Author of Black Mass is Dead
According to Katharine Q. Seelye's article in The New York Times, (Gerard O'Neill, Boston Globe Investigative Reporter, Dies at 76, published Aug. 23 updated Aug. 25):
"Mr. O’Neill’s biggest quarry was Whitey Bulger, Boston’s most notorious mobster, whom he helped expose as an F.B.I. informant."
Again, according to the above mentioned Times article, another Globe reporter told Ms. Seelye, "that just before the series was published, the F.B.I. told The Globe’s editor, Jack Driscoll, that it was making a big mistake and would be humiliated. Mr. Driscoll called in Mr. O’Neill and asked him how he knew that Mr. Bulger was an informant. Mr. O’Neill walked him through the evidence and assured him that the articles were accurate. Based on Mr. O’Neill’s word, the presses rolled."
Indeed, O'Neill accepted the word of the murderous FBI Supervisory Agent John Morris that Bulger was his informant. Did O'Neill question the fact that such an admission by and FBI Agent was not allowed and absolutely unethical? Did O'Neill question why Morris might be violating his position within the FBI in this revelation?
It doesn't seem he did -- or, perhaps he just didn't care.
Why did John Morris run to The Globe with this information? According to Morris's testimony in Bulger's trial, he was corrupted by Bulger and two other organized crime figures. He received money, vacations, and gifts beyond his means. His wife Rebecca was aware. (Bulger told this author that he paid Morris approximately $500,000.00 for information.)
Rebecca decided she wanted a divorce after she discovered that dear John was sleeping with his secretary, Miss Noseworthy for 5 years...or was it 10? A divorce would mean that all the couple's finances would be made public. How would he explain the money? The vacations? The gifts? Jumpin' John was in a pickle. He did what any scummy degenerate would do in that situation -- he asked Bulger to kill his wife! And, in his sick mind, he figured Bulger would agree. Bulger's response? Pay the wife off to be silent about the money, gifts, vacations and get the divorce over with.
It seems Jittery John didn't like that response.
He ran to The Globe. Rather than telling O'Neill (and Dick Lehr) the truth -- that he was eating out of Bulger's hand -- he tried to save his arse by saying that Bulger was eating out of his! O'Neill and Lehr embraced the tale -- without question so it seemed. And, they sold the bag of goods to The Globe's editor, Jack Driscoll.
Morris thought it was a smart move -- when the news of Bulger being an FBI "Informant" hit the stands, members of the Mafia or Bulger's own gang would execute him for being a rat. That would silence Bulger about Morris's accessory in murders -- about his request that Bulger murder Rebecca.
Poor, poor John! Things didn't work out as planned. You see, the members of the Mafia and Bulger's own gang didn't believe he was an informant. Only those at The Boston Globe did.
And, thus began the Bulger Myth -- started by Morris; embraced by The Globe reporters O'Neill and Lehr, but further spun by the lies of John Martorano & Steve Flemmi (both heading to the electric chair unless they came up with something about Bulger that would keep them from frying -- it didn't have to be true... The Boston US Attorney's Office was happy with their confessions, and gave them a get out of jail card.
The tale was spun again by Kevin Weeks, who was terrified of prison, and Pat Nee (what's with Nee? Named as an accessory in 5 murders but never indicted???)
And, let's not forget the tidy accounts of The Globe reporters Shelly Murphy and Kevin Cullen (repeating the words of all the good citizens named above -- and never interviewing the subject of their fiction, Jim Bulger himself.)
And, how can we not mention the work of The Boston Herald's own Howie Carr. Of course Howie wasn't in it for himself -- he generously shared his royalties with his buddies -- the child killer John Martorano and dental expert Steve Flemmi.
The myth started with Morris's unholy union with Gerard O'Neill and his side-kick Dick Lehr -- blessed by Jack Driscoll. Talk about Fake News!
Driscoll died in February of 2019. O'Neill in August. I came across an obit for Dick Lehr's death on August 29, and thought, "Oh, my! They all bit the dust!" Only to discover that this Mr. Lehr was from Wisconsin. God rest his soul.
As for Driscoll and O'Neill? I'm sure Jimmy Bulger greeted them on the other side. He once told me he'd be waiting for AUSA Fred Wyshak -- and I'm sure Dick Lehr won't go unnoticed upon his arrival...
The Boston Globe profited well with their "Investigative Journalism" on James Bulger. Certainly O'Neill and Lehr lined their pockets with the proceeds of their book Black Mass.
The damage to this nation by unethical journalism is severe. It's hard to mourn for those who settled for tabloid sensation rather than seriously seek unbiased truth, as was their job.