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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Old Agents Rally Around Corrupt, Murderous Ex-Colleagu

Old agents rally around corrupt, murderous ex-colleague John Connolly
The Boston Glober by Howie Carr - March 27, 2011

You can understand why more than 100 ex-FBI agents are riding to the rescue of their old colleague, John “Zip” Connolly. After all, he is merely a convicted murderer and racketeer, probably the most corrupt G-man in the entire sordid history of the rogue outfit. What’s not to like? So now Zip is wrapping up his federal bit in Butner, N.C. (fellow inmate: Bernie Madoff), after which it’s off to Florida to begin his 40-year stretch for a 1982 gangland hit. At age 70, that’s called a death sentence. But his fellow feds have leapt to Zip’s defense. In a story last week, Miami AP reporter Curt Anderson quoted ex-agent Joe Pistone, better known as “Donnie Brasco,” as saying, “I’ve never seen them go after a gangster like they have John.” Hey Donnie, did it ever occur to you that the reason they’re going after Zip like he’s a gangster is because, in fact, that is what he is, convicted by juries in two states? The aging pensioners have submitted several petitions both to federal and Florida judges and cops. They try to impeach the credibility of the prosecution witnesses, mainly Zip’s old paymaster, Stevie “The Rifleman” Flemmi. Here is how they describe him in one letter to a Florida judge: “(Flemmi) is serving life . . . as an admitted rat and proven child molester, including murdering and dissecting the body of his stepdaughter to keep her from testifying against him.” True. But then why did so many Boston FBI agents used to eat dinner with the archfiend (and his fellow serial killer Whitey Bulger) every Sunday night at Stevie’s mom’s house in South Boston? Once they were “top-echelon informants.” Now they’re “admitted rats”?

Where’s the gratitude here? Stevie testified he gave Zip $235,000 cash. Whitey used to have a saying about paying off crooked feds: “Christmas is for cops and kids.” I checked out the list of signers of the various petitions, and most of the worst of the Boston FBI office are MIA. Some of the mob’s dearest FBI pals, such as Rico, Condon and O’Callaghan, are dead. Others, such as John Morris, Nick Gianturco and “Agent Orange” Newton, wisely took it on the lam. But one name among the signatories does pops out — Richard Baker. Can you imagine the stones of this ex-fed? He has admitted in the past that, at Zip’s behest, he bought a refrigerator at the mob’s appliance store on Broadway, which he had “no idea” was controlled by gangsters. Then there were his booze purchases for FBI Christmas parties at the liquor store Whitey had stolen from its rightful owner. “An error in judgment,” Baker conceded. Baker has also testified he was with Connolly when Zip paid $46,000 to buy a 27-foot Sea Ray back in the 1980s. Nothing amiss about that, Baker testified in 2008. Lotta cops were buying $46,000 boats in the 1980s. During Zip’s Miami murder trial in 2008, Baker was asked how he could remember events from way back in the 1960s, yet have no memory whatsoever of being interviewed by FBI agents in 1999 when they were probing the endemic corruption in the Boston office. “I don’t remember being interviewed by them,” Baker said. “If I was, I was in another world.” Another world — that’s where all of these Zip enablers and apologists are living if they really believe their sick machinations can allow this underworld kingpin to evade the life sentence he so richly deserves.

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