|Bulger Hears Widow of Alleged Victim|
|By MICHELE McPHEE||Jun 25, 2013, 1:52 PM|
Margaret King knew it was risky to storm into Triple O's bar in South Boston to demand answers from a guy like James "Whitey" Bulger.
Nevertheless, that's what she did in 1975 after her husband disappeared, she told a court today in the federal trial of the man she has hated for decades, the man she always believed had murdered her husband Tommy King.
"I'm sure he was agitated that I would bother him,'' King recalled of the day she went into the Winter Hill hangout to ask Bulger, "Where is my husband?" King testified in second week of Bulger's trial.
Sitting at the defense table in front of her was Bulger, 83, wearing a long sleeved green shirt. He is on trial for a string a crimes, including 19 murders.
Bulger didn't snarl at Margaret King today, but he did in 1975 when he told her Tommy King had left town, Margaret King said. "He's probably in Canada robbing banks,'' she remembered Bulger saying, "Because that's what he originally wanted to do."
Tommy King's body was unearthed in a scrubby clearing near the Neponset River in Dorchester in 2000. Hitman John Martorano testified last week that he had shot and killed King because Bulger had ordered it.
"Him and Tommy couldn't get along. They were always butting heads together,'' Martorano told the court. "He wanted to get rid of Tommy."
To get rid of Tommy King, the Winter Hill Gang came up with a plan to avoid suspicion by asking him to accompany them on a drive-by hit., Martorano testified. He convinced King to get into the passenger seat of a car. Guns were then pulled from a paper bag and handed out by Stephen "the Rifleman" Flemmi, Martorano had told the court. King's gun was loaded with blanks, Martorano testified.
He would not have a chance to find that out, Martorano said on the stand last week.
"I shot Tommy,'' Martorano said. "Where did I shoot him? In the head."
Martorano said he got out of the car and never found out how others got rid of the body. Sometime later Martorano was driving along the Southeast Expressway with Bulger, he said. As they crossed a bridge over the Neponset River, Martorano recalled, Bulger grinned at him and said: "Tip your hat to Tommy."
The case against Bulger appears to also be a case against corrupt FBI agents, including Bulger's FBI handler John Connolly and Connolly's supervisor John Morris, who authorities allege helped Bulger's criminal enterprise become enormous and well-organized.
Martorano got rid of Winter Hill Gangs rivals with bullets and bloodshed. The FBI would put other rivals, like the Italian Mafia, out of business by prosecuting them, according to testimony.
In his opening statement, Bulger's attorney J.W. Carney told the court his client made "millions upon millions upon millions" with organized crime activity that included drug dealing, loansharking, bookmaking and extortion. But, Carney and fellow attorney Hank Brennan insist, Bulger was not a FBI informant.
In two days of testimony, however, special agent James Marra with the Department of Justice Inspector General's Office, told the court Connolly and Morris reaped the benefits of the Winter Hill Gang's rising rank in the rackets.
Connolly took cash and a diamond ring. Morris got a case of expensive wine, a plane ticket for his girlfriend to visit him during an out-of-state FBI training, and $7,000 in cash, Marra said under oath.
From the beginning, Marra told the court, Connolly told Morris not to treat Bulger "like the typical informant."
Morris' treatment of the informant the FBI dubbed BS 1544 was anything but typical.
Bulger was invited to Morris' home for dinner parties.
"He even cooked him dinner?" asked Bulger attorney Hank Brennan.
"Yes,'' Marra testified. "It was unusual."
But those dinner parties were never logged in any official FBI reports required of agents who deal with top echelon confidential informants like Bulger. In fact, most of the required paperwork for BS 1544 was filled with misinformation, deliberately disseminated to other law enforcement to throw cops' off Bulger's trail, Marra said.
"John Connolly was trying to protect Mr. Bulger, Mr. Flemmi and himself,'' Marra testified.
Morris signed off on Connolly's bogus reports, reports that now number more than 1,000 pages, Marra said. It remains unclear how many of those informant records are fabricated.
"They weren't reporting their own criminal activity,'' Marra testified, adding once again that the reports were written to, "Protect Mr. Bulger. Protect Mr. Flemmi. Protect themselves."
There were celebrity mentions in today's court proceedings.
The widow of Revere nightclub owner Richard Castucci, who was shot and killed and stuffed into the trunk of his own car, identified a photograph of her husband with Frank Sinatra at the wedding of Sammy Davis Jr.
And Brennan asked Marra about another dinner party Morris organized for Bulger. That dinner, Marra told the court, included famed undercover FBI agent Joseph Pistone – aka Donnie Brasco. His story was of nearly becoming "made" as thug Donnie Brasco in a New York crime family was the basis of the Johnny Depp movie of the same name.
Marra answered: "Yes."
But Pistone told ABC News that he never had dinner with Morris, had never been to his house, and had never met Bulger.
"I never had any meals with John Morris,'' Pistone told ABC News "Wrong facts."
However, Pistone remains a steadfast support of John Connolly. He is part of Justice For John, a group of more than 100 retired FBI agents disgusted that Connolly is serving a life sentence for tipping Bulger to information that led to murders while killers like Martorano and Flemmi made deals with the government and are free men.
"He is not in court to defend himself,'' Pistone told ABC News of the court proceedings in which Connolly is described as a cohort of Bulger.
Morris is expected to testify this week. He was granted immunity and never prosecuted for his role in the murders Bulger committed after, prosecutors allege, he was tipped off by dirty FBI agents about his enemies.