my own team. I know next to nothing about the teams or the players. Any chance of me winning would be pure chance and that is why its operation is a felony under the Massachusetts General laws.
The steps are one, the editorial or spotlight report slanting the facts; two, the follow-up news stories, three, the columnists then carrying the ball, and four, the Boston U.S. attorney getting involved.
The last time we saw this it involved a taxi cab owner who was a real mean guy who made his drivers earn every penny they made. A spotlight started it; news stories, columnists, and a raid by the U.S. attorney followed along in step.
The only problem with the last time it played there was no allegation the cab owner committed any crimes. As of yet it isn’t criminal to be a cheap old rich guy who treats his employees poorly. So why did Boston U.S. attorney conduct a raid? For that matter how did she get a search warrant to raid the taxi company with agents and cops running in with drawn guns where there was no crime? It all remains a big mystery. Was it done by the U.S. attorney just to please the demands of the newspaper with the spotlight?
Years ago when I was a young man the people of the Commonwealth got fed up with having judges who were very old deciding cases. At one time in Massachusetts a judge could sit in judgment of people even if the judge could no longer make a decision for himself or herself. Like we have today in the federal court, there was no age limit on a judges sitting on the bench. An appointment for life meant that. Once the judge fit on the robes the people were stuck with him or her forever and ever and ever.
You understand that to get a Constitutional Amendment passed in the state it takes quite a bit of work. That is especially so when it involves something most people seem to have little concern over which is the ability of a person in the robes to make proper decisions. The Legislature in Massachusetts has shown its concern over and over again by passing laws that dictate a person convicted of certain crimes must do a mandatory sentence. Those laws exist because the Legislature determined that some judges no matter their age were just unable to appreciate the gravity of these crimes and were not sufficiently punishing people.