Fisherman John McIntyre of Quincy was slain in 1984.
Case was tied to Bulger handling
By Shelley Murphy, Boston Globe Staff | January 25, 2007
It took 22 years for the family of slain Quincy fisherman John McIntyre to prove that the FBI's mishandling of longtime informants James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi caused his brutal killing in 1984.
But after winning a landmark $3.2 million wrongful death suit against the government in September, lawyers for McIntyre's mother and brother notified a judge yesterday that they are dropping additional claims they had made against six retired FBI agents.
"We proved what we wanted to prove," said McIntyre's brother, Christopher, adding that he and his mother want to get on with their lives and weren't up for another drawn-out legal battle that would once again rehash his brother's murder. "This is starting to take a toll on everyone."
McIntyre and his mother, Emily, 77, of Quincy, had been seeking a jury trial on civil rights claims against the six retired agents, including Bulger's and Flemmi's former handler John J. Connolly Jr., as well as John Morris, Robert Fitzpatrick, James Ring, James Greenleaf, and James Ahearn. Another former agent, Roderick Kennedy, had previously been dismissed from the suit by a judge.
US District Judge Reginald C. Lindsay, who had ordered the government to pay the McIntyre's $3.2 million after an 18-day bench trial, had yet to rule on the agents' assertions that federal law barred the McIntyres from seeking damages from them, since they had already won a damages claim against the government.
In his ruling last September, Lindsay found that Connolly warned Bulger and Flemmi that McIntyre was cooperating against them, knowing that the tip would probably lead to McIntyre's slaying. He also found that the FBI failed to properly supervise Connolly and failed to investigate numerous allegations that Bulger and Flemmi had been involved in drug trafficking, homicide, and other crimes.
Connolly was convicted on federal racketeering charges in 2002 for protecting Bulger and Flemmi from prosecution and warning Bulger to flee just before the gangster's 1995 indictment. Connolly is serving a 10-year sentence and is awaiting trial in Miami in a 1982 gangland slaying.
Attorney E. Peter Mullane, who represents Connolly in the civil case, said Connolly didn't warn Bulger and Flemmi that McIntyre was cooperating and that Connolly continues to assert his innocence.
The McIntyres' lawyers, William Christie and Steven M. Gordon , said they believed they could have proven their claims against the agents if the case had gone to trial, but were concerned that the case would take too long to resolve in view of Emily McIntyre's age and poor health.
"We decided it was just best to pursue our judgment against the United States," Christie said.
Fitzpatrick, former special agent in charge of the FBI's Boston office, testified during the McIntyre trial that he had urged his superiors to drop Bulger as an informant in the early 1980s amid allegations that the gangster was involved in drug dealing and homicide. Yesterday, Fitzpatrick said he was angry that he had been named in the suit because "I obviously was one of the only people who tried to do anything" about Bulger.
A spokesman for the Department of Justice declined to comment yesterday on the dismissal of the claims against the agents or on whether the government will appeal Lindsay's $3.2 million verdict.
The McIntyres' suit was the first of 17 filed against the government by families of victims of Bulger and Flemmi to go to trial. Ten were dismissed, mostly on grounds they were filed too late, and six are poised to go to trial.
Flemmi, who is serving a life sentence for 10 murders, testified that he and Bulger killed McIntyre, 32, on Nov. 30, 1984, after Connolly warned them that McIntyre had implicated them in an unsuccessful plot to ship weapons to the Irish Republican Army aboard a Gloucester trawler.
Art Hostage comments:
So, the deal is done, the FBI/Govt don't appeal the $3.2 million, family drop the lawsuit. The Lawyer has done the deal, official.
Seems fair enough, hope this new FBI deal making extends towards the recovery of the Vermeer, which, by the way, does not require payment to the handler.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
Dr Paula J Dobriansky
Super Sunday Jan 28th 2007, See's Sinn Fein sign up to Policing and the Recovery of the Stolen Vermeer from Boston !!
It was announced on Friday that Mitchell Reiss, left, is standing down as US special envoy to the North, a position he has held since early 2004. He has continued in his role for the past two years despite leaving his post at the State Department to return to his position as Dean of International Affairs at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. Speaking to the Irish Times Dr Reiss referred to the political progress made in the past few years, adding, "The great joy of this job has been meeting the magnificent people in Ireland, both North and South and in Irish-America. It has been a remarkable personal and professional experience and one that I will always cherish".
Dr Reiss' successor will be Paula J. Dobriansky (51), left, who was appointed to the Department of State in March 2001 and named Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs in July 2005. She is described as a neo-conservative intellectual who was a founder member of a group which advocated intervention in Iraq back in 1998. Dr Dobriansky graduated in International Politics from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and went on to gain an MA and PhD in Soviet political/military affairs from Harvard University. Prior to her appointment by President Bush she worked as Senior International Affairs and Trade Advisor at a major law firm.
Dr Dobriansky will accompany Dr Reiss when he visits the North on a previously planned visit later this month.
She will probably be in Ireland next Sunday, 28th Jan, when Sinn Féin holds its ardfheis to review its policy on policing.
In an effort to convince republicans that it is time to support the PSNI, Gerry Adams along with MEP Bairbre de Brún is hosting a number of public meetings, the first of which was held in Toome, Co. Antrim, on Saturday. The Sinn Féin president told an audience of some 450, "We do not want to leave policing to the unionists. We do not want to leave policing to the securocrats". It was the party's duty, he argued, to ensure that none of the abuses perpetrated by the RUC in the past could happen again; he referred to a report, to be published today by the Police Ombudsman's office, which is expected to accuse Special Branch of turning a blind eye to murders committed by loyalist paramilitaries.
Early in the week DUP leader Rev. Ian Paisley welcomed Sinn Féin's decision to go ahead with the ardfheis, calling it a step forward. He said, however, the DUP would only share power if there is full delivery on the ground. Northern Secretary Peter Hain has repeated his assertion that there can be no change to the planned date of March 26 for the reinstatement of power sharing. If it doesn't happen by then, Stormont will be dissolved indefinitely.
Later Mr Adams offered to meet dissident republican leaders to explain the proposed change in Sinn Féin policing policy. He appealed to the Real IRA, Continuity IRA and INLA to end violence in order to peacefully achieve a united Ireland. Whatever about convincing those outside the party, it is clear that some veteran Sinn Féin members, who until now have backed the Good Friday Agreement, think supporting the PSNI is a step too far.
Art Hostage comments:
Memo to the Honourable FBI Agent Robert Wittman:
Unlike the Palestinians, who never miss and opportunity to miss an opportunity, I never want to miss an opportunity to recover the Vermeer.
Bob, as you well know politicians like to "hit the ground running" and relish a big headline to open their tenure.
Well, how about getting the Vermeer situation sorted this week and then allow Paula to bask in the media spotlight upon her triumphant return to the United States of America?
Sinn Fein supporting the police and the Vermeer to hand back to the people of Boston is something that would help the healing process of Bloody Sunday, collusion etc.
I am sure you will get some kind of credit for giving the politicians their media fix and it will put us on the road to recovering the rest of the Gardner art.
Sorry for being too eager, it is just that I cannot wait until St Patrick's Day.
Lets make this a "Super Sunday" to remember for all the right reasons.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Bad Guy of the Week: Semion Mogilevich
In a landmark story back in 1998, my late colleague Robert I. Friedman, a great crime reporter, wrote of a new godfather on the scene–an overweight, Jewish-Ukrainian mob boss with an economics degree, dubbed "the brainy don." So over the top was Semion Mogilevich's record that Friedman's editors at the Village Voice titled his story "The Most Dangerous Mobster in the World."
Mogilevich became a poster boy for the organized crime gangs oozing from the ruins of the former Soviet Union. Based in Budapest during the late '90s, Mogilevech allegedly ran one of Europe's top crime syndicates, trafficking in drugs, prostitutes, and stolen art; running hit jobs and massive fraud scams; and smuggling arms and even radioactive materials. He still ranks high on the FBI's wanted list
for his role in a $150 million stock scam involving the YBM company in Philadelphia.
With al Qaeda so much in the news today, it's easy to forget that until 9/11, the Russian mob was a hot topic. The gangs had succeeded in looting much of the former Soviet Union and setting up rackets around the world–including in a dozen U.S. cities. Books like Friedman's Red Mafia and Stephen Handelman's Comrade Criminal told of a fearless new breed of international mobster schooled by the KGB and Soviet-era black markets. The Russian mob didn't simply disappear because al Qaeda began targeting U.S. cities. Indeed, the latest on Mogilevich suggests he and his pals may be bigger than ever.
Now 60, Mogilevich is under scrutiny (free preview available) by the U.S. Justice Department for his role in billion-dollar natural gas deals involving Russia and Ukraine, law enforcement officials confirm. His involvement is raising alarm among Russia watchers here in Washington, already worried over Moscow's growing use of energy as a political weapon against gas-hungry Europe and former Soviet states. Even putting the political stakes aside, the prospect of "the world's most dangerous mobster" reaping windfalls in the energy biz is worrisome at best.
Mogilevich has proclaimed his innocence in the past, but he's staying clear of the American justice system. After being targeted by an FBI task force, the reputed mob boss fled Budapest for Moscow, where he's lived comfortably for years–and where Russian officials show no interest in handing him over.
Art Hostage comments:
Now this article has appeared in the press I can reveal that if the FBI prevaricate over the recovery of the Vermeer, it will be heading to Moscow as a tribute to Semion Mogilevich.
There have been meetings over the last year between representatives of the Irish Republican movement and Mr Mogilevich regarding business co-operation. Some of the meetings have taken place in Spain as well as in Ireland. Links bewteen the IRA and Russian mafia go back to 1996 when several senior IRA figures visited Russia and began a long secret relationship that spreads accross the whole criminal panarama. Within the underworld the IRA command a respect that still see's them regarded as the doyens of criminal enterprise.
If Whitey Bulger was photographed in the recent past he would be wearing a fur hat?????????
How many of the worlds most wanted stolen artworks come under Semion Mogilevich's control, how many does he have displayed in his "Museum of the missing"??
To see FBI Agent Robert "Billboard Bob" Wittman dressed in Cossack Sable fur hat and coat, heading a raid at "Semion Mogilevich Museum's of Stolen Art" outside Moscow, on a Spanish Island, etc, is an honourable aspiration, if not a reality because of the political fallout of such an event.
More Chins than the Chinese telephone book !!
The Window of opportunity for the recovery of the Vermeer is fast closing, so, don't drop the ball, just do it !!!
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Poll: we don't believe Bertie on Sinn Fein
MOST people believe Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, will do a deal with Sinn Fein to remain in power rather than go into opposition, a nationwide Sunday Independent telephone poll reveals.
The poll, conducted this weekend, found 62 per cent did not believe Mr Ahern when he said he would not form a Government that was dependent on Sinn Fein support, with just 38 per cent believing him.
Last week, Mr Ahern appeared to make a u-turn on his previous position by indicating he would deal with Gerry Adams's party. He said: "I don't think it would be reasonable for somebody to go in and say that you wouldn't take support from a party."
Fine Gael leader, Enda Kenny, reacted by saying that the Taoiseach's history of doing side deals with Sinn Fein showed that "he cannot be trusted on the issue".
On Friday, Mr Ahern insisted that he would not "form a Government that is dependent on Sinn Fein votes". Previously, Mr Ahern had said that under no circumstances would he deal with Sinn Fein.
Meanwhile, there is now a growing belief that the finances of senior IRA figures such as Thomas 'Slab' Murphy will not now be investigated.
This follows the surprise announcement last week that the North's Assets Recovery Agency is to be abolished, suspected to be part of an arrangement to secure Sinn Fein/IRA support for policing in the North.
Art Hostage comments:
It is all coming together nicely, now for the Pork, the Vermeer to surface via a confession box, symbolism of absolution.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Provo gangs off the hook as elite unit is shut down
IRA criminals in south Armagh knew that the North's Assets Recovery Agency was to be abolished, days before it was officially announced, the Sunday Independent can reveal.
The agency had been set up - after the success of CAB in the south - to trace the millions laundered by crime gangs and paramilitaries. It has specifically tageted cross-border smuggling and illegal diesel washing by IRA members.
This has led to the belief that the surprise move was part of a deal between the British government and Sinn Fein, to secure Sinn Fein/IRA support for policing in the North. When the agency is abolished, it will make it more difficult, if not impossible, to investigate the financial affairs of senior IRA figures, like Thomas 'Slab' Murphy.
The support of Murphy, who was under active investigation, and of other terrorists-turned-criminals, is seen as essential in getting Sinn Fein/IRA figures in south Armagh to sign up to policing.
It is now likely that Murphy will be saved from further investigation.
The official announcement of the abolition of the agency came a day after Prime Minister Blair issued a statement on the role of the intelligence service, MI5, in the North. Sinn Fein hailed the statement as a "major victory".
The announcement that the Assets Recovery Agency was to be "merged" with the Serious Organised Crime Agency in London was a surprise to other political parties.
However, according to well placed sources in south Armagh, news of the imminent closure, announced on Thursday, spread throughout the area last weekend.
Yesterday, the Fine Gael Senator Brian Hayes called on the Government to say if the closure was part of a "desperate deal" to get Sinn Fein to recognise the PSNI and enter government with the DUP.
He said: "I cannot understand why both governments seem to be playing such a high-wire strategy with the Provisionals. For the British government in particular, this news points to wanting to do a deal at any cost. It sends out wrong signals and is a sign of weakness.
"Any dilution of the Assets Recovery Agency or any merger with a UK agency would not only be damaging to the fight against organised crime in Northern Ireland, it would be damaging to the fight against organised crime on the island of Ireland. We need closer co-operation between the ARA and CAB. Both governments are trying to do this desperate deal which will compromise our security and damage efforts to take on organised crime."
The ARA had been hugely successful. It hit border smugglers, including leading republicans, and loyalist drug dealers, seizing houses, pubs, businesses and other assets linked to crime.
Last autumn, the agency seized over €2m worth of houses in Manchester, which it said were bought from the proceeds of fuel smuggling.
The ARA in the North has accounted for almost half the entire proceeds seized in the UK, since it was set up two years ago.
Its chief Alan McQuillan is hated by the Sinn Fein/IRA. A former senior officer in the RUC's Special Branch, he was previously involved in many high-profile cases against the IRA.
In an extraordinary week, Sinn Fein indicated it was set to recognise the PSNI - and apparently accept MI5 holding the role of intelligence gathering in the North - policies which are to be ratified at a special ard fheis at the end of this month.
This, both governments hope, will be a prelude to getting the DUP to share power with their former enemies. The deal was announced on the front page of Sinn Fein's weekly paper, An Phoblacht, under the headline: Major victor on issue of MI5.
Officially, the British government position on the Assets Recovery Agency is that it is not being shut but merged with the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).
The North's other political parties were informed of the "merger" in a letter from Northern Secretary Peter Hain on Thursday. He said the ARA's 50 staff in Belfast will transfer to SOCA, which is based in London, but that this would not cause a "reduction of ARA's current levels of activity".
The move was criticised by the North's largest business organisation, the Federation of Small Businesses, which pointed out that small businesses in the North face the highest extortion and racketeering levels in the UK, most of it coming from paramilitaries. The DUP described it as a "retrograde step".
Downing Street accused of pandering to Sinn Fein
Timing of Assets Recovery Agency abolition 'very suspicious', claim Tories
Henry McDonald, Ireland editor Sunday January 14, 2007
Downing Street last night rejected claims that the announcement of the abolition of the Assets Recovery Agency was timed to win republican support for policing in Northern Ireland.
Republicans in South Armagh - one of the regions on which the ARA focused in its efforts to recover the proceeds of organised crime - say they were made aware that the agency was being dissolved before the official announcement was made last week.
Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary David Lidington described the timing of the ARA's dissolution as 'very suspicious'. It came about just days before the Sinn Fein leadership met in Dublin to plan a historic conference on policing.
The agency is hated by republicans and loyalists, especially in South Armagh where it is investigating the assets of the former IRA chief of staff and smuggler Thomas 'Slab' Murphy, who is a multimillionaire.
Yesterday, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams won support from his party's ruling body for a special Ard Fheis, or conference, on 28 January, where he will put forward a motion aimed at overturning decades of republican opposition to policing. Sinn Fein's support for the police and justice system in Northern Ireland would help clear the way for Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionists to share power with the republicans.
Speaking at the Great Southern Hotel at Dublin Airport yesterday, Adams said: 'We still need to have an accountable police service and we still need to get the power-sharing institutions in place. We cannot allow others to dictate the pace.'
Last night Downing Street welcomed the move and said the Ard Fheis decision would be crucial. Late last night, the wording of the policing motion had not been made public.
A spokesman for Number 10 denied that the agency's disbandment had been synchronised with the Prime Minister's assurances in Parliament that MI5 would operate entirely separately from the Police Service of Northern Ireland and PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde's statement that his officers would no longer use plastic bullets.
However, normally reliable republican sources said news of the ARA's dissolution had been leaked to South Armagh activists days before the official statement. 'Everyone was going around the border area saying "Alan McQuillan [the head of the ARA in Northern Ireland] is going. The ARA is gone." It's no coincidence that all of the delegates to the Ard Fheis are now mandated to support the leadership on the policing issue,' one said.
Lidington said people were right to be suspicious: 'I doubt very much that the ARA was abolished for political reasons. I am not saying that. But what I think is very suspicious is the timing of this all. It came in the same week the government gave Gerry Adams a fig leaf about MI5's presence in Northern Ireland and the Chief Constable's announcement on plastic bullets not being used.'
He added that he would be tabling a parliamentary question to Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain asking him to confirm that there will be 'no let-up in the fight against ordinary crime' once the ARA is absorbed into the Serious and Organised Crime Agency.
Window Dressing For Public Consumption
Gardaí seize €2m in contraband cigarettes, Or Were They Given Them, Token Gesture ??
14/01/2007 - 10:06:28
Breaking News Ireland:
Contraband cigarettes with a value of €2m have been seized by Revenue officials in Co Louth.
The haul was made outside Dundalk last night as part of an ongoing operation in the area.
Gardaí believe the six million cigarettes seized were destined for sale in the North.
No arrests have been made, but investigations are continuing.
Art Hostage comments:
Nearly there !!
€2m stolen in latest 'tiger' kidnapping
15/01/2007 - 13:00:41
A husband and wife today became the latest victims of a 'tiger' kidnapping in which an armed gang got away with almost €2m.
The man was confronted at his home in the Hillcrest area of Lucan, west Dublin, last night where he was taken hostage, gardaí said.
At the same time, other members of the gang abducted his wife, drove her away and held her overnight at an unknown location.
The man was then forced to go to work for a security company as normal this morning and ordered to drive a van, packed with cash, to Carlow town where a handover was made shortly before 10am.
His wife was found at 11.30am in the Rathcoole area of west Co Dublin.
The couple were not harmed during the kidnap, but it is understood they were left severely shaken by their ordeal.
Gardaí are looking for a Green Toyota car, registration number 02-D-53074, in connection with the incident. Detectives are also examining three scenes in Carlow town, Rathcoole and Lucan.
It is the third time this year 'tiger' kidnapping gangs have struck. In the first incident, on January 7, three armed men took a security firm worker and two others hostage in Swords, north Co Dublin, before demanding cash be handed over from the company.
The attempted robbery was foiled after two of the hostages managed to escape from a derelict house in the Oldtown area of the town and alert gardaí.
In the second incident, two men targeted a young couple in the quiet village of Muff, Co Donegal.
During the cross-border robbery, the man was held at the home while his 28-year-old partner was forced to hand over cash from McDonalds fast food outlet in Derry's Waterside.
The robberies are known as 'tiger' kidnappings because the raiders stalk their prey to study their movements before striking.
The gangs require a detailed knowledge of bank or security staff including daily journeys, job responsibilities and their families - which may come with inside help from a current or former employee.
The family or friends of a member of staff is often held hostage to force the employee to participate in the robbery.
The worker is forced to enter his workplace as normal and collect cash knowing that one false move could mean loved ones could be harmed.
Art Hostage comments:
If you pull the tail of the Celtic Tiger, don't be surprised if he turns round and bites your hand off.
we have a return of the status quo.
2 million Euros worth of cigarettes seized yesterday, 2 million Euros cash stolen in today's Tiger kidnapping.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Bamford to lead Boston FBI
BOSTON A Massachusetts native has been picked to lead the F-B-I's Boston office.
The Boston Globe reports that Warren T. Bamford -- who has led the F-B-I's Los Angeles counter terrorism division since last March -- will take up new post in February.
Bamford is a 48-year-old native of Lowell who has worked as a sniper, hostage rescuer, anti terrorism specialist and gang task force leader in 21 years with the F-B-I.
Bamford says the search for fugitive mobster James "Whitey" Bulger will remain a priority for the Boston office. And he says he plans to work with local and state law enforcement against gang violence and international terrorism.
Bamford succeeds Kenneth Kaiser, who left last week after three and a half years in Boston to become assistant director of the F-B-I's inspection Division in Washington, D-C.
Bamford says it's "a pleasant surprise" to be coming back to New England. He's a big fan of the Patriots and the Red Sox.
Weekends in the National Guard give a military perspective.
Art Hostage comments:
I wish Warren T Bamford all the very best and remind him he has the good fortune to be the at the helm when finally the Vermeer and Whitey Bulger return to Boston, the later to face the music, the former to be honoured by music.
A pragmatic approach will, I am sure, see exciting, headline grabbing, sensational success and with it hopefully, a new day dawning over the much maligned Boston FBI field office.
The three FBI Amigos, Robert "Billboard Bob" Wittman, Geoff "Ned" Kelly and now, Warren "Buford T", T. Bamford have been hand reared, hand picked, to recover the Gardner Art and collar Whitey Bulger.
Classic Buford T Justice line to his son Junior:
"Junior,I cannot believe you came from my loins" "Sun bitch"
"Let the tournament begin"!!!!
Democratic funding cuts start to affect FBI comfort zone !!
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Asset Recovery Agency Abolished
Art Hostage has learned, Tomorrow,Thursday, the Brit Home Office will anounce the abolition of the Asset Recovery Agency.
The task for recoverying criminal assets will fall to the new Serious Organised Crime Agency.
The deal has been done with Johnathon Powell whereby the sectarian tax demand of $20 million against General Thomas Slab Murphy will be withdrawn discretely, this will allow General Thomas Slab Murphy to order the Vermeer be handed back, hopefully via a confession box.
Politically, Tom Slab Murphy will use some of his wealth to support Gerry McGeough , left, in his attempt at political office.
This is all part of the stategy I have been calling for, to create a Irish Republican political force opposed to Sinn Fein in order to bring Dissident Republicans in from the cold, get them to call ceasefires and engage them in the political process.
This will prevent the Devil from finding work for idle hands.
Hopefully the whole Irish Republican movement will be on ceasefire soon and all aspects of Irish Republicanism will be represented politically, rather than militarily.
General Thomas Slab Murphy is vital for this and that is why he is being called on to help.
As for the Vermeer, My constant bugging Slab has caused him to gain control of the Vermeer and he will produce it when the time is right.
All I can say is, hurry up, as soon as possible please !!
To be continued.................
Friday, January 05, 2007
Double Murder Suspect Dessie O'Hare Sought By Irish Police
The Main Suspect in the double murder of - major drug dealer Martin 'Marlo' Hyland and 20 year old - innocent plumber Anthony Campbell on 12th December 2006 in Finglas. Dublin. Psychotic (INLA) killer Dessie O'Hare is being sought by the Gardai (Irish Police) and may have since fled to Holland or Spain.
Posted by J. P. Anderson at 12:31 AM
Well known drug dealer presumed murdered in Spain
There are reports that a leading Irish criminal based in southern Spain has been murdered.
The man, aged in his 40s and from the Finglas area of Dublin, was believed to be missing for ten days.
Although no body has been found, the Irish Times says Gardai are treating the information seriously.
The man, believed to be one of the biggest suppliers of drugs to Dublin gangs, was an associate of Martin Hyland who was shot dead in Finglas last month.
If confirmed, the Spanish murder would be the fourth of a major Irish drug dealer based abroad.
Battle on for 'Marlo' territory
Three gangs tooling up for new turf war
HE'S dead less than a fortnight, but already criminals are fighting for control of Martin 'Marlo' Hyland's territory in Dublin.
Three factions are believed to be battling for control of the lucrative armed robbery business across the north and west of the city that Hyland (39) and his gang ran prior to his assassination.
In recent years Hyland masterminded a number of high profile robberies on cash and transit vans, pocketing hundreds of thousands of euro needed to bankroll his drug-dealing operation.
Since his murder 11 days ago, three outfits, each led by a formidible criminal, have been planning to fill the void left by his death.
A number of Hyland's old gang have "deserted the cause" since his killing and gardai fear violence in the coming weeks as the other gangs move in on Marlo's business.
The three criminals leading the rival factions are Alan 'Fatpuss' Bradley, jailed armed robber John Daly and a third man from the Kippure area of Finglas who has a lengthy involvement in serious crime.
None of the men are suspects in Hyland's murder.
Alan Bradley attended the dead drug baron's funeral when it was held in Cabra earlier this week.
He is the leader of a criminal gang based in the Cappagh Road area of Finglas and is suspected by gardai of involvement in widespread criminality in the west Dublin area, including armed robbery and drug dealing.
Bradley (32) is currently arranging to pay a Criminal Assets Bureau bill of €350,000, which followed a lengthy investigation into his activities over two years.
A search of waste ground controlled by Bradley in Finglas in October yielded €100,000 of drugs and a quantity of shotgun ammunition. The drugs and ammunition were believed to belong to 'Fatpuss'. Bradley recently relaunched a small car sales business in a bid to raise cash to meet the €750,000 tax demand slammed on him and his brother Wayne by the Criminal Assets Bureau.
As well as selling used cars and scrambler bikes, Bradley controlled a mobile 'van shop' there which he recently closed down.
His rival in crime in the Finglas area is a man who is set for release from prison next year.
John Daly (26) is serving a nine-year sentence in Portlaoise Prison for an armed raid at an Esso station in Finglas in 1999.
Daly was an associate of Declan Curran, the feared armed robber who ran a gang in the Finglas west area and who died in prison two years ago.
Daly, has pledged to return to armed crime on his release from prison.
The third man, in his 30s, is an armed robber feared because of his temper and tendency to use firearms. He is suspected of being behind the murder of John Dillon (53) in Glenties Park in Finglas seven years ago.
He has also engaged in the widespread attempted intimidation of gardai, officers say.
He cannot be named for legal reasons.
Republican Nabbed in Spain
By Mairead Carey
SPANISH police have detained a former leading Republican in connection with a major cigarette smuggling ring in that country.
Gerard “Dickie” O’Neill, who is alleged to have been in charge of the IRA’s southern units when Detective Garda Jerry McCabe was shot dead by the Provisionals in Adare, Co. Limerick in 1996, was arrested at his home in Alicante.
O’Neill fled Ireland after the aborted raid on a postal van in Adare in which McCabe was killed instantly and his colleague injured. It is understood that he has been living in the holiday resort of Alicante for several years.
A warrant had been issued for his arrest in 1998 for alleged membership of the IRA, but last month the Special Criminal Court in Dublin cancelled the warrant after hearing that the senior police officer who could have given evidence against O’Neill was now retired.
O’Neill is the fourth Irish person in the last week to be arrested in connection with cigarette smuggling in Spain. The arrests followed a two-year investigation into smuggling by both British and Spanish police.
Last week, two men were arrested in Malaga, after ¤1 million of cigarettes was found hidden among furniture in two trucks. They were later released on bail.
Another man, Sean Hunt, from Ramilles Road in Ballyfermot, Dublin, was arrested on Monday at a house in the small town of Rojales, south of Alicante.
Three years ago Hunt was the subject of a major investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau but had successfully challenged a High Court decision granting a judgment for ¤1.77 million to the Criminal Assets Bureau for alleged unpaid income tax and VAT.
He had also been arrested in 1995 for the murder of a man in Ballyfermot, which Gardai believed had been carried out by the Provisional IRA.
Art Hostage comments:
This Irish gangster, based in Spain, presumed dead, had access to some gold boxes from the Rothschild robbery, wonder who has these spoils of war now?
Now, just because Dessie O'Hare may be having a well deserved holiday in Spain, don't jump to any conclusions, not until the Vermeer is safely home!!
Hunt for Whitey Bulger still targeting Hub kin
Decision said near on an indictment
By Shelley Murphy, Boston Globe Staff | January 5, 2007
A federal grand jury investigating whether William M. Bulger or his family obstructed efforts to capture his gangster brother, James "Whitey" Bulger , has been extended at least another month, according to two sources familiar with the probe.
Federal prosecutors are nearing a decision on whether there is sufficient evidence to ask the grand jury to indict William Bulger, former president of the Massachusetts Senate and the University of Massachusetts, on perjury or obstruction of justice charges, the sources said.
The investigation is focusing on whether William Bulger, 72, of South Boston, testified truthfully in April 2001 before a federal grand jury that was looking into whether family or friends of the fugitive knew his whereabouts or were helping him evade capture.
The statute of limitations on perjury and obstruction of justice requires that charges be brought within five years, but William Bulger's lawyers agreed to waive the statute to give the grand jury more time to conduct its probe, in hopes that he would be exonerated, sources said. The grand jury has been extended several times since the statute would have expired last April.
Thomas R. Kiley , the lawyer who represents William Bulger, declined to comment yesterday on the investigation. Robert Krekorian, chief of staff for US Attorney Michael J. Sullivan , said, "Obviously we wouldn't confirm nor deny the existence of any grand jury investigation."
William Bulger, who became president of the University of Massachusetts in January 1996, was pressured by Governor Mitt Romney to resign in 2003 after he was publicly grilled about his relationship with his brother by a congressional committee investigating the FBI's mishandling of informants. At the time, Romney said Bulger's answers had often been purposely evasive and that he represented "a cloud" over the university.
Today marks the beginning of Whitey Bulger's 12th year on the run. The longtime FBI informant was warned by his handler, retired FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr., to flee just before his January 1995 federal racketeering indictment. The 77-year-old gangster, one of the FBI's 10 most wanted, is charged with 19 murders. The last confirmed sighting of the fugitive was in London in September 2002, according to the FBI.
William Bulger was subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury in Boston on April 5, 2001, and was granted immunity, meaning that none of his statements could be used against him as long as he told the truth.
According to a transcript obtained by the Globe four years ago, he testified that he had spoken with his brother only once since he became a fugitive, during a pre arranged telephone call he received at the Quincy home of a friend in January 1995 and that he felt no obligation to help authorities catch him.
When asked if he knew whether his younger brother, John "Jack" Bulger , had been in contact with their fugitive brother or his girlfriend, Catherine Greig , William Bulger said, "I have no knowledge of that," according to a transcript of the grand jury testimony obtained by the Globe.
"With respect to your office at the Senate and your office at UMass, do you have any reason to believe that any personnel or staff in any office you've working in since January of 1995 has been contacted in any way by your brother or Catherine Greig?" the prosecutor asked.
"Not that I'm aware of," Bulger responded.
The current grand jury investigation is focusing on whether Bulger gave false testimony to the grand jury in 2001 and, in fact, knew about a 1996 call that Whitey Bulger made to the home of a Senate court officer, while John Bulger and William Bulger's son-in-law were present, according to sources.
In a legal battle that went all the way to the US Supreme Court last year, William Bulger's former law partner, Thomas E. Finnerty , was ordered to testify before the current grand jury about whether Bulger was involved in the earlier alleged plot to thwart the investigation into contacts with his brother, according to sources and court documents.
Finnerty allegedly advised a client, Senate court officer Paul I. Dooley, to lie to a federal grand jury in 1998 about a telephone call he received two years earlier from Whitey Bulger, according to sources and court records.
The FBI knew that either Whitey Bulger or Greig had called Dooley's home because investigators had tracked calling cards used by the couple to make dozens of calls to homes and businesses in the Boston area during the summer and fall of 1996.
However, Dooley lied to the grand jury and didn't disclose that three others were present at his South Boston home for the pre-arranged call: John Bulger, then a clerk magistrate at Boston Juvenile Court; William Bulger's son-in-law, Michael J. Hurley, who was and still is an assistant clerk in the Senate, and Whitey Bulger's associate Kevin J. Weeks, according to sources.
The presence of the others at Dooley's house that day remained a secret from the government until three years ago, even though Weeks became a government witness and John Bulger pleaded guilty in April 2003 to obstruction of justice and perjury for denying he had contact with his fugitive brother or knew about a Florida safe deposit box. He spent six months in prison.
Then in 2003, around the same time federal prosecutors subpoenaed William Bulger's children to testify about possible contacts with the fugitive, Finnerty allegedly advised Dooley to go back to the grand jury and recant his earlier false testimony, according to sources and court records.
When prosecutors tried to force Finnerty to testify, he refused, arguing that attorney-client privilege prohibited him from revealing his conversations with Dooley and William Bulger, who was also a client, according to sources and court records.
The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit found in July 2005 that an unnamed lawyer, identified by sources as Finnerty, lost his attorney-client privilege for involvement in an effort "to facilitate corruption and frustration of the grand jury inquiry."
The Supreme Court refused a petition by unnamed parties, identified by sources as lawyers for William Bulger, letting the appeals court ruling stand.
Finnerty couldn't be reached for comment. John Bulger declined to comment.
When testifying before the congressional committee in June 2003, William Bulger said he hadn't aided his brother since he became a fugitive. He told the court he had no information that could lead to his brother's arrest.
In the past year, the Bulger Fugitive Task Force has chased leads throughout the world, including in Chicago, Ireland, and California. An unconfirmed tip put him in a San Diego movie theater screening "The Departed" this fall .
Art Hostage comments:
If the FBI have obtained the photographs of William Bulger meeting his brother, James Whitey Bulger in the West of Ireland, taken by British Military Intelligence, then William Bulger could be facing serious charges.
However, if the Brits have not released these photo's and the accompanying intelligence reports about Whitey Bulger in Ireland, the Grand Jury will be deprived of all the evidence.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
We found Whitey Bulger . . . and he’s still missing
Anniversary party: The FBI celebrates 12 years of failure
By DAVID BOERI
January 4, 2007 10:18:18 AM
“What do his legs look like?”
I’d never been asked that before. I was taking a call from San Diego about Whitey Bulger. I get a lot of calls about Bulger, but this one was different.
“I need to know what his legs look like. I’m pretty sure it’s him.”
I knew Whitey carried a knife strapped to his ankle — investigators found a Velcro ankle strap at one of his places. I knew the cops going through the trash outside his Quincy place back in the ’80s figured out he was lactose intolerant. I knew his vital stats better than I know my daughters’. But I didn’t know what Bulger’s legs looked like.
I figured I’d better find out. The guy I was talking to in San Diego, who had identified himself as a law-enforcement agent, clearly had an eye for detail.
“He has blue eyes. I got close to him as he was leaving the theater and looked right into them. He was wearing a white shirt — an Oxford button-down — white shoes — New Balance — and a floppy fisherman’s-bucket hat, and shorts.”
The caller reached me a day or two after he’d gone to a matinee screening of the Martin Scorsese movie The Departed in downtown San Diego on October 6, 2006. He was so sure that in the audience he’d spotted the South Boston gangster upon whom Jack Nicholson’s character was supposed to be based that afterward he’d maneuvered his way to the front of the crowd to get a good look at the man’s face. Seeing the man’s eyes were blue, he’d tailed him for four blocks before losing him near the trolley, he said.
That he’d lost sight of a 77-year-old man was embarrassing enough — I figured the guy wouldn’t have made that up. I was impressed by his initiative; he had the makings of a real fugitive hunter. While following the look-alike, he’d called the San Diego bureau of the FBI, and that afternoon, an agent had pulled tape from a surveillance camera situated in the mall outside the theater. It showed the backside of someone going down an escalator who, the agent told him, had the same mannerisms as Bulger. ( Click here to view the surveillance video .)
Now, a couple days later, my caller was seething with frustration. He’d expected that the bureau would help him flood the area — he thought he knew where Bulger had gone. He was ready to go. But the FBI wasn’t returning his calls or e-mails. Showing still more initiative, he’d gone back to the mall, retraced the path his subject had taken, flashed his credentials, and found five cameras that had captured the look-alike’s image on tape, face forward and even in close-up. He was already searching the area he thought his suspect was headed for on the trolley. He was eagerly waiting for agents to join him. He was eager to describe the look-alike’s facial features to see if it was a match.
“I’m a freaking cop and they’re not returning my calls,” he complained. The FBI didn’t return his calls for the next 36 days.
I didn’t know what Bulger’s legs looked like, but I told my man in San Diego I knew people who probably did, and that I’d get back to him. I was skeptical he’d seen Bulger, but I knew enough to take him seriously. “His legs are freckled and he has no hair on them,” he told me.
As it turns out, Whitey’s family, lovers, and rape victims may be the only ones who’ve ever seen the gangster’s legs.
“He never once wore shorts when I was with him,” said Kevin Weeks, and as his right-hand man for 20 years, Weeks had seen Bulger in all sorts of positions: strangling a woman with his hands, blowing a victim’s brains out, and casually and cruelly killing another victim over the course of hours . . . but never in shorts.
The California sun has been known to loosen up a lot of people, however, and maybe “Jim,” as Bulger’s friends know him, had unburdened himself of both killing and clothing conventions. Perhaps he’s shed the long pants as easily as he discarded the 19 murder indictments and the 18 other killings Weeks says the fugitive owned up to one night. Maybe that was Whitey in shorts.
But the FBI wasn’t calling my man in San Diego, who now had a collection of videos and images of the subject that the bureau didn’t even know about. The fact that his Bulger look-alike hadn’t taken his hat off in the movie theater had my caller convinced and pumped him to go looking.
“They don’t even call me,” my West Coast contact fumed. “They bungle-f’d the whole thing.”
When he talked about the San Diego Bureau agent assigned to investigate Bulger sightings in Southern California, he was blunt: “She couldn’t solve a murder if it occurred in front of her.”
The Irish distraction
Perhaps the FBI and the Bulger Task Force were too emotionally invested in their Irish leads to care much about San Diego. Whitey fever had them in its clutches this year when the Irish Garda notified them that they had a Whitey look-alike they’d been watching, and they had him on video and audio tape. They were quite confident (70 percent confident, they claimed) they had their man.
In Boston, the FBI called an old Boston cop in from retirement in the early fall to check out the Irish tape, since not one person in the current Bulger Task Force had ever seen Whitey in person. Apart from what they’d seen on a few frames of video, they’d never seen him walk either.
The cop came in and saw someone who didn’t look or sound like Bulger — the voice was too high, he says, too whiny, too Irish in its brogue. He was noncommittal, but the surveillance operation in Ireland continued, apparently undimmed by the cop’s assessment, until the Garda and the bureau moved in on the Bulger-who-wasn’t and the Irish illusion was popped like an overblown balloon.
Back in Boston, the old cop had walked out of the bureau into the fresh air after seeing the video and joined the ranks of other FBI outsiders who’ve worked on or with the bureau’s Bulger Task Force and who are convinced the bureau is totally incapable of finding its man.
2006 wasn’t a very good year for the Bulger Task Force. But then again, none of them have been very good years . . . unless you consider them from the vantage point of the agents involved. Task force members have traveled the world to A-list destinations (including England, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Thailand, Brazil, and a place in Uruguay called “the St. Tropez of South America”) to check out Bulger look-alikes. (At the Great Wall of China, one agent on the Bulger squad posed for a photograph with a wanted poster of Whitey, as was noted in a publication for retired FBI agents: “Dave has been to 18 countries in the chase for Whitey . . . as he admits, not bad for a kid from Hyde Park.”)
At the beginning of the New Year, in what’s become as much a local tradition as The Nutcracker and Christmas at the Pops, January 5 marks another sort of Boston pageant, though one as cold as the bleak midwinter. For on this Twelfth Night, while the Christian world marks the coming of the Magi, Boston marks the going of James “Whitey” Bulger, the serial-killing Scrooge, who became a fugitive on Twelfth Night 12 years ago after receiving a tip to screw from his long-time FBI-handler John Connolly.
You’ll see the three wise men on camels in front yards all across Greater Boston, but you’ll see wise guy Whitey only on wanted posters — a situation that continues to pose a public-relations disaster for the local FBI. As “the founder of the feast,” Bulger was made a top-echelon secret informant decades ago. The bureau then protected him and his associate Steven “the Rifleman” Flemmi from the State Police, the DEA, and the Boston cops while Bulger had the bureau’s own agents working for him.
“Christmas is for cops and kids,” Whitey used to say as he packaged money and gifts for agents, recalls Bulger associate Kevin Weeks. In the same spirit of giving, Weeks told me, Bulger had six FBI agents “he used to claim he could call on any time, and they would be willing to hop in the car with a machine gun and go on a hit with him.”
If the FBI had tracked down the fugitive Bulger in 1995, hauled him back to Boston, fumigated the bureau with a full and open accounting of every agent who’d ever helped him, then put his head on a spike atop the building, the bureau might now be clear of stain and public suspicion. Instead, the FBI has spent anniversary after anniversary in the spotlight, enduring and the perennial question: does the FBI really want to catch Bulger?
The only possible consolation to be found in that query is its implied faith in the FBI’s competence. To the agents involved in the case, it must be strangely comforting that the people who wonder if the bureau is protecting Whitey Bulger still outnumber those who insist the FBI couldn’t find a rock on the coast of Maine.
In the early years, and then again on the 10th anniversary of the day Bulger booked, the bureau tried to make the Yuletide gay by rolling out claims of progress in pursuing a man they hadn’t come close to catching. These days, under the protective cover of the US Attorney’s office, which insists on clearing all press inquiries, the bureau maintains the silence of someone nursing a hangover.
Not that the embarrassment of failing to find its fugitive has marred the career movement of FBI supervisors. While Bulger’s been on the lam, they’ve been on the climb. Since Whitey split, three “SACS” or special agents in charge and an assistant SAC have come to town, each one vowing to catch him — “There’s a 95 percent chance we’re going to find him,” Charles Prouty assured reporters in 2002. And after not finding him, each one has left Boston with a promotion.
This year, there is something new and different about the bureau’s observation of the anniversary. Downtown at the Omni Parker House on January 5, over London broil, grilled-chicken provence, or baked Boston scrod, some 200 FBI agents from across New England, as well as the whole range of federal law-enforcement agencies and the US Attorney’s Office, will be honoring Ken Kaiser, the latest FBI special agent in charge to leave town for a promotion in Washington. Appropriately enough, Kaiser’s farewell will come within what Bulger would have considered “grease-gun” range of the old Federal Courthouse where he officially became a fugitive on an arctic January night in 1995.
Back in 2003, Kaiser fairly swaggered into Boston telling the Herald: “There is a new sheriff in town.” Calling Bulger’s capture his mandate and top priority, Kaiser told the Boston Globe, “I cannot move the Boston division forward until I get him caught.” Tougher still, this to the Herald about Bulger: “It’s gum on my shoe and I’m going to get it off. . . . We are going to catch him.”
All the tough talk set a high bar that Kaiser failed to clear, but don’t expect any of his adulatory guests to recite those words back to him over scrod. And what’s truly breathtaking is that the FBI and its federal-enforcement cohorts — even US Attorney Michael Sullivan is expected to attend — will honor Kaiser on the anniversary associated with what a congressional committee has called “one of the greatest law-enforcement failures in history.”
Absent from the guest list of backslappers this Friday will be the families of Bulger’s victims, along with the cops the bureau sandbagged when they tried to arrest Bulger during his reign of terror. For them, pairing a fond farewell to Kaiser with the fugitive’s farewell 12 years earlier epitomizes arrogance, ineptitude, indifference, or all three.
“It’s so blatant. It’s so in your face,” says David Wheeler. His father, Roger, a legitimate and wealthy businessman, was shot between the eyes on the orders of Whitey Bulger and former Boston FBI agent H. Paul Rico in the middle of the day in 1981 in far-away Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to prosecutors. Following the sensational murder of Tulsa’s largest employer, Oklahoma investigators came to Boston, but they were stonewalled by both the FBI and federal prosecutors. The Wheeler murder went unsolved for 20 years, like so many others by junior G-men Whitey and Stevie. (After being charged in Tulsa, in 2004, Rico died in jail.)
Over the phone, David Wheeler poses this question for Kaiser: “So where’s Bulger? You had a job to do. You didn’t do it. So why are you getting a promotion?”
Chris McIntyre, a surviving relative of another Bulger victim, says the January 5 luncheon is like “spitting in our face.”
In 1984, after getting a tip from the FBI, Bulger and Flemmi kidnapped Chris’s brother John, who’d been cooperating with the government. Bulger strangled McIntyre with a boat rope while he was tied to a chair, and when he failed to die, Whitey shot him in the back of the head. Flemmi pulled his teeth out with a pair of pliers and they threw him into a hole for 15 years. Though the McIntyres recently won three million dollars in a wrongful-death suit against the FBI, the horror doesn’t go away.
“I really believed Kaiser when he said he was the ‘new sheriff in town.’ He turned out to be the same old stuff. They don’t want to catch Bulger. They’re worse today than they were 20 years ago, because they’re covering up all that crap.”
From the Parker House to the old Federal Courthouse in Post Office Square, it’s only a few more blocks — also within range of a machine gun from Bulger’s arsenal — to the end of High Street and the spot where the State Police and DEA team spent January 5, 1995, looking for Steven Flemmi. They had a warrant for his arrest, and that night when they spotted him, they executed it with a gun to his head and a set of cuffs. Arresting Bulger was supposed to be the FBI’s assignment.
“What did the bureau tell you about Bulger?” I asked retired State Police major Tom Duffy, who helped arrest Flemmi.
“That they had Jimmy in pocket,” Duffy answered.
“ ‘In pocket’? Do those words ring a little hollow all these years later?” I asked.
Duffy almost spit: “He’s still not in pocket.”
Bulger wasn’t “in pocket,” Duffy and the world now know, because he’d been warned off by former FBI star John Connolly, who got the leak of the secret indictment and pending arrest from FBI supervisor Dennis O’Callaghan, the number-two agent in the office.
Don’t count on finding Duffy, former colonel Tom Foley, detective lieutenant Steve Johnson, or DEA agent Dan Doherty at the table to toast Kaiser. They were the four horsemen who led a tight unit of state cops that built the case against Bulger in the face of the FBI’s resistance. And they take a dim view of celebrating anything on January 5.
“The bureau’s image would be better off if they ran a fundraiser instead and used the money as a down payment on a civil settlement with the families of Bulger’s and Flemmi’s many victims,” Duffy says.
When told about the timing of Friday’s tribute to Kaiser, Bulger’s former leg breaker Kevin Weeks did what everyone except the victims’ families did. He laughed. On that January 5, in 1995, after Weeks learned about Flemmi’s arrest on the TV news, he paged Bulger, who had been on the road since Weeks had relayed Connolly’s warnings to him the last week of December 1994.
From personal experience, Weeks knows how inept and indifferent the bureau was as it tried to snare Bulger in those early years. In what could have been a fatal mistake, Bulger left his Mercury Grand Marquis in Long Island garage owned by relatives of Weeks’s in early 1995, before taking off in another Grand Marquis. The original Marquis sat there for six years, untouched. The bureau did come across it, in 1996, but never tried to process or fingerprint the car until the State Police requested it in 2001. Before turning it over, FBI agents checked it out, reported it wasn’t worth processing, and gave it to the State Police who promptly found a band-aid with Bulger’s thumbprint and enough blood for a sample identifying his DNA for the first time. And under the seat the Staties found a handbill for an Irish festival in Texas that had long since passed.
“Maybe Kaiser thinks he’s going to catch Whitey on the 5th,” laughed Weeks. Weeks took a plea deal from the feds a few years ago, took the state cops to Bulger’s burial sites, revealed his rancid secrets, did a stint in prison, and returned to the streets of South Boston last year.
Whether there’s an empty chair awaiting him or not, count on Bulger being there at the Parker House as much as Banquo’s ghost at the banquet.
“I don’t think Kaiser even knows it’s the anniversary or that the bureau pays any attention to the day,” says Bob Fitzpatrick, once the number-two guy in the FBI’s Boston office.
“They don’t give a shit in the bureau. Kaiser is already thinking about his new assignment. Bulger isn’t his problem anymore. They think Bulger is history. It’s over.”
Fitzpatrick has one of the bright roles in the FBI/Bulger scandal. A professional profiler, Fitzpatrick questioned Bulger in 1981, determined he was a psychopath, and recommended that the bureau dump him. Fitzpatrick lost. As supervisor, he testified in court this year, he found that people in the bureau were leaking information to Bulger, and worse yet, that one of the leakers was the special agent in charge! He reported them to headquarters.
“The bureau didn’t want to hear that their own people were leaking to the bad guys.” Before long, the tables were turned on Fitzpatrick. It appears the bureau even told his subordinates, the very people he had reported as the leaks, and Fitzpatrick was driven out.
“Bulger doesn’t matter to them,” he says. “The bureau’s job is terrorism now. Kaiser and the agents there now weren’t responsible for what happened with Bulger. They don’t own that shit. That’s the way they look at it. Bulger’s history and it’s time to move on.”
A History of Violence
Decades later, on hot days people in the North End could still smell the molasses that poured down Commercial Street in a high killing wave in 1919, when a giant molasses tank exploded in what became known as the Great Molasses Flood. History sticks. And the far-reaching scandal of what happened inside the Boston bureau of the FBI, involving murder, violence, and the corruption of a State House and a city — its culture, its law enforcement, and its media — can’t be washed away or wished away with toasts to a departing supervisor.
It sticks because Bulger is history and what happened within the Boston bureau of the FBI is history, “as sordid and rotten as any set of circumstances I’ve ever heard of,” retired State Superior Court judge Robert Barton told me a few years ago.
“You can’t have a society when people who uphold the laws violate them,” he said. “The FBI will have to live with a black mark for a generation in my humble opinion.”
But both the bureau and US Attorney Michael Sullivan continue to proclaim they are winning the war. “History doesn’t help us capture James Bulger. It distracts us from our purpose,” Sullivan pronounced in 2002 on the eve of the eighth anniversary of Bulger’s escape from justice.
When Sullivan said that, he threw the weight of his office behind defending the FBI from continuing questions as to why, given the bureau’s history of failure, the job of finding Bulger shouldn’t be turned over to the far more expert US Marshal’s Service. And he rebuffed the State Police/DEA team that had paired up with the federal prosecutor Fred Wyshak in cracking the case, finding the bodies, and turning Weeks and the killing lot of Bulger’s mobsters into government witnesses. That team’s efforts have been scattered to the winds.
“They were taken off the case upon the FBI’s insistence, when Kaiser was in charge, and told they could not conduct a fugitive hunt,” says Tom Foley, the former colonel of the State Police who led the team.
“To take your best people and move them further away instead of putting them in charge of directing the fugitive hunt is a huge mistake,” Foley observes. “The FBI is relying on agents who are new to the area and even new to the FBI. It’s like nothing changed.”
Yet at the bureau, Kaiser touts his improvement of the FBI’s relationships with law-enforcement agencies as a great accomplishment.
“If the FBI were a football team, they’d have the best offensive line in the league,” says former special agent Bob Fitzpatrick. “They never stop attacking.”
Back in San Diego, the cop who’d spotted the look-alike was hungry and driven in the best tradition of fugitive hunters. When he finally got through to the FBI’s specialist in investigating Bulger sightings in Southern California, he says, she was dumbfounded that he had pulled the five images of the Bulger look-alike from surveillance cameras while she had only the one. She’d spent hours looking through video and missed them all.
“I don’t think she knew what he looked like,” the cop told me. And because she waited until October 21 to get a better download from one of the surveillance cameras, the three-week-old video had already been erased, he says.
Instead, the agent distributed a still photo of Bulger to a group of Navy Seals, in case they spotted him because they train on the beach so much. The photo was old vintage, he says, when the bureau first handed it out in 1995.
Was it Bulger? One long-time associate who’s seen the video clips says he’s “70-30 it’s not.” A little too thin, a little too young, the guy is wearing shorts, after all. And there’s something else.
“On the escalator, the guy is holding onto the handrails. I was with him 25 years and he would never touch the handrails. He was always worried about germs.”
Worrying about germs was a luxury when he was back here in Boston, because he never had to worry about the FBI then. And he may not have to now.
Back in San Diego the other day, the cop told me he now wishes he’d tackled the guy and put him in a headlock. Meanwhile, that FBI agent in San Diego has gotten a promotion.
“Is it fair to say you have no clue where Whitey Bulger is?” I once asked Kaiser’s predecessor Charles Prouty.
“I’d have to say yes,” he answered. It was an honest answer, but not as candid as what another FBI supervisor told me in February 2000.
“The fact that he is still a fugitive after so many years is an embarrassment to every law-enforcement officer we work with,” said James Burkett. As I was leaving after the interview, the FBI spokeswoman warned me I better not use that because “embarrassment” wasn’t an operational statement when talking about Bulger.
Apparently, it still isn’t.
David Boeri, a long-time reporter for WCVB-TV (Channel 5), now covers local news and public affairs in-depth for WBUR radio (90.9 FM). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Works of art worth J yen 150 million/ U.S.$120 million/£65 million, stolen from Nara museum
Wednesday, January 3, 2007 at 19:12 EST
NARA — A total of 23 works of art estimated to be worth around 153.6 million yen have been stolen from Yamato Gyokusenkaku museum in Sakurai, Nara Prefecture, police said Wednesday.
The stolen works from the privately-run institution include a scroll picture by Japanese painter Okyo Maruyama (1733-1795) valued at 50 million yen and 12 scroll pictures by two other Japanese painters — Taikan Yokoyama (1868-1958) and Gyokudo Kawai (1873-1957). Two plates, three vases and a water pitcher made by Japanese potter Kenkichi Tomimoto were also stolen.
The museum was closed after an employee locked the doors at around 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, according to the police. When an employee reported to work at around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, the entrance door on the first floor and a glass window of an exhibition room on the second floor were found burst open and the exhibits were gone, the police said.
Art Hostage comments:
Seems like this could be the Japanese version of the Gardner art Heist.
Hope the FBI Art crime team are packing as we speak, before going to Japan to offer their assistance.
Possible that a Japanese version of Whitey Bulger will be offered these works of art in the near future.
Art Hostage recommends that the first suspect must be the Japanese "Yazuka"Gangster who orchestrated the the big art theft in France some years ago, having been in prison there, and after making contact with a art crime gang. His name escapes me for the moment, but he was convicted of handling the stolen artworks, when they turned up in Japan I think.
If no breakthrough can be made initially, then the Japanese Whitey Bulger will succumb to a sting involving our very own, FBI Agent "Billboard Bob Wittman"
To be prepared for this future Japanese sting, "Billboard" Bob Wittman has been on the horn to "Dairy Queen" and ordered large helpings of ice cream.
Once Billboard Bob Wittman has gained the necessary weight, he can then move into character as a Japanese/American Sumo size art collector for the sting to get back the stolen art.
For those who know FBI Agent "Billboard" Bob Wittman, the visual of him wearing a sumo outfit will be a source of amusement.
Upon another note, it will be interesting to see how pragmatic Japanese authorities are in trying to recover the stolen art.
FBI Art Crime Team Head for strategy meeting over Japanese Gardner Art Heist