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

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bulger's former crime partner testifies about multiple murders Whitey was involved in

This courtroom sketch depicts Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi testifying Friday about a string of murders in the 1970s and ‘80s. He says reputed mobster James "Whitey" Bulger was involved in each.

The once-loyal partner of accused Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger took the stand Friday and rattled off details of multiple murders he said Bulger was involved in, either planning them, ordering them or committing them himself.

Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi, 79, gave a rapid-fire recounting of Bulger’s alleged role in a string of killings in the 1970s and ‘80s when the two men were leaders of the violent Winter Hill Gang.

Bulger is seen looking away as Flemmi testifies in court on Thursday.

Flemmi, who is serving three life terms for 10 murders, choked up while describing how Bulger murdered Deborah Davis, a striking 26-year-old blonde that Flemmi said he “loved but was not in love with.”

The murder occurred in Flemmi’s mother’s house. Flemmi lured his girlfriend there, he said.

Flemmi, upper right, testified that Bulger murdered his girlfriend Deborah Davis, a woman who Flemmi said he loved.

“Bulger was holding her, strangling her down to the basement,” Flemmi. "When he got to the basement, she was dead. I laid her down and he went upstairs and laid down,” he said.

He later wrapped Davis's body in a tarp and buried it near the Neponset River on the Boston and Quincy line near the spot where the pair had buried another murder victim, he testified.

Evidence from the Whitey Bulger Trial.

Bulger wanted Davis dead because he worried about her impact on their business, Flemmi said.

She was also aware the two mobsters were working closely with corrupt FBI agent John Connelly, who took bribes in exchange for sharing information with the two mobsters.

This blood-stained front seat was presented as evidence against Bulger, the reputed former head of the mostly Irish-American Winter Hill.

“It affected me and it will affect me until the day I die,” Flemmi said of his girlfriend’s murder.

Flemmi said Connolly was important to their criminal activities. He provided the mobsters with tips about fellow criminals, investigations and indictments, even helping them avoid indictment in a race-fixing case by persuading his superiors at the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office that the two men were key to a federal investigation into the Mafia.

Revere, Mass., bar owner Eddie Connors is shown lying dead in a phone booth in this photo used as evidence during the trial of accused mob boss Bulger.

In return, the mob pals gave Connolly gifts. When he went on vacation, they dropped him an envelope filled with $5,000 in cash. At Christmas he got a similar present.

Over time, Connolly was paid an estimated $230,000, all of which came from a special “Ex Fund” set up by the mobsters to pay for guns and other equipment and take care of payoffs and bribes, Flemmi said.

Beginning second from left, Bulger, witness Richard O’Brien and attorney J.W. Carney, with, seated outside the bar, Steve Davis, brother of an alleged victim of Bulger, and Bulger's brother Jackie Bulger at trial.

But Connolly was careless: He began dressing better than other FBI agents in his office, drove a nicer car, owned two homes and bought a boat, all on a salary that didn't afford him such luxuries.

When Bulger found out about the boat, he became angry and told Connolly that he would have to sell it, Flemmi said.

Hitman-turned-government witness John Martorano testified during Bulger's trial at the Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston.

“[Bulger] said, ‘You are being too ostentatious and you are drawing attention to us,’” Flemmi recalled.

Yet Connolly wasn't the only one taking payoffs. Flemmi said at least five other agents and a Massachusetts state trooper were also on the mobsters’ payroll, including two of Connolly's supervisors, John Morris and H. Paul Rico.

The mobsters paid them handsomely and in return got information that helped in their criminal enterprise, Flemmi explained.

On one occasion, however, the pair got something more — a case of plastic explosives delivered by an FBI agent who received a $2,500 payout.

“It was a surprise when we got it,” said Flemmi, adding that half of the case was sent to the Irish Republican Army in Ireland while the remainder went to another associate in Charlestown, Mass.

Bulger, 83, has been implicated in 19 murders and faces 32 counts of racketeering and extortion. He’s pleaded not guilty to all charges.



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