Thursday, 31 October 2013

James "Whitey" Bulger

This man was at the heart of a major scandal involving corruption in that most hallowed of American institutions, the FBI.  This involved two ruthless killers being informants for the Bureau, whilst the agents of that particular field office kept them notified of any moves that may have been planned against them, turning a blind eye to the serious crimes they committed but the ultimate betrayal of the ideal of J. Edgar Hoover, was turning a blind eye to numerous murders committed by this duo.  The men in question were James J. "Whitey Bulger and his sidekick, Steve "The Rifleman" Flemmi, and it was the Boston office of the FBI that protected them.  The lead cop involved was John Connolly.

    The official reason given for protecting Bulger and his mob was that they were going to help the Bureau break up the Boston arm of La Cosa Nostra.  Bulger was part of the Boston crime scene that included the Mob, the Winter Hill gang, and other smaller gangs. His stronghold area was known as "Southie" or South Boston.  Bulger and Connolly knew each other in their younger days, as they both lived in the same neighbourhood, and Connolly played on the fact that it was he who recruited Bulger & Flemmi as informers, but the reality was that if the Mob were taken out, it left the field clear for Bulger to control Boston, with the Bureau`s protection.  Numerous murders followed with a lack of investigation by the Bureau but one man eventually turned, and that was Kevin Weeks, who had been up to his neck in the crimes with Bulger & Flemmi.  He knew not to talk to the Bureau.  Flemmi and other associates were arrested but Bulger vanished with his girlfriend.  

    Bulger remained at large for twenty years, travelling around the world.  He was reputedly seen here in Manchester but disappeared before Police could find him.  He was eventually arrested in California in 2011, after twenty years in the FBI`s "Ten Most Wanted".  The film "The Departed" with Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio & Matt Damon, is loosely based on Bulger.