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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Connolly convicted of second-degree murder, Whitey Bulger's inside guy with the FBI finally got "traded up".












Connolly convicted of second-degree murder. MIAMI -- Retired FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr. was convicted today of second-degree murder for leaking information to long-time informants James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi that caused them to kill a potential witness against them 26 years ago.

The verdict, delivered by a Florida jury that deliberated for 13 hours following seven weeks of testimony, means that the 68-year-old Connolly faces spending the rest of his life in prison. See information on Whitey Bulger below;

D). Kevin Weeks gives up Whitey, SRQ Investigator Bill Warner, see YouTube video click here.

While convicting Connolly on one count, the jury found him not guilty of conspiracy to commit murder in the 1982 slaying in south Florida of John B. Callahan, a gregarious 45-year-old accountant who worked at some of Boston's largest accounting firms but had a fatal habit of socializing with gangsters.

Jurors apparently believed the testimony of the 74-year-old Flemmi, who is now serving a life sentence for 10 murders and testified that it was a tip from his handler, Connolly, that sealed Callahan's fate.

Facing his former handler from the witness stand, Flemmi testified that Connolly warned him and Bulger that the FBI planned to question Callahan and advised that he "wouldn't hold up'' and would likely implicate the gangsters in the 1981 slaying of a legitimate businessman, World Jai Alai president Roger Wheeler.

Hitman-turned-government witness John Martorano testified that at the urging of Bulger and Flemmi, he lured Callahan to Florida and shot him in the head. Callahan's bullet-riddled body was found in the trunk of his car at Miami International Airport on Aug. 2, 1982.

Though Connolly was only charged with Callahan's murder, prosecutors were allowed to present additional evidence dating back to the 1970s in an effort to prove that Connolly was corrupt.

After Connolly took a $25,000 kickback in 1983 that he knew came from drug proceeds, he joked, "Hey, I'm one of the gang." The defense called a number of witnesses, including US District Senior Judge Edward F. Harrington, who testified that Connolly had a reputation in the Boston FBI office for his ability to turn some of Boston's most dangerous criminals -- including Bulger and Flemmi -- into informants. He credited Connolly with using those informants to help the FBI decimate the New England Mafia in the 1980s.

The government's key witnesses were: Flemmi, Martorano, who is free after serving just 12 years for 20 murders; gangster-turned-author Kevin Weeks, who served five years for assisting Bulger in five murders; and John Morris, a former FBI supervisor who wept on the stand and admitted taking $7,000 in bribes from Bulger and Flemmi and leaking them information.


Bill Warner
Private Investigator