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Tag: White Bulger

Weekend Series on Crime History: Documentary on Mobster Whitey Bulger

Notorious Ex-FBI Agent John Connolly May Not Be Leaving Prison Anytime Soon

John Connolly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

John Connolly, the former Boston FBI agent who helped gangster James “Whitey” Bulger and was convicted of murder, likely won’t be leaving prison anytime soon.

The Miami Herald reports that the Third District Court of Appeals decided this week to hear the prosecution’s case for keeping Connoly behind bars following the 1982 murder of a gambling executive.

That’s a dramatic turnabout after the Miami appellate court reversed the murder conviction on a legal technicality over the summer.

Connolly is to remain imprisoned in northern Florida while the court reconsiders the decision to reverse the conviction.

“We’re disappointed,” James McDonald, one of Connolly’s attorneys, said of this week’s ruling.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said she was “pleased” with the court’s decision.

“There are important issues here which are in conflict and this will allow those conflicts to be resolved,” she said.

Head of Boston FBI Says Speculation That the FBI Didn’t Want to Find Whitey Bulger is “Completely Unfounded”

Richard DesLauriers

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The head of the Boston FBI  Richard DesLauriers responded Friday to public speculation that the FBI didn’t really want to find mobster James “Whitey” Bulger because he had so much dirt on the agency that could surface publicly.  He called the claims  “completely unfounded.”

DesLauriers, in a statement issued Friday afternoon, said:

“There has been some speculation that the FBI knew about the location of Mr. Bulger prior to the initiation of the FBI’s most recent publicity campaign regarding Catherine Greig and James J. “Whitey” Bulger. (Greig is Bulger’s girlfriend).

“To ensure that there is no misunderstanding about the FBI’s search for Mr. Bulger, I want to reiterate statements I made earlier on this matter.

“Any claim that the FBI knew Mr. Bulger’s whereabouts prior to the FBI’s publicity efforts this week are completely unfounded. When we learned his location, he was arrested promptly.”

“The FBI crafted a media plan to reach as many people as possible. As is now evident, this effort was successful and led directly to the arrest of Mr. Bulger, and highlights the importance of the public’s assistance in these matters.”

Some have suggested that  Bulger has much more  dirt to spill on the FBI, the result of  agents using him as an informant, all while letting him get away with crimes as part of Boston’s notorious Irish mob.  Bulger, who was on the lam for 16 years, was charged in 19 murders.

Other law enforcement agencies in the state complained that the FBI at the time protected Bulger, and sabotaged some of their cases. It caused strains between the FBI and some of the law enforcement agencies.

Bulger, 81, and his girlfriend Catherine Greig, who was wanted for harboring a fugitive,  were captured Wednesday in Santa Monica, Calif. shortly after the FBI launched a nationwide TV campaign that focused on Greig.  The FBI said it received a tip on Tuesday night as a direct result of the public service announcement campaign. Agents found $800,000 in their apartment along with about 30 weapons.

On Friday, the Boston Globe’s Kevin Cullen wrote a column that  may have added to the speculation about the FBI’s resolve to find Bulger.

“It was hard to find anyone in the Boston Police Department, the State Police, or the US Drug Enforcement Administration who truly believed the FBI wanted to find Bulger. He was the FBI’s prized, if highly overrated, snitch, and he had murdered many while the FBI protected him and compromised other investigations that other law enforcement agencies mounted against Bulger,” he wrote.

“Bulger used to have the FBI in his pocket; now all he has in that pocket is the potential for revenge, should he choose to exact it. He has told friends — indeed he has even told corrupt FBI agents — that the FBI reneged on their deal to let him run his venal little empire as long as he fed them crumbs on the competition.”

“The obsession with the details of Bulger’s arrest is understandable. But the bigger picture is this: there has been a carefully constructed narrative, one of damage control for the FBI and Justice Department, which is now at risk.”

Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Los Angeles, where Bulger was captured, said of the speculation questioning the FBI’s resolve:

“There’s no merit to it.”

Latest FBI Campaign to Find Mobster “Whitey” Bulger Brings in Tips Beyond “Our Expectations”

Boston Mobster Whitey Bulger

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The latest FBI campaign to try and nab Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger is paying off — at least if you measure it by the bulk of tips.

The Boston Globe reports the FBI has gotten a number of tips that have “exceeded our expectations”, the result of  a new ad campaign aimed at finding Bulger’s girlfriend, who is believed to be with him. Still, nothing yet in terms of capturing the ever-elusive gangster.

The new campaign includes billboards and 30-second daytime television spots in 14 cities, and focuses on Bulger’s companion Catherine Greig, 60.  The FBI hopes people will recognize Greig, and that will lead to Bulger’s arrest. She is also wanted for harboring a fugitive.

“We’ve been effective and efficient in reaching the geographic areas that we intended to,’’ FBI Special Agent Gregory Comcowich of Boston told the Globe. “The number of tips has exceeded our expectations.’’

Boston’s Top FBI Agent Warren Bamford Steps Down; James Burrell Acting SAC

Warren Bamford

Warren Bamford

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Warren T. Bamford, head of the Boston FBI, officially retired Friday after heading up the office since 2007. Assistant special agent in charge James C. Burrell has been named the acting special agent in charge.

Under Bamford’s reign, the office produced a number of high-profile cases including one that involved a corrupt state senator and another that targeted a street boss for the Colombo crime family.

“My FBI experience has been tremendous and being able to end my career in the Boston Office makes it even better,” he said Friday in a statement to ticklethewire.com.  “I have tried to do the best job possible and have no regrets.”

Bamford will begin working for a private utility, National Grid,  on June 28.

Under his command, the office aggressively pursued fugitive James “Whitey” Bulger, a violent mobster who was added to the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitive list in 1999.

The office took creative steps to find Bulger and his female companion, including placing ads in dental and plastic surgery publications.

But in the end, like his predecessors, he was unable to find Bulger.

Bamford joined the bureau in 1986. Before arriving in Boston, he served as special agent in charge of  the Counterterrorism and Intelligence Division in Los Angeles.

In 2009, he was named “Fed Of The Year” by ticklethewire.com. The previous year, the award went to Chicago’s U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

Boston Mobster Says His Girlfriend Was Murdered Because She Knew of the Mob’s Ties to FBI

The Rifleman/dateline nbc photo
The Rifleman testifying in Miami in murder trial of FBI agent John Connolly  /dateline nbc

The Soprano-like testimony in court continues to expose the shady side of the FBI in Boston during a very dark era. The testimony is part of a civil trial involving families suing the government for failing to stop mobsters/FBI informants from killing relatives. Dateline NBC had a great segment on the Boston mob and the FBI last Friday.  Click here to see a sampling of the show.

By Jonathan Saltzman
The Boston Globe
BOSTON — The gangster Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi insisted yesterday that he helped arrange the murder of his girlfriend because she knew about the corrupt relationship he and his longtime partner, James “Whitey” Bulger, had with a rogue FBI agent, not because she had met another man.

Under cross-examination by a Justice Department lawyer in Flemmi’s third and final day on the witness stand in US District Court in Boston, the convicted mobster discounted a suggestion that he set up the Sept. 17, 1981, murder of Debra Davis, 26, because she had recently fallen in love with a businessman during a trip to Mexico.

“She could have left anytime she wanted,” he testified in response to a question from Lawrence Eiser, the Justice Department lawyer.

“Why did you kill her?” Eiser asked.

“I explained to you, Bulger killed her,” Flemmi said, in the bristling tone he has often exhibited on the stand. “He was concerned. She was aware of my relationship with [FBI agent John] Connolly.”

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