In Boston, the local mob (under the leadership of fugitive James “Whitey” Bulger) was so powerful that it even controlled the local branch of the “Untouchable” FBI. One of their lead agents, John Connolly, was on Bulger’s payroll as well as a childhood pal of the gangster (whose brother Wiliam Bulger dominated state politics, eventually rising to Senate President). While pretending to have Whitey as his informer, Connolly was instead Bulger’s man inside the FBI, tipping him off to dangers to his regime.
Including the names of those who were planning on testifying against Bulger.
One of those men was a fisherman named John McIntyre, who was planning on informing on Bulger’s involvement in smuggling weapons into Ireland for the IRA. Connolly found out about it and tipped off Bulger, who had McIntyre kidnapped and then personally tortured him to death.
McIntyre’s mother never forgot her son. She filed suit against the FBI for their role in his murder, and now she’s finally received some small measure of justice. A US District Court judge has ordered the Bureau to pay the woman 3.1 million dollars in damages.
Connolly and most of Bulger’s gang (those still alive) are currently behind bars. But there won’t be a final reckoning for the whole sordid affair until Whitey himself has been brought to justice for the (at conservative reckoning) two dozen murders he personally committed, the countless more he ordered or permitted, and all the lives he ruined while he ran the Boston underworld (and his brother, coincidentally, the state government).
But it’s a damned good start.
(Update: yesterday was a rough day for me. I kept messing things up here. Here’s the link to the Boston Herald story.)