The Chicago Syndicate: Whitey Bulger
The Mission Impossible Backpack

Showing posts with label Whitey Bulger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Whitey Bulger. Show all posts

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Stocks Drop on Arrest of Whitey Bulger

Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger was tracked down in Santa Monica by the FBI after sixteen years on the run. Stocks fell on the news. When it was first reported the feds had just nailed Whitey, everyone assumed the Democrats had pushed through a tax hike on the rich.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Whitey Bulger Captured!

Top Ten fugitive James “Whitey” Bulger was arrested thanks to a tip from the public—just days after a new media campaign was announced to help locate the gangster who had been on the run for 16 years.

Whitey Bulger Captured!

Bulger, who once ran South Boston’s violent Winter Hill Gang and was wanted for his role in 19 murders, was arrested with his longtime companion Catherine Greig Wednesday night in Santa Monica, California, by agents on the FBI's Violent Crimes Task Force.

“Although there are those who doubted our resolve, it never wavered," said Boston Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers. "We followed every lead, we explored every possibility, and when those leads ran out we did not sit back and wait for the phone to ring. The result is we have captured one of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives, a man notorious in Boston and around the world for the very serious crimes he is alleged to have committed."

The FBI has always relied on cooperation from the public to help capture fugitives and solve crimes. The new media campaign regarding Bulger was designed to draw attention to Greig, who fled with Bulger in 1995. A 30-second public service announcement (PSA) produced by the Bureau began airing Tuesday in 10 states where it was believed Bulger had resided or still had contacts. California was one of those states.

The PSA focused on the 60-year-old Greig’s physical appearance, habits, and personality traits and was directed specifically at women who might come in contact with her at places such as the beauty parlor or doctor’s office. After the PSA began to air, hundreds of tips flowed into the FBI, and one of them led to the arrest Wednesday night in a residence near Los Angeles.

“We were trying to reach a different audience to produce new leads in the case,” said Richard Teahan, a special agent in our Boston office who leads a task force that has searched for Bulger around the world. “We believed that locating Greig would lead us to Bulger. And that’s exactly what happened.”

The PSA included pictures of Greig after her pre-fugitive plastic surgeries and other details including her love of animals and the reward of up to $100,000 for her capture. Although she was not implicated in Bulger’s crimes, Greig was federally charged in 1997 for harboring a fugitive. The reward for Bulger is up to $2 million—the largest the FBI has ever offered for a Top Ten domestic fugitive.

Bulger, 81, who is known for his violent temper, was arrested without incident and was scheduled to appear in a Los Angeles court later today.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Wife of Reputed Mafia Associate, Arthur Gianelli, Pleads Guilty

The wife of reputed Mafia associate Arthur Gianelli pleaded guilty to federal racketeering, money laundering, and other charges just as she was about to stand trial with him and three other people.

Mary Ann Gianelli, a 52-year-old nurse from Lynnfield and the sister-in-law of convicted former FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr., admitted that she helped her husband run his illegal gambling business after he was indicted on federal racketeering charges in 2005 and placed under house arrest.

Assistant US Attorney Michael Tabak told the judge that Arthur Gianelli used to personally collect cash from various locations where his bookmaking and video poker businesses operate, but hired another man to do it after his arrest. When that man was called to a federal grand jury in 2006, he revealed that he collected more than $10,000 a month for Gianelli, according to Tabak.

The man told the grand jury he stuffed the cash in a shoebox, then drove to a North End garage at lunchtime on the 16th of each month and left the box inside an unattended silver Mercedes parked in a predetermined spot.

Tabak said investigators conducted surveillance at the garage on the 16th of one month and "in came a silver Mercedes and Mrs. Gianelli was driving it."

The prosecutor said that if Mary Ann Gianelli had gone to trial the government would have proved she collected illegal proceeds from her husband's business, filed IRS returns in 2002 and 2003 falsely claiming that she drew legitimate income from a trucking company, and was involved in other wrongdoing.

Mary Ann Gianelli pleaded guilty to 19 counts of racketeering, money laundering, filing false tax returns, and illegal structuring of cash transactions. Under a plea agreement, the government dropped an additional 141 money laundering counts against her.

US District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton allowed her to remain free on bail and set sentencing for June 5. Prosecutors said they would recommend an 18-month jail term. Her lawyer said he would recommend probation with a period of house arrest.

"Mary Ann Gianelli played a minuscule role in the grand scheme of this case," said Boston attorney E. Peter Parker. "Her crimes consist solely of handling money in the wrong way. Her criminal conduct is out of character with the way she has lived her life."

He said she and her husband were high school sweathearts who have been married for 28 years and have two children.

Mary Ann Gianelli's sister, Elizabeth, is married to Connolly. Connolly is the once-decorated former FBI agent who was convicted of federal racketeering charges for protecting long-time informants James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi from prosecution. He was also convicted of murder in Florida in November for plotting with the two gangsters to orchestrate the 1982 slaying of a Boston businessman.

The Connolly and Gianelli families have had homes next to each other in Lynnfield for many years.

Jury selection is continuing today in the trial of her husband; Dennis Albertelli, 56, and his wife, Gisele, 54, of Stow; and Frank Iacoboni, 65, of Leominster. A dozen codefendants previously pleaded guilty. Opening statements in the trial are expected Thursday.

Thanks to Shelley Murphy

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Whitey Bulger's Femme Fatale Speaks Out

In an exclusive interview - her first since being paroled from state prison - a femme fatale associate of James “Whitey” Bulger is revealing for the first time who she believes ordered her death 25 years ago when she survived three gunshots to the head.

Eva “Liz” McDonough, 51, said she believes South Boston mob boss Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi wanted her dead for asking too many questions about her missing cousin, Debra Davis.

“I wish I could (expletive) see him face to face. I’d probably spit on him,” she said of Flemmi, 73, who is serving life for 10 murders, including Davis. “She used to tell me Whitey didn’t like her. I just want to know why. Why? She’s probably more at peace than I am.”

McDonough still wears hats - flaunts them, truth be told, for pure amusement in the North End neighborhood where a cowboy hat famously took the worst of the bullets meant for her brain.

Never to be caught, her would-be executioner came masked March 20, 1984 to a dive called One If By Land and left her with scars on her scalp and right ear. McDonough has been vocal in the past about the now dead drug dealer she thought fired the gun, but now says she believes Flemmi ordered the hit because she was badgering him about her cousin, and his girlfriend, Davis, 26, who went missing in 1981.

“One time I got little rough with him,” said McDonough.

In an age of cutthroat chauvinism, Flemmi and serial psycho killer James “Whitey” Bulger were surprisingly tolerant of the lusty McDonough, trophy moll of late Boston Mafia made man Nicky Giso, with whom she has a son, 25.

She said she confronted Flemmi, her lips loosened by liquor, at his and Bulger’s headquarters at the Lancaster Street garage and demanded, “ ‘I want to know where the (expletive) Deb is.’ I always knew he was worried I would say something to the (Mafia) and they would have that on him.

McDonough has four months left on the parole she was granted from MCI-Framingham on Aug. 18 after serving 18 years for burglary and drug possession. The woman who once posed as a cleaning lady and census taker to rip off Boston’s legitimate rich will be on probation until 2018.

Swearing - admittedly, not for the first time - the addictions to booze and dope are in her past - McDonough is still a standout in Dior eyeglasses, high-heeled spat boots and a fedora. But instead of loathsome lovers lavishing her with furs and Mercedes Benzes, the 7th-grade dropout uses money she earned making salads in a restaurant pre-release to bargain hunt in consignment shops. She hopes to land a job.

“They say to receive a blessing you have to pass one on. I worked on myself, really worked on myself,” the sober house resident said. “I’m grateful the Parole Board gave me a chance. Parole and probation continue to help me with re-entry.

“I don’t have what I had,” she said, “but I’m comfortable. I have myself, and that’s priceless. My intentions are, down the road, to open a sober house for abused women. I want to give other addicts hope.”

Asked if she wonders how Southie moll Catherine Greig is holding up on the lam now 14 years with Bulger, McDonough said, “I know she’s living the best that anyone could live. They’ve got plenty of dough, right or wrong. I think he’d rather have a woman as a partner. He doesn’t trust men. He’s no fool.”

As for those persistent rumors Bulger is bisexual, McDonough, who spoke fondly of his “movie star” charisma, nearly fell out of her chair, laughing. “He likes broads too much. Maybe just too young,” she said. “But gay? Naw!

“He got a kick out of me. He used to say, ‘Smile, they’re (the FBI) snapping (photos)!’ I laugh at these guys who say they ‘talked’ to him. He was by appointment only. He liked to have a good laugh, too, don’t think he didn’t.”

Bulger, she said, “hated women who smoked” and would have ditched even Raquel Welch if she’d lit up in his face. To push his buttons, McDonough would jump into his car when his back was turned and puff away.

“He knew I was busting his (expletive). He thought it was daredevil (expletive).” Then, her face darkening, she said, “I just wish I was smarter than I was. Drugs brought me to my knees.

“That era’s gone. It was glamorous. It was a lot of fun. But, it stripped me of my pride, my dignity. I guess sometimes it takes a wise woman to play the fool.”

Thanks to Laurel J. Sweet

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

FBI Holds Whitey Bulger Briefing for International Media

One of the FBI’s most notorious fugitives was in the spotlight yesterday, as a briefing for international media at the State Department offered a global perspective on James “Whitey” Bulger, the Boston crime boss wanted for his role in 19 murders and a host of other offenses.

Supervisory Special Agent Richard Teahan, who heads the Bulger Fugitive Task Force in Boston, speaks at the Foreign Press Center.Because Bulger is believed to be living overseas, “the focus of the case has become international,” said Richard Teahan, a Supervisory Special Agent in the FBI's Boston office who is in charge of the case. Through international exposure, Teahan said, “We hope to make his world smaller for him.”

There is currently a reward of up to $2 million for Bulger, the largest reward they’ve ever offered for any of the FBI's U.S. Top Ten fugitives.

The job of catching Bulger—on the run for 14 years—has not been easy, in part because he is a meticulous planner who spent nearly two decades preparing for life as a fugitive. He stashed money all over the world, and he leaves no paper trail, paying only in cash.

Based on intelligence, they have a strong picture of Bulger’s personality:

* He is an avid reader who frequents libraries, an animal lover, and a fitness nut who takes long walks.
* He is a history buff with a compulsive urge for collecting videotapes and books about World War II and Adolf Hitler.
* He loves to travel, frequently visiting historic landmarks and museums, and has traveled widely in France, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Canada.
* He is said to always carry a knife.

Bulger, now 79, is known to disguise himself by dying his hair, wearing a moustache, and donning different types of glasses. He is said to be proud of the three-year stretch he did at Alcatraz (for bank robbery), and, noted Teahan, “he has vowed that he will never, ever go back to prison.”

Born and raised in the predominantly Irish-Catholic projects of South Boston, Bulger was involved in serious crimes at an early age, including assault, robbery, and rape.

After a stint in the Air Force and at several federal penitentiaries, he joined the Winter Hill Gang, which took over the South Boston crime scene. In addition to the murders he is charged with, he participated in drug trafficking, extortion, and loan-sharking, Teahan said.

Bulger’s criminal enterprises over the last several decades may have earned him anywhere from $10 million to $30 million. He also infiltrated government agencies, including the FBI, sowing seeds of public distrust in law enforcement that remain in South Boston to this day. “He left a scar on the community,” Teahan said, that will only be fully healed when he has been captured.

Despite the difficulty of the search, the FBI has made some progress in the case. For example, they have discovered two of Bulger’s bank accounts. At Barclay’s Bank in London, they found $75,000 in cash. At another of his accounts in Ireland, they found different types of currencies and rare coins.

A multi-agency task force dedicated solely to finding Bulger (and his companion, Catherine Greig, who is under indictment for harboring a fugitive) continues to gather and analyze intelligence and respond to tips of sightings. The task force is made up of personnel from the FBI, the Massachusetts Department of Correction, and the Massachusetts State Police.

“We’re committed to finding him,” Teahan said. “No matter how long it takes.”

They need your help. If you have any information on Bulger’s whereabouts, contact your local FBI office or the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

John Connolly, Former FBI Agent, Gets 40 Years in Prison for Role in Mob Hit

A judge sentenced a rogue FBI agent to 40 years in prison on Thursday for the 1982 mob-related killing of a witness who was about to testify against Boston mob members, court officials said.

Disgraced ex-FBI agent John Connolly Jr. "crossed over to the dark side," said Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Stanford Blake. The sentence will run consecutively to a 10-year racketeering sentence.

Connolly, 68, was convicted in November of second-degree murder in the death of businessman John Callahan, an executive with World Jai-Alai. Callahan's bullet-riddled body was found in the trunk of a Cadillac parked at Miami International Airport.

Connolly's fall from celebrated mob-buster to paid gangland flunky captivated a South Florida courtroom for weeks. In testimony at his sentencing hearing last month, he denied having any role in Callahan's death.

"It's heartbreaking to hear what happened to your father and to your husband," he told members of Callahan's family. "My heart is broken when I hear what you say."

He explained, in the face of vigorous cross-examination, that rubbing elbows with killers and gangsters and winning their confidence was part of his job. His attorney argued that Connolly did what the FBI wanted him to do, and now was being held responsible.

Connolly did not testify at his trial.

Prosecutors had asked that Connolly be given a life sentence, saying the 30-year minimum was not enough because Connolly abused his badge.

In a Boston Globe interview published last month, however, Connolly vigorously denied being a corrupt agent. "I did not commit these crimes I was charged with," Connolly told the newspaper. "I never sold my badge. I never took anybody's money. I never caused anybody to be hurt, at least not knowingly, and I never would."

During his two-month trial, jurors heard that Connolly told his mob connections that Callahan, 45, was a potential witness against them, setting him up for the gangland-style slaying.

According to testimony, Connolly was absorbed by the very gangsters he was supposed to be targeting -- members of South Boston's notorious Winter Hill gang. His story was said to be the inspiration for the character played by Matt Damon in the 2006 Martin Scorsese movie, "The Departed."

Connolly's tale was closely followed in New England, where he grew up in Boston's "Southie" neighborhood, the same area long dominated by the Winter Hill gang and its notorious leader, James "Whitey" Bulger. Sought in 19 slayings, Bulger is the FBI's second most-wanted fugitive.

During the first two decades of his FBI career, Connolly won kudos in the bureau's Boston office, cultivating informants against New England mobsters. Prosecutors said Connolly was corrupted by his two highest-ranking snitches: Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi.

Connolly retired from the FBI in 1990 and later was indicted on federal racketeering and other charges stemming from his long relationship with Bulger and Flemmi. He was convicted of racketeering in 2002 and was serving a 10-year federal prison sentence when he was indicted in 2005 in the Callahan slaying.

During testimony, jurors heard that Connolly was on the mob payroll, collecting $235,000 from Bulger and Flemmi while shielding his mob pals from prosecution and leaking the identities of informants.

The prosecution's star witnesses at the Miami trial were Flemmi, who is now in prison, and mob hit man John Martorano, who has admitted to 20 murders, served 12 years in prison and is now free.

Callahan, who often socialized with gangsters, had asked the gang to execute Oklahoma businessman Roger Wheeler over a business dispute, according to testimony. Martorano killed Wheeler in 1981 on a golf course, shooting him once between the eyes, prosecutors said.

After Connolly told Bulger and Flemmi that Callahan was going to implicate them in the slaying, Martorano was sent to do away with Callahan, prosecutors said. But one star witness did not testify -- the former FBI agent who inspired the 1997 film "Donnie Brasco." He refused to take the stand after the judge denied his request to testify anonymously.

Thanks to Rich Phillips

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Did a FBI Hero Join the Mob?

Sitting in an unmarked sedan car in South Boston, John Connolly had his binoculars trained on a scene just a block away. It was a gruesome spectacle: a man who had just delivered guns and ammunition to the IRA by ship, was being tortured to death by Boston's most notorious gangster on suspicion of being a snitch for the FBI.

As the murder was playing out, it is alleged Connolly, a leading FBI agent, communicated by walkie-talkie with the torturer, James "Whitey" Bulger, as he first pulled out the victim's tongue and teeth and then tried to strangle the gun-runner, John McIntyre, with a ship's rope.

The FBI man's complicity in this particular murder has never been proved but his betrayal of his badge – proved in two other cases – is one of the most shameful episodes in the agency's history. The macabre incident, worthy of a scene fromThe Sopranos, has nonetheless drawn attention to an extraordinary double standard in which the FBI allowed a notorious Irish-American gang to commit murder and mayhem in Boston for more than a decade, in return for information that would eventually break the back of the Mafia.

Connolly's career would eventually inspire Martin Scorsese's 2006 movie, The Departed (Two-Disc Special Edition), in which the loyalties of an undercover agent become hopelessly compromised. The movie, like his career, is set in south Boston where the federal law enforcement agency is waging war on Irish-American organised crime. Connolly's character is played by Matt Damon.

The long arm of the law has finally caught up with Connolly, now aged 68. He was convicted last month of a 1982 murder and has been called to court for sentencing. A decision is likely within weeks. In dramatic courtroom scenes this week, he angrily shouted out his innocence. His many supporters maintain that the FBI is at fault for encouraging him to turn a blind eye to crimes throughout the 1980s.

Nobody knows quite when Connolly decided on his betrayal but it is assumed to have been in the 1970s and bribes had a lot to do with it. As a decorated FBI man, Connolly certainly had access to the most classified information. He learned that the IRA gun runner John McIntyre intended to testify against his fellow gun runners. So, it is alleged, Connolly passed the information on to "Whitey" Bulger, the infamous head of Boston's Winter Hill Gang who was behind the IRA arms shipment.

McIntyre and a friend were lured to a safe house where the gruesome torture began. At one point, Bulger asked his victim if he wanted a bullet to the head, to which McIntyre replied, "Yes, please". He was then shot multiple times and his body later dumped on waste ground.

The gang has now scattered, Bulger himself is still on the run and is America's second most wanted fugitive (after Osama Bin Laden) but some of its members have escaped prosecution by giving evidence. They have also made small fortunes turning their exploits as mobsters into books and screenplays. But if Bulger and his deputy Stephen "the Rifleman" Flemmi were the feared enforcers on the streets of south Boston (Bulger was a "leg breaker, drug dealer, scumbag," in the words of Eddie Mackenzie, one of his ex-accomplices) Connolly acted as a big brother figure.

Back in the 1980s, Special Agent Connolly was a towering giant in the FBI's anti-Mafia unit. He had already spent two decades cultivating informants among New England's mob bosses. As a young undercover agent he walked the streets of New York with the FBI agent Joseph Pistone, who documented his own undercover life in the book Donnie Brasco later made into a film with Johnny Depp.

Pistone however, is not there for Connolly in his current hour of need. As the sentencing hearing of the former FBI hero got under way, Pistone refused to take the stand because the judge refused his request to testify anonymously.

The US courts recently concluded that, in the name of catching ever-bigger Mafia fish, FBI agents were encouraged to let Irish-American gangsters rivals of the mafia, run amok. The policy led to serious breakthroughs against the Mafia but also countless murders and the ill-fated shipment of guns to the IRA. But former FBI agents have also testified on Connolly's behalf and there is even a sophisticated website proclaiming his innocence. When he showed up to be sentenced for his role in facilitating yet another gruesome murder by James "Whitey" Bulger this week, he wept tears for the family of the victim John Callahan. The bullet-ridden body of Callahan was found in the boot of a Cadillac parked at Miami International Airport in 1982. "It's heart-breaking to hear what happened to your father and your husband," Connolly told the family.

In an emotional prison interview with The Boston Globe this week, Connolly still proclaimed his innocence. "I never sold my badge. I never took anybody's money. I never caused anybody to be hurt, at least not knowingly, and I never would."

As a member of the elite anti-Mafia squad for more than 20 years, Connolly's speciality was cultivating informants against New England's mobsters. His accomplishments led to the FBI's Boston office being lionised. Connolly himself became a near legendary figure for his role in a secretly recorded Mafia initiation ceremony complete with blood oaths and prayers and the incineration of an image of the Virgin Mary in the palms of newly made members. He was the first outsider to penetrate the Mob's holy of holies and his coup led to numerous prosecutions of leading members. But somewhere along the way he began taking shortcuts. With the full knowledge and approval of his FBI bosses he started offering protection to members of the Winter Hill Gang in return for leads.

The FBI adamantly denies turning a deliberate blind eye to years of bloody mayhem, murder and gunrunning and maintains that Connolly was merely a rogue agent. But, two months ago, a federal judge slapped the Bureau down and ordered it to pay £1.8m compensation to the 80-year old mother of the murdered John McIntyre.

A damning verdict stated: "The (FBI's) attitude at least reflects a judgement that Connolly's at-the-edge conduct could be tolerated for the greater good of bringing down La Cosa Nostra."

The FBI's successes against the Mafia were matched by its failures against Whitey Bulger's gang. When the Feds finally got around to arresting him in 1995, he was tipped off by a phone call from Connolly. Bulger now has a price of more than $1m on his head, his face on posters in every airport in America, but the likelihood seems that the 71-year-old is lying low in a west of Ireland village.

It now seems that Connolly actually became a member of Bulger's gang, a well-paid partner in crime, very early in their relationship in the late 1970s. He was full-time member of the Irish Goodfellas. It all started back in south Boston (or Southie) a landing pad for generations of working class Irish immigrants. It is a tightly knit place of hard working construction workers and armchair Irish republicans where at the height of Northern Ireland's troubles every bar seemed to have a collection box for IRA "prisoners of war."

Connolly and Bulger grew up in the same block of public housing in the 1940s where the few career options included becoming a cop on the beat, a fireman or a mobster. In his 25-year reign as head of the Winter Hill Gang, Bulger committed as many as 90 murders.

He had other high-powered connections, however. Billy Bulger, his younger brother was for years the head of the Massachusetts state Senate before becoming president of the University of Massachusetts from which he was recently forced to retire. Billy was also a childhood friend and a mentor to Connolly, creating a tangled knot of alliances that went all the way from the Massachusetts state house to the FBI and an untold number of back street torture and murder scenes to which Connolly routinely turned a blind eye.

Connolly was well rewarded of course. "We're taking real good care of that guy," Bulger once said of Connolly. For protecting extortion rackets the agent was reportedly lavished with thousands of dollars and diamond rings in bribes.

When the FBI's internal affairs unit finally turned Connolly over after Bulger's disappearance, they found dozens of uncashed salary cheques and proof that he owned a fancy suburban house. There was also a holiday home among the jet setters of Cape Cod and a £30,000 fishing boat.

Connolly is now facing up to33 years in jail for the 1982 Callahan murder. But his FBI career is one the agency would prefer was forgotten by the public. It promises to haunt the US law enforcement agency for many years, however, as more victims come forward seeking compensation for murders that took place while Connolly and other FBI agents deliberately looked the other way.

Thanks to Leonard Doyle

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Print Edition of Informer is Now Available

Tom Hunt, the publisher of Informer is very happy to announce that a print edition of Informer's first issue is on sale through MagCloud, a branch of HP doing top quality, groundbreaking work in the periodicals field. In addition to printing and sales, the MagCloud service provides an online preview and a "subscribe" option, which alerts interested readers by e-mail when a new issue becomes available.

In the future, print (ISSN 1943-7803) and electronic (ISSN 1944-8139) editions of Informer will become available simultaneously.

Informer, The Journal of American Mafia History - Vol. 1, No. 1, September 2008
The Mob's Worst Year: 1957, Part 1, by Thomas Hunt / Capone's Triggerman Kills Michigan Cop by Chriss Lyon / New Orleans Newspaperman Reveals His Role in 1891 Anti-Mafia Lynch-Mob / A Look Back: 100 Years Ago, 75 Years Ago, 25 Years Ago / Book Reviews: Frank Nitti; The Mafia and the Machine; The First Vice Lord; The Complete Public Enemy Almanac / Author Interview: David Critchley / Ask the Informer: Joe DiGiovanni of Kansas City / Current Events: John A. Gotti, James "Whitey" Bulger / Deaths: John Bazzano Jr., Frank "the German" Schweihs, Carl "Tuffy" DeLuna.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

FBI Raises Reward for Whitey Bulger to $2 Million

The FBI is raising the reward for Top Ten fugitive James “Whitey” Bulger to 2 million dollars and has released new age-enhanced photos to help catch him.

James Bulger is wanted for his role in numerous murders in the 1970s and 80s. He was head of an organized extortion and drug ring in the Boston area.

The newly enhanced images show Bulger with and without a mustache and glasses. The images supplement surveillance video and audio the FBI has already released in hopes the public might recognize the fugitive.

In the video from 1980, Bulger is chatting with another man at the Lancaster Street Garage and at the Howard Johnsons in Boston, Massachusetts.

Born in 1929, Bulger has been known to alter his appearance using disguises. He’s traveled extensively in Europe, Mexico and Canada. He’s an avid reader with an interest in art and is know to frequent historic sites. He stays fit by walking on beaches and in parks with a female companion.

In January the Bulger Fugitive Task Force released audio recordings of Bulger taken before he was a fugitive. The hope is that someone will recognize the unique characteristics of his voice and report it.

[James Bulger Audio recording: “Could I speak to Jack? Thank you. Hi, Jack. Is there any rentals up at that place up across from, umm, Kelly's? Okay. Gonna find out now...I think that's the Ma- Marine Park they call it. Ah, what do they call it, "The Marine Park"? Yeah, is it the Marine Park they call it? Okay. You had one for sale recently? Or is it for sale now? What floor is it on (UI) first floor? They're no good.”]

James Bulger goes by at least a dozen aliases. He has a violent temper and is known to carry a knife at all times. He should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.

New Wanted posters announcing the 2 million dollar reward have also been printed in Italian, German, Portuguese and Spanish.

If you have any information on Bulger’s whereabouts, contact your local FBI office or the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Whitey Bulger is 2nd Most-Wanted Man on FBI Top 10 List

James "Whitey" Bulger has been on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list since 1999. According to the FBI, Bulger is their second most-wanted man, second only to Usama bin Laden. They say Bulger is wanted for 19 murders, as well as for money laundering, extortion, and drug dealing. The FBI is offering a $1 million reward for information that leads to his arrest.

Now a septuagenarian, cops say Bulger ruled Boston's Irish mafia with an iron fist from the early 1970s to the mid 1990s. In 1995, shortly after he was indicted on federal racketeering charges, cops say Bulger went into hiding with his long-time girlfriend, Teresa Stanley. After a month on the run, Teresa asked Bulger to bring her back home to Boston. Bulger did, then hit the road again -- this time with another girlfriend, Catherine Greig, and this time for good.

There have been several confirmed sightings of Bulger and Greig; the last was in 2002, near London's Piccadilly Circus. In April 2007, a tourist on vacation in Sicily shot 18 seconds of video of a couple who bore a striking resemblance to Bulger and Greig. The FBI, thinking the video could very well have been of Bulger and Greig, launched an immediate investigation to identify the couple.

According to Gail Marcinkiewicz, a spokeswoman for the FBI, the couple was questioned and fingerprinted, but they are not Bulger and Greig.

In June 1956, he was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for robbing banks. He ended up serving nine years in Atlanta, Alcatraz, and Leavenworth.

Whitey's Life Of Crime Begins

One of his brothers, Billy Bulger, was the president of the Massachusetts State Senate for nearly 20 years, then served as the president of the University of Massachusetts.

James Bulger, however, took a different path. He joined the Air Force when he was about 20 years old; despite spending time in the brig for several assaults, he received an honorable discharge in 1952.

Soon after returning to Boston, police say he embarked on a life of crime. In June 1956, he was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for robbing banks. He ended up serving nine years in Atlanta, Alcatraz, and Leavenworth.

The Rise Of A Mafia Star

After his time behind bars, Bulger returned to Boston and resumed his criminal activities. In 1979, when Howie Winter -- the head of the infamous Winter Hill Gang -- was sent to prison for fixing horse races, Bulger assumed the gang's leadership.

Over the next 16 years, using both his formidable mind and his considerable muscle, cops say Bulger consolidated his power, and came to control a significant portion of Boston's drug dealing, bookmaking, and loan sharking operations.

He was also, unbeknownst to even his closest associates, an FBI informant. In fact, federal sources say it was his FBI handler, Special Agent John Connelly, who tipped Bulger off to the 1995 indictment, allowing Bulger to get away before he was arrested.

The FBI says Bulger should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. He uses cash for everything, and enjoys visiting libraries and historic sites. He also loves dogs, and often goes to animal shelters.

Bulger got his nickname, Whitey, from the platinum blonde hair he had as a child, but he's now almost completely bald, and it's believed he's taking a heart medication called Atenolol.

If you think you've spotted James J. "Whitey" Bulger or his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, call the America's Most Wanted hotline right now at 1-800-CRIME-TV.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"Cadillac Frank" Salemme Gets Five Years in Prison

Former New England Mafia boss Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme was sentenced today in federal court to five years in prison on charges of lying and obstructing justice. With credit for time served, the sentence handed down by US District Judge Richard G. Stearns means that Salemme will be free by Christmas. Salemme, 74, pleaded guilty in April to a two-count indictment in US District Court in Boston.

Salemme has admitted that after he began cooperating with the government in 1999 -- in an investigation into the FBI's corrupt handling of long-time informants James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi -- he lied about the 1993 disappearance of South Boston nightclub owner Steven DiSarro.

Prosecutors alleged that Salemme watched his son, Frank, strangle DiSarro at a Sharon home, then helped his son dispose of the body. The younger Salemme has since died of lymphoma. But in his plea agreement, Salemme denied any responsibility for the "disappearance and presumed murder" of DiSarro.

Asked by the judge at today's hearing if he had anything to say, Salemme said he wanted to "categorically deny" any involvement in DiSarro's murder. Salemme said he believed he had cooperated fully with law enforcement. "I've done what I thought was right all along," he said.

On his way out of the courtroom, a handcuffed Salemme in a black suit with a crisp shirt looked at his brother, Jack, and said, "Give my love to the kids."

Outside the courtroom, Jack said, "He's just going to fade off into the sunset and he doesn't want to come around here."

"As far as Frank is concerned, he stuck by his end of the bargain and it's over now," said Jack, "I don't think he's ever coming back to the Boston area."

Salemme became the head of the New England mob in the early 1990s. He ruled during a bloody power struggle until his indictment on federal racketeering charges in January 1995, along with Bulger and Flemmi.

He pleaded guilty to racketeering and extortion and admitted participating in eight gangland killings in the 1960s. A judge reduced his sentence in 2003 because his cooperation had helped convict former FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr. of racketeering. Salemme testified that Connolly had warned him, Bulger, and Flemmi to flee just before they were indicted in 1995. Bulger remains a fugitive.

Salemme was released into the federal witness protection program in 2003. He was indicted on the most recent charges a year later.

Thanks to Shelly Murphy

Thursday, January 24, 2008

James "Whitey" Bulger Audio Recording and Transcript

The Bulger Fugitive Task Force (BFTF), comprised of agents and officers from the FBI, State Police, Department of Corrections, and Prosecutors from the United States Attorney's Office, is making recordings of fugitive James J. Bulger available. Bulger is on the FBI's Top 10 Most Wanted List.

Although these recordings were taken prior to Bulger's fugitive status, it is believed that they depict the unique sound of Bulger's voice and may be recognizable by anyone who may have come in contact with him.

The audio recordings were taken by the FBI during their criminal investigation of Bulger and are being released at this time as the BFTF believes the international exposure of the recordings will be beneficial to the future investigation.

The FBI is offering a $1,000,000 reward for information leading directly to the arrest of James J. Bulger.

Audio Recording of James Bulger: MP3 File

Transcript of Recording:


JB - James Bulger

JB: How you doing? Did he order any sandwiches? If he does, order me one (UI) see him in a little while (UI) did he come back from that thing? Wow. Hmm. Boy the cough medicine was strong. (Whistles) Did he have trouble after he takes this? Little bit, not bad. That stuff its devastating wasn't it? I'm gonna see if my brother, Jackie, wants any, still sick, you know. All right. I'll see you in 15. Bye.

JB: Could I speak to Jack? Thank you. Hi, Jack. Is there any rentals up at that place up across from, umm, Kelly's? Okay. Gonna find out now...I think that's the Ma- Marine Park they call it. Ah, what do they call it, "The Marine Park"? Yeah, is it the Marine Park they call it? Okay. You had one for sale recently? Or is it for sale now? What floor is it on (UI) first floor? They're no good. Yeah...Okay. Is there any others for sale up there, do you know? How, how long would it take you? I mean I asked you about the rentals, you never get back to me. Yeah, call me down the store here (UI) 3, 0, 3, 1. Jack, bye.

JB: (UI) cashing. Jack talking. (UI) Jack. Oh, that's good. Ah, it's not for me, it's for Patty. Uh, huh. How much is she looking for? Mmm, hmm. Mmm, hmm. Yeah. Find out what (UI). Yeah, I know where it is (UI), yeah. Yeah, get me the particulars and everything, Jack. Okay. Thank you. Bye.

JB: How you doing, Jack? Nothing much. What's new with you? A book. Oh. Ah, in that area where you are there, is there anything, any rentals? Would that, ah, Bob would know, wouldn't he? Yeah, would, would you? It's for Patty, you know. One bedroom is be fine. You know. Yeah, bye.

JB: How you doing? Nothing. Okay, Jack. Ah, did you need any cough medicine? Okay, cause I bought some stuff last night. It knocked me for a loop, you know. Okay. All right, Jack. Oh, good. All right I'll catch you later. Okay. Bye.

JB: How you doing? Who is there? Oh. What are you doing? You eating already? Okay, yeah, I'll see you in a little while. All right. Bye.

JB: Check Cashing, Charlie. You coming down? Hey, John, come on down here. I want to talk to you. Yeah, all right. Have you got the money for them checks? Bring it back and give it back to Glen. Yeah, no, this is Jim. All right. Well, well, he'll be here waiting for you. Well, he'll explain it to you when you get here. But give him the check or the money back, he'll give you the check. All right. Bye.

JB: Hello. Hello. Tammy is not here. There is no Tammy at this phone number. What number you calling?

JB: Hello. Check cashing. Yes, could you tell me what the, his hours are, please? The off- office in Quincy. Oh, okay, on, on a Tuesday, to- like today what hours? Oh, okay, all right. Wednesday. Okay. Thank you very much. Bye.

JB: Hello, ah, in Cohasset is he, what is his hours down there today? O-okay on Tuesday afternoon from what? Sure, yeah. Okay, okay, thank you very much. Bye.

JB: Check cashing. Just a minute. Hello. Could I have, ah, the, ah, address of the Cohasset, ah, office, please? Parking Way. Okay. Coming from Boston, do you know anything more about it than that? Yeah, to the, how to get there? No? Not at all? All right. Do you have a phone number for that office?

JB: Hi, is Patty there? Did he ever come in today? You don't have his phone number at home, do you? See if it's there some place on the desk. Beeper number. Give him a call on the beeper and find out where he is and then I'll call you back and I'll get the number. Okay, thanks.

JB: How you doing? Couldn't find his number (UI) there. No, I don't want to do that. Patty comes in and I'll call back at five. Thanks.

JB: Kevin, I mean Pat there? Oh, okay. Number. What's the area code? Okay. Thanks, Kev. Bye.

(End of recording.)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Executioner, John Martorano

There are few men alive today with the underworld credentials of John Martorano, and even fewer who are out of prison and walking the streets. For more than a decade, Martorano was the chief executioner for Boston's Winter Hill Gang, a loose confederation of Irish and Italian-American gangsters run by James "Whitey" Bulger.

Martorano, a former Catholic altar boy and high school football star, became a cool and calculating killer. But as correspondent Steve Kroft reports, he is perhaps best known as the government witness who helped expose a web of corruption and collusion involving the mob and the Boston office of the FBI.

For years, he was one of the most feared men in Boston, and this is why: Martorano says he never kept count of how many people he killed. "Until in the end, I never realized it was that many," he tells Kroft.

Asked how many, Martorano says, "A lot. Too many."

"Do you have a number?" Kroft asks.

"I confessed to 20 in court," Martorano replies.

"You sure you remembered 'em all?" Kroft asks.

"I hope so," Martorano says,

Martorano had to remember them all. It was part of a deal he cut with the federal government that put him back on the streets of Boston after only 12 years in prison -- a little more than seven months served for each of the 20 people he killed, many of them fellow gangsters, and many of them at close range after looking into their eyes.

Asked if he always killed people by shooting them, Martorano tells Kroft, "I think I stabbed one guy."

"But you like guns," Kroft remarks.

"Well, it's the easiest way I think," Martorano says.

Martorano says he did not get any satisfaction out of the fact that people were afraid of him. "But everybody likes to be respected for one thing or another," he admits.

His manner is unemotional and detached, and he speaks with the brevity of a professional witness, which he has become. His testimony helped wipe out one of the largest criminal enterprises in New England, for which he served as chief executioner. But Martorano is no psychopath, and he doesn't much like the term "hit man."

"The hit man is…that sounds to me like somebody that's getting paid to a paid contract. I mean, you could never pay me to kill anybody," he says.

"A lot of people would say you're a serial killer," Kroft remarks.

"I might be a vigilante, but not a serial killer," Martorano says. "Serial killers, you have to stop them. They'll never stop. And they enjoy it. I never enjoyed it. I don't enjoy risking my life but if the cause was right I would."

Martorano says he "always" felt like he was doing the right thing. "Even if it was wrong, I always tried to do the right thing."

If you believe Martorano -- and the Justice Department does -- he killed out of a sense of loyalty and duty. He sees himself as a stand-up guy, a man of his word, which is why he decided to talk to 60 Minutes.

It goes back 50 years, when Martorano was a star running back on the Mount St. Charles Academy football team in Rhode Island. One of his blockers was the late 60 Minutes correspondent Ed Bradley. He promised Bradley he would sit down with him and tell his story, but Ed died unexpectedly before Martorano got out of prison.

"I never thought I'd be sitting here with you, I thought I'd be here with Ed. But I'm sitting here because Ed wanted me to sit here and I'm honoring that," Martorano explains.

"I know one of the questions that Ed wanted to ask you. In sort of the way that Ed asked those questions, I think he wanted to be sitting here and say, 'What happened Johnny?' Why was it do you think that you went in different directions?" Kroft asks.

"Well, I think it was mainly the influence of my father and his principles and his values that he pushed onto me," Martorano explains.

His father owned an after hour's club called Luigi's in a rough Boston neighborhood known as the "Combat Zone." It was a hangout for hoodlums who would become Martorano's role models, and many of them shared his father’s simple Sicilian values.

"He was the oldest son, and he taught me 'You're the oldest son and this is your heritage. You've got to take care of your family and be a man. I don't care what else you are, you’ve got to be a man,'" Martorano says.

It was the code he lived by and killed for. The first time it was an ex con, Robert Palladino, he thought was going to implicate his brother Jimmy in a murder. Palladino was found under an expressway with a bullet in his head.

Martorano says he didn't see anything wrong with it. "I saved my brother’s life, somebody got hurt, that had to be," he says.

Asked if it felt like a duty, Martorano says, "An obligation."

"Was the next time easier?" Kroft asks.

"Well, it's sort of like a lawyer trying his first case. It's difficult but the next case is easier. Then it gets easier, I guess, as you go. 'Cause it's you know, doing this is harder than that," Martorano says.


"'Cause it's hard for me to do. I never did it before," he says.

By the 1970s, his circle of friends and family had expanded to include the Winter Hill Gang, led by the notorious Irish mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger and Stevie "The Rifleman" Flemmi. Martorano was their partner in a business that included gambling, loan sharking, extortion and murder. Martorano's specialty was conflict resolution.

"We had a lot of problems with people. And you know, you just killed them before they kill you. It's kill or get killed at times," Martorano explains.

"I mean, on one occasion, you walked into a crowded bar…and shot somebody. In broad daylight…with the policeman across the street," Kroft says.

"Correct," Martorano admits.

"That's pretty confident," Kroft remarks.

"Well, I felt confident," Martorano says. "You put a disguise on and you just get to feel invisible.

Martorano remembers what the disguise was. "I had a yellow hard hat, a white meat cutter's coat, full length and a beard and mustaches and sunglasses," he recalls.

Asked what he did afterwards, Martorano says, "I went home and changed, back to work."

They operated out of an old body shop, long since abandoned, but Whitey Bulger's chair is still there, and so is his old office.

"I think that's the trapdoor for the cellar. Used to leave that open all the time. Just to intimidate people. Try to get the truth out of them," Martorano remembers. "People would look down there and just wonder."

"Anybody go down there and never come up?" Kroft asks.

"I think so, yeah," Martorano says.

By 1978 Martorano had already killed 18 people, and facing an indictment for fixing horse races, he fled to Florida, where he was living a quiet life under the name "Richard Aucoin." He was only there a few years when Bulger and Flemmi called, asking him to carry out a murder that made headlines across the country, the assassination of a wealthy corporate executive in the parking lot of the exclusive Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa.

The victim was Roger Wheeler, the CEO of Telex Corporation and owner of World Jai Alai, a profitable sports betting business that Bulger was trying to muscle in on. Martorano says the logistical information to carry out the hit was provided by a former Boston FBI agent named Paul Rico.

"How did you manage to get into the Southern Hills Country Club to kill Mr. Wheeler?" Kroft asks.

"There was no gates. We drive in. Waited for him to finish playing golf. I had an update when he was gonna -- his tee time. So, I just waited for him to finish," Martorano remembers.

"You knew what he looked like?" Kroft asks.

"I had his description from Rico," Martorano says.

Martorano says he shot Wheeler once in the head.

Martorano says it wasn't the first or the last time he would get useful information from an FBI man. One of the FBI's top organized crime investigators in Boston, a corrupt agent named John Connolly, helped them out for years. Martorano says it was Connolly who told them that an associate of theirs named John Callahan was about to rat them out on the Wheeler murder. Callahan would become Martorano's 20th and final victim.

"Do you think that John Connolly knew that you were gonna kill Callahan?" Kroft asks.

"Sure," Martorano says. "He said it, 'We're all going to go to jail the rest of our life if this guy doesn't get killed.'"

"And this an FBI agent telling you this?" Kroft asks.

"This is an FBI agent telling it to Whitey, telling it to me," Martorano says.

Martorano has already told this story under oath, and is expected to tell it again to a jury in Florida this spring when Connolly goes on trial for complicity in that murder. He's already serving a ten-year sentence for obstructing justice. In the end, it was a Massachusetts State Police investigation that began to unravel the Winter Hill Gang. In 1995, Martorano, Flemmi and Whitey Bulger were all indicted for racketeering. Bulger, who was tipped off by Connolly about his impending arrest, went underground and is still a fugitive. And in a Boston courtroom, Martorano was about to learn something that would change his life forever.

He knew that Bulger and Flemmi had been getting information from the FBI. But he didn't know they had been also been providing it. For decades, his partners were top-level FBI informants, snitching on the Italian mafia and on Martorano and other gang members. They had violated his code of loyalty, especially Whitey Bulger.

"I'll go along with a lot of things, but not -- no Judas, not no informant," Martorano says. "I never informed or ratted on nobody. And if I could've killed him, I would've killed him. But he wasn't there and that's what I think he deserves."

Martorano decided to strike back the only way he could, using words as his weapon. "I gave him back what he gave everybody else," Martorano says.

"You became an informant?" Kroft asks.

"Nope, I became a government witness," Martorano says. "Not an informant, or a rat. I became a government witness."

Asked what the difference is, Martorano tells Kroft, "One's got the courage to stand on the stand, the other ones' are doin' it behind your back, and droppin' dimes. And how can I be rattin' on a guy who's the rat for 30 years? I'm tryin' to stop him from rattin' anymore."

Bulger, who is still on the FBI's "Most Wanted" list, is now facing 19 murder charges as a result largely of Martorano’s testimony, and Flemmi is in prison for life. His cooperation helped solve nearly 40 murders, including the 20 he confessed to -- and it helped uncover secret mob graves -- all in return for a sentence of just 14 years.

"In some ways, he got away with murder," Kroft tells Donald Stern, who was the U.S. attorney who eventually signed off on the agreement.

"In some ways, he did get away with murder," Stern agrees.

"The only thing worse than this deal was not doing this deal. 'Cause if we didn't do this deal, no one would receive any punishment for these murders. Corrupt law enforcement arrangements would not have been uncovered and prosecuted. And the cancer in law enforcement that existed in Boston for a number of years would have remained there," Stern says.

"So you're saying it changed the landscape of organized crime in Boston?" Kroft asks.

"It did," Stern replies.

When Martorano was released from prison last spring, he decided to return to Boston. He says he feels safe here now. Most of his enemies are dead, in jail, or on the lam.

"In some cases, regret can take over a person's life. I don't get the sense that that's the case with you," Kroft remarks.

"Well, maybe that's just not my temperament or my personality. Maybe it is, but you can't see it. Or maybe I can't express it the way you want it, but I have my regrets," Martorano says.

"You seem cold," Kroft says. "You killed 20 people and that’s all you have to say about it?"

"I wish it wasn't that way. I mean, I wish there was none. You know, you can’t change the past. I’m trying to do the best I can with the future and explain it as best I can. I regret it all, I can’t change it," Martorano says.

"You still a Catholic?" Kroft asks.

"Sure," Martorano says.

"I mean, you can burn in hell for killing one person," Kroft points out.

"I don't believe that," Martorano says. "At one point, maybe a couple years ago, I sent for a priest and gave him a confession. It was maybe 30 years since my last confession. But I went through the whole scenario with him, and went through my whole life with him, and confessed. And at the end of it, he says, 'Well, what do you think I should give you for penance?' I says, 'Father, you can justifiably crucify me.' He laughed and says, 'Nope. Ten Hail Marys, ten Our Fathers, and don't do it again.' So I listened to him."

"Anything that could get you to kill again?" Kroft asks.

"Not that I can think of," Martorano says.

Not even Whitey Bulger?

Says Martorano, "Well, there’s a bounty out on him."

Thanks to Steve Kroft

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Old School Mobsters Among "Celebrities" Spending Time in The Big A

The Big A has always been a rough joint.

Before the turn of the last century, the government had no dedicated facilities for men convicted of federal crimes – typically, moonshiners, mail-tamperers and those engaged in "white slavery," better known today as pimpin'.

When criticism escalated about the common practice of renting out federal prisoners as involuntary laborers, Congress passed the Three Prisons Act of 1890, which authorized federal prisons in Leavenworth, Kansas; on McNeil Island in Washington's Puget Sound; and on the southeastern outskirts of Atlanta.

Although 14 more federal penitentiaries – considered the high-security flagships of the Bureau of Prisons – would be built over the next century, Atlanta would remain the largest. And when Alcatraz shut its doors in 1963, it regained its reputation as the meanest.
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Italian immigrant and small-time scam artist Charles Ponzi served a few years in Atlanta for fraud during the teens. When he got out, he dreamed up an elaborate investment scheme that hoodwinked a nation and, at the time it came crashing down in 1920, was earning him $250,000 a day. Ponzi served another few years in prison, was deported back to Italy and finally died penniless in Brazil.

In 1919, the Atlanta Pen would get its first celebrity inmate in Eugene V. Debs, a renowned labor leader, pacifist and three-time Socialist Party candidate for president. The 63-year-old Debs had been convicted under the liberally worded Espionage Act for giving a speech opposing World War I and sentenced to 10 years in prison. In 1920, he again ran for president from his cell, receiving nearly a million votes, about 3.4 percent of the ballots cast. The following year, Debs was pardoned by President Warren G. Harding.

Another political prisoner was Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican-born journalist who had come to the United States in 1916 to preach the then-controversial notion of social equality for blacks. Launching a back-to-Africa movement, he was viewed as a rabble-rousing seditionist by the feds, who eventually convicted him of mail fraud.

Garvey came to Atlanta in 1925 and immediately wrote his most famous speech, "First Message to the Negroes of the World From Atlanta Prison," which urged his followers to "Look for me in the whirlwind." His sentence was commuted two years later by President Calvin Coolidge and he was subsequently deported.

Also in 1925, Atlanta became home to Roy Gardner, a legendary train robber who had managed to escape from McNeil Island. He tried to tunnel under the thick prison wall and, later, led an unsuccessful breakout by holding two Atlanta guards at gunpoint, a move that earned him 20 months in solitary, followed by a transfer to Alcatraz. Paroled in his 50s, Gardner committed suicide after a movie based on his life failed at the box office.

Al Capone's business card reputedly identified him as a used-furniture dealer. But, although he was never convicted of racketeering or rapped for the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, the Chicago mob boss known as "Public Enemy No. 1" was eventually nailed by G-man Eliot Ness on 22 counts of tax evasion.

Landing in Atlanta in 1932, Capone soon became top dog, bribing guards to run errands and manipulating the warden for special privileges. Two years later, federal authorities fed up with the mobster's cushy arrangement shipped off him to Alcatraz. Released in 1939, Capone spent his remaining years suffering from advanced syphilis.

Capone was only one of many gangsters to spend time in the Big A. Irish-American hoodlum James "Whitey" Bulger served three years here in the mid-'50s for armed robbery and hijacking before returning to Boston to take charge of a crime ring that controlled much of the narcotics trade throughout New England. A fugitive since 1994, Bulger is widely thought to have been the inspiration for the mob boss portrayed by Jack Nicholson in The Departed.

Old-school Mafia Don Vito Genovese ended up in Atlanta for heroin dealing not long after he had finished bumping off rivals to secure his place as boss of the country's pre-eminent crime family. Reportedly, he continued to run the family business from behind bars until his death in 1969.

After the fabled French Connection narcotics ring had been broken up in the late '60s, Vincent Papa, a major New York drug runner, organized one of the most brazen series of thefts in that city's history. Over the course of three years, more than 250 pounds of seized heroin was stolen from the NYPD property room and replaced with baking flour. The switch was only discovered when police noticed the powder was being eaten by small beetles.

Although Papa was convicted for the scheme and sent to Atlanta in 1972, authorities never solved the question of how he managed to get the drugs out of the heavily guarded room. Five years later, Papa took his secret to the grave when he was stabbed to death by inmates reputedly hired by Lucchese family mobsters who'd heard the rumor – spread by then-prosecutor Rudolph Giuliani – that he was talking to the feds.

In 1957, Atlanta became home to Rudolph Abel, a Soviet superspy whose real name was Vilyam Fischer. After supervising Moscow's entire U.S. espionage network for decades, Abel was finally caught when the FBI found one of the hollow nickels he used to hide microfilm. He was returned to the Motherland in a secret 1962 swap with downed U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers.

Gifted con man Frank Abagnale had already successfully impersonated an airline pilot, a pediatrician and an attorney when, at the ripe age of 23, he was sent to Atlanta in 1971. He didn't stay long. Abagnale reportedly walked out the front gate by pretending to be an undercover prison inspector. Later recaptured, he served less than five years in prison and now runs a thriving consulting firm specializing in fraud prevention.

During his 1970s heyday, Atlanta's own "Scarface of Porn," Mike Thevis, owned more than 500 adult bookstores, controlled distribution of 40 percent of the country's pornography and was raking in $100 million a year. Thevis was convicted of burning down a competitor's business in 1978, and he escaped from jail to shotgun the former associate (and a bystander) who'd ratted him out. Thevis was recaptured and briefly held in the Atlanta Pen before being sent off to a federal prison in Minnesota to serve a life sentence.

Another notable Atlantan to pass through the Big A was Fred Tokars, a former prosecutor and magistrate judge who had his wife killed in 1992 rather than pay a divorce settlement. Hit man Curtis Rower kidnapped Sara Tokars and her two young sons, then shot her in the back of the head with a sawed-off shotgun as the children watched. Sent away for life, Tokars now suffers from MS in a federal prison infirmary in Florida.

Charles Harrelson, father of Woody Harrelson of "Cheers" fame, was sent to Atlanta for the notorious 1988 murder of a federal judge in Texas. A freelance contract killer, the elder Harrelson is often cited by conspiracy buffs who place him on the Grassy Knoll during JFK's assassination. After a failed escape attempt, he was sent to the Supermax facility in Colorado, where he died in his sleep in March.

The Atlanta Pen's last real celebrity prisoner was ill-starred baseball star Denny McLain.

A two-time winner of the Cy Young Award as a Detroit Tiger and the last major-league pitcher to win 30 games, he finished his career with the Atlanta Braves. Unfortunately, McLain also was a born flimflam man who makes Pete Rose look like the Dalai Lama.

Even as a player, he was suspended for running a bookmaking operation and once cost his team a pennant race when he had his toes broken by a Mob loan shark. Not long after leaving baseball, McLain declared bankruptcy for the second time, fell in with gamblers, and was convicted of racketeering, extortion and cocaine possession.
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On arriving in Atlanta in 1985, the former all-star tipped the scales at 275 pounds and was in such bad shape that when he pitched in a jail-yard baseball game, he had to be relieved after the sixth inning and his team lost 25-5.

McLain was eventually released two-and-a-half years into a 23-year prison sentence when it was proved that several of the jurors who'd convicted him had slept through the trial. But, unable to stay out of trouble, he spent another six years behind bars for looting the pension fund of a company he'd bought, finally getting sprung in 2003.

In his various memoirs, McLain singled out the Big A as the filthiest and most dangerous of the many prisons he'd known, once writing: "After Atlanta, the men's room at a Texaco would look like a hospital operating room."

Thanks to Scott Henry

Friday, November 16, 2007

Whitey Bulger Makes Leap to The World's Most Wanted

AMERICA’S MOST WANTED becomes “The World’s Most Wanted” in a special broadcast Saturday, Nov. 17 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Host John Walsh brings television’s top crime-fighting show to London to hunt for international fugitives including Whitey Bulger, the elusive Boston mobster who is on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, and to search for new evidence in the disappearance of 4-year-old Madeleine McCann.

Bulger has been on the run for years, and possible sightings of him have been reported worldwide, most recently in Italy. AMW will reveal exclusive new information about the fugitive from some of the people who knew him best. In their first-ever television interviews, the convicted mob figure who gave Bulger his start in organized crime and Bulger’s former longtime girlfriend offer new insights and information about Bulger that viewers can use to help authorities finally track down this dangerous man. The story will also feature photos of Whitey Bulger that have never before been broadcast.

The episode will also include AMW’s investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, one of the world’s most closely watched missing-child cases. Recently, John Walsh met with Madeleine McCann’s parents to discuss their daughter’s disappearance. AMW correspondent John Turchin continues to cover the story from the tiny beach town of Praia da Luz, Portugal, where the girl vanished. Turchin analyzes the crime scene and breaks down possible scenarios of what may have happened to Madeleine—in an investigation that brings him face-to-face with the first official suspect in the case.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Earlier Attempts to Report Lin DeVecchio's Alleged Crimes

Posting an email that we received from former FAA agent, Rodney Stich. Mr. Stich was an air safety inspector-investigator with the FAA and is now an author and activist against corruption in government.

To Chicago Syndicate:

In 2002, Gregory Scarpa Jr signed a book contract with former federal agent Rodney Stich, after which Scarpa provided Stich with information about the murders perpetrated by FBI supervisory agent DeVecchio. Also providing Stich with information about DeVecchio was former FBI agent and highly decorated Vietnam War veteran Richard Taus who worked under DeVecchio and who discovered corruption associated with the White House, the arming and funding of Iraq during the 1980s, and the involvement of a CIA proprietary in the New York Area.

About this time, the House judiciary committee was conducting hearings into the murders involving FBI agents in the Boston office involving Whitey Bulger. Having this information, I contacted members of the congressional committee investigating the FBI conduct, informing them that I was a former federal agent and that I was in contact with a former Mafia member and a former FBI agent and had insider information about murders involving an FBI agent in the New York office, and if they would contact me I would put them in contact with these sources.

Despite the gravity of these matters, not a single recipient of those letters contacted me. Several years later, a Brooklyn district attorney filed murder charges against DeVecchio that could have been filed years earlier if members of Congress had not covered up.

In an attempt to circumvent the cover-ups on this matter, I published a non-profit book called FBI, CIA, the Mob, and Treachery.

Among the internet sites that address this matter are the following examples:


Of possible interest to you were my letters in 2002 to members of the House Judiciary Committee trying to put them in contact with my two sources, the former FBI agent who worked under DeVecchio, and Gregory Scarpa, Jr., who send me letters describing the murders in which he and his father were involved with DeVecchio. The letters are located at the following web site:

At that site, look at the letters in 2002 and 2003, for the people to whom I sent letters offering to provide the names of my two contacts.

Although this indifference, or aiding in cover-ups of criminal activities, is serious, it is only one instance where over a period of many years, starting while I was a key federal aviation safety agent, I sought to report hardcore corruption that was causing or enabling a steady series of air tragedies and other tragedies to occur. I learned about these matters either from my official duties, or from the dozens of insiders who came to me over a period of years after reading my books or hearing me on radio and TV.

We have a culture where no one does a damn thing unless it personally affects them.

Rodney Stich

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It Can't Be Whitey

If that's Whitey Bulger, I'll eat my scally cap.

Our favorite fugitive serial-killer-cum-FBI-informant, Whitey - Jimmy, to you - has been on the lam for 12 years, and it has become an article of faith that every couple of years the FBI trots out somebody saying they almost caught their former stool pigeon.

The latest story is great stuff altogether because it comes with video.

Better yet, it comes with all sorts of undeniable plausibilities.

Can't be Whitey. Too much hair. And Whitey's too vain to put on all that weight.

Ah, but isn't that a perfect disguise?

Can't be Whitey. He wouldn't go to Sicily because his erstwhile criminal associates in the Mafia would find and kill him.

Ah, but isn't that just what our Jimmy, who spent all those years in Alcatraz studying counterintelligence, would do? Hide among the enemy and they won't look for you.

The latest installment of "Is That Whitey?" has provoked the wrong question. The real question is, "Is That Cathy?"

Cathy Greig, Whitey's moll, would be 56. The woman in the pictures looks a lot older than that. Whitey spent his entire life with women who looked like his daughters, and now we're supposed to believe he's spending the winter of his years with someone who looks like Barbara Bush? That doesn't sound like our Jimmy. Besides, Cathy had a ton of plastic surgery before she and Whitey hit the road. Guess who paid for it?

As for Whitey fearing La Cosa Nostra, his long, eventually obvious association with the FBI suggests he did not consider his LCN goombahs to be the brightest bulbs. Whitey hung around for seven years after the Globe's Spotlight Team exposed him as a rat for the FBI, so he had concluded that the local franchise of the LCN was either too stupid or too incompetent to kill him.

If they couldn't or wouldn't kill him in Quincy, why would he fear them in Sicily, where the dons have a lot more to worry about than exacting revenge against some low-rent Irish gangster who gave up Larry Baoine's barbooth game in Lowell? The Mafia hasn't been able to kill even a fraction of its own members who have violated the code of omerta, which translates from the Italian to "I ain't doin' time."

Still, if it was Whitey, you've got to appreciate his sense of irony in selecting Taormina as the place for him and Cathy to dress up and play Ozzie and Harriet on vacation.

Taormina was the name of the restaurant in New York's Little Italy where the Teflon Don, John Gotti, used to hang out. The payphone at Taormina had a sign that said "WARNING - THIS PHONE IS BUGGED."

Who needs bugs when you've got rats? Whitey always loved sticking it to the Italians.

Pat Nee and Howie Winter, who besides being retired gangsters are standup guys, told the Globe's Shelley Murphy they're convinced the fellow in the photos is not Whitey.

Chip Fleming, who used to work intelligence for the Boston police, and who knew Whitey as well as anyone, doesn't think it was, either.

That's good enough for me. But there are state cops and DEA agents, who really want to catch this guy, who think it is.

This whole episode shows just how much of a secular society we have become. It used to be, every few years, some peasant in some Third World hamlet would see an apparition of Jesus or the Virgin Mary. Now we have Whitey sightings every few years. But - did you notice? - none of the Whitey sightings are in places you'd never want to go.

Jimmy, if you're reading this online somewhere, take some friendly advice: Head for Montenegro. The wine is cheap, the beaches are spectacular, you can buy the local cops with a case of beer, and, trust me, no one will come looking for you, because the airport at Podgorica is a dump.

Thanks to Kevin Cullen

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Only Mob Impacted by Whitey Sighting is Tourists

The possible sighting of the legendary Boston gangster James (Whitey) Bulger - who served as the inspiration for Jack Nicholson's savage villain in "The Departed" - is being greeted as a perverse stroke of luck by local Sicilian officials.

With the international spotlight now focused on the town of Taormina, where photographs were taken of a man resembling the now-77-year-old fugitive mobster, officials say the area is likely to become an even greater tourist destination.

"Forgive the cynicism, but it's good for tourism, and it provides a lot of publicity to Taormina at a worldwide level," city official Salvatore Cilona told Corriere Della Sera, one of Italy's major newspapers. "Taormina has always drawn famous criminals," Cilona added, noting that the infamous New York mobster Lucky Luciano stayed in the seaside resort town with a friend in 1962.

Images of a man resembling Bulger, who has been on the lam for more than 10 years, were captured by a vacationing DEA agent on April 10. The man was videotaped window-shopping with a silver-haired woman who may be his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, 56.

The FBI, which is offering a $1 million reward for information leading to his capture, conducted a facial recognition test, but it was inconclusive.

The ruthless former leader of the Winter Hill Gang has been charged with 19 murders and is suspected of having committed many more.

While ruling Boston's criminal underworld in the 1970s, Bulger was also playing ball with the FBI, serving up tips that damaged the interests of his rivals.

He vanished in 1995, just before he was hit with a racketeering indictment.

Thanks to Rich Schapiro.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Whitey Bulger Spotted in Italy?

On April 10, 2007, in Taormina, an Italian city on the island of Sicily, an individual observed a couple they believed to be FBI Top Ten fugitive James J. "Whitey" Bulger and his girlfriend Catherine Elizabeth Greig. On April 10, 2007, in Taormina, an Italian city on the island of Sicily, an individual observed a couple they believed to be FBI Top Ten fugitive James J. Bulger and his girlfriend Catherine Elizabeth Greig.The individual was able to take a brief video recording of the Bulger look-a-like and his companion.

To date, the coordinated efforts of the FBI, Massachusetts State Police, Massachusetts Department of Correction, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Italian law enforcement authorities have not been able to exclude the two people photographed in Italy as James J. Bulger and Catherine Elizabeth Greig. A facial recognition analysis was conducted and proved to be inconclusive. Additionally, interviews of associates of Bulger and Greig did not resolve the question for law enforcement that these two individuals were "look-a-likes" or are in fact are Bulger and Greig. Therefore, law enforcement is interested in speaking with anyone who was visiting this area of Italy during the months of March, April, and May of 2007 and may have observed or had contact with the two individuals in the photograph and video.

James J. Bulger was indicted for twenty-one (21) counts of RICO-MURDER and has been a fugitive since January of 1995. Bulger, along with Greig, is known to have traveled throughout the United States and Europe since his indictment and flight. Bulger planned for his life on the run by placing large sums of cash in safe deposit boxes domestically and internationally. Safe deposit boxes have been discovered in Clearwater, Florida (2001), Ireland and England (2002), and Montreal, Canada (2003). It is believed that other safe deposit boxes exist in other locations.

A reward of up to $1,000,000 is being offered for any information leading directly to the arrest of James J. Bulger. Individuals with information concerning Bulger should take no action themselves, but instead immediately contact the nearest office of the FBI or local law enforcement agency. Bulger is considered armed and extremely dangerous. For any possible sighting outside the United States, contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Tips may be directed to 800-CALL-FBI or FBI Tips.

YOOX.COM FashionTherapy 247

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Appeal Heard for FBI Agent Convicted of Aiding Whitey Bulger

A lawyer for retired FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr. urged a federal appeals court today to overturn his 2002 racketeering conviction because one of the government's key witnesses, former New England Mafia boss Francis "Cadillac Frank'' Salemme, allegedly boasted to a fellow mobster that he lied on the stand.

Judge Bruce M. Selya questioned the events described by Connolly's lawyer, suggesting that Salemme may have told the truth in court and then lied to Philadelphia mobster Roger Vella when the two of them were imprisoned together later.

"We have a Mafia don who is committing the worst crime a Mafia don can ... he rats out and cooperates with the feds,'' said Selya, one of three judges on the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit considering Connolly's case. "Why isn't it the most natural thing for him to try to explain away his cooperation?''

Braintree attorney Terrance J. McCarthy, who represents Connolly, argued that Salemme "had every reason to tell Vella the truth'' when he claimed prosecutors helped him shape his story to win a conviction because he didn't know Vella was a confidential informant and would later report the boasts to the FBI.

Connolly is serving 10 years in prison. He was convicted of racketeering, obstruction of justice, and lying to an FBI agent for protecting longtime informants James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman'' Flemmi from prosecution and leaking them information. He's also scheduled to stand trial in Miami in March for a 1982 gangland slaying.

Salemme, who had been granted immunity for his testimony at Connolly's trial, was indicted in 2004 on a charge of lying to investigators by withholding information about the 1993 disappearance of South Boston nightclub manager Steven DiSarro. Federal prosecutors allege Salemme witnessed DiSarro's slaying and helped bury his body, and he is awaiting trial in that case.

"Doesn't that cloud the picture a bit?" said Circuit Judge Kermit V. Lipez, questioning the government today about why any of Salemme's testimony at Connolly's trial should be believed, given that he's now awaiting trial for lying.

US Special Attorney William J. Nardini said Salemme allegedly lied about his involvement in DiSarro's slaying to protect other organized-crime figures. He argued that Salemme's statements to Vella -- including claims that the government promised him $500,000 for his testimony and a condo on a golf course -- were "pretty absurd.''

Thanks to Shelley Murphy

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