Matt Connolly's Views on Boston, the Nation and the World

Emphasizing Criminal Justice and Politics

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

Matt Connolly's Views on Boston, the Nation and the World - Emphasizing Criminal Justice and Politics

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.

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.

John “Ivan” Naimovich — Elementary Questions — The Protection of Whitey Bulger

I talked to a person over the weekend who told me she was confused about the significance of John Naimovich.  I recognized that many people may not see the connection between Naimovich and the Whitey Bulger incidents.  I’ll try to make it clear here and as I go along to more fully explore this matter.

Naimovich was a state trooper for 23 years.  He worked in the special state police unit, the SSU for over half of that time probably from 1974 to 1988.  He was very effective in leading the wiretapping operations of that unit against bookies and organized crime figure.  Prior to joining the SSU he worked undercover running a gaming office in an organization run by Johnny Martorano, who will testify against Whitey. No one who worked with him over this period of time doubted his honesty.

Whitey Bulger’s Victim — Trooper John Naimovich — No Investigation Compromised

Wednesday’s is John “Ivan” Naimovich day, a Massachusetts State Trooper who investigated organized crime activities for most of his twenty-three years.  He was indicted by the feds for a RICO violation and faced over 20 years in prison before being acquitted by a jury.  I testified on his behalf being in the unusual position of a prosecutor testifying on behalf of a defendant in a federal RICO prosecution.

For the foreseeable future I will be discussing him on this day of the week.  He is involved in this story as an example of what I believe is the FBI’s hypocrisy and willingness to go to any length to protect its informants, in this case Whitey Bulger and Stevie Flemmi.

Whitey Bulger’s Enablers Knew No Shame — Enter Naimovich

This is a continuation of my last post on Naimovich.  You’ll understand this best if you read that before continuing.on.

I asked three main questions at the end of that post.  First, was Judge Wolf wrong when he said Naimovich was convicted on charges of corruption?

The truth is that in the same court as Judge Wolf sits Naimovich was acquitted of the corruption charges by a jury.  As I said, once indicted a cop is on a downward spiral.  8 years after his death Naimovich’s name was still being wrongfully dragged through the mud.  Wolf didn’t bother to check the records in his own courthouse.  Correct answer ‘yes’.

I next asked would Flemmi disclose his longtime friend and informant when naming him wasn’t germane to his testimony.  It turned out within a year of Flemmi’s testimony the identity of his source in the state police was discovered.  It was a person identified as Eric, by Weeks and others, Richard Schneiderhan.  He grew up with and admired Flemmi.  He regularly received money for information.  Correct answer ‘no’.

Ivan Revealed – A Russian in an Irish World

Ivan is John Zannon Naimovich.

23 years he spent as a Massachusetts State Trooper.   He died in November 1991.

On February 3, 1988, he was arrested by the FBI in a manner designed to highly embarrass him, at his office in front of his fellow troopers.  (The FBI lacking class gets it kicks out of these puerile tricks like demeaning people in front of their friends, family or co-workers.  We tried to treat people with dignity.  Almost always if we had a warrant on a person who we did not expect to flee or be in possession of contraband, we’d ask the person to show up in court.  Unlike the FBI, we thought the idea of the presumption of innocence meant something.)

Ivan and Foley – Why It Matters To Understanding Whitey



Wednesdays I’ve been talking about the ghost of Ivan, a former state trooper.   I insinuate that he haunts Tom Foley a former state police colonel.

My intent in doing this is not to disparage Foley.  He was aggressive, tough, determined and beyond reproach, everything we need in our state troopers.  I recommend his book, Most Wanted.

The reason I talk about Ivan in relation to Foley and in relation to the Whitey Bulger trial is twofold.

First, it shows how sinister the FBI is in dealing with others.  Young trooper (Foley)  wanted to do a banged-up job.  He became bedazzled by the FBI sun which still shown brightly in those days.  As a true believer he went in whatever direction the FBI steered him.  In Ivan’s case it sent him down a wrong path.

The Brainwashing of Mass. State Police Colonel Foley – Wednesday – The Ghost of Ivan Day

Last Wednesday I began the story of “The Ghost of Ivan.”  It relates to Trooper Tom Foley who wrote a book “Most Wanted” about how he chased after Whitey.  He  told us how as a state trooper he joined with the FBI to fight organized crime.

I always believed Foley was duped by the FBI.  I never knew how badly until I saw how the FBI totally brainwashed him.  Foley believed he was joining an outfit that had a remarkable history of fighting organized crime.  While working inside with the FBI he had a chance to learn a little about its history going after the organized crime types.  What he learned he wrote about in his 2012 book.

“The FBI had started hitting mobsters with its Top Hoodlum Program of 1953, and it had made a famous score in 1957, when it rounded up a slew of baffled Mafiosi at what was supposed to be their top-secret gathering in Binghamton, New York.

The Ghost of Ivan – State Trooper Foley’s Inveigling By The FBI

Tom Foley in his book “Most Wanted” elides over many uncomfortable facts.

He does this because like Macbeth he is haunted by a ghost.  His Banquo is Ivan.

Foley became a trooper in 1979.  In 1984 he joined a unit headed by Lt. Dave Matioli who he described as “a real up-and-comer, smart and well liked.”  I may have met or talked to Matioli once or twice.  He did not strike me that way.  When I think of him I think of a guy who gave me the impression he was not leveling with me.  In retrospect my instinct was right.  Matioli was working against me.

Foley said his response when asked to join Mattioli’s unit was, “Absolutely.”  He said “It was no decision at all.  Working with Mattioli and with the FBI on serious stuff like the mob?  Count me in?”