Category Archives: Whitey

This is all about Whitey. These will be the posts that relate specifically to him.

CNN’s Whitey Presentation: 3 Stars for some, 2 for others

CNN’s presentation of “Whitey – United States v. James J. Bulger” ran for two hours last night. For those who know nothing or a little bit about Whitey it gave them a decent glimpse into his life; for those who have been following the saga closely it offered a few tidbits that made the ordeal of sitting through the commercials somewhat bearable.

I was put off by the way it presented the Department of Justice (DOJ). The thrust was that there is something deeply wrong in it. The proofs offered were the actions of the FBI agents and not that of the DOJ attorneys. I know the FBI is part of the DOJ. But it operates independently in investigating matters and dealing with informants. What it did with respect to Whitey the DOJ had little knowledge about. The show blurred that distinction.

Posted in Whitey | 37 Comments

Distant Thoughts on the Whitey Saga

2013 08 02_3998When I wrote my last post: “Whitey The Ordinary — Just Another Hoodlum Who Didn’t Grow Up” I had no idea of the hiatus that would occur between that post on September 16, 2013 and now. The reasons for the silence are a special assignment I undertook that totally kept me away from the computer and any writing; and on top of that a joyful out-of-state addition to the family.

These events necessitated that I put distance between myself and the subject matter of this blog. Perhaps my post noting the ordinariness of Whitey was an auspicious stepping off point. As time passed and distance widened I began to see more clearly the basic banality of Whitey Bulger the man. Much more interesting than the person are the events that conspired together to take such a commonplace criminal and elevated him to the point he became some sort of criminal extraordinaire. Those are the events I hope to focus my efforts on explaining.

Posted in General, Whitey | 35 Comments

Whitey Sends Us A Message – “The Way You Wear Your Hat”

whitey-bulger-walking dogThe way you wear your hat.
The way you sip your tea.
The memory of all that –
No, no – they can’t take that away from me.
. . .     The way you haunt my dream.
. . .     The way you hold your knife
. . .     The way you’ve changed my life.
No, no – they can’t take that away from me.

The words of this song Frank Sinatra often sang came to mind when I thought of Whitey and the way he dressed for court. Frank wrote a book and used the first line of the song as its title.

I wrote about seeing Whitey come into the courtroom.  He walks in a determined manner not like an 83 year older but someone much young as if he were on a mission. I’ve also written that he pictures himself as commander-in-chief. His insouciance reflected in his walk and manner suggested despite his two years in solitary-type confinement he hasn’t lost his idea of himself as in charge or his swagger. His hair was cut in a nice Parris Island Marine boot camp first day issue style.

Posted in Whitey | 31 Comments

§39: Judge Wolf’s Fragile Foundation: [Re-Examining Whitey Bulger: The Learning Years]

Alligator Getting Impatient Waiting for Judge Wolf

Alligator Getting Impatient Waiting for Judge Wolf

Judge Wolf in his 1999 661 page findings speaking of the 1974/1975 time frame said the FBI recognized Whitey had been deeply involved in a violent gang war. Just prior to this he wrote the written record concerning this matter is sparse. Sparse? It’s non existent.

During the hearings in front of him the only gang war that had evidence about was about the Irish Gang War. That happened while Whitey was in prison. It is unusual for a judge to pull such an assertion out of thin air and attribute something to the FBI which it had no knowledge about.  It’s an early indication of his confusing the Whitey of 1999, the time of the decision, with the Whitey of 1975.

Posted in Whitey | 19 Comments

§38: Judge Wolf’s Twisting of The Facts: [Re-Examining Whitey Bulger: The Learning Years]

The Alligator Waiting For Someone To Jump The Shark

The Alligator Waiting For Someone To Jump The Shark

The last time I wrote about Whitey’s life was on March 26. We’ve read about his release from prison, his involvement in the South Boston dustup between the Mullens and Killeens and how what was happening in South Boston was small time compared to the interactions between the rest of organized crime in the Eastern Massachusetts area.

The real power was in the hands of the North End or “In Town” which was the Italian Mafia. Outside of that most of the fighters in the Irish Gang War of the 1960s had gone to see their Maker leaving a small core group of Irish gangsters in Somerville just north of Boston under the leadership of Howie Winter and a Mafia-connected Roxbury Gang that had fought in the Irish War on the side of Winter’s group.

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Whitey’s Prosecutors Quandry

A Calm August Sunset

A Calm August Sunset

I have to pause as I sometimes do in my review of Whitey’s life. I do this because a recent comment had me wondering about the influence of lawyers on this case. I was answering a comment by Norwood who suggested that the gangsters should have figured out Stevie Flemmi was an informant.

I responded that the gangsters didn’t figure this out because they aren’t usually too bright. That’s why when I was a prosecutor we were able to catch them. I like to tell the story of the time we were doing a wiretap on some bookies, The bettor started to go beyond placing a bet by entering into a discussion about some of the others in the operation. The bookie running the office replied: “be careful, the telephone may be [and then he spelled out the letters] T A P P E D” as if the cops wouldn’t figure out what he was spelling. Or in another instance, when we were listening to a couple of hoodlums talk and they began to whisper to each other thinking by lowering their voices they wouldn’t be heard.

Posted in Justice System, Whitey | 6 Comments

§34: Breaking The News: [Re-Examining Whitey Bulger: The Learning Years:]

A Sense Of Freedom

I’ve suggested what remains is Stevie has to out himself to Whitey as an FBI informant. The prior stories by media types make no sense because they have Whitey bringing Stevie along. Even were those correct, they don’t tell how it happened. They use such terms as “blended him in” showing their desire to avoid facing the issue and their misunderstanding of the roles played by the individuals in these affairs. The voluble John Connolly spins a tale of recruiting Whitey to fight against the Mafia which makes no sense. Whitey knew nothing about the Mafia. He might just as well have had recruited the Boston Strangler when it came to getting information against the Mafia.

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§33: The Coming Together Conditions: [Re-Examining Whitey Bulger: The Learning Years:]

Outside Marshall Motors With The Winter Hill Gang Meeting Inside

Stevie Flemmi was on board as an informant. Whitey wasn’t. To understand why Stevie needs to bring Whitey in it is good to take a look at how both men were being perceived by the Winter Hill Gang. John Martorano gave us an insight into their relationship with the others in that gang.

What he tells us corroborates my take that they were outsiders who jelled with each other and were standoffish with the others. Martorano tells that when Stevie came back from Montreal he “seemed different, more serious. And preoccupied — sometimes he’d be sitting in a room with the others, and they’d even notice that he was just staring off into space, and hadn’t said a word for a half hour. Yet he and Whitey somehow seemed to hit it off.  They were the two Hill guys who were actually from Boston, the city itself.”

Posted in Whitey | 10 Comments

§32: Manufacturing Reasons To Avoid The Truth: [Re-Examining Whitey Bulger: The Learning Years]

Lady Justice Pondering All The Untruth’s

The idea the FBI would not have had Stevie Flemmi as an informant but would chase after Connolly and hope that Connolly could bring Stevie into the fold just does not hold water. Of all people, Howie Carr recognizes this. As much as he makes Whitey the personification of all things evil, he knows the FBI had no need for him in 1975. Usually when Carr manufactures events he tries to make it close to the reality. Here’s one where he punts it far out of the park.

Knowing the FBI doesn’t need Whitey in 1975, he imagines a more convoluted theory which follows his script and that of the prosecutors that the true evil mastermind behind all of this is Whitey’s brother Billy Bulger. Carr says they [FBI agents] didn’t need Whitey nearly as much as they needed his brother Billy. . . . [because] it was easier for a retired agent to find a new job if he knew somebody . . . [a]nd what was wrong with helping the brother of a rising legislator who might someday be in a position to put in a good word or a retiring, middle-aged agent?”

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§31: Putting Whitey Before Flemmi Doesn’t Work (Re-Examining Whitey Bulger: The Learning Years:)

Standing Guard While The Arrangements For Night Owl Whitey Are Being Finalized

Keep in mind for the FBI Stevie Flemmi was the lynch-pin. It got him out of a murder, a major felony (blowing up a lawyer’s car) and a fugitive from justice charge after he got back from being on the run in May 1974. It knew he was the one with access to the Mafia. Black Mass noted: “Flemmi . . . knew all the leading [Mafia] players and was frequently in their company.” Howie Carr had it Whitey was a small timer.  

Whitey’s value to the FBI paled in comparison to Stevie’s. No one would expect Whitey to help the FBI in its nationwide fight against the Mafia  Recall Agent Dennis Condon tried to recruit him in May 1971 writing “he could be a very valuable source of information relative to the organized criminal activities in South Boston, Mass.” Whitey from Southie and the Boston Mafia were like the Hatfields and McCoys.

Posted in Whitey | 16 Comments