Howie Carr: Whitey Bulger Went Out ‘With A Whimper’
BOSTON (CBS) – Few people know more about Whitey Bulger and his place in the Boston mob, than Howie Carr of the Boston Herald. He has written two books about the Bulgers and other Boston mob figures. WBZ-TV’s David Robichaud got his perspective on Whitey’s capture.
Did you ever think you’d see this day?
I thought I’d see this day, but I thought he was going to be arrested over in Europe. I had no idea he was in the United States again. He hadn’t been seen in the country since 1996. No one saw him in the U.S. in 16 years, and they catch him in L.A. of all places. La-La Land.
There was no shootout, Cody Jarrett ‘come and get me coppers’. There was none of that. He went out not with a bang, but a whimper.
WBZ-TV’s David Robichaud reports
This is a strange position for the FBI? What kind of dirt could he potentially have on them?
Sure, he’s got some dirt on some old time agents: H. Paul Rico is dead; [John] Connolly is about to begin serving his murder sentence in Florida; [John] Morris has got an immunity agreement.
All the corrupt agents are all either dead or gone one way or another. These are the young guys; they gotta be ecstatic about this.
All the people he dealt with are long gone.
Can there be justice at this point? He’s 81-years-old.
I don’t think there’ll be ultimate justice. He probably doesn’t have long to live. He had a heart condition when he left and they don’t usually last too long after get nailed.
Photos: Whitey Bulger Through The Years
It’s some closure. At least he’s not running around. You don’t think of enjoying himself somewhere anymore. I would say the victims’ families are pretty happy.
One guy that’s gotta be pretty sad is his dear friend Kevin Weeks, known as ‘Two Weeks’. Two Weeks is now gonna have to testify against him. I’ll bet Whitey’s gonna be very disappointed when he sees Weeks; he weighs about 300 pounds now. I think Whitey will say ‘Hey Kevin. What happened? When’d ya stop working out?’
Did you believe that Whitey was alive?
I always thought he was alive. I always figured if he was dead someone would make a call to Billy [Bulger] and Billy would show up with him on a stretcher and say, ‘here’s my brother Jimmy and now here’s my invoice for my $2 million reward.’
Former Sen. Bulger has been out of the spotlight for a while. How does this make him look, considering he hasn’t been very cooperative in tracking down his brother?
I think a lot of people have assumed that he knew where he was, but I don’t think that he did.
I think, in a way, this is a load off of his mind. I mean I’m sure he feels sorry for his brother, but now he doesn’t have to worry about having his phones tapped by the FBI and being followed around.
The list of people lining up to testify includes a lot of former henchmen…
The first henchman will be Kevin Weeks, his rotund associate, and of course Johnny Martorano, the guy I just wrote the book about. He’s gonna have to testify against him. I don’t think Johnny was planning on doing anymore witness work for the FBI.
Those will be the two main witnesses.
Now these guys are out walking the streets. These are all cold-blooded killers that are out there walking around?
I don’t think you have to worry about Johnny Martorano. He’s sort of changed. He’s 70-years-old and he’s been enjoying life. He uses his own name; he’s not in the witness protection program.
He’s friendly with all the various factions of what are left of the mob: the Irish guys in Southie, the Italians in the North End.
The old timers are getting along pretty well. The guy they hated was Whitey because he was a rat, and they’re all gonna be ecstatic about this.
Who are the winners here?
Anybody who has a book out about the Bulgers, and if you have two out that’s even better. (Carr authored “The Brothers Bulger” and “Hitman”)
The FBI is certainly a winner here.
Johnny Martorano and Howie Winter, the other leader of the Winter Hill gang. They both did a lot of prison time; they were ratted out by Whitey. But you know what, they’re free men. They’re gonna die in their beds, whereas Whitey and Stevie [Flemmi], the two FBI rats, are going to die in prison.
For years we’ve been saying ‘Where’s Whitey?’, and now they have him. What does this mean in the big picture?
It’s a major, major monkey off the FBI’s back. They always had to answer for this and they always had deal with the suspicion even though most of the agents hadn’t even been in the bureau when he was running amuck.
Timeline: Whitey Bulger, A Life Of Crime
I think it’s a good thing for [Robert] Mueller, the FBI guy who I guess is going to be reappointed by Obama. He was an assistant U.S. Attorney when all this was going on back in the 1980s. This is a big feather in his cap.
This is big, big, big for law enforcement.
The FBI was given the mandate to go get him. Like the Mounties they finally got their man, it just took them 15 years.
They probably could have got him a lot quicker if they’d hopped to it more quickly in 1995, but they didn’t and he got away and had 15 years of freedom.