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Tag: Whitey Bulger

Journalist Who Exposed ‘Whitey’ Bulger’s Ties with FBI Dies

One of the books co-written by Gerald O’Neill.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Gerald M. O’Neill, an intrepid Boston Globe journalist who helped expose mobster James “Whitey” Bulger as an FBI informant, has died.

He was 76.

O’Neill was a longtime investigative reporter and editor for the newspaper’s Spotlight Team when he revealed in 1988 that Bulger was killing people while snitching for the FBI. At the time, the bureau was protecting the murderous crime boss.

“That stopped time in Boston,” Stephen A. Kurkjian, one of the original Spotlight reporters, told New York Times for an obit.

Kurkjian said the FBI told the Globe its information was erroneous and would embarrass the newspaper if it dropped the bombshell report. But editors stood behind O’Neill’s investigative work and published the story. After all, O’Neill had valuable sources within the FBI.

“It was a nerve-racking moment,” Dick Lehr, a Spotlight reporter who worked on the series with Mr. O’Neill, told the Times.

A decade later, the FBI finally admitted publicly that O’Neill and his team was right – Bulger was an FBI informant.

O’Neill and Lehr wrote two books about Bulger. One of them, “Black Mass: The Irish Mob, the FBI, and a Devil’s Deal,” which was published in 2000, was turned into a 2015 movie in which Johnny Depp starred as Bulger.

O’Neill died at his Boston home Thursday after complications with interstitial lung disease.

Prison Warden Where Whitey Bulger Was Confined: ‘I think he wanted to die’

Whitey Bulger

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The then-warden of a prison where James “Whitey” Bulgar was confined said he believes the Boston gangster “wanted to die.”

“Quite frankly, I think he wanted to die,” Charles Lockett, the Florida penitentiary’s former warden, told NBC News in an exclusive interview.

“I think whatever issues he had, he had come to peace with them.”

Bulger, 89, was beat to death inside his cell on Oct. 30, 3018, just hours after he was transferred to a West Virginia prison. The transfer came after the wheelchair-bound ex-mob boss threatened a Florida prison nurse who suggested he see an outside heart doctor.

No one has been charged in his death.

Lockett, who retired in late December, spoke out for the first time, saying he doesn’t believe the death was the fault of prison officials.

It’s a tragedy, but I don’t think anyone was deficient in their duty,” Lockett said.

Lockett opened up about his personal feelings for Bulger.

“He killed a lot of people, but he wasn’t a bad old guy,” Lockett said. “Every Friday, I would walk that entire penitentiary and I would see him and he would speak to me. He was a nice, respectable guy, the murderer that he was.”

When a nurse told Bulgar he should be taken to a local hospital to see a heart specialist, the former mob boss lashed out, Lockett said.

“She pressed him to go see the doctor, and he got mad about it,” Lockett said. “He told her point blank, ‘I know people. I still have connections back home.’”

Imprisoned Gangster Says He and Whitey Bulger Paid Off 7 FBI Agents, Killed Informants

Steve Flemmi/dateline nbc file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

For decades, the story of James “Whitey” Bulger was one of the bigger ones to come out of Boston.

Now, his name is back in the news.

Former gangster Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi testified Monday that he and Bulger paid off seven FBI agents, killed several informants after they were exposed by a corrupt agent, and lied to implicate others in murders they committed, reports Shelley Murphy of the Boston Globe.

“There was always some sort of story concocted . . . to keep the heat away from us,” Flemmi said under cross-examination at the murder trial of former New England Mafia boss Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme.

Murphy writes:

The sordid details of the gangsters’ corrupt relationship with the FBI have emerged in previous trials related to the Bulger saga over the past two decades, but they were new to the jury in the murder case unfolding in federal court in Boston against Salemme, 84, and his codefendant, Paul Weadick, a 62-year-old plumber from Burlington.

Disgraced Ex-FBI Agent Connolly Gets New 2039 Prison Release Date in Mob Murder

Former FBI Agent John Connolly.

Former FBI Agent John Connolly.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If he lives long enough, disgraced former FBI agent John Connolly will benefit from a new prison sentence. 

Connolly, who is behind bars for a 1982 murder tied to imprisoned New England mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger, will be 98 by the time of his June 22, 2039 release date, the Associated Press reports.

The new release date was set by the Florida Commission on Offender Review.

Connolly, who was Bulger’s FBI handler in Boston, was convicted in 2008 of second-degree murder following the murder of World Jai-Alai President John Callahan. Connolly tipped off Bulger that Callahan was about to rat out Bulger’s gang in another murder.

The relationship between Bulger and Connolly inspired the 2006 Martin Scorsese film, “The Departed.”

Whitey Bulger Belongings Are Sold at Auction to Raise Money for Victims

James "Whitey" Bulger's "Psycho Killer Skull" ring was for sale at the auction.

James “Whitey” Bulger’s “Psycho Killer Skull” ring was for sale at the auction.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A framed photo of a car. A “Psycho Killer Skull” ring. Rolling shopping carts.

These were among the items sold on Saturday at an auction of James “Whitey” Bulger and his girlfriend Catherine Greig’s belongings, the New York Times reports. 

The auction raised a modest $109,295 for the families of Bulger’s victims.

A friend of Greig’s family bought several photos of cats for $110 and plans to give them back to Grieg when she finishes serving her prison sentence in 2020.

The most expensive item was Bulger’s claddagh ring, which went for $23,000.

Former FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Perjury After Lying During ‘Whitey’ Bulger Testimony

Whitey Bulger

Whitey Bulger

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former FBI agent who repeatedly lied during his testimony at the trial of James “Whitey” Bulger pleaded guilty Monday to six counts each of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Robert Fitzpatrick, 76, was the assistant special agent in the charge of the FBI’s Boston division during Bulger’s violent reign and was the first to testify on behalf of Bulger’s attorneys.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary Hafer lied during testimony “in order to enhance his own credibility” and to bolster Bulger’s defense, ABC News reports. 

The judge said Fitzpatrick lied about his role in Bulger’s work as a criminal informant for the FBI. He also lied about recovering the gun used to assassinate Martin Luther King Jr.

Under a plea agreement, Fitzpatrick would receive two years of probation. Sentencing is set for Aug. 5.

Ex-FBI Agent to Plead Guilt to Perjury Following ‘Whitey’ Bulger Testimony

"Whitey" Bulger

“Whitey” Bulger

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former FBI agent plans to plead guilty to perjury charges as early as Monday after prosecutors said he lied during the James “Whitey” Bulger case in Boston.

The Associated Press reports that Robert Fitzpatrick is accused of lying to jurors when defense attorneys called him as the first witness in the high-profile trial.

Prosecutors accused Fitzpatrick, 76, of falsely claiming to recover the rifle used to assassinate Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 and exaggerating claims that he tried to get supervisors to stop using Bulger as an informant because he wasn’t helpful.

Ex-FBI Agent Accused of Committing Perjury Plans to Plead Guilty

fbi badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Supervisory Agent Robert Fitzpatrick plans to plead guilty to unspecified charges after testifying on behalf of James “Whitey” Bulger, the Boston Globe reports. 

Fitzpatrick, 76, plans to plead guilty on May 5. He’s currently facing six counts of perjury and six counts of obstruction of justice.

Fitzpatrick, who wrote “Betrayal, Whitey Bulger and the FBI Agent Who Fought to Bring Him Down, is accused of falsely holding himself “out as a whistleblower who tried to end the FBI’s relationship with Bulger.

Prosecutors also allege Fitzpatrick lied about finding the rifle used to murder Martin Luther King Jr.