Saturday, 2:15 PM
'Whitey' Bulger's ex-girlfriend testifies at Connolly trial
(Dominic Chavez/Globe Staff/file 2007)
By Shelley Murphy, Globe Staff
MIAMI -- The world knows him as James "Whitey" Bulger, featured on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list alongside Osama bin Laden. But today Bulger's longtime girlfriend, 67-year-old Teresa Stanley told a Florida jury that during her 30 years of living with the South Boston gangster she called him by another name: Charlie.
Family photograph shows Teresa Stanley with James "Whitey" Bulger.
"I referred to him as Charlie, actually, but sometimes called him Jimmy," said Stanley, an attractive woman with short, snow-white hair, dressed in a black suit and white shirt, as she sat in the witness box at the murder trial of retired FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr. "That was the name he gave. It was sort of a nickname."
Stanley, who was subpoenaed to testify by the defense, recounted leaving Boston abruptly just before Christmas 1994 on a whirlwind cross-country trek that marked the beginning of Bulger's life on the run.
She recounted that she was Christmas shopping at Neiman Marcus in Boston's Copley Square when Bulger told her it was time to go. "He just said we were going to go away on a little trip,'' Stanley said.
Initially, Stanley testified that Bulger drove them in his Mercury Grand Marquis from Boston to New York, Florida, Elvis's Graceland home in Memphis, New Orleans, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and west to San Francisco.
They were driving back to Boston, she said, when Bulger heard on the car radio that his sidekick, Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi had been arrested Jan. 5, 1995. The couple made a quick detour to New York.
But on cross-examination, when Stanley was shown ticket stubs indicating the Graceland pitstop was in August 1994, Stanley admitted that she was a little confused about the sequence of events.
She knew they had visited all those spots she mentioned together, but couldn't be sure exactly when.
Jurors were shown a hotel receipt, clearly signed by James Bulger, indicating the couple had spent Dec. 26, 1994, through Jan. 2, 1995, at Le Richelieu hotel in New Orleans.
Fred Wyshak, a federal prosecutor from Boston who is assisting in the state prosecution, suggested it was impossible that Stanley and Bulger checked out of the New Orleans hotel that Jan. 2, drove all the way to California -- with stops along the way -- then made it back to the Boston area by Jan. 5.
"I might have the sequence wrong, but I went to these places,'' she said.
One of the prosecution's key witnesses, former Bulger deputy Kevin J. Weeks, testified earlier that Connolly warned him on Dec. 23, 1994 that Bulger and Flemmi were about to be indicted on federal racketeering charges.
Bulger, now wanted for 19 murders, fled and remains a fugitive. Flemmi, who is serving a life sentence for 10 murders, testified earlier that he procrastinated and was arrested.
Connolly, who retired from the FBI in 1990 after 22 years, is charged with murder and first-degree murder for the 1982 gangland slaying of Boston business consultant John B. Callahan.
He is accused of warning Bulger and Flemmi that Callahan was being sought for questioning by the FBI and would likely implicate the gangsters in the 1981 slaying of a Tulsa businessman. Hitman-turned-government witness John Martorano testified he killed lured Callahan to Florida and killed him at the request of Bulger and Flemmi.
Connolly is currently serving a 10-year prison term for his 2002 federal racketeering conviction for warning Bulger to flee and protecting him and Flemmi from prosecution.
Stanley told jurors that she and Bulger stayed in New York for a while after learning of Flemmi's arrest, then later that month he dropped her off in Hingham and went back on the run. She said she hasn't seen him since.
After leaving Stanley, Bulger picked up another longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig, who is believed to be with him now.
When asked whether Bulger was truthful to her, Stanley said she didn't believe he was.
"Well, he lived a double life with me,'' said Stanley, who was a 26-year-old single mother with four small children when she became acquanited with Bulger in the 1970s. Years later, she said she learned Bulger was cheating on her with Greig, another longtime steady girlfriend.
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