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Tag: Boston

Review: Johnny Depp Gives ‘Riveting, Rattlesnake Performance’ in ‘Black Mass’

Scene from "Black Mass."

Scene from “Black Mass.”

By Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

Ice-cold. Dead eyes. Demonic laugh. His face a mask you can’t read until he’s up in yours. Then run. That’s Johnny Depp giving everything he’s got in a riveting, rattlesnake performance as South Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger in Black Mass. The FBI finally grabbed this Osama bin Laden of gangsters in 2011. The Irish mobster had been hiding in plain sight since 1994. Now 86, Bulger molders in prison, found guilty of 11 of the 19 murders with which he’d been charged.

Jack Nicholson did a fictional take on Bulger in 2006’s Oscar-winning The Departed (while a fugitive, Bulger reportedly sneaked in to see the film). Black Mass, smartly directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart), casts a wide if hardly deep net, since the tentacles of Bulger’s tale could fill a mini-series or five. The script, by Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth, is based on the 2000 book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob, by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill. And an unholy alliance it truly was.

Bulger had known FBI agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) from the Boston hood. It’s Connolly who persuades his fellow Southie to turn FBI informant in return for help in crushing the Italian Mob. Bulger got the best of that deal, leaving the FBI boss (Kevin Bacon) fuming. Edgerton excels at detailing the dread eating at Connolly; the dread also infects his ethical wife, Marianne (a superb Julianne Nicholson), whose quiet scene with Depp instills more terror than a hail of bullets.

But you get the bullets, too, and the gore, especially when Bulger lieutenant Stephen Flemmi, expertly slimed by Rory Cochrane, is on the scene. And duck when Bulger turns his gun on informant Brian Halloran, played with bug-fuck lunacy by Peter Sarsgaard.

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‘Whitey’ Bulger’s Girlfriend Refused – Again – to Testify about Time with Boston Mobster

Catherine Greig

Catherine Greig

By Steve Neavling

Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger’s girlfriend once against refused to testify about the time the couple spent in hiding, the New York Post reports.

As a result, Catherine Greig, 64, was indicted for contempt of court on Tuesday.

Authorities want to know who helped Bulger while he was on the lam for 16 years.

“Catherine Greig has yet again failed to do the right thing,” said Boston FBI agent Joseph Bonavolonta in a press release. “Her refusal to testify has hindered the FBI’s efforts to seek justice for the victims of (Bulger’s) crimes.”

Greig, who already is serving an 8-year sentence in connection to Bulger, could serve more time for refusing to testify.

‘Black Mass,’ Movie about Whitey Bulger, Highly anticipated in Boston

By Steve Neavling

In Boston, where Whitey Bulger was the most feared gangster, many residents are excited to see the new movie, “Black Mass,” which is set for Sept. 18.

The biopic depicts Bulger, who is played by Johnny Depp, as an infamous crime leader who rose from a childhood growing up in public housing, the Boston Globe reports. 

“I want to go see it,” said Karen Gleason, 65, a lifelong resident of the neighborhood often called Southie, where Bulger’s Irish-American Winter Hill Gang held power.

“I think the original South Boston people will go see it, but I don’t know about anyone else. There’s a lot of diversity here now,” Gleason said.

The streets of South Boston were predominately working class, but the influx of young professionals has changed the demographics.

FBI Gets Tips on 25-Year-Old Art Heist in Boston After Release of Video

Theft at Gardner Museum

Theft at Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

By Steve Neavling

The 25-year mystery surrounding the bold heist at the Stewart Gardner Museum may be getting closer to being solved after the FBI began investigating a “handful of tips,” The New York Daily News reports.

The tips come just days after the FBI released jumpy surveillance video of the museum 24 hours before the robbery of 13 gems, including three Rembrandts and works by Manet and Degas.

One tip included the identity of a man seen leaving the museum the night before it was robbed.

The artwork is valued at $500 million.

Attorney George Burke said one of his clients identified the mystery man an antique dealer.

FBI Releases Video of Decades-Old Art Heist at Museum in Boston

By Steve Neavling

The FBI released a jumpy surveillance video in hopes of solving the decades-old art heist at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Authorities have been scratching their heads since two men, disguised as policemen, stole 13 gems, including three Rembrandts and works by Manet and Degas, NBC News reports.

The FBI released the video to the public for the first time. It was recorded 24 hours before the theft and shows a car that matches the description of the one reported to be involved in the theft the following night. An unidentified man also is shown.

“We have engaged in an exhaustive re-examination of the original evidence in this case,” said U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, “to ensure that all avenues have been explored in the continuing quest to recover these artworks.”

Head of FBI’s Boston Office to Retire And Join Private Sector After 2 Years at Helm

Vincent Lisi

Vincent Lisi

By Steve Neavling

The head of the FBI in Boston is retiring after 26 years of service with the agency.

Vincent B. Lisi, who was appointed to run the Boston field office two years ago, plans to join the private sector as a director of security, his spokeswoman told the Boston Globe. 

“Vince has worked tirelessly during his tenure . . . and the district has clearly benefited from his expertise and dogged work ethic,” U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz said. “He truly exemplifies public service as evidenced by his long and impressive career.”

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans lauded Lissi for his “help, support and professionalism” in keeping the region safe.

“During his time in Boston, the already strong relationship between the FBI and the BPD only got stronger, and [Lisi] will be missed,” Evans said.

Lisi, who took over the position three months after the Boston Marathon attack, oversaw FBI operations in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

Details of his job weren’t immediately clear.

Convicted Gangster ‘Whitey’ Bulger Asks for Court to Overturn Conviction

"Whitey" Bulger

“Whitey” Bulger

By Steve Neavling

Convicted gangster James “Whitey” Bulger is asking for a new trial, claiming he was given an unfair trial because he was barred from testifying about his contention that he received immunity for his crimes, the Associated Press reports.

Bulger’s attorney Hank Brennan said Bulger should have been permitted to testify that a now-dead federal prosecutor granted him immunity.

“The defendant has that right to testify. There is no shaking that right,” Brennan told a three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The government argued that the judge had a right to deny Bulger from testifying about the immunity claim because there was no hard evidence such an agreement existed.

“He chose not to testify,”  Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall Kromm said.

Boston Police Captain Faced Dilemma When Dealing with Son’s Growing Extremism

Terror Plot Officer's Son

Alexander Ciccolo

By Steve Neavling

Boston Police Captain Robert Ciccolo faced a dilemma when he became concerned that his son may pose a danger because of his growing extremism.

His son, Alexander Ciccolo, was mentally ill and began talking about joining ISIS and fighting in Iraq and Syria, WBUR reports. Although his son hadn’t committed a crime, Capt. Ciccolo took the news to the FBI.

Now his son is charged with plotting to detonate a bomb at an unknown university following an FBI sting.

“Obviously, he struggled with him, and he couldn’t set him straight,” said Boston Police Commissioner William Evans. “So maybe getting locked up was the best thing. Maybe now he’ll get the medical care he needs.”

The son’s attorney thinks the father had a better alternative.

“This is a kid who should have been involuntarily committed in a mental hospital,” said defense attorney Harvey Silverglate, of Cambridge, Mass. “He would have been no danger to society. He would have been no danger to himself.”

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