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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Whitey Bulger: In an Almost Complete Failure for the Government, Mob Boss and SK

Whitey Bulger: In an Almost Complete Failure for the Government, Mob Boss and Serial Killer Will Never Face Justice

Re-posted by Nicholas Stix

 

The Whitey Bulger story is larger than life, the stuff of a screenplay lacking all credibility. While he was the biggest gangster in Boston, his kid brother, Massachusetts Senate President William Bulger, and later president of the University of Massachusetts, was the state's biggest politician. Let me rephrase that: The Bulger brothers were the biggest crooks in Massachusetts.

 

Criminologists don't use the concept of serial killer, as regards crime bosses, but the latter, if they achieve any sort of notoriety, have to be serial killers. Bulger was charged with "participating" and "involvement" in 19 murders, and convicted of "participating" in 11, and yet, I don't see any indictments or convictions for murder. Apparently, this prosecution was a big, sloppy, federal racketeering deal, where the feds throw everything and the kitchen sink at a guy, screw the procedural rules, and take whatever sticks.

 

A mob boss doesn't "participate" in murders; he kills people, though someone else may pull the trigger. For instance, John Gotti wasn't convicted of "participating" in 18 murders; he was convicted of 18 murders, even though Sammy "Bull" Gravano pulled the trigger for him.

 

The report below says that Bulger could get sentenced to up to life. Life? For 11 murders? The killer is 83 years old, for crying out loud! He's enjoyed the high life for a zillion years. If he gets "life," he goes to prison for at most five years, until he either kills himself, or dies of old age. How is that punishment? And if he doesn't kill himself, in a couple of years, he'll be gone in the head, anyway.

 

The feds wasted millions of dollars hunting and prosecuting Bulger, his victims got nothing, and yet, racist, affirmative action CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin called it "a complete victory for the government."

For a Hostin, words have no connection to reality or morality.

A real victory for the government, and a legitimate prosecution would have entailed charging Bulger with Murder One for any number of cases, getting one or more convictions, getting him sentenced to death, and executing him within the year. The feds have the death penalty option, regardless of the sentencing guidelines in the state in which the murders were committed.

 

This may sound like small potatoes, but a certain non-murder caped of Bulger's sticks in my craw. Sometime during the 1990s, I believe on 60 Minutes, there was a story about a guy in Boston or environs who won a million-dollar or more lottery payout. A few days later, the winner announced that actually, Whitey Bulger owned half the ticket.

 

The only way that happens is if Bulger hunts the guy down, and tells him something like, 'You know, something terrible could happen to you and your family with all that lottery money. You'd better get some insurance, and I'm just the guy to provide it. It'll only cost you 50 percent.'

 

 

Mobster James 'Whitey' Bulger guilty of racketeering, involvement in murders

By Josh Levs and Michael Martinez, CNN

updated 3:48 P.M. EDT, Mon August 12, 2013

James "Whitey" Bulger, the reputed former head of Boston's Winter Hill Gang, evaded police for 16 years before being arrested with girlfriend Catherine Greig in Santa Monica, California, in 2011. After a lengthy trial, Bulger, seen here in his booking photo from June 23, 2011, has been found guilty on 31 of 32 counts -- including involvement in 11 murders.

 

 

William Bulger [r] chatted with Mayor Thomas M. Menino at a memorial last month for Paul Cellucci. Bulger's friends say he has slowed down since heart surgery in 2011. (John Tlumacki/Globe staff)

 

 

James "Whitey" Bulger, the reputed former head of Boston's Winter Hill Gang, evaded police for 16 years before being arrested with girlfriend Catherine Greig in Santa Monica, California, in 2011. Bulger seen here in a 1984 FBI photo.

 

 

According to prosecutors, Bulger's crew learned that a bookie named Richard Castucci was cooperating with the government, and John Martorano was sent to kill him. Castucci was shot in the head and stuffed in a sleeping bag in the back of his car.

 

Steve "The Rifleman" Flemmi, left, and bookie Dick O'Brien in one of several surveillance photographs entered into evidence in the Bulger trial. Flemmi, Bulger's partner, would meet O'Brien to collect thousands of dollars in "rent" every month.

 

Bulger is accused of murdering Flemmi's stepdaughter, Deborah Hussey, in 1985 because she became a liability.

 

Flemmi met Debra Davis at a jewelry store, and the couple dated for more than seven years. In 1981, Bulger is said to have killed Davis because she knew that Flemmi was an informant.

 

Dr. Ann Marie Mires, a Massachusetts state forensic anthropologist, was brought in to show photos of Bulger's alleged victims, including Debra Davis. Because Davis' body was put into bags, almost all of her remains were recovered. Even some of her hair was preserved.

 

Mug shots of Bulger in 1953.

 

Bulger was the godfather to John Martorano's first son. Martorano has admitted to 20 killings as part of Boston's Winter Hill Gang and is the government's star witness against Bulger.

 

In 2008, John Martorano testified against former FBI agent John Connolly, who was accused of leaking sensitive information about former gambling executive John Callahan. Martorano testified that he shot his friend Callahan on Bulger's orders in 1982.

 

John Callahan was an organized crime associate of the Winter Hill Gang and former president of World Jai Alai. Prosecutors allege Bulger ordered a hit on Callahan after he learned he would be cooperating with the feds on the high-profile murder of an Oklahoma businessman, Roger Wheeler.

Bulger is accused in the slaying of Wheeler, who was gunned down outside a country club in Oklahoma in 1981.

 

Joe Notorangeli was gunned down by the Winter Hill gang in 1973, according to Martorano.

 

John Connolly was convicted of second-degree murder in the slaying of Callahan and received a 40-year sentence in 2009.

 

Former FBI supervisor John Morris testified at Bulger's trial on Friday, June 28, saying that he provided information to Bulger in exchange for money and gifts. Here, Morris testifies during the John Connolly murder trial in Miami in 2008.

 

Bulger's girlfriend, Catherine Greig, was sentenced to eight years in federal prison in 2012 for identity fraud and helping the reputed mob boss avoid capture for 16 years.

 

J.W. Carney, Bulger's defense attorney, arrives at the U.S. Federal Courthouse for the start of Bulger's trial in Boston on Wednesday, June 12.

 

This undated surveillance photo released on Monday, July 8, by the U.S. Attorney's Office at federal court in Boston shows Bulger, left, with his former right-hand man, Kevin Weeks. Weeks took the witness stand at Bulger's racketeering trial and described a double slaying, multiple extortions and drug dealing.

 

Bulger and Kevin Weeks walk around Castle Island on Boston Harbor.

 

Kevin Weeks leaves the courthouse on Monday, July 8, after testifying in graphic detail about how Bulger killed Arthur "Bucky" Barrett, Joey McIntyre and Deborah Hussey.

 

The remains of Thomas King, former member of the Winter Hill Gang, was found in late 2000. A bulletproof vest, a navy suit, driving gloves and a claddagh ring were found among the remains. Martorano, one of Bulger's hitmen, testified that he himself had shot King in the back of the head.

 

The body of Stephen Rakes was found on Wednesday, July 17, in Lincoln, Massachusetts, west of Boston. Rakes was scheduled to be a witness for the prosecution before he was dropped from the list.

 

Trying to show a softer, lighter side of Bulger, his defense lawyers have released photos that they expect to show the jury should he decide to testify.

 

HIDE CAPTION

The trial of

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

·         NEW: Bulger linked to 11 of the 19 murders he was accused of involvement in

·         Bulger guilty on 31 of 32 counts, includign [sic] involvement in some murders

·         He also was charged with 13 counts of extortion and money laundering

·         Sentencing November 13

(CNN) -- The jury in the trial of convicted mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger found him guilty Monday on 31 of 32 counts -- including involvement in 11 murders.

The guilty verdicts in the federal racketeering trial could bring a sentence of up to life in prison. Now age 83, Bulger could die in prison.

Sentencing was scheduled for November 13.

It's "a complete victory for the government," said CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin.

In one of the racketeering counts, Bulger was accused of involvement in killing 19 people, including two women.

 

 

Attorney: Bulger pleased by outcome

 

Bulger verdict brings closure for some

 

James 'Whitey' Bulger found guilty

Bulger linked to 11 murders

The jury found Bulger played a role in 11 murders, and that the government failed to prove he was involved in seven other murders. The jury made no finding in one murder.

"Pat Donahue is crying," Feyerick tweeted from court. "Her husband's murder was proved." And Eddie Connor's daughter Karen clenched her fists and said, "Yes" when her father's death by Bulger was proved, Feyerick reported.

But the daughter of Buddy Leonard left court after the jury did not find enough evidence to link Bulger to his death.

And Debra Davis' brother Steven Davis left the court in disbelief after the jury had "no finding" in her death.

 

It's been called "the Hub of the Universe," and though Boston isn't at the center of American life the way it was when it received the nickname in the 1800s, it's still a place many American notables call home ... though, in some cases, Boston might wish they didn't. Take Whitey Bulger, for example. The gangster has been found guilty on 31 of 32 counts -- including involvement in 11 murders. His reputation was already well-established: He was the basis for Jack Nicholson's character in the Oscar-winning "The Departed."

 

 

 

Actor Ray Bolger, on the other hand, became best known for playing the Scarecrow in "The Wizard of Oz." He grew up in an Irish Catholic family in a Boston neighborhood called Dorchester and also went on to star in a number of Broadway musicals. He died in Los Angeles in 1987, five days after his 83rd birthday.

 

 

Mark Wahlberg, a member of "The Departed" cast, is also a proud son of the city. After rising to fame with Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, he's become an in-demand actor, with performances in "Boogie Nights" (1997), "Three Kings" (1999), "The Italian Job" (2003) and "Ted" (2012). ("Ted" writer/director Seth MacFarlane, incidentally, is from Connecticut.)

 

 

Though Ben Affleck was born in California, his family moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, when he was young -- and it was there he met Matt Damon, who lived a few blocks away. The two won Oscars for writing "Good Will Hunting." Affleck is now an Oscar-winning director as well, for "Argo," and Damon is one of Hollywood's biggest stars.

 

 

What list of Bostonians would be complete without a Kennedy? John F. Kennedy was born in Brookline, the son of [gangster] mogul Joseph P. Kennedy and grandson of former Boston mayor John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, and represented the area in Congress before becoming a senator and then the 35th president.

 

 

Kennedy's grandfather was succeeded as mayor by James Michael Curley, a colorful figure who served four terms in office -- and two stints in jail for corruption. He was wildly popular, especially among Irish-Americans, and almost certainly inspired the protagonist in the novel "The Last Hurrah."

 

 

OK, so Larry Bird is actually from French Lick, Indiana. Still, given his impact on the Boston Celtics -- a storied team built by a New Yorker (Red Auerbach) and spurred to greatness by a Louisiana-Californian (Bill Russell) -- Boston is proud to claim the Basketball Hall of Famer. Larry Legend won three NBA MVP awards, three championships, an Olympic gold medal and scored bucketloads of points.

 

 

Bartolomeo Vanzetti, left, and Nicola Sacco were the defendants in one of the most famous cases in U.S. history, convicted of a South Braintree murder more because of their anarchist beliefs than the evidence. Their execution, in 1927, spawned protests, demonstrations and riots around the world.

 

[What a bunch of Barbra Streisand! This is commie propaganda. Sacco and Vanzetti were guilty as hell! The Sacco and Vanzetti Hoax may well have provided the template for every leftwing hoax that followed, for generations.]

 

 

MIT grad and Polaroid employee Tom Scholz built a recording studio in his basement. He formed the band Boston and the recordings he made with fellow musicians -- including singer Brad Delp -- eventually became one of the most successful debut albums of all time, best known for the single "More Than a Feeling." Scholz has since gone on to invent the Rockman amplifier.

 

 

Former "Simpsons" writer and longtime talk-show host Conan O'Brien was born in Brookline and didn't even leave the area for college -- Harvard, of course. (Could there be something in the Charles River water? Jay Leno and Louis C.K. were also born and/or raised in the area.)

 

 

Dick Dale, the "King of the Surf Guitar," was actually born in Boston. He and his family moved to California when he was a teenager, though he incorporated his Lebanese heritage -- including music he heard at Boston-area festivals -- into his fast-paced style, heard on such cuts as "Let's Go Trippin'" and "Misirlou."

 

 

Ever wonder who the "Logan" is in Boston's airport? The name belongs to Edward L. Logan, a brigadier general, veterans advocate and politician who grew up in South Boston. A statue of him was unveiled at the airport when it was renamed in 1956.

 

 

New Kids on the Block was one of the heartthrob boy bands of the late '80s and early '90s. Jordan Knight, Jonathan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg ["Marky Mark" Wahlberg's brother] and Danny Wood all hail from the Boston area. The group came off a lengthy hiatus in 2008 and has issued two albums since then.

 

 

Led by Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry, Aerosmith has been referred to as "The Bad Boys from Boston." When they got their start in the early 1970s, all five members shared a small apartment in the city. They went on to become one of the best-selling American rock bands, and in 2001 they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

 

 

Longtime TV journalist Barbara Walters was born in Boston. After five decades in broadcast news, Walters has no shortage of major accomplishments to be proud of, including being the first network evening news anchorwoman when she moved to ABC in 1976. Earlier this year she announced that she will retire from television in 2014.

 

 

Louis Farrakhan, leader of the [murderous] Nation of Islam, was born in the Bronx but his family moved to the West Indian section of Roxbury, a Boston neighborhood, in the mid-1930s. He has been criticized for controversial and hateful rhetoric [and for leading a murder cult!], but in 1999 he started preaching a message of racial and religious harmony. [Huh?!] His new outlook was said to be the result of a near-death experience during treatments for prostate cancer.

 

 

Albert DeSalvo took responsibility for about a dozen murders when he confessed to being the Boston Strangler. He recanted his admissions and was never convicted of any of the killings before his death, but a recent lab test matched him to DNA evidence taken from the body of one of the victims. DeSalvo was stabbed to death in 1973 while serving a prison sentence for rape. He was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, across the river from Boston.

 

 

Comedian Amy Poehler, a former SNL cast member and the star of the "Parks and Recreation," grew up in Burlington, Massachusetts. In a 2011 commencement speech at Harvard University, she joked: "I graduated from Boston College, which some call 'The Harvard of Boston.'"

 

 

Louis C.K. was born in Washington but moved to his father's native Mexico at age 1. When he was 7, his family relocated to suburban Boston. "I grew up in Boston and didn't get the accent, and one of the reasons is that I started in Spanish," he said in a recent issue of Rolling Stone. He is now a stand-up comedian and the writer, director, producer and star of the FX series "Louie."

 

 

 

Donna Summer, who helped define the disco genre of the 1970s, was raised in Boston's Mission Hill neighborhood. Her hits -- including "Hot Stuff," "Bad Girls," "Love to Love You Baby" and "She Works Hard for the Money" -- electrified dance floors and prompted her coronation as America's queen of disco. She died in 2012 at age 63. [Shoot the caption editor! Summer's biggest and best hits were "Last Dance" and "On the Radio." Who wrote this, a Gloria Gaynor fan?]

 

 

"Star Trek" actor Leonard Nimoy grew up in the West End of Boston. Although he took drama classes at Boston College, he never completed his degree. But Nimoy became a household name when he took on the legendary role of the half-Vulcan, half-human Spock in the original "Star Trek" series (1966--1969) and a number of film and television sequels.

 

 

Sumner Redstone is the owner of National Amusements, Inc., the parent company of Viacom and CBS Corp. The media magnate was born in Boston and graduated from Harvard University. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in March he was ranked number 267 on the Forbes 400 List of the World's Billionaires.

 

 

Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, was born in Peabody, Massachusetts, and resides in Boston. He stepped down as the chairmen and CEO of GE in 2001. The media nicknamed him "Neutron Jack" for his no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners approach to business. In 2007, he made a failed attempt -- with other investors -- to buy the Boston Globe. [I believe that "Neutron Jack" referred to Welch's proclivity for making workers disappear, without losing non-human assets.]

 

 

John Adams, the second president of the United States, was born in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. A descendant of Plymouth Rock pilgrims, he was a Harvard-educated lawyer and public figure in Boston. He was a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses and served on the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence.

 

 

Paul Revere was a silversmith from Boston's oldest residential neighborhood, the North End. He became famous for his role in the American Revolution. In 1775, he embarked on a "midnight ride" to Lexington, Massachusetts, where he informed Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the British were coming to arrest them. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow dramatized the ordeal with the poem "Paul Revere's Ride."

 

 

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Photos: Boston's famous and infamous

Debra Davis was dating Bulger's partner Steve Flemmi, and one day just didn't come home.

The only count Bulger was not found guilty of was on the alleged extortion of Kevin Hayes, a ticket broker, who had said he was warned in 1994 that he had to give "payoffs" to Bulger in order to operate.

Bulger showed no emotion as the verdicts were read.

The eight men and four women of the jury deliberated for five days, over more than 32 hours, before reaching their verdict.

It came after seven weeks of testimony about murder, extortion, drug trafficking, loansharking, bookmaking and other gangster crimes covering the time Bulger ran Boston's Irish mob from the early '70s through 1995, when he fled the city.

The verdict closes an epic criminal tale that included a life on the lam for 16 years that began in 1994 when a crooked FBI agent told Bulger that he was about to be indicted on federal racketeering charges.

The Irish mob kingpin of tough-talkin' south Boston soon became one of the most wanted men in America. Bulger the FBI informant became Bulger the FBI fugitive.

It was the stuff of Hollywood moviemaking, and in fact, Bulger's mob-boss brutality inspired Jack Nicholson's character in the film "The Departed," which was directed by Martin Scorsese and won four Oscars in 2006, including best picture.

Then, in 2011, the FBI finally tracked him down: Bulger was living on the other side of the country in an apartment just blocks from the beaches of Santa Monica, California, caressed by year-round sunshine and ocean breezes.

It was a fine life, with about $822,000 in cash -- largely $100 bills -- hidden inside a wall in his apartment, located in a tourist haven right beside Los Angeles. Bulger also kept 30 guns in his residence.

Daring to the end, Bulger was hiding in plain sight, living under an alias with his girlfriend. They called themselves Charlie and Carol Gasko.

It was a long fall for Bulger: One of America's notorious mob bosses was called "a rat bastard" and "a coward" by victims' relatives and former associates who attended or watched the trial.

Bulger declined to take the stand to testify in his defense, telling the judge, outside the jury's presence, that his trial was "a sham" because he had an immunity deal with federal authorities in exchange for being an informant. The judge had ruled he couldn't make that claim during his trial.

Bulger's girlfriend, Catherine Greig, pleaded guilty in March to charges of conspiracy to harbor a fugitive, identity fraud and conspiracy to commit identity fraud.

Her crime was "the most extreme case" of harboring a fugitive, prosecutors said.

Greig, 61, was sentenced in June to eight years in federal prison.

 

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Sacco and Vanzetti, there was an NBC program called "Sunday Showcase" in 1959-60. As a child I saw one of their 1060 episode, a two-parter titled "The Sacco-Vanzetti Story." The thing I remember is Martin Balsam's portrayal of Sacco. He was a very noble family man according to the script.

It was one of Balsam's best performances despite being forgotten. It was never shown again as far as I can tell.

David In TN