Globe Tracy Miner Update Missing Bryon Hefner Link

February 27, 2019

From our Late to the Party of the First Part desk

Nice cameo in yesterday’s Boston Globe of legal eagle Tracy Miner’s flight from her old law firm to her own.

Lawyer ‘energized’ with starting own firm

Tracy Miner would tell you that there aren’t many woman-owned law firms that specialize in criminal work.

That’s probably true. But you know what’s also rare? Lawyers who start their own firms while they’re in the midst of one of the city’s biggest white-collar criminal trials.

Miner can claim both honors. She launched Miner Orkand Siddall LP earlier this month, just as the Insys Therapeutics trial was getting underway. The racketeering case revolves around federal prosecutors’ claims that Insys executives improperly marketed the painkiller Subsys to doctors. Miner represents Mike Gurry, a former vice president at the drug company and one of the defendants in the case.


Jon Chesto’s Bold Types piece also mentions Miner’s defense counseling for “state lawmaker Vincent Piro, who had been accused of attempted extortion involving two liquor licenses that a developer sought for the Assembly Square Mall in Somerville” and “John Connolly, who was charged with taking bribes and tipping off James ‘Whitey’ Bulger to a secret federal indictment that enabled him to flee and remain on the run for 16 years.” (Piro got off; Connolly obviously did not.)

But the normally buttoned-down Chesto inexplicably fails to mention Miner’s highest profile current client: Bryon Hefner, the estranged husband of former State Senate President Stan Rosenberg. Last we saw, Hefner – who’s been accused by several men of sexual assault – goes on trial March 25.

Not exactly a minor omission. Considering Chesto’s track record, though, give him a mulligan, eh?

Bulger Auction Gets Different Bids from Local Dailies

March 31, 2016

From our Late to the Party of the First Part desk

James “Whitey” Bulger has always been two different people in the Boston dailies. See: Mike (Jimmy didn’t allow heroin in South Boston) Barnicle for details.

But that was then. And this is now, when it’s all over but the routing of Bulger’s assets to his victims.

From Wednesday’s Boston Globe:

Bulger assets added to victim fund

Stanley Cup ring, cash, benefits seized

James “Whitey” Bulger’s Social Security benefits, his replica Stanley Cup ring, and $50,000 he stashed in a London safe deposit box have been added to a growing pile of assets that were seized from the gangster and will be divided among the families of his victims, according to court filings.

Federal prosecutors urged a judge Monday to issue an order paving the way for an auction by the US Marshals Service of dozens of items seized from Bulger’s Santa Monica, Calif., apartment following his capture in June 2011.


It’s a very different picture in Wednesday’s Boston Herald:

Bulger victim: Auction will give me ‘peanuts’

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 12.44.47 AM

The widow of Revere nightclub owner Richard Castucci — who rubbed elbows with Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack until James “Whitey” Bulger ordered him shot in the head 40 years ago — will reap “peanuts” from a class-action settlement with the feds and little more from an auction of the mob kingpin’s worldly possessions, her lawyer claims.

“Mrs. Castucci just wanted to get this chapter in her life closed,” Sandra Castucci’s lawyer Michael Laurano said yesterday after the Herald reported U.S. Attorney Carmen M. 
Ortiz had petitioned a federal judge to order the sale of “any and all other personal property” the FBI seized from Bulger’s Santa Monica, Calif., hideout in 2011. The lots are to include a replica ring from the 1986 Stanley Cup championship, art, furniture, electronics, clothing, books and coins, but not dozens of firearms, a grenade, a stun gun, eight knives and ammunition fated to be destroyed.


Back at the Boston Globe, another widow was more . . . measured.

Patricia Donahue, whose husband, Michael, was shot to death by Bulger in 1982, said she was pleased that the government was continuing to track Bulger’s assets and surprised to hear that the notorious gangster was eligible for Social Security.

“I never knew the man worked,” Donahue said. “Nothing surprises me when it comes to ‘Whitey’ Bulger.”


Or when it comes to Whitey Bulger coverage, eh?

Boston Dailies Double-Teamster Attorney-Fee Story

October 24, 2015

From our Mish-Math desk

On the face of it, one of the local dailies has trouble with numbers today.

Boston Globe:

City to pay lawyer in Teamsters’ case $625 an hour

The defense attorney hired by Mayor Martin J. Walsh to represent his administration in a federal investigation of a union’s alleged extortion scheme will be paid $625 an hour, according to a contract released Friday.

That rate is nearly three times what the city usually pays outside lawyers.


Boston Herald:

Lawyers in Teamster probe to get $910 an hour

The private legal team hired by Mayor Martin J. Walsh to investigate City Hall in the wake of the federal Teamsters extortion probe will be paid $910 an hour, according to the contract.


So what doesn’t add up here? Actually, it’s what does add up that accounts for the discrepancy. From the feisty local tabloid:

Attorney Brian T. Kelly, a former federal prosecutor who helped convict mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, will be paid $625 an hour while his associate will earn $285 an hour, a copy of the contract obtained by the Herald states.


That’s the second graf in the Herald. The Globe mentions it in the ninth.  But the stately local broadsheet has info on other costly city contracts, so let’s call it a draw.

The Yin and Yang of the Globe and Herald (Billy Bulger Edition)

August 16, 2014

From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk

It all started in the Boston Globe two weeks ago with this report.

Trying to put a tribute to William Bulger in the books


South Boston’s Branch Library would be renamed for the neighborhood’s legendary politician, William M. Bulger, under a proposal by City Council President Bill Linehan.

“Bill Bulger’s advocacy and commitment to the Boston Public Library system is unquestionable,” Linehan said in a statement Tuesday. “His commitment to service, to the people of South Boston, Boston, and the Commonwealth are well documented and heralded.”


Uh-huh. Like this Boston Herald column from two days later?


Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 12.51.19 PM


Regardless, all’s been quiet on the Bulger front until this editorial popped up in yesterday’s Globe.

Linehan stirs up resentments with proposal to honor Bulger

THERE AREN’T clear standards for naming a Boston public building after a former political leader. But there should be obvious billbulger_senateprezreasons why not to make such a designation: To rehabilitate a tarnished reputation; to reward supporters of a deeply divisive figure; to score political points by sticking up for a neighborhood bigwig. All these bad reasons seem to be underlying the proposal by City Council President Bill Linehan to name the South Boston library for his neighbor William M. Bulger, the former Senate president and University of Massachusetts president. It’s a mischievous proposal designed to stir up old loyalties and resentments, and the City Council should reject it out of hand.


And etc.

As night follows day, the Globe’s sonorous editorial turned into the Herald’s screaming front page.


Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 12.46.38 PM


Today’s story in the feisty local tabloid gives you everything you want: drama, conflict, blood feuds, political waffling, Bulgerite weaseling – you name it.

All in a two-dailies work.

Hark! The Howie! (Baby, I Can Drive My Carr)

November 14, 2013

Whitey Bulger is going away for whatever’s left of his miserable life, and no one’s going to miss him more than Boston Herald scribe Howie Carr.

Exhibit Umpteen:




This stuff is pasteurized processed American Carr, the Velveeta of reporting. Today’s slice tastes just like they all do.

In Whitey Bulger’s crosshairs

Columnist recalls terrifying days of looking over his shoulder

Whitey Bulger, you wanted to kill me, but I’m still alive._CE20010.JPG

And you’re dead. You’re not going to last long in a real prison, you bully, you coward.

I heard you’ve told some of the guards down at Plymouth you would have killed me for sure but you were concerned about blowback on your brother, who by the way didn’t show up one single day at your trial.


Hell, Whitey himself barely showed up for it. No way Billy was going to.

And now Carr’s going have to find some new targets for his drive-bys.

Something tells us he won’t look very far.

The Jury’s In on Whitey Bulger Verdict

August 14, 2013

Both local dailies weigh in today with juror reaction to the James “Whitey” Bulger trial and verdict. And each brings something different to light about the jury deliberations, which resulted in guilty verdicts on 11 murder counts and 31 of 32 racketeering charges.

From the Boston Herald:

IMG_4378.JPGJuror: Debate over Whitey Bulger’s role in Davis’ murder ‘brutal’

The four women on the James “Whitey” Bulger jury were the hardest to convince that he took part in the 1981 strangulation of Debra Davis — the only killing the panel made no finding on in its historic verdict this week — one juror told the Herald.

Scott Hotyckey, 47, of Framingham, said the debate over whether Bulger played a role in Davis’ murder was “brutal” and greatly influenced by the daily courtroom presence of her brother, Steven Davis, who testified in the trial and also lashed out in the courtroom at her ex-boyfriend, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi.


Hotyckey added, “It seems to me that some of the jurors didn’t like Steven Davis’ testimony. They thought he was very emotional. I said, ‘I don’t understand. It was his sister.’ ”


Among his other observations:

• Jurors initially wanted guilty verdicts in the murders of Michael Milano, Albert Plummer, William O’Brien, James O’Toole, Al Notarangeli and James Sousa, but changed the findings to “not proven” because the jury ultimately discounted the testimony of hit man John Martorano.

“They said the government didn’t do enough to prove them,” Hotyckey said.

• Some jurors were frightened of the government’s mobbed-up witnesses. Hotyckey said he laughed the paranoia off. “It didn’t seem other people were laughing,” he said.

• Some jurors said they went directly to sleep when they got home, out of sheer mental exhaustion.


Hotyckey also said “jurors wanted to hear Bulger testify.” Join the crowd, kids.

Crosstown, the Boston Globe also talked to Hotyckey, but added a second juror to the mix. (Both papers have video posted on their websites.)

juror-big-10496Witnesses raised Bulger jurors’ ire, suspicions

Some jurors grew so irate while debating the testimony of the career criminals in James “Whitey” Bulger’s trial that they shouted at each other. Others were so nervous about crossing the South Boston underworld that they popped aspirin to soothe headaches, according to one of the jurors.

For five days, the jury of four women and eight men pored over lengthy instructions from the judge, sheaves of evidence, and grisly crime scene photos . . .

Juror Janet Uhlar, 56, of Eastham said she was sickened to hear from witnesses who were walking free despite committing several murders.

“It was a very disgusting feeling, actually, a dirty feeling,” said Uhlar, a nurse and author of biographies on figures from the American Revolution.


Uhlar added, “It really broke my heart to see that happening, to see what our founding fathers laid down their lives for, the judicial system, corrupted like that.”

At least we’re done looking at it. For now. Can’t imagine how many books will come out of this fiasco.

And not all that anxious to read any of them, either.


Baby I Can Drive My Carr (Merciful End Edition?)

July 17, 2013

From our Walt Whitman desk

Boston Herald hack Howie Carr gets another spotlight dance with himself as he devotes today’s column to his favorite topic:

DSC_2683.JPGA case of what might have been

I got cut. Whitey gave me my outright release yesterday from his defense-witness list.

One minute I’m there, the 
next I’m gone, kicked down the stairs like I’m Aaron Bleepin’ Hernandez or somebody.

Around the courthouse yesterday, it was like the Monday before the start of the NFL season in September. People milling about in confusion, not knowing what to do now that they’d been placed on witness waivers.


Well, Carr knew what to do: spend the rest of the column fantasizing about what he would have said if he had been called on to testify.

Representative sample:

If I had been called, and it was always a long shot, I had been planning to start by dropping a few words and phrases in here and there, no matter what question his lawyer Jay Carney hit me with.

“Well, Mr. Carney, your client used to stare at me — Sal Mineo — whenever I’d drive around the rotary — Hank Garrity — and I’m told he wanted me to come in — Jacques — and … what was the question again?”


Uh-huh. That would’ve happened right around the time Carr won a Pulitzer.

Funny, though – no fake testimony about all the money he split with John “Hitman” Martorano, whose 20 murders netted him a short 12 years and a sweet six-figure book deal.

Far more convenient to take the Fifth, eh?


Baby I Can Drive My Carr (Kevin Weeks Edition)

July 10, 2013

From our Walt Whitman desk

Boston Herald hack Howie Carr got another spotlight dance with himself out of yesterday’s James “Whitey” Bulger court proceedings.

Carr’s column today is largely about the exceedingly odd nature of Bulger’s defense.

070913bulgermg002Whitey defense team falling into a rat trap

Whitey Bulger is obviously acting as his own lawyer, and as the old saying goes, he has a fool for a client.

How else to explain his increasingly bizarre defense, which ended yesterday in a fitful flurry of F-bombs between him and his minion, Kevin “Two” Weeks?

Talk about ironic: Whitey’s gravedigger buried his old boss, and he did it under cross-examination, by Whitey’s own lawyer.


All Bulger cares about, Carr says, “is not going down in gangland history as a rat.”  (Not to get technical about it, but Whitey also cares about not going down in gangland history as the killer of two young women, Deborah Hussey and Debra Davis.)

Regardless, as so often happens, it eventually becomes all about Howie:

Yesterday, Weeks outlined five murders, and afterward all Carney would ask him about was his informant status — that and his alleged plot to kill me. Two Weeks said he and Whitey both wanted to whack me.

“I even knew his address — 99 Concord Road.” No wonder I’m still alive. I lived at 91 Concord Road.


Just for the record: Today’s Boston Globe coverage doesn’t mention Carr.


Local Dailies Go for Hot-Button Hat Tricks

July 10, 2013

The Boston papers play Page One Derby today, with both trumpeting a trio of crime stories.

Boston Globe, front page above the fold:


Picture 1


Boston Herald Page One:


Picture 2


The WhiteyWorld nod goes to the Globe for its bleep you play-by-play. The Herald has a slight edge in the other two headline treatments, although neither is  the feisty local tabloid’s best work.

But while the two dailies load up Page One with all things criminal, Herald graybeard Joe Fitzgerald issues a word of caution:

Boston Marathion ExplosionsHorrific cases threaten to desensitize us

Move over, Whitey and Aaron, and make room for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old kid accused, with his late brother Tamerlan, of the Boston Marathon bombings and their aftermath that wantonly killed four and wounded 260.

Have we ever witnessed such a time when three barbaric cases, totally independent of one another, concurrently competed for our rapt attention?


But, Joe Fitz adds, “[r]evulsion gives way to obsession, and infamy grabs our attention as if it possessed a star power of its own.” He points to the Hernandez and Tsarnaev groupies on social media, along with Bulger’s longtime image as the Robbin’ Hood of South Boston.

Don’t expect The Big Rumpus to quiet down anytime soon. Page One Derby doesn’t allow for it.


Battle of the Bulger: Globe Sketchy, Herald E-pistol-ary

July 1, 2013

Monday coverage of the James “Whitey” Bulger trial is always challenging for the local dailies, there being no weekend court sessions. So enterprise stories are the order of the day for both papers.

Start with the Boston Globe, which features Page One portraits of the three sketch artists chronicling the trial.


Picture 6


The three freelancers –  Jane Flavell Collins of Duxbury,  Margaret Small of Cambridge, and Christine Cornell , a New Jersey artist drawing the Bulger trial for CNN –  all use binoculars to get up close to their subjects for their pastel sketches. And all three have good stories to tell.

Crosstown at the Boston Herald, it’s a different side of Bulger that’s on display.


Picture 3


Track Gal Gayle Fee has the inside story on two letters purportedly written by Bulger to a South Boston man last year.

DSC_9688.JPGWhitey Bulger’s mail from jail

Alleged letters up for sale by dealer

In letters purportedly written by accused crime lord James “Whitey” Bulger to a man in South Boston, Bulger gave fatherly advice, waxed nostalgic about his days in Alcatraz and insisted that he offered to plead guilty to all charges — including 19 murders — if the feds would only free his ladylove Catherine Greig.

“I offered since day one to plead guilty to all crimes I’m accused of if they free Catherine but answer is ‘No.’ They want their ‘Big Circus Trial,’” Bulger wrote in a pair of letters that are currently being offered for sale by Saugus memorabilia dealer Phil Castinetti.


Our favorite part: Bulger pining away for the good old days in Alcatraz:

“The healthy salt air,” he wrote, “open front 9 by 5 foot barred cells and eating in a mess hall — yard with weights to work out with and lots of good convicts. None of that here [in the Plymouth jail].”


Yeah – just can’t find good convicts around here anymore.