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

Moving Along After The Whitey Deluge Ebbs:

thanksgiving meal rockwell

Whitey will leave our fair state in less than a month spending Thanksgiving in a cell somewhere in America. I’m sure his meal will be reminiscent of one I had when I found myself and two other Marine officers stranded one Thanksgiving at the Iwakuni Air Station in Japan back in the ’60s with $1.65 among the three of us. As officers, we had to pay for our meals. Our intent was to eat at the officer’s club which was to have a lavish meal for around $5.00 a person.

On Thanksgiving eve, the three of us spent the night at the officer’s club having some beer. As the night wore on my money slowly vanished so I headed back to the BOQ (bachelors quarters). I didn’t worry that I was broke because I knew Frank Acuri, one of the others, had a pocket full of dollars. We slept in late Thanksgiving morning. When we assembled, I learned Frank after having a few more beers felt lucky so he started playing the one-armed bandits. He lost all the money we were depending on to have a decent meal.

That’s why we found ourselves at the airstrip in the only place that was open which was a cafeteria. We were able to get a meal for 50 cents and a cup of coffee for 5 cents. The meal was a thin slice of turkey, an ice cream scoop worth of mashed potatoes, a tablespoon of gravy and some peas. The best part of the meal was the hot coffee.

I’m sure Whitey’s meal won’t be quite as bad. Yet I don’t expect it to be accompanied by any ruffles and flourishes. That’s what he’s reaped for his many years of sowing evil. What little does it profit a man to revel in crime and end up losing his freedom.

I said Whitey will be somewhere in America. It could be one of many places. He has yet to face the murder charges in Oklahoma where he is accused of murdering fifty-five year old Roger Wheeler; or Florida where he’s charged with murdering gangster groupy John Callahan. Actually they were actually murdered by John Martorano — he’s the one who pulled the trigger. In both cases Whitey was more than a thousand miles away. But as an allegedly willing partner he is equally responsible.

Or, Whitey could end up in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons. He is high on the POOF list. BOP will send him to what has been called a cleaner version of Hell, ADX, Florence, Colorado.

What then happens to a blog entitled “thetrialofwhiteybulger” after the trial is over and he’s gone to his earthly reward. It can limp along and file reports on how he is doing in prison. He still may be able to write some letters out to some people reinventing his past telling of his present grievances. But I would hope when he’s gone it’s time to recognize there is no longer anything of interest concerning the man.

What does remain however is to analyze how such a criminal became this exalted figure. I’ve committed myself to giving a talk on Whitey to a small group of people in the middle of November and I’ve been sort of thinking what to say.  That is why I am doing a retrospective review of what its all about. This accounts for the few posts I’ve published. I’ve been doing much reading and even with there to be candid there is little about Whitey now that is post worthy.

I did come across this article in the Washington Post that I found fascinating and urge you to read it. It explains in large part the Whitey Bulger phenomenon. In discussing the new media undertaking by Glenn Greenwald it states:

“There’s too much information out there for most people to pay attention to, let alone figure out whether they believe it or not. Hence, most people rely on other institutions such as media organizations to tell them which information is worth caring about. Not only do people not pay much attention to information until it gets the stamp of approval from some authoritative institution, but this information is transformed, because everybody knows that everybody else is paying attention to it. It stops being mere information, and becomes knowledge — generally accepted facts that people use to build their understanding of what everybody knows about politics.

Established newspapers like the New York Times, The Washington Post and the Financial Times play a crucial sociological role in deciding which information is important and trustworthy, and which is not. When one of these newspapers publishes information, it is legitimated as knowledge — which people are not only more likely to take seriously themselves, but may have to take seriously, because they know that other people are taking it seriously.”

In other words, the local media played the tune that Whitey was numero uno gangster and the readership not wanting to be considered ignorami joined in the dance.

The article note further:  “Newspapers — even the most pioneering ones — have political relationships with governments, which make them nervous about publishing (and hence validating) certain kinds of information. . . . because newspapers play a crucial political role in validating knowledge, they have complicated relationships with governments and politicians. . . . If governments start to lose control over public knowledge in the information age, it won’t be because information “wants to be free.” It’ll be because of the creation of new ventures like this, that create public knowledge without adhering to the old rules about how government has a voice in deciding what gets published and what doesn’t.”

Of course, as we know there is another side of that coin, which we saw in the lead up to the Iraq war where the government planted stories in the media and then responded by pointing to their own stories as verifying their actions; and, as we see with Whitey where the local media establishes the story of who is the baddest and the U.S. Attorney blindly and blithely follows along.

 

 

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  • Random says:

    Matt-quick thought just popped into my mind. Would whitey’s FBI file show the address they were sending him government checks theoughout his time as an informant ? Hard to think he would not have been aware of his status (whether he contributed as an informant is irrelevant) if he was in fact receiving them.

    November 9, 2013 at 3:12 pm
    • mtc9393 says:

      Random:

      Whitey got something better than government checks, he got a government pass that gave him a free ride on his criminal doings.

      The problem with talking about whether Whitey was an informant is defining the word informant. You can define it down so narrowly that one can argue he wasn’t even though in doing that it’s hard to deny that by giving up John Connolly by saying he paid him hundreds of thousands makes he isn’t an informant. Almost everyone in this case was an informant except Howie Winter and Ralph DiMasi

      Whitey never got an government checks for his information. However, he is now getting free room and board from the government.

      November 11, 2013 at 1:27 pm
      • Random says:

        Matt, thanks for taking the time to respond. I guess the whole idea of him receiving those checks is yet another example of how Black Mass created unchallenged ‘facts’ about his criminal career. I believe it’s mentioned yet again in Shelly whoever and whoever’s most recently published novel about Whitey’s life.

        I first came across Whitey when Kevin Week’s original book was recommended by a friend. A lot of what he said in there seemed to ring true, other parts were obvious cover-ups to retain any respect / tough-guy image he still though he had at the time. The day I finished the book was the first time I searched Whitey’s name in google- ironically just moments after news of his actual capture was being published in California.

        I agree that we all need to move on from the whole Whitey saga, however, what about all these pieces of trash walking the streets of Bostonst and still making money from writing about their experiences with him? I still recall a post a few months back when you pondered the idea of the state of Florida prosecuting Murderman, the fact that brutalman was able to keep his winning lottery ticket earnings as part of the plea deal, and Steve Femmi’s job as a prisoner / property manager for the entire South End. This blog, despite the relative misinformation about Whitey’s life that brought us here, is something to be proud of. More than anything else, it has shown all the followers to think for themselves rather than having others doing it for them. In addition, it has shown how all these cheese-eating 1970/80′s gangsters killed, stole, and then lied to get others in positions of power to allow them back into society. This is the only forum where that has been truly exposed, and I appreciate all the time you took to making that possible.

        November 12, 2013 at 12:01 am
        • GOK says:

          ” This is the only forum where that has been truly exposed, and I appreciate all the time you took to making that possible.”

          Ditto!

          November 12, 2013 at 5:58 am
          • mtc9393 says:

            GOK:

            Thanks. The purpose of it was to try to get to the truth as one is able. In doing that I have been greatly aided by the persons who took the time to comment and correct me when I strayed. The comments here have mostly been part of the attempt to reach that goal. Appreciate that you took the time to participate.

            November 12, 2013 at 1:22 pm
        • mtc9393 says:

          Random:

          If you go back to the early days of this blog you’ll see that I praised Black Mass. It was only after I concentrated more on the matters that I realized it belonged in the fiction section of the library.
          I agree with what you say about Kevin Weeks’s book. Lots of substantive facts combined with shading in some areas. He and Pat Nee wrote their books at the same time and talked about the murder of John McIntyre and from comparing their tales you can see they are lying. Actually, without more the Suffolk DA could indict Nee for murder.
          I’m going to move on but then again I’m not. Tomorrow night I’m giving a talk on Whitey and I want to see how that goes. I hope to write another book about these events dealing with the things that have been glossed over or handled like the people Whitey invited to East Third Street who ended up across from Florian Hall. I’ve gone as far as to come up with its title: Boston Betrayed which pretty much sums up the whole affair.
          I hope to post from time to time with things related to this that may give people food for thought or get them pissed at me as Pat was today. In doing the research and writing of the book I won’t post as frequently as I once did but those interested in following along will always be welcome and I’ll do my best to respond to one and all.
          The purpose of the blog was to make people think and discuss the issues around the FBI and Whitey. When you look at it you can see the power of the press in conjuction with government prosecutorial power to take a mid-level vicious ganster and turn him into a Marvel Comic-type Villian for the purpose of striking out at his brother. That, of course, was my real discovery that Whitey was a lot less than we’re led to believe especially in the murder department when compared to some of the people the government took on board its boat.
          Thanks for the nice words.

          November 12, 2013 at 1:43 pm
  • Patty says:

    Matt,

    I’m not sure if you are expected to focus your remarks exclusively on Whitey, but there are many themes you can address by extrapolation.
    1. The theme in your current post is intriguing. Namely, there is a close relationship between the US Attorney/government and the for-profit news industry. That relationship drives what “reality” is for the public. In the Whitey case, we see the government use the media to create the reality that Whitey and Connolly were the worst of the worst. Incredibly, the government used worse men as the very witnesses to prove Bulger and Connolly were the worst. The media never questioned it.

    2. Power has shifted dramatically and silently from the federal judiciary to the executive branch, the DOJ. 95% or more federal criminal cases are disposed of by privately negotiated plea and not trial. Pleas are wrought by the US Attorney deciding exclusively and secretively who will be given a deal and who will not. The deals offered to cooperators are “too good to refuse”. The targeted person who is not offered a deal is unable to exercise their constitutional right to trial because the risk of a massive sentence is too great. They must also negotiate a sentence. The judiciary’s role in accepting the secret bargains is extremely limited to whether a deal is “contrary to justice”. To make such a finding a judge would be risking the ire of his/her former colleagues. Judges just don’t so that. In sum, judges and juries have no role in our federal system anymore. The Whitey trial was the rare exception. It gave us a rare behind the scenes view of how federal law enforcement operates. What we saw was incredibly ugly and contrary to our nation’s ideals. Still, the media tried to put a shine on the ugliness exposed by the Bulger trial.
    3. Bulger tried to plead guilty to avoid a trial. The government refused to accept his eminently reasonable deal. Still they and the media put on a show of how he caused $2.6 mil in trial expenses.
    4. The safeguards I the Bill of Rights have been negated by the manner in which the government creates evidence against targeted citizens. They choose a target citizen and then give others obscene and irresistible incentives to lie about the target. The see no obligation to verify or assure that the incentive-driven evidence is accurate or true. In fact, they vigorously defend and hide the secretive process of proffers and witness “preparation”. The government may not have a statutory obligation to verify a witnesses statements, but where the government pays a witness handsomely for a particular statement there should be an obligation to verify that the statement is objectively true and not simply the product of a government payment. If a defense attorneys paid a witness for a statement he would be jailed and the statement deemed inadmissible…..
    5. The government’s false story that Whitey was an informant highlights all of the above. They uses the media to create that reality. They used the phony informant file to convince his friends to turn on him. The friends likely knew the informant file was phony, but by pretending to believe it they got rich rewards from the gov. The vast majority of the informant file can be shown to have come from other “real” FBI informants of that time. Still the government and media are locked into that story in books and testimony that all must defend it and deny the hundreds of FBI reports that directly refute the phony file….
    P

    October 23, 2013 at 9:14 am
    • mtc9393 says:

      Patty:

      Thanks. Excellent post. Much food for thought. I find agreement with most of what you write. As far as exclusivity of focus is concerned, that is a thing of the past.

      1. I think if you did a survey of the relationship between the Globe Spotlight team and the federal prosecutions you would find that it is a one-two punch. The Spotlight team writes the story and then the federal prosecutors follow up. Didn’t Morris testify that after the Globe did its 75 State Street hatchet job on Billy Bulger that Gerry O’Neill kept pestering him seeking to have him bring charges against him. Just look at the case of the mean taxi cab company owner who treated his drivers poorly. Everyone would agree he is a cad but there was nothing to show he committed a crime. The next thing we know is the IRS with guns drawn invades the taxi company and seizes all its records.

      If you read my post today you can see how the killing of Todasheve is being changed so as to create a new reality which is he was violent in front on one FBI person and two state cops and someone shot him. A far cry from reality but that is the nut shell that will stick in everyone’s head. Whitey’s case is a prime example of making someone into something he isn’t. Take away the media animosity to Billy and his involvement with the FBI and what does Whitey become? He’s far from what is portrayed of him although it seems that Whitey likes the myth more than reality.

      2. It seems to me that most federal judges just want to be left alone. Little there is to excite them. They spend their time in having obsequious people wait on them. They want to do their cases, get more pay, and find more ways to go on junkets. You can’t expect them to challenge what is happening in front of them – why upset the apple cart?

      Much has changed in the country when it comes to criminal jurisdiction. The manner in which the RICO statute is interpreted turns many mundane crimes into major felonies. Sending out rejection letters can be called mail fraud; depositing gaming winnings can be labeled money laundering. I point to the case of Jimmy Katz who was a bookie. I arrested him at least twice and he was sent to the house and paid a fine. The statute made his actions a 3 year felony – not the most serious crimes. When the federals got him they ended up sending him to prison for 5 years and forfeiting his house and letting him see his wife and children thrown out on the street. It was all permissible under the laws but clearly it wasn’t right no matter what the purpose.

      So you are right when you point out the extraordinary power of the prosecutors to force convictions and secure cooperation.

      3. The ultimate lawyer costs in the Bulger case will far exceed 2.6 million. The federals if they were on the level could have easily charged Whitey with the gun charges on the West Coast and locked him up for the rest of his life. The Boston matter was just a show – the desire for publicity was too much to overcome so no plea could be accepted. It was more a show than a trial.

      4. The government does decide who is the person who will be punished the most. Those who cooperate become friends while those who don’t, some for reasons of innocence become enemies. I have written that when the government uses a paid for witness = as it often does that it has an extra burden to insure that witness is telling the truth which implicates the idea the government must insure that it is presenting truthful evidence. That it does not do because to go behind the story that it wants to hear and finding out that it is false would destroy its case. The idea Weeks went to murder someone and he never knew the identity of one of the other two guys is so preposterous that it never should have been allowed into evidence. The problem was that it was never really challenged. Even so, there should be as you suggest a need for extra care on behalf of the prosecutory in presenting paid for testimony.

      5. I’m not sure I agree with your suggestion here. The most fundamental problem is defining what is meant when the word “informant” is used. What I think we can say with relative certainty is that a file was opened labelling Whitey as an informant. That Whitey had no idea such a file existed. Remember Condon opened a file on him in 1971 when it seems clear under any definition he was not an informant. That in the years over which Whitey and Connolly’s relationship existed, Whitey gave Connolly some information. What he gave him is uncertain because a portion of the information attributed to him comes from other informant files.
      The government’s allegation that he was an informant cannot simply be labelled as false until you know a lot more than you do. The government knew Flemmi was an informant, Flemmi admitted he was an informant, Whitey and Flemmi were like twins, so it is easy to see the government concluding the file on Whitey was also legitimate especially since Flemmi was giving the government information, at least he testified that he did, in the presence of Whitey and it appeared that was the case.

      There was no reason for the other criminals to disbelieve that the information in Whitey’s file was not from Whitey. They did not have access to other informant files to see that the reports in Whitey’s files had been copied from other places. Whitey had no contact with these people after he fled in 1995 so when the FBI released the file they had every reason to believe it was true, as did most of us. Who ever knew the FBI operated in such a manner as it was shown to have operated opening files on people and labelling them as informants without letting the people know they were doing this.

      It is true everyone is locked into their stories so they have to defend them. No one ever took the time to step back and question this matter because much was not known until the trial during the summer. Even now, without agreeing on the definition of the workd “informant” we cannot say one or the other whether Whitey was one. However, we can say Whitey was surprised when he learned that here was a file on him that labeled him as a top level informant.

      October 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm
      • Patty says:

        I’m not sure where the support comes from for your statement above in #5 “…, Whitey gave Connolly some information.” The only trial evidence I heard to that effect came from Morris and Flemmi. Nuffsed.

        Note that there is no report or information in the Informant File that can be definitively tied to Whitey. On the other hand, the source of more than half of the reports in the file has been identified. These reports were stolen from the files of real informants and placed into the phony file. I’ve heard the number is 300 out of the total 350 reports in the phony file have now been traced back to real informants. That means 80% of Whitey’s informant file can be proven false beyond a reasonable doubt by the FBIs own records.

        Although 20% of the reports have not yet been traced back to other sources, I still don’t think you can say “Whitey gave Connolly some information.” Proof that 80% is false does not lead to the conclusion that the remaining 20% is true. Some of the remaining reports contained self-serving fiction that was likely added by Connolly or Morris to cover their own flank.
        If Whitey was an informant at all, why would the FBI blatantly falsify any report, not to mention 80% of them??
        With all Whitey’s criminal activity he could have filled ten of those files if he was really an informant!

        Besides the lack of evidence showing Whitey was an informant, there was substantial affirmative evidence showing that he was not.
        First is his lifelong attitude against informants. It existed in the local culture before he was born. He was raised with it. He abided by it through numerous scrapes as a kid and young man. He was punished in jail for retribution against an informant. He pled to a twenty year rap for a girlfriend and never gave up anyone. In the can, he lived and breathed the mantra against informants. (While touring Alcatraz in the late 1990s, I talked to a former inmate who was there selling his book. When I asked him about James Bulger, he said the FBI had recently been there to ask him about Jimmy Bulger. The inmate added that the FBI tried to convince him that Jimmy Bulger was an informant. “I told the FBI what I’m telling you. I did hard time with Jimmy Bulger and that motherfucker would NEVER inform on anyone!”) Anecdotal, but I saw and heard the conviction in the man’s statement. BTW, his book was about how the inmates stuck together and detested informants.
        Whitey was so imbued with the anti-informant mentality that he was overly diligent not to slip and incriminate anyone. I don’t see any credence in the theory he was an unwitting informant and let information slip to Connolly.
        The FBI itself also provided affirmative evidence Whitey was not an informant. Whenever a new FBI agent was to meet him (Greenleaf or Ring or Fitzpatrick) they were first warned to treat him respectfully and NOT as an informant. In fact Whitey told them right out he was not an informant…that’s not consistent with a guy who wants informant protection.
        The FBI didn’t follow a single informant procedure with respect to Whitey. There was no signature card and his fingerprints were taken from his Air Force records. There was no record of payment to him. Perhaps most telling is the fact that the FBI’s own integrity and verification procedures were not completed for a single one of the 350 reports found in his file! They were followed and documented, however, on the reports from the real informants from whom the reports were stolen.
        If Whitey was an informant, a lot of guys around him would have mysteriously been indicted. Most obvious is John Martorano. Whitey was loyal to him by not killing him and not informing on him although it was in his interest to do so. Instead, Whitey kept Martorano’s location a secret for 16 years while he sent him money month in and month out.
        Dozens of other guys could have also been sunk if Whitey was really an informant. Martorano, Flemmi and Weeks knew damn well that Whitey was never an informant. They bet their lives on it everyday for decades. They heard his ranting a against informants. They knew his odd but intense pride in the criminals’ code. It permeated his entire being.
        Weeks knew best of all that whitey wasn’t an informant and that the file was bogus. It’s not credible that he sat by Whitey for two decades and then learned Whitey was an informant. On a daily basis, Weeks’s very life depended on people around him not being informants.
        Weeks could not have been that close to an informant for 20 years and never over heard a single slip-up. Weeks knew damn well that Whitey could not have provided 350 informant reports.
        Weeks reviewed the contents of Whitey’s informant file and he recognized immediately that it was phony. Much of the information in the file was not known to Whitey. Some of the information in it could not have been known to Whitey. Some of it was against Whitey’s interests. Some of it was pure fiction. Some of it was inaccurate in a way it could not have been provided by Whitey…Weeks knew better, he was there for most of Whitey’s crimes!

        The Whitey informant file is not only phony it’s a poor fake. Anyone with a little knowledge could see that.
        I think that’s why Whitey told Weeks “you suck” in court. Weeks had overwhelming motivation to promote the informant fiction. It got Weeks out of jail. It put him in good standing with Wyshak. It made it more likely Whitey would get caught…nobody would help an informant. It put Weeks in good standing with reporters and authors. It put him in good standing with his current boss, Pat Nee. Most of all, it was a great pretense for Weeks to become a rat himself, but still maintain his reputation. Weeks joined Martoranos phony mantra that “you can’t rat on a rat.”

        I also reject the theory that Flemmi was an informant, therefore, Whitey had to be know and be an informant too. If that were true, then Frank Salemme would be equally impugned because he grew up with Flemmi. And why stop there, wouldn’t Weeks also be impugned by Flemmi’s status as an informant. Whitey maintains he was shocked to find out Flemmi was an informant. Mathis was the same reaction for Salemme, Martorano, etc. how could a guy with over twenty murders be an informant, right?

        The irony is steep that Whitey protected all these guys and made them wealthy by not tolerating rats. In the end, they all ratted him out. The reality they sold through Wyshak and the Globe is that Whitey was the only rat. History will show the opposite is true. Whitey was the only one who stood by the code. Interestingly, almost the entire Winter Hill Gang is currently on the streets running the rackets (with immunity) except the one guy who remained loyal to his code and his buddies. That’s some upside down justice.
        P

        October 23, 2013 at 11:58 pm
        • mtc9393 says:

          Patty:

          Support for the statement that Whitey gave Connolly information were the reports in his informant files that Norfolk County had a vendetta against him. These reports reflect his complaint that we were after him continually with our wiretaps. They were far from self-serving fiction. Why were the SACs meeting him? Whitey provided Sarhat with information such as O’Donovan did not liking the FBI and that he had an informant in the state police. One major fact going to prove he was an informant was his meetings with the SACs which were for the purpose of maintaining his status as an informant. Why did Whitey meet with Agent Fitzpatrick at his condo in Quincy which was set up by Connolly when Fitzpatrick was quesioning the value of Whitey as an informant? Whitey may not have liked to be called an informant but do you think all the SACs wanted to meet with Gerry Angiulo.
          I’m at a loss where you got your figure 300 out of 350 – the most I heard was 30 which is a far cry from 300. I don’t think it would be possible to show how many reports in Whitey’s informant file came from the other informant files since I do not know that all the other informant files were examined. I’d like to see some support for your 80% figure or even 50%.
          When Whitey was arrested either her or his girl friend gave up the names of the people who did the robberies with him. As far as the so-called lifelong attitude against being an informant, I don’t put much stake in that. There have been too many people who allegedly have that attitude who ended up being informants.
          You have to admit that Whitey was the main contact with Connolly; you have to recognize that Flemmi was an informant; you have to accept that Whitey and Flemmi were as close as a pair of nostrils, and that when Flemmi met Connolly Whitey was always there. Don’t you think Whitey knew Flemmi was passing on information? Didn’t it happen in front of him?
          I don’t see how it helped Whitey to inform on Martorano. I don’t see that there were 350 reports not documented whatever you mean by that. We agree that many informant files did not have all the requisite information. If you had Whitey’s prints from the Air Force you don’t need them again, prints don’t change.
          Weeks, Martorano, and Whitey bet their lives on Flemmi not being an informant and what did that do for them. I’m not sure what this dozen of other guys stuff is about especially when what you say about Whitey it equally applies to Flemmi who we know was an informant. The idea of being an informant is not to let the guy know you are an informant.
          There is no criminal code other than being all for yourself. You’re really losing me with some of your statements.
          Weeks believes Whitey was an informant. He called him one on the stand. He said he looked through the file Connolly showed him and saw report after report on people he knew from Southie who Whitey had given information on.
          You write about Weeks’s life depending on people around him not being informants when again Flemmi was one and Weeks did not know it. You’re rewriting history when you say Weeks knew Whitey’s informant file was a phony. Read his book. He felt really betrayed when Connolly showed him the file at the Prudential Building.
          Saying Whitey was an informant did nothing for Weeks. His ace in the hole were the bodies. Wyshak had no doubt Whitey was an informant at the time Weeks turned state’s evidence, it wasn’t an issue at all until Whitey raised it a few months before his trial. Everyone assumed the file was legitimate up until that time.
          You reject Flemmi being an informant then you better tell Flemmi that. He admitted being an informant. How would Salemme know when he was in prison for 16 years. Salemme didn’t know until much later that it was Flemmi who gave him up in New York. When did Whitey say he was shocked to find out Flemmi was an informant. How did Whitey think he and Flemmi got pulled out of the race fixing indictment. How did Whitey think Vanessa’s got tipped? What about the recording of the Mafia ceremony?
          Many people have been informants for many years and no one knew about it. That’s the idea of being an informant.
          Whitey didn’t protect all those guys, as you say. He protected himself. His buddy Flemmi was an informant which he tolerated. I’m really surprised you denying Flemmi was one especially considering the deal he got coming back from Montreal.
          No one ever said Whitey was the only rat. Everyone except you agrees Flemmi was a rat. You mention the Winter Hill gang being on the street but you fail to mention that the two bosses of that group who ran it from 1978 through 1994 are in jail. When they were running it, or what was left of it, the others were in jail, on the lam, or dead. Even Murderman did 12 years while Whitey has only done a little more than two to date; Flemmi has done 18 years and counting.
          You seem to think there is something meritorious about Whitey. There isn’t. He was a gangster who murdered people. He had no code except to do what was good for himself. He has done less time than any of the others you mentioned. He is going to die in jail and even with that he’ll end up doing less time than he should have done.
          Even if he were not an informant for the FBI prior to his capture, there’s no denying he became a rat against John Connolly by having his counsel say he paid him hundreds of thousand in bribes and some totalling $50,000. What kind of code is it that Whitey is loyal to when he turns on the one guy who protected him all those years? What did he hope to gain by ratting out John Connolly?

          October 24, 2013 at 1:20 am
  • William Connolly says:

    Matt, I learned a long time ago that “trusted news sources” were not trustworthy. Lies about Catholics, Christians, Tea Party, Abortion, South Boston, Savin Hill etc. were and are rampant. I’ve written about all the Government-Press lies during our bombing of Kosovo and Serbia. I’ve attended events where the front page headlines outright lied about what occurred there. (“Secretary Rice Booed:” the headline said, when she got five standing ovations, and the only boos were directed at a handful of standing protesters in an audience of 15,000.)Then you’ve got the dopes on MSNBC, CNN and FOX (like O’Reilly who wrote “and it’s all true” on the front cover of Carr’s devious book Hitman. How does O’Reilly know any of it is true; he’s not from Boston; he knew none of the victims and none of the murderers; he falls for the devious works of Howie Carr, the corrupt fatso, the chronic character assassin, who calls himself “the trashman”. Howie Carr, the lowlife, is honored by Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter and the Mainstream Media and “trusted news sources.” I’ve had it with the bulk of them: left and right, democrat and republican. I did like David Brudnoy, Bill Buckley and Pat Buchanan. A handful strive for honesty and objectivity. I used to like George Will until he “explained” that the British bore no blame for the Great Irish Famine: it was the “potato fungus”; a fungus caused all the deaths and dislocation. George Will ignored the fact that the fungus, potato blight, struck crops throughout Europe and only in Ireland was there massive starvation and death (one million died from starvation and attendant diseases; millions were malnourished and starving; millions migrated.) All due to cruel British economic policies, which continued to export food from British-ruled Ireland in 1846-51. Will’s willful blindness reminded me of James Carroll’s assertion that the Marines who stormed the Pacific Islands during World War II should not be honored, because, Carroll wrote, “some committed atrocities.”
    2. I was not a combat veteran like our cousin Jim Ambrose, but I did spend an inordinate amount of time in my youth in the Combat Zone. The food there wasn’t bad!

    October 23, 2013 at 6:55 am
  • gok says:

    mtc, nice post. Is your talk by invite only, or is it to some group that invited you to speak, or can you even tell us? A friend and I’d be interested in attending, if possible.

    Looking forward to writing letters soon…

    October 21, 2013 at 6:01 pm
    • mtc9393 says:

      GOK:

      Thanks. The talk is to a small group of people who get together every month or so. I don’t think it is open to outsiders. I sort of like it like that since it is my first talk and I’m having difficulty figuring out how to go about doing it. Do I assume the people know nothing about Whitey or a lot. Do I just talk about Whitey or tell the big picture of the FBI and media involvement in his creation. The latter requires covering a ton more material. Do I talk about South Boston and the other gang wars or not. I hope to figure this out. I also hope to be able to do some power point presentation during the talk to keep people awake. I have no idea how long it should be. I’ll keep you posted as well as I can. If it goes fairly well I’ll be open to doing it again and then try to set it up. As you can tell I’m much up in the air right now.

      We only have about four people in our letter club. We need to have at least ten before we get going. We’ll get that number as time goes on and then we’ll move forward. I’d prefer people who intend to send them out join and those with hesitation no come on board.

      October 22, 2013 at 11:01 pm
  • JIM AMBROSE says:

    MATT, RE: YOUR THANKSGIVING ON THE ROCK. I COULD HAVE PUT TOGETHER A MORE SUMPTUOUS REPAST FOR YOU WITH A CASE OF C RATIONS. WE LEARNED IN VIETNAM THAT HOT SAUCE ALONE CAN MAKE EVEN HAM AND LIMA BEANS A TASTY TREAT.

    October 21, 2013 at 2:30 pm
    • mtc9393 says:

      Jim:
      You were in the war time Marines; I happened to luck out and serve in the peace time Marines. You had a combat MOS and served with the grunts; I had an easy duty MOS and was connected to the air wing. As you might expect thing were different. As time passed and we became salty and the closest we came to combat were the flag football games (that’s why we had flown to Iwakuni from Atsugi for the Air Wing championship) we got used to warm meals and dry comfortable beds.

      October 21, 2013 at 2:48 pm

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