The Chicago Syndicate: Whitey Bulger
Showing posts with label Whitey Bulger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Whitey Bulger. Show all posts

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Women of Southie: Finding Resilience During Whitey Bulger's Infamous Reign #WomensMarch #WomensWave

Women of Southie: Finding Resilience During Whitey Bulger's Infamous Reign, tells the story of six women, who grew up in and, in most cases, still live in their beloved town of South Boston, a place sadly and most notably recognized as the home of James “Whitey” Bulger, the organized crime boss captured in 2011 after 16 years on the run, and sentenced in 2013 to life in prison for 11 murders. But while Bulger might have been ruling the town with an iron fist, as depicted by Johnny Depp, in “Black Mass,” what the town ought to have been recognized for are the far braver women who ruled their own lives and their families with equally strong but far more beneficial hands.

Six of these women are depicted in this book, each of whom faced hurdles more frightening than mobsters. Death of loved ones, suicide, murder, addiction, abuse, post traumatic stress disorder are some of the demons they faced. Yet, none of these women ever backed down from an important fight, each one emerging, on the pages of this book as a shining light of what love and courage and an indomitable spirit can accomplish.

The stories of these women, whose ages range from 40-67, are filled with honest details, some heartbreaking but all ultimately courageous and inspirational. Talking always honestly, about their children, their men, their losses, and their successes, they are shining examples that, in today’s world, it is the words of strong women that offer the antidote to loss and pain.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Whitey Bulger's Last Warden at "Misery Mountain" Denies Reports He is to be Fired

A “crazy month” at the maximum prison in Hazelton, W.Va., where South Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger was murdered ended with reports the warden may be fired. But Warden Joe Coakley denied a New York Times report saying he’s being replaced, sending an email to staffers calling the report a rumor.

Justin Tarovisky, executive vice president of the guard union at U.S. Penitentiary Hazelton, told the Herald he was informed of the email and has not been told of the warden’s future. But, Tarovisky added, the prison just ended a lockdown that began just after Bulger’s murder Oct. 30, hours after he arrived at the prison.

“I was not alerted to any firing. But it has been a crazy month up there, and we’re trying to push on,” the union rep said. “Officers have got to go in there every day, and we have to stay safe.”

The warden sent out an email that stated: “I spoke personally with Acting Director Hugh Hurwitz this afternoon. He confirmed there have been no discussions regarding replacing me as Complex Warden. Additionally Bryan Antonelli, FCI Williamsburg Warden, has not be selected as Complex Warden at Hazelton. As I have stated many times, I am honored to be your Warden! I hope this addresses any rumors or concerns.”

Tarovisky said the warden has said he’s trying to hire more guards. He told the Herald last month the prison has 77 vacancies — more than half for guard positions.

“Morale is low at Hazelton,” he added. “We were locked down for a month, and we just came back.

“Inside the prison the inmates are taking it all with a grain of salt,” he added. “We take that kind of violence seriously and we have got to stay on our toes.”

The 89-year-old Bulger was beaten to death with a padlock inside a sock, reportedly by two inmates tied to organized crime in Massachusetts who may have also attempted to gouge out his eyes inside “Misery Mountain,” as inmates call Hazelton.

Bulger, serving life for 11 murders but suspected of many more, was reportedly killed by a Mafia hitman from Springfield named Fotios “Freddy” Geas and a member of a North Shore drug gang.

The second suspect, Paul J. DeCologero, is connected to a notorious Burlington-based crime family that robbed rival drug dealers and once dismembered a teenage girl, according to published reports.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Change in Whitey Bulger's Medical Classification Led to Prison Transfer, #Conspiracy Grows

Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger’s medical classification was suddenly and inexplicably changed to suggest his health had improved, leading to his transfer to the West Virginia prison where he was murdered last week, US Bureau of Prisons records show.

Two organized crime figures from Massachusetts suspected of killing Bulger have been placed in isolation at the US Penitentiary Hazelton while federal investigators work to build a case against them. But investigators are also trying to figure out why Bulger, a frail 89-year-old who used a wheelchair, was transferred from the US Penitentiary Coleman II in Florida to a prison where he had access to more limited medical care despite his advancing age and declining health.

A Bureau of Prisons official who is familiar with Bulger’s treatment said the Florida prison considered Bulger a nuisance and wanted to transfer him.

“They lowered his care level to get rid of him,” said the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the case.

That official said he did not believe the intent was to get Bulger killed. But he acknowledged that sending Bulger to Hazelton and immediately placing him in the general population was negligent and amounted to “a death penalty.”

Sandy Parr, who works at a federal medical facility and is president of a union representing federal prison workers, said the Bureau of Prisons regularly changes medical classifications “even though they shouldn’t” to move troublesome inmates.

Prison records reviewed by the Globe show that prison authorities deemed Bulger’s medical treatment was complete. But, Parr said, “no one with his [medical] history would ever have medical care completed.”

A Bureau of Prisons spokesman on Tuesday declined to answer questions about why Bulger’s medical classification was changed, saying, “We are not releasing any information due to the ongoing investigation.” But beyond Bulger’s classification being changed to allow his transfer to Hazelton, questions remain about why officials at Hazelton allowed Bulger to be placed in the prison’s general population, which included several organized crime figures from Massachusetts who would have been familiar with Bulger and might pose a danger to him.

As the Boston Globe reported last week, two of those figures, Fotios “Freddy” Geas, a Mafia hit man from West Springfield serving life for two gangland murders, and Paul J. DeCologero, who was part of a Mafia-aligned group who murdered and dismembered a 19-year-old Medford woman, are now suspects in Bulger’s murder.

When Bulger was sentenced to life in prison in 2013 for 11 murders, he had already suffered several heart attacks and was sent to “medical care Level 3” prisons, first in Arizona, then in Florida, that offered specialized care for “fragile” inmates who require frequent treatment.

In April, Bulger could no longer walk when authorities at the Florida prison sought permission to transfer him to a federal medical center that provided round-the-clock care, according to prison records reviewed by the Globe.

After that request was denied, authorities renewed their request to transfer Bulger in October -- only this time they claimed that his health had dramatically improved, the records show. He was reclassified as a Level 2 inmate with minimal medical needs, making him eligible for his transfer to Hazelton, a Level 2 medical care prison, where he was beaten to death by fellow inmates hours after his arrival.

During his last eight months at the Florida prison, Bulger had been held in the Special Housing Unit, or solitary confinement, after he threatened a prison staffer, records show. The prison official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said Bulger told a female nurse, “Your day of reckoning is coming.”

According to the records, Bulger was originally given 30 days in solitary for the infraction in February, but that confinement was extended three more times, stretching out over eight months.

Parr, the union official, said she didn’t understand why Bulger was transferred for making a single threatening remark. “We don’t transfer inmates because of that. It’s common,” she said. “If there was an actual physical assault, we might do something. But for one verbal threat, and eight months in SHU, that doesn’t make sense.”

By his own account in letters sent from prison, Bulger despised being in isolation. Joe Rojas, president of Local 506, which represents prison workers at Coleman, said Bulger didn’t have any problem with fellow inmates while in general population at USP Coleman II.

Rojas said Bulger was assigned to the so-called “dropout unit,” made up of former gang members, informants, and other inmates who might face threats.

Bulger had “his own bodyguards,” Rojas said, and “some of the younger inmates would bring him his lunch and dinner.”

In a 2016 report, the District of Columbia Corrections Information Council found that Hazelton was overcrowded, understaffed, and employed a single physician, “which is not adequate to care for the medical needs of all inmates, especially those who require chronic care.”

The Bureau of Prisons uses a software system called Central Inmate Monitoring to warn prison officials if an inmate might be in danger from another prisoner, information that is crucial when inmates are initially placed or later transferred. In Bulger’s case, he fell under the system’s category of “broad publicity,” which the Bureau of Prisons lists as “inmates who have received widespread publicity as a result of their criminal activity or notoriety as public figures.” Bulger having been publicly identified as an FBI informant also placed him squarely in the CIM system, according to a Bureau of Prisons program statement on CIM.

What remains unclear, because the Bureau of Prisons refuses to comment, is whether CIM system protocols were followed in Bulger’s case. Bulger was found dead in his cell within 14 hours of his arrival at Hazelton on the night of Oct. 29.

Several law enforcement officials say they can’t understand why Bulger wasn’t initially placed in isolation at Hazelton until officials there could determine whether he would be safe in general population. Bulger’s lawyer, J.W. Carney Jr., said placing Bulger in the general population in Hazelton amounted to a “death penalty.”

Thanks to Shelley Murphy and Kevin Cullen.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

James #WhiteyBulger Killed in Federal Prison

James "Whitey" Bulger, who lived a double life as one of Boston's most notorious mobsters and as a secret FBI informant, was killed after being transferred to a federal prison in West Virginia, the Boston Globe reported on Tuesday, citing two unnamed officials. Bulger was 89 and serving a sentence of life in prison, and had recently been transferred to the high-security Hazelton penitentiary in West Virginia, according to NBC News, which also reported the death but did not specify the cause.

Henry Brennan, a defense lawyer for Bulger, said in an email he could not confirm or deny the reports.

Officials at the Federal Bureau of Prisons did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Bulger was convicted in August 2013 of 11 murders, among other charges including racketeering, and sentenced to two consecutive life terms plus five years.

Prison had been something Bulger had gone to great lengths to avoid - killing potential witnesses, cultivating corrupt lawmen and living as a fugitive for 16 years. It all ended when a tip from a former Icelandic beauty queen led to his capture in June 2011 in Santa Monica, California, where he was living with a long-time girlfriend.

Bulger and his Winter Hill gang had operated for more than two decades in the insular Irish-dominated South Boston neighborhood, engaging in loan sharking, gambling, extortion, drug dealing and murder. They did so with the tacit approval of an FBI agent who looked the other way when it came to Bulger's crimes so that he would supply information on other gangsters.

Bulger, portrayed by Johnny Depp in a 2015 film "Black Mass," was feared for his short temper and brutality. Prosecutors said he strangled two women with his hands and tortured a man for hours before shooting him in the head with a machine gun.

"We took what we wanted," Kevin Weeks, a former Bulger lieutenant who would eventually testify against him, wrote in his memoir, "Brutal: The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger's Irish Mob." "We made millions through extortion and loansharking and protection. And if someone ratted us out, we killed him. We were not nice guys."

Bulger was born Sept. 3, 1929, and grew up in South Boston. He was called "Whitey" because of his light blond hair but was said to detest the nickname and preferred being called Jimmy. As a teenager he joined a gang known as The Shamrocks, compiled an arrest record for assault and armed robbery and ended up in a juvenile reformatory.

Bulger was in prison from 1956 to 1965 for robbing banks and upon his release he fell in with the Irish mob in South Boston. He worked his way through the ranks as a bookie and loanshark, survived a gang war between two Irish mobs and was a leading figure in Boston's underworld by the early 1970s.

His career was boosted by his relationship with rogue FBI agent John J. Connolly, who Bulger had known since they were boys. Connolly was supposed to be in charge of getting information out of him and Bulger did provide information that helped the FBI go after his main rival, New England's Italian Mafia, as well as local criminals.

In return, Connolly let Bulger know about working investigations while Bulger and close associate Steve "The Rifleman" Flemmi carried on with impunity. After he retired from the FBI, Connolly tipped off Bulger about a coming indictment, sending the mobster on the run in 1995.

Connolly was convicted in 2008 of racketeering, taking bribes and second-degree murder for his role in the slaying of an accountant who Bulger and Flemmi feared would testify against them.

Bulger's former associates turned on him while he was at large and their information led to a 2000 indictment that originally charged him with 19 murders.

"The guy is a sociopathic killer," Tom Foley, who worked on Bulger cases for the Massachusetts State Police, told CNN. "He loved that type of life. He's one of the hardest and cruelest individuals that operated in the Boston area. He's a bad, bad, bad guy."

When Bulger fled, he first took Teresa Stanley, his girlfriend of 30 years, with him. After a few weeks at large, however, Stanley wanted to go home so Bulger dropped her off in the Boston area. He picked up another of his girlfriends, Catherine Greig, and disappeared again.

Bulger spent his final years of freedom in No. 303 of the Princess Eugenia apartment complex in Santa Monica with Greig.

One of their neighbors, Anna Bjornsdottir, a former U.S. television actress and Miss Iceland of 1974, earned a $2 million reward for turning in Bulger. She was watching a television news report about the Bulger manhunt when she recognized the man she knew by the name Charlie Gasko and notified the FBI.

At first he denied his identity but eventually told authorities, "You know who I am. I'm Whitey Bulger." More than $800,000 in cash and a cache of weapons was found hidden in the walls of his apartment.

Greig was sentenced to eight years in prison and fined $150,000 for helping Bulger evade capture. She is scheduled for release in September 2020.

Bulger's two-month trial for murder, extortion and drug dealing in 2013 was sometimes raucous. A parade of former associates testified against him, giving brutal details about how Bulger would kill enemies and then take a nap.

Sometimes Bulger sat silently at the defendant's table and at other times he engaged in profane shouting matches with witnesses such as Flemmi.

Bulger, who denied ever being an FBI informant, refused to testify on the grounds that the trial was a sham.

The U.S. Justice Department paid more than $20 million in damages to families of people killed by Bulger on the grounds that he was operating under government supervision while killing.

While Bulger was robbing banks and killing people, his younger brother Billy was acquiring political notoriety and power.

Billy served in the Massachusetts legislature for 35 years, including several years as president of the Senate, and then was president of the University of Massachusetts. He was forced to resign the latter job in 2003 after it was learned that eight years earlier he had spoken by phone with Whitey, who was a fugitive at the time, and did not report it to authorities.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Cadillac Frank Salemme, Former Mafia Don, Faces Life Sentence for 1993 Murder of Steven DiSarro

Twenty-five years after South Boston nightclub owner Steven DiSarro was strangled and buried in an unmarked grave, a former Mafia don and a local plumber are scheduled to be sentenced Thursday for the slaying.

Former New England Mafia boss Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme, 85, and Paul M. Weadick, 63, face mandatory life sentences for killing DiSarro in 1993 to prevent him from cooperating in a federal investigation targeting the mobster and his son.

After the pair were convicted in June, DiSarro’s son, Nick, said he was grateful to the jury for giving his family justice after so many years. “This is the end of such a long road,” he said. “To close this book is just a really important step for our family.”

The convictions followed a five-week trial in US District Court in Boston that was a flashback to a bygone era, when the Italian La Cosa Nostra and James “Whitey” Bulger’s Irish mob were the region’s most feared criminal groups.

DiSarro was a businessman who bought the Channel, a now defunct rock ‘n’ roll club on Necco Street, in the early 1990s. Salemme and his son had a hidden interest in the club and were being targeted by federal and state investigators at the time.

On May 10, 1993, DiSarro, a 43-year-old father of five, disappeared after his wife saw him climb into an SUV outside their Westwood home. His whereabouts were a mystery until the FBI found his remains two years ago, buried behind an old mill in Providence.

Salemme, who became a government witness himself six years after the killing of DiSarro, was in the federal witness protection program when DiSarro’s hidden grave was discovered in 2016, leading to his arrest.

The government’s star witness during the trial was Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, who is serving a life sentence for 10 murders. He testified that he dropped by Salemme’s Sharon home on May 10, 1993, and saw Salemme’s son, Frank, strangling DiSarro while Weadick held his legs and Salemme looked on.

Salemme’s son died in 1995.

Flemmi said Salemme told him that he knew DiSarro had been approached by federal agents and feared he would cooperate in a federal investigation targeting him and his son.

Two former Rhode Island mobsters, brothers Robert DeLuca and Joseph DeLuca, testified that they helped bury DiSarro’s body after Salemme personally delivered it to Providence. Last month, Robert DeLuca was sentenced to 5½ years in prison for lying to investigators about DiSarro’s murder when he initially began cooperating with authorities in 2011. He only revealed details of the crime after a drug dealer led authorities to DiSarro’s remains.

Salemme is one of Boston’s last old-school mobsters, a criminal turned federal witness whose many former associates are now dead or in prison.

He survived the gang wars of the 1960s — a decade during which he admittedly killed eight people and was convicted of maiming an Everett lawyer by blowing up his car.

He spent nearly 16 years in prison for that attempted murder and became a “made man” after his release in 1988. The following year, he was shot in the chest and leg outside a Saugus pancake house by a renegade mob faction and survived to become boss of the New England Patriarca crime family.

In 1995, Salemme was indicted in a sweeping federal racketeering case, along with Bulger, Flemmi, and others. Four years later, after learning that Bulger and Flemmi were longtime FBI informants, Salemme began cooperating with the government and helped send retired FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr. to prison.

He was admitted to the federal witness protection program and was living in Atlanta as Richard Parker when his past came back to haunt him. The discovery of DiSarro’s hidden grave in 2016 led to Salemme’s arrest for murder.

Thanks to Shelley Murphy.

Friday, June 22, 2018

James "Whitey" Bulger, Notorious Boston Mobster, is Arrested #OnThisDay in 2011

On this day in 2011, after 16 years on the run from law enforcement, James “Whitey” Bulger, a violent Boston mob boss wanted for 19 murders, is arrested in Santa Monica, California. The 81-year-old Bulger, one of the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” fugitives, was arrested with his longtime companion, 60-year-old Catherine Greig, who fled Massachusetts with the gangster in late 1994, shortly before he was to be indicted on federal criminal charges. At the time of his 2011 arrest, there was a $2 million reward for information leading to Bulger’s capture, the largest amount ever offered by the agency for a domestic fugitive.

Born in Massachusetts in 1929 and raised in a South Boston housing project, Bulger, who earned his nickname as a child for his light blond hair, served time in federal prison in the 1950s and early 1960s for bank robbery. Afterward, he returned to Boston, where he eventually built an organized-crime empire with partner Stephen Flemmi. At the time the two men were involved with drug trafficking, extortion, murder and other illegal activities, they were serving, since the mid-1970s, as FBI informants, providing information about rival mobsters in return from protection from prosecution.

After a rogue FBI agent tipped off Bulger that he would soon be arrested on racketeering charges, Bulger disappeared in December 1994. (John Connolly, the agent who tipped off Bulger, was later convicted on charges of racketeering, obstruction of justice and second-degree murder.) Despite an international manhunt, Bulger eluded authorities for over a decade and a half. Then, on June 20, 2011, the FBI employed a new tactic by airing a public service announcement focused on Greig, Bulger’s companion. The ad, which aired in cities across the U.S. where the mobster was thought to have once lived or have contacts, was aimed at female viewers who might have seen Greig, who underwent a variety of cosmetic surgeries, at a beauty parlor or doctor’s office. Based on one of the tips they received, FBI agents staked out Bulger and Greig, then going by the names Charles and Carol Gasko, and arrested them without incident at the modest, two-bedroom Southern California apartment building they had long called home.

Law enforcement officials found weapons, fake identification and more than $800,000 stashed in Bulger’s apartment. He later revealed to them that during his years on the lam he had traveled frequently to such places as Boston, Mexico and Las Vegas, armed and sometimes in disguise.

After their arrest, Bulger and Greig were returned to Boston. In June 2012, as part of a plea agreement, Greig was sentenced to eight years in prison for helping Bulger remain in hiding. The following summer, Bulger went on trial, and on August 12, 2013, he was convicted in a federal court in Boston of 31 of the 32 counts against him, including participating in 11 murders and other criminal acts.

On November 14, 2013, a federal judge sentenced Bulger to two life terms in prison plus five years.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

4 Years Ago, Whitey Bulger Sentenced to 2 Life Terms + 5 Years, for 11 Murders #OnThisDay

In Boston, MA, crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger was sentenced to two life terms plus five years imprisonment for 11 murders and other racketeering charges, on this day, in 2013.

Whitey Bulger: America's Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

No Bail for Mob Boss Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme

He left his life as a Mafia don decades ago, disappeared into the federal witness protection program, and was living quietly in Atlanta as Richard Parker, an unassuming octogenarian who loved to read and exercise.But Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme’s past caught up with him Wednesday, when he was arrested at a Connecticut hotel and escorted to a Boston courthouse in handcuffs to face a new charge for an old crime: the 1993 murder of a witness during a federal investigation.

It was deja vu for Salemme, a contemporary of James “Whitey” Bulger’s who will turn 83 this month. Arriving in court, he smiled slightly when he spotted Fred Wyshak, the veteran prosecutor who helped send him to prison twice before, seated at the prosecution table and quipped, “Hey, Fred, fancy seeing you here!”

His casual demeanor belied the severity of the charge, which allows prosecutors to seek the death penalty.

Salemme, who served as boss of the New England Mafia in the 1990s, is charged with the May 10, 1993, slaying of South Boston nightclub manager Steven A. DiSarro, whose remains were discovered in March by investigators acting on a tip. DiSarro was buried in a Providence lot owned by a man facing federal drug charges.

Salemme denies he killed DiSarro and “is ready to fight this case tooth and nail,” Salemme’s attorney, Steven Boozang, said after the court hearing. “This is old stuff that has been dredged up from the past, but he’ll face it head-on as he always has.”

The murder in question stretches back more than two decades, to a time when the mob in New England was being battered by federal prosecutions. DiSarro was 43 when he vanished 23 years ago and was presumed murdered.

The recent discovery of his remains let his family finally lay him to rest. “We buried him this weekend and had a small ceremony,” DiSarro’s son, Nick, said during a brief telephone interview Wednesday. “I am really glad that there is progress and they are moving forward. I’m looking forward to finding out the details.”

The magistrate judge granted a request by the prosecution to keep an FBI affidavit filed in support of Salemme’s arrest under seal.

While Salemme is charged with murdering a witness, authorities have not disclosed whether DiSarro was cooperating with authorities when he vanished, or whether investigators were planning to call him as a witness during a federal investigation that was underway in 1993 against Salemme and his son, Frank.

DiSarro had acquired The Channel, a now-defunct nightclub, between 1990 and 1991 and Salemme and his son had a hidden interest in the club, according to court filings by the government in prior cases.

The new charge against Salemme marks the first time anyone has been charged with DiSarro’s murder. However, Salemme pleaded guilty in 2008 to lying and obstruction of justice for denying any knowledge about DiSarro’s death and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Salemme also spent 15 years in prison for attempting to kill an Everett lawyer in 1968 by planting dynamite in his car. The lawyer lost a leg in the explosion.

After his release, Salemme was being groomed to take over as mob boss, igniting a war with a renegade faction. He survived after being shot by rival gangsters outside a Saugus pancake house in 1989 and was indicted on federal racketeering charges in 1995 along with others, including Bulger, gangster Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, and Rhode Island mobster Robert “Bobby” DeLuca.

In 1999, after learning that Bulger and Flemmi were longtime FBI informants, Salemme agreed to cooperate with authorities against the pair and their handler, retired FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr. In exchange he served only eight years in prison and was admitted to the federal witness protection program.

In 2003, Flemmi began cooperating with authorities and claimed he walked in on the murder of DiSarro at Salemme’s estranged wife’s home in 1993, according to a US Drug Enforcement Administration report filed in federal court in Boston. He claimed that Salemme’s son, Frank, was strangling DiSarro, while Salemme, his brother John Salemme, and another man, Paul Weadick, watched.


Flemmi said Salemme was concerned about DiSarro’s friendship with a man who was cooperating in the federal investigation targeting Salemme and his son. He also told investigators that Salemme later told him DeLuca was present when they buried DiSarro.

Salemme’s son Frank died in 1995.

Salemme was kicked out of the witness protection program in 2004 when he was charged with lying about DiSarro’s killing but was allowed back into the program in 2009 after finishing his sentence.

Court filings indicated that Salemme was using the name Richard Parker while in Georgia.

He was living “a healthy lifestyle,” exercised as much as possible, and was a voracious reader, Boozang said.“He’s a guy that learned his lesson,” Boozang said. “He paid his debt to society. For 21 years he hasn’t been in trouble.”But, Nick DiSarro said, “None of that takes away the fact that he murdered someone.”

Dressed in a short-sleeved navy blue polo shirt and olive green khakis when he appeared in court Wednesday, the gray haired former Mafia don was slightly tanned and looked fit and trim. When told to rise, he took a few moments to get to his feet.

US Magistrate Judge Donald L. Cabell ordered Salemme held without bail pending the resolution of the case. The prosecutor said Salemme had a history of fleeing to avoid charges and recently fled Atlanta, where he was in the witness protection program, and was captured in Connecticut.

Salemme did not challenge the government’s request to hold him without bail. However, Boozang insisted that Salemme was not in hiding, but rather, “He was on his way back to answer any charges that might have been coming forth.”

Thanks to Shelley Murphy.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Paddy Whacked: The Untold Story of the Irish American Gangster

Here is the shocking true saga of the Irish American mob. In Paddy Whacked: The Untold Story of the Irish American Gangster, bestselling author and organized crime expert T. J. English brings to life nearly two centuries of Irish American gangsterism, which spawned such unforgettable characters as Mike "King Mike" McDonald, Chicago's subterranean godfather; Big Bill Dwyer, New York's most notorious rumrunner during Prohibition; Mickey Featherstone, troubled Vietnam vet turned Westies gang leader; and James "Whitey" Bulger, the ruthless and untouchable Southie legend.

Stretching from the earliest New York and New Orleans street wars through decades of bootlegging scams, union strikes, gang wars, and FBI investigations, Paddy Whacked: The Untold Story of the Irish American Gangster, is a riveting tour de force that restores the Irish American gangster to his rightful preeminent place in our criminal history -- and penetrates to the heart of the American experience.

Monday, January 04, 2016

How a 16-year-old white boy rose to become a Chinese mafia boss #WhiteDevil

Down on his luck and with nowhere no turn, 16-year-old John Willis made a phone call that would transform his life.

With his father long gone and his mother dead, he was taking steroids to beef himself up and convince the owner of a club in Boston that he was 18 and therefore old enough to be a bouncer. After helping a young Asian man called Woping Joe out of a fight at the club, he was handed a card with a phone number and told to ring it if he ever needed help.

Days later, with just 76 cents to his name and nowhere to sleep, he found himself dialing the number for a lift. Just minutes afterwards he was picked up by two BMWs car packed with young, Chinese men. At the time he was just looking for a warm meal and a roof over his head, but a decade later he would be the Chinese mafia's number two, known as Bac Guai John - or White Devil.

The FBI say he is the only man to reach anywhere near the top of the Chinese mafia, which usually keeps itself to itself and rarely mixes with crime syndicates of other ethnicities. But the Ping On gang took to bright-eyed Willis, who quickly picked up Chinese in two different dialects - Cantonese and Toisanese - as well as Vietnamese, after a family took him in.

He realized he had to learn the language quickly, not only because a lot of the people he dealt with on a day-to-day basis did not speak English but also because he needed to have a grasp of Chinese to pick up women.

After listening in on conversations, as well as watching Chinese films and listening to Chinese music, he soon had a convincing accent, Vice reported.

He started out as a small time loan collector, ensuring those higher up in the gang were never left out of pocket by their clients. But his loyalty and diligence soon saw him rise through the ranks until he was the chief bodyguard to Bai Ming, who was high up the chain of command in Boston's Chinese mafia.

According to Bob Halloran, who interviewed the gangster - who is currently in prison - for his book White Devil: The True Story of the First White Asian Crime Boss, Willis' role would see him check Ming's car for bombs and collect money from underground gambling dens. He would do whatever it took to finish a job and his success saw him become Ming's right-hand man. Ming was only sixth or seventh in command at the time, but after a few arrests here and some gangland killings there, he suddenly found himself at the helm of the mafia - with the White Devil as his number two.

Willis did time in prison in the 90s and came out with connections in the marijuana trade. He was warned away from drugs by other members of the mafia - who largely made their money from gambling, massage parlors and prostitution - but carried on selling narcotics because of the vast profits he made.

Soon, however, he was dealing cocaine and eventually moved into dealing oxycodone, trafficking it from Florida to Boston and also selling it in Cape Cod. He is thought to have shifted 260,000 pills in a racket worth $4million, but he told investigators it was worth at least 10 times that.

Willis - who was branded in court as 'the kingpin, organizer and leader of a vast conspiracy' - was eventually caught by the police and, in 2013, was jailed for 20 years.

Halloran says Willis' greatest regret is not the lives he damaged as part of the mob or through trafficking drugs, but is the fact he can no longer see his Vietnamese-American girlfriend and her daughter.

According to Rolling Stone, Willis was with his lover Anh Nguyen on her daughter's ninth birthday when his crimes finally caught up with him. They had met in 2005, when he approached and told her in English that she was 'drop-dead gorgeous'. She thought he was just 'a white kid with an Asian fetish', but fell for him after hearing him break up a fight in Chinese.

For a member of the mob, Willis' life was relatively stable, but as he lay in bed with Nguyen in March 2011, his empire of fast cars, speedboats and beachside homes in Florida was about to come crashing down. He had kept his life of organized crime separate from his family life - only admitting to his girlfriend that he was a gangster after she questioned cuts on his hands - but even she had to accept a plea of tampering with a witness when Willis, who is now 44, faced trial.

While it is unheard of for a white teenager to rise to the top of the Chinese mafia, it is not surprising that a troubled child growing up in Dorchester, a suburb of Boston, in the 1970s wound up in the wrong company.

Notorious Boston gangster Whitey Bulger also grew up in Dorchester. He infiltrated the Boston office of the FBI and bought off agents who protected him. Some feared he would never be caught and he was soon placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List - at one point he was only second to Osama Bin Laden. Bulger fled Boston in 1994 and remained a fugitive until he was captured in Santa Monica, California, in 2011. He was convicted of participating in 11 murders while running Boston's Winter Hill Gang for two decades and is now serving two life sentences.

Thanks to Ollie Gillman .

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Whitey Bulger's Girlfriend, Catherine Greig, Indicted for Criminal Contempt

Catherine Greig, longtime companion of convicted killer James “Whitey” Bulger, was indicted in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with her refusal to testify before a grand jury.

“Ms. Greig was ordered by the Court to testify before a grand jury about whether others assisted Mr. Bulger while he lived on the lam for 16 years,” said United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. “By refusing to comply with that order, Ms. Greig has committed a new crime and this indictment seeks to hold her accountable. The grand jury is entitled to her testimony and flouting a federal court’s order has substantial consequences.”

“Catherine Greig has yet again failed to do the right thing,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division. “Her refusal to testify has hindered the FBI’s efforts to seek justice for the victims of his crimes. Our efforts to find those who assisted them during their lives as fugitives will not stop despite the fact that Ms. Greig has refused to testify.”

Catherine E. Greig, 64, was indicted on one count of criminal contempt. The indictment alleges that on Dec. 9, 2014, and continuing through Sept. 22, 2015, Greig refused to testify before a federal grand jury regarding an investigation into whether other individuals assisted Bulger while he was a fugitive from 1995 through 2011. In 2012, Greig was convicted of identity fraud and harboring James J. Bulger, and was sentenced to eight years in federal prison.

The charge of criminal contempt provides for a prison sentence to be served subsequent to her current eight-year prison sentence and a fine. There is no fixed maximum penalty for criminal contempt, so courts may impose any sentence. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Brutal: The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger's Irish Mob

Brutal: The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger's Irish Mob
I grew up in the Old Colony housing project in South Boston and became partners with James "Whitey" Bulger, who I always called Jimmy.

Jimmy and I, we were unstoppable. We took what we wanted. And we made people disappear—permanently. We made millions. And if someone ratted us out, we killed him. We were not nice guys.

I found out that Jimmy had been an FBI informant in 1999, and my life was never the same. When the feds finally got me, I was faced with something Jimmy would have killed me for—cooperating with the authorities. I pled guilty to twenty-nine counts, including five murders. I went away for five and a half years.

I was brutally honest on the witness stand, and this book is brutally honest, too; the brutal truth that was never before told. How could it? Only three people could tell the true story. With one on the run and one in jail for life, it falls on me. -- Kevin Weeks


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hunted Down: The FBI's Pursuit and Capture of Whitey Bulger

Writer Kevin Weeks was top Lieutenant to James "Whitey" Bulger, head of the South Boston Irish Mob, who was on the run for more than 16 years before his capture on June 22, 2011. While on the FBI Most Wanted list with a two million dollar reward, Whitey had been second only to Osama bin Laden. Hunted Down: The FBI's Pursuit and Capture of Whitey Bulger, is a story of murder, friendship and loyalty within the mob, using many situations that Weeks could have omitted from his NYT bestselling memoir, Brutal: The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger's Irish Mob. While Hunted Down: The FBI's Pursuit and Capture of Whitey Bulger, is fiction, its insider knowledge makes it all the more intriguing, with hints toward where Whitey and his companion Catherine Greig may actually have spent those 16 years on the run.

In this story, Joey Donahue is released from prison after serving six years for racketeering and crimes committed as deputy to the infamous South Boston Irish Mob boss and psychopathic murderer Whitey Bulger. This time, he is determined to stay clear of the life of crime that has supported him for the past twenty-five years. After a year of trying unsuccessfully to find a job due to his notorious association with Bulger, Joey finally surrenders to the temptation of a friend's offer to join him in a fast score, a simple robbery of a drug dealer that should pay the bills until he finds a viable job. The robbery turns out to be a sting operation set up by the FBI for the express purpose of forcing Joey to cooperate in the frustratingly unsuccessful search for his onetime mentor. With Joey reluctantly partnered with an FBI agent, the hunt for Whitey takes place against an international backdrop until the old friends finally meet up in a high-stakes climax, ending the game of cat and mouse once and for all.

It is speculated that Bulger is also the inspiration for the ruthless crime kingpin Francis "Frank" Costello, played by Jack Nicholson in Martin Scorsese's Academy Award-winning film The Departed.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Kevin Weeks Calls Whitey Bulger #BlackMass Movie Bogus

From 1978-1994, Kevin Weeks served as a member of the Winter Hill Gang, and a close friend, confidant, and henchman to Whitey Bulger. And he says Johnny Depp’s film is bogus.

“We really did kill those people,” says Kevin Weeks, the former mobster and right-hand man to notorious crime boss Whitey Bulger. “But the movie is a fantasy.”

The film that has Weeks riled up is Black Mass. Directed by Scott Cooper, it stars Johnny Depp as Winter Hill Gang leader James “Whitey” Bulger, and depicts the menacing Irishman’s rise up the criminal ranks from low-level gangster to the most feared criminal in not just his native South Boston, but the state of Massachusetts. Whitey was able to rise so far so fast thanks to his special relationship with the FBI, especially agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton)—an old neighborhood friend on Whitey’s payroll who’d funnel him information in exchange for intel on the local Italian mafia, led by Gennaro Angiulo. Bulger was eventually arrested in 2011 at an apartment complex in Santa Monica, California, after being on the run for 17 years, and was indicted for 19 murders. He was convicted of 11 of those murders, and is serving two consecutive life sentences behind bars. Interestingly enough, while Whitey’s reign of terror was going on, his brother Billy (Benedict Cumberbatch) was the most powerful politician in the state, serving as president of the Massachusetts State Senate.

Weeks, who’s portrayed in the film by Friday Night Lights’ Jesse Plemons, started out in 1976 as a bouncer at Whitey’s local haunt Triple O’s, and by 1978 he was serving as Whitey’s driver and personal muscle. He officially joined the Winter Hill Gang full-time in 1982, and, along with Johnny Martorano and Stephen Flemmi, served as one of Whitey’s devoted henchmen. In 1999, Weeks was arrested on a 29-count indictment in a RICO case. In exchange for his damning grand testimony against Whitey, Weeks received a 5-year prison sentence. He was released in 2004, and has since penned three books, including the recent Hunted Down: The FBI's Pursuit and Capture of Whitey Bulger, which hit shelves on July 22.

And to say that Weeks is unhappy with the film would be a major understatement. “My character looks like a knuckle-dragging moron,” says Weeks. “I look like I have Down syndrome.”

According to Weeks, the filmmakers behind Black Mass “didn’t consult with anyone within the inner circle about the movie,” and as a result, there are major discrepancies between what really happened and what happens onscreen.

The Daily Beast spoke with Weeks—who saw the film opening night—who opened up about what Black Mass got right and wrong, the murders they committed, and a foiled attempt to assassinate Boston Herald journalist Howie Carr.

You saw Black Mass on Friday night. What did you think of it?

Very disappointing. The only resemblance to Whitey’s character was the hairline. The funny thing is, Whitey’s look didn’t really change at all, just his clothes. It’s like we were stuck in a time warp. And the mannerisms—the way that Whitey talked to us—he never swore at us. In all the years I was with that man, he never swore at me once. We never yelled at each other. The opening scene of me getting beaten up? That never happened. They also have me talking to a black FBI agent in the beginning of the film, but I wouldn’t talk to the FBI. I spoke to a DEA agent, Dan Doherty. And my cooperation came after Johnny Martorano started cooperating. Nothing in the film is chronological, really.

The biggest chronological discrepancy in the film was the death of Bulger’s son, which took place in 1973. The film makes it seem like his boy died later than that in order to position it as his motivation for upping his killing and crime activity.

They made it seem like that was the reason why. I wasn’t there for the death of his son—that happened before my time—but I was there for the death of his mother, which he took pretty bad. But really, Whitey was violent long before his son’s death. And the way the film portrays people like Stephen Flemmi and myself? We come across looking like a step away from Down syndrome, really. We’re portrayed as these low-life thugs that are borderline morons who haven’t washed for weeks. For all the money we were makin’, we came off like paupers. We dressed a certain way during the day, but at night we were wearing $2,700 Louis suits. There’s a scene early on in the film where Johnny Martorano’s character is at the bar Triple O’s, and is reaching into a peanut bowl, licking his fingers, and sticking them back into the bowl, and Whitey starts mocking him for it. First of all, Johnny Martorano was never in Triple O’s. Second, if Whitey ever started talking to Johnny like that—berating him—the movie would be over because Johnny would’ve shot him right then. As bad as Whitey was, Johnny was just as capable—if not more.

Right. Johnny was known as “The Basin Street Butcher.”

He was a violent killer. There’s another scene later on where Whitey is yelling at Stevie [Flemmi] in the car outside the police station where they’re waiting to pick up Deborah Hussey. The language is all wrong. We never really cursed like that unless we were grabbing somebody, and Whitey never would’ve berated Stevie, either. Stevie was a psychopath. Stevie would’ve killed him. And Stevie is portrayed as a very sympathetic character.

In the scene you mention, they pick up Hussey, take her to a house, and Whitey strangles her to death.

Right. And I’m already in the house—they show me in the background. The true story is that me and Jimmy went to that house and we were waiting for Stevie. That house was for sale, and we already had two bodies buried downstairs. When I get to the house with Jimmy, he says, “Oh, we’re waiting for Stevie and Deborah. Stevie might buy the place.” I go and use the bathroom upstairs, and as soon as I come down the stairs, I see Stevie and Deborah come in, and I hear boom-boom. I walk in and see that Jimmy had strangled her. I thought she was dead, but then Stevie put his head on her chest, said she was still alive, and he put a clothesline rope around her neck, put a stick in it and twisted. And then after, Stevie dragged her body downstairs and pulled her teeth out. So Stevie wasn’t all sympathetic, mourning, and sorrowful like he is in the movie. Stevie enjoyed murder.

Back to Johnny Depp’s performance as Whitey. The film made Whitey seem—relatively speaking—like a sympathetic character. He’s portrayed as a very loving family man.

He had a son, Douglas, and he did die of Reye’s syndrome, but Jimmy wasn’t this doting father. Lindsey [Cyr] lived in Quincy, and he used to preach to me all the time, “If you’re gonna be a criminal, you shouldn’t have kids. They’re a liability.” And that scene at the dinner table between Jimmy and Douglas where he tells his son, “Punch them when the other kid isn’t looking,” he didn’t talk to kids like that. He was my older son’s godfather and I remember the way he’d talk to my son. He just talked to him like he was a young kid. Oh, you playing baseball? Normal conversation. He didn’t bring business back to the house. So his portrayal of him, outside of the makeup, I couldn’t believe it. The hairline was fine but the teeth were terrible, too. Jimmy had one front tooth and a nerve in it had died so it was one shade less than white—a little yellow, ya know. And his girlfriend, Cathy [Greig], was a hygienist, so his teeth were in great shape except for that one tooth.

Whitey looks vampiric in the film—like a ghoul.

He really does. There’s one scene I have a really big problem with, and that’s a scene down in Miami. Now, I was never down in Miami and they never met Johnny [Martorano] down in Miami. They met Johnny out in a hotel by La Guardia Airport, and it was just Jimmy, Stevie, and Johnny who discussed the John Callahan murder, which came after Roger Wheeler. In the scene in the film, they have me down in Miami and we’re all sitting there. Callahan goes to give Jimmy a big of money and Jimmy says, “Give that to Kevin.” And I take it. And then Stevie supposedly propositions Brian Halloran to kill Roger Wheeler, and Jimmy notices Halloran’s demeanor and says, “Kevin, give him the bag with the $20,000 in it, and forget what you heard here.” That never happened. In fact, I didn’t know about Roger Wheeler’s death until the Callahan murder. So just by having me be there giving Halloran the money, they have involved me in a conspiracy to kill Roger Wheeler. I’ve been libeled. I wasn’t involved in that at all, so I have a big problem with that. I just don’t know where they get the right to put events in there that did not happen.

What about the turf war between the Winter Hill Gang and the Angiulo crime family?

Well, another scene in the beginning where Jimmy pulls up, I get in the car, then we drive somewhere and beat up a guy, and his name is “Joey Angiulo,” and he’s identified as Jerry Angiulo’s nephew. Just by saying that name, “Angiulo,” that never would’ve happened because if it did, there would have been a war. If it did, to make peace, Jerry Angiulo would’ve said, “Kill Kevin, and it’s over.” That scene did happen to another fellow, Paul Giaimo, and the story was that he’d slapped Whitey’s niece.  We got him in the car, drove up to M Street Park, proceeded to give him a beating, then drove him up to Cassidy’s and left the body out front so all his friends could see. Then we found out later on that we beat up the wrong person. But by making up this name and saying “Angiulo” and the mafia, it was so unrealistic. There would have been bodies in the streets if that happened.

As far as the FBI is concerned, the film seemed to really let the Bureau off the hook. John Connolly and John Morris are the only FBI agents in the film who seem to know about Whitey’s double-dealing, and they’re portrayed as sympathetic pawns, to a degree.

The FBI were the ones that enabled Jimmy and Stevie to survive. There’s a scene early on in the film where Connolly and Jimmy make this “alliance,” and then Jimmy goes back and tells Stevie about how they’re going to use the FBI against the mafia. That didn’t happen because Stevie had already been an important since 1965. In 1967, Flemmi and Frank Salemme blew up Joe Barboza’s attorney, John Fitzgerald, and then Stevie and Frankie went on the run, with Frankie going down to New York and Stevie going up to Montreal. Stevie comes back to Boston in 1974, and then the following year, Jimmy becomes an informant. And Connolly was on the payroll. We considered Connolly a criminal, too. He was our informant, and that’s how it was portrayed to all of us—that we were paying for his information. That’s why no one suspected that Jim Bulger was informing on us, because every time we made a score we’d put money aside to pay our contacts in law enforcement, and we were getting good information. Jimmy used to tell me, “I can call any one of six FBI agents and they’ll come to me and jump in this car with a machine gun and go on a hit.” One FBI agent actually gave us 17 kilos of C-4 which we were going to use to blow up a reporter, Howie Carr. Howie thought it was a made-up story, until he found out it was the truth.

Why did Bulger want to assassinate Howie Carr?

He was just a vicious bastard. He was attacking everybody—innocent people and everything. There was a time when we weren’t doing much and everything was running smoothly, and he wrote an article about this kid in South Boston who got killed, and Jimmy decided to make him a hobby and shut him up once and for all. When I look back on it, I wish we did kill him. He’s still the most hated reporter in Boston. Everybody hates him.

And it wasn’t just the FBI that knew about Whitey and what he was doing. Jeremiah O’Sullivan, the head of the organized crime task force, was giving information to Connolly. Every time Whitey or Stevie’s name was mentioned they’d give the information to Connolly knowing that Connolly would be giving the information to us. They were all on the payroll. All of them were receiving presents all the time—money, wine, trips. Some agents you couldn’t give money to because they’d feel insulted, so you’d give them a crystal or a Chelsea Clock. Everybody had their weakness.

One mystery surrounding Whitey Bulger is the Lady of the Dunes—the nickname for the body of the mysterious woman found at the Race Point Dunes. Many believe Bulger murdered her.

That wasn’t him. What happened was, because of Deborah Hussey and Debra Davis being killed, he used to visit Provincetown. And he’d usually have his girlfriend or a young girl he was with. But Whitey didn’t kill her. That’s just people jumping on it and saying, “It could have been him.” He didn’t do it.

But Whitey did kill Debra Davis, you’re saying? That murder was never actually proven to be Whitey’s doing.

I wasn’t there for Debra Davis—it was just Jim Bulger and Steve Flemmi—but here’s the story I was told: [Whitey] told me how when he was in the house with Stevie, they grabbed Debra, dragged her downstairs to the basement, and put her in a chair. She was being killed because she was going to leave Stevie, and he’d told her too much—including about his relationship with John Connolly. So she’s in the chair and Stevie begins putting duct tape around her. She had beautiful hair, so Jim Bulger said to me, “When the duct tape went around her face and her hair, that’s when I knew it was over.” And Stevie kissed her on the forehead and said, “You’re going to another place now.” And then Jim Bulger’s exact words to me were, “And then she was strangled.” So he didn’t say who strangled her.

The relationship between Whitey and his brother Billy has always fascinated me—that the most notorious crime boss in Boston could have a brother who, as president of the Massachusetts State Senate, was the most powerful politician in Massachusetts.

OK, I was up at Billy Bulger’s house over 100 times with Jimmy. He never discussed any street business or crime with Billy. It was always conversations about regular family stuff. There’s no doubt in my mind that Billy knew Jimmy was involved in the rackets, but as far as the murders, if Billy did hear something about that I bet he’d choose not to believe it, because he’s a very religious man. There was the case of Senator John E. Powers, who was a judge. He fired Whitey from being a janitor at the courthouse. Billy never forgave him for that because after Whitey was fired from that job, he started committing all these crimes and stuff. So when it came to John E. Powers getting a raise or anything like that, it never made it past Billy Bulger in the Senate. So if someone was attacking his family, sure, he would stick it to that person whatever way he could legally. But as far as shielding Whitey from investigations? Billy never did that. Never.

Whitey’s attorney, Hank Brennan, recently shot down Black Mass, saying that “the real menace to Boston during that time and in other mob cases around the country—the federal government’s complicity in each and every one of those murders with the top echelon informant program.”

Well, [Jay Carney, Bulger's other attorney] is a buffoon. I mean, really. He was supposed to defend Jim Bulger, and when he stood up and gave his opening remarks, he basically admitted to every charge. What, he’s spoken to Jim Bulger for a hundred hours, and that’s supposed to make him something? Now, he speaks about Jim like he’s his best friend. He doesn’t know a thing about the real Jim Bulger, what’s happened, or anything. He’s literally a buffoon.

But it was the federal government that enabled us to get as far as we did. Without their interference, we would’ve been a short-lived gang. In some cases, we knew about investigations before they’d even been approved, or received financing. And it wasn’t just Connolly and the FBI. There was a bug in the Lancaster Street Garage that was given to us by a state trooper. The state police keep trying to pin it all on the FBI, but they were tipping us off, too. Whitey had his hands in everything. He had FBI. He had the Boston Police. He had Quincy Police. He had one guy in the DEA who was saying stuff to Connolly. He had people all over law enforcement that were giving information to him. With the movie, there’s no accuracy at all. The premise of corruption with the FBI is right, but as far as the events, the people, and the personalities? You could’ve told the truth and the movie would’ve been more violent than it is but they fabricated events. The movie is pure fiction.

Thanks to Marlow Stern.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The True Story of #BlackMass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil's Deal, @BlackMassMovie

John Connoly and James "Whitey" Bulger grew up together on the streets of South Boston. Decades later, in the mid 1970's, they would meet again.  By then, Connolly was a major figure in the FBI's Boston office and Whitey had become godfather of the Irish Mob.  What happened next — a dirty deal to bring down the Italian mob in exchange for protection for Bulger — would spiral out of control, leading to murders, drug dealing, racketeering indictments, and, ultimately, the biggest informant scandal in the history of the FBI.

Compellingly told by two Boston Globe reporters who were on the case from the beginning, Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil's Deal is at once a riveting crime story, a cautionary tale about the abuse of power, and a penetrating look at Boston and its Irish population.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Author & Ex-FBI Agent, Robert Fitzpatrick, Charged with Perjury During Whitey Bulger Trial

A former FBI agent lied to jurors during mobster James "Whitey" Bulger's trial and overstated his professional accomplishments, including falsely claiming to be the first officer who recovered the rifle used to assassinate Martin Luther King Jr., federal officials said Thursday in announcing a perjury case against him.

Robert Fitzpatrick, who was once second in command of the Boston FBI division, surrendered to U.S. marshals with his lawyer after learning there was a warrant for his arrest.

Fitzpatrick, the first witness called by Bulger's attorneys during his 2013 racketeering trial, said he tried to persuade the FBI to terminate Bulger as an informant because the mobster didn't appear to be helping its mission to gather information on the Mafia. Fitzpatrick said his bosses didn't agree with him.

Prosecutors suggested he exaggerated that claim to sell copies of a book Betrayal: Whitey Bulger and the FBI Agent Who Fought to Bring Him Down, he wrote about BulgerBetrayal: Whitey Bulger and the FBI Agent Who Fought to Bring Him Down.

Fitzpatrick was due to appear in federal court Thursday afternoon on six counts of perjury and six counts of obstruction of justice. His lawyer, Robert Goldstein, did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the accusations.

During Bulger's trial, prosecutor Brian Kelly started his cross-examination of Fitzpatrick by asking him if he was a man who likes to make up stories. Fitzpatrick denied that.

Kelly went on to press Fitzpatrick about a claim he had made previously that he was the first officer at the scene who recovered the weapon used to kill King.

"I was the first FBI agent at the scene, and I found a rifle coming down the stairs, having just missed James Earl Ray, the shooter," Fitzpatrick said. "The rifle was in the alcove, and there's a report to that."

Kelly pressed him further: "Isn't it true that three Memphis police officers found the rifle that was used to kill Martin Luther King, not Bob Fitzpatrick?" Kelly asked.

"I found the rifle along with them. They could have been there ... but I'm the one that took the rifle," Fitzpatrick said.

Kelly then told Fitzpatrick that a report says someone else took the rifle from police officers and turned the bundle over to the FBI three hours later. "I took the bundle from the scene," Fitzpatrick explained.

Fitzpatrick also told jurors that in 1981, about six years after Bulger began working an informant, he was given the task of assessing whether the mobster was providing the FBI with useful information. The ex-agent insisted that he repeatedly sought to end the FBI's relationship with Bulger, particularly after Bulger was considered a suspect in two 1982 killings.

During the trial, prosecutors suggested that Fitzpatrick also exaggerated that claim.

The 85-year-old Bulger is serving two life sentences after his 2013 racketeering conviction tying him to 11 murders and other gangland crimes in the 1970s and '80s.

The indictment alleges that since 1998, Fitzpatrick "has falsely held himself out as a whistleblower who tried to end the FBI's relationship with Bulger." He was accused of making false statements "designed to aid Bulger's defense."

Bulger's lawyers argued during his trial that he was not an informant, and Fitzpatrick testified that Bulger denied being an FBI informant to him.

The indictment says Bulger never made that denial.

Fitzpatrick, 75, of Charlestown, Rhode Island, worked for the FBI from 1965 to 1986. In 1980, he was assigned as an assistant special agent-in-charge of the FBI's Boston division. In that position, he supervised the division's organized crime squad.

Prosecutors say Bulger was an informant for the squad from approximately 1975 through 1990.

The indictment says that in May 1986, Fitzpatrick was demoted and reassigned to the Providence, Rhode Island, field office. He left the FBI shortly after that, in December 1986.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Boston Mob Wives Reality Show Casting Call

Are you a woman with a personality that pops and a connection to Boston’s criminal underworld?

Boston Mob Wives, a new reality show in production, could be your big break. The first casting call is scheduled to take place at 5 p.m. on Sunday, February 22 at the Four Points Sheraton in Revere.

Henry “Nacho” Laun, Jenna DeRose, and Timothy Baker are looking to cast the new Boston-based reality show. Laun is a former member of Mark Wahlberg’s original real-life entourage. He has had bit parts in numerous Wahlberg films, including The Departed, The Fighter, Ted, and Ted 2. He plays himself on Wahlburgers.

DeRose is a mom of two who lives in Revere. Her husband, Timothy Baker, is also involved in the project.

The original Mob Wives series first aired on VH1 in 2011, but DeRose wasn’t a fan of the original. “I was disgusted. They don’t act classy. The women I know from Boston who have ties to the mob act way classier than that,” she said.

So, what does it take to become a cast member of Boston Mob Wives? You don’t need to have a current connection to organized crime in Boston, nor do you need to be a wife, DeRose told Boston.com.

“If their personality pops and they have mob ties from the past—their grandfather or great uncle—that works,” she said. “I don’t want anyone to think it’s about the mob that’s going on now. It’s about peoples stories from the past.”

DeRose said the people she grew up with who were involved in organized crime were “good guys just trying to make a living.”

“When you say ‘mafia’ to me I think of guys trying to protect their city,” DeRose said. “If they left the mafia alone, Boston would be a safer city.”

DeRose made several claims to her mob pedigree. “Whitey [Bulger] actually taught me how to ride a bike. I grew up around this,” she said.

Bulger was convicted in November 2013 for multiple murders, drug trafficking, racketeering and other charges.

DeRose also told Boston.com she’s the niece of Bernard “Bennie” Zinna, was involved in organized crime.

Zinna was charged in the 1966 gangland murder of boxer Rocco DiSeglio, but was later acquitted. In 1969, he died after being shot multiple times in his Cadillac. His body was found in Revere, just two miles from where the casting call is set to take place.

Would the producers be open to casting someone who is married to an individual who is currently active in organized crime? The answer is yes, according to DeRose, who explained that if the “wife” was discussing a “current situation,” producers would have to shield the identity of the “husband.”

“His name would have to be Joe Black or something.”

Presumably Bitey Wulger could also work.

Thanks to Hilary Sargent.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Church Director Edward J. MacKenzie Served as Enforcer for Whitey Bulger, Defrauded Church of Considerable Financial Assets

Edward J. MacKenzie, Jr., a self-professed “enforcer” for James “Whitey” Bulger, pleaded guilty to charges relating to his decade-long scheme to siphon off the considerable financial assets of the Boston Society of the New Jerusalem Church.

MacKenzie, 56, of Weymouth, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to 13 counts, including Rico conspiracy, racketeering, mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 23, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.

In September 2002, MacKenzie became a member of the Church, which was one of the first Swedenborgian churches in Massachusetts, and in 2003, he became the “Director of Operations,” a position that had not previously existed and paid him a starting salary of over $100,000 per year. With the purpose of draining the church of its assets, he began voting himself and his associates into positions of authority within the Church, and consolidating and fortifying his control by, among other things, changing the Church’s by-laws for his own benefit. MacKenzie was able to gain control over substantial church assets, including an 18 story apartment building in downtown Boston, because the Church had a small number of voting members, many of whom were elderly.

After obtaining control, MacKenzie began to steal Church funds through a combination of fraud, deceit, theft, and bribery. Moreover, MacKenzie intimidated and threatened individuals who were employed by and did work at the Church by, among other things, providing them with signed copies of his 2003 autobiography, Street Soldier: My Life as an Enforcer for Whitey Bulger and the Boston Irish Mob. In the autobiography, MacKenzie admitted to a lengthy criminal history, including burglary, robbery, armed assault, and narcotics trafficking.

As MacKenzie admitted in Court, a goal of the conspiracy was to obtain power and influence within the Church so that he and his co-conspirators could defraud the Church of its considerable financial holdings and profit from transactions involving the Church. MacKenzie’s fraud cost the Church millions of dollars.

“The defendant preyed on the elderly and unsuspecting congregation of a well-established Boston church for more than a decade,” said United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. “Posing as a director with the best interests of the church as a guise, he was in fact just the opposite: a criminal bent on personal gain who siphoned the considerable income of the charitable institution that he had an obligation to protect.”

The charging statutes provide a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of twice the gross proceeds from the racketeering offense. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.


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