Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Relatives of victims fear gangster will tell biased version of his story

Cover of "The Departed (Widescreen Editio...The families of James “Whitey’’ Bulger’s alleged victims say it’s upsetting, but not surprising that the aging gangster has invited Hollywood actor and producer Mark Wahlberg to visit him at the Plymouth jail.
“It’s disgusting that he would be asking someone to come up and hear his story for profit,’’ said Billy St. Croix, whose sister was allegedly killed by Bulger and St. Croix’s gangster father, Stephen “The Rifleman’’ Flemmi.
Wahlberg, a Dorchester native, startled listeners during an interview Friday on The Hill-Man Morning Show on WAAF radio when he revealed that he’d been asked to a jailhouse meeting with Bulger.
“He wants me to come down and visit,’’ Wahlberg said on the show. “Maybe he’ll give me the exclusive rights to tell his story. ’Cause he knows, you know, we can do it better than anybody else.’’
Wahlberg, who starred in “The Departed,’’ in which Jack Nicholson played a Bulger-inspired character, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
During his radio interview, he said his heart went out to anyone who was hurt or lost a loved one, but added, “If there’s a story to be told there and, you know, we can do it in the way we want in the way that we best see fit, then, you know, then it’s certainly something that we would explore.’’
St. Croix, who has known Bulger since the 1970s, said the gangster’s overture to the movie actor and producer is vintage Bulger.
“I think as usual this seems to be Jimmy’s ego at play,’’ said St. Croix, whose sister, Deborah Hussey, was allegedly strangled by Flemmi and Bulger in 1985. “Mark Wahlberg is going to hear a very biased story.’’
St. Croix said he understood why Wahlberg would want to meet the gangster, who is awaiting trial in 19 killings, but said his advice to him was: “Be sensitive to people impacted by him and don’t be manipulated. He reached out for that reason because he’s trying to control the situation.’’
J.W. Carney Jr., a Boston lawyer who represents Bulger, declined to comment yesterday.
Bulger, 82, a longtime FBI informant, fled Boston shortly before his 1995 federal racketeering indictment.
He was captured in June in Santa Monica, Calif., after more than 16 years on the run.
Bulger is being held at the Plymouth County House of Correction, where visitors must pass a background check and be preapproved before meeting inmates.
Steve Davis, whose 26-year-old sister was allegedly strangled by Bulger in 1981, said it would be insulting to the victims’ families if federal and state officials allow Wahlberg to visit Bulger.
“He isn’t going to tell the truth,’’ Davis said. “He’ going to try to make himself look good on the screen through Wahlberg.’’
Patricia Donahue, whose husband, Michael, was an innocent bystander allegedly gunned down by Bulger in 1982, said, “Whitey doesn’t seem to be talking to anyone. Why does he all of a sudden want to talk to Markie Wahlberg? Does he think he’s going to make him out to be a great person?’’
Donahue, of Dorchester, said her family has no control over whether Wahlberg talks to Bulger, but, “I just hope Wahlberg does the right thing. I think he should let people know the truth. . . . He is what he is and not a hero of any sort.’’
Bulger’s overture to Wahlberg comes on the heels of an announcement that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are collaborating on a movie about Bulger.
There have also been many books written about the Bulger scandal, including some written by his former underworld associates.
Davis said he’s working with a screenwriter to tell the story of his family’s suffering at the hands of Bulger and Flemmi and would like to meet with Wahlberg.
Thomas Foley, the former Massachusetts State Police colonel who helped build the criminal case against Bulger and is putting the finishing touches on his own book about it, said the Bulger story should be told from the perspective of those who were hurt by him.
“The guy’s life should not be glorified,’’ Foley said. “I know whatever he’s going to talk about is going to be about him and a way to justify his actions.’’
St. Croix, who cooperated with the government against Bulger and Flemmi and is working on a book about his own life, said the focus needs to stay on the victims.
“Let’s not turn this into a mockery,’’ he said.



Post a Comment