News Column

Whitey Bulger Swears He Was a Wiseguy, Not a Rat

Jun 24 2013 4:06PM

Prosecutors threw the best book they have at James "Whitey" Bulger today -- the 700-page diary of FBI Informant BS-1544 -- in a bid to undermine the mobster's insistent claim that he was an upstanding wiseguy, a gambit that forced them to reveal to jurors that the Boston FBI office had rotten agents who shielded him.

"I am not a (expletive) informant," Bulger, 83, grumbled in frustration during a recess in the trial, people seated near him confirmed.

During his 15-year relationship with the FBI from 1975 to 1990, the files indicate that Bulger pinned murders on other men that his own associates now say Bulger and his own gang committed. He gave up secrets about criminal rivals, such as where they could be found. And he provided alibis for his own gang -- since refuted by his former associates' admissions in plea deals after they learned he had turned on them. The files also indicate that the FBI -- with Agent John Connolly Jr. acting as the primary go-between -- passed on false information to other law enforcement to divert attention from Bulger and his gang.

Special Agent James Marra of the Office of the Inspector General read the file for three hours, revealing that Bulger had spilled organized crime's secrets to the feds with a weekly frequency that stunned even his alleged victims.

"Dozens and dozens of people the South Boston 'hero' has been ratting out for years. I was laughing the entire time," said Tommy Donahue.

Bulger told the FBI that Donahue's father and Brian Halloran were murdered by the mafia, and later blamed a Charlestown crew.

The shooting deaths of Halloran and Michael Donahue are among the 19 murders in which Bulger faces charges in U.S. District Court. Bulger told the FBI Halloran "was considered a court jester by the Winter Hill Gang -- a drunk, a drug user and a bully," one report in his file stated.

The files indicate that Bulger also told his FBI handler, Connolly, that underworld associate Tommy King had murdered Francis "Buddy" Leonard in 1975 and then left town, advised by his own gang "it would be best" if he "never came back." Leonard was found in the trunk of King's carr. King was found buried under the Neponset Bridge in 2000. Bulger is charged in both of those deaths and has been implicated by his former associates.

Bulger also directed the feds to a man he claimed had information on the 1985 kidnapping and murder of 9-year-old Sarah Pryor of Wayland -- a crime unsolved to this day.

The jury was briefly sent out of the courtroom while defense attorneys argued passionately to Judge Denise J. Casper that Marra couldn't prove the FBI file wasn't made up, since he's never spoken to Bulger.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Wyshak Jr. told Casper that prosecutors acknowledge the relationship between Connolly, Bulger and his partner Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi "spun out of control," but he added, "I'm not going to engage in the fiction that Mr. Bulger was not really an informant."


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Source: Copyright Boston Herald (MA) 2013

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