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Gangster implicates Bulger in plea deal

By Shelley Murphy, Globe Staff, 7/13/2000

Six months after leading investigators to a Dorchester grave where three bodies were unearthed, gangster Kevin J. Weeks has struck a deal with federal prosecutors implicating his boss, James "Whitey" Bulger, in those murders and two others.

Under a plea agreement made public yesterday, Weeks admitted that after joining Bulger's crew as a teenager, he helped Bulger and his longtime sidekick Stephen Flemmi commit crimes and cleaned up after them.

By his own admission, Weeks, 44, of Quincy, served as "lookout" on one murder, held two men captive before they were killed by Bulger and his cohorts, dumped murder weapons, and repeatedly buried bodies.

When Bulger feared that the remains of three people he and Flemmi had killed in 1983, 1984, and 1985 while working as FBI informants might be discovered, Weeks helped exhume the bodies in October 1985 and rebury them in a gully alongside the Southeast Expressway across from Florian Hall, according to the documents unsealed yesterday.

The gravesite remained a secret until January, when Weeks, known as Bulger's "surrogate son," turned on his mentor in a bid for leniency on federal racketeering charges brought in November.

Bulger has been a fugitive for five years.

Yesterday, after months of secret negotiations, prosecutors notified the court that Weeks will plead guilty July 20 to new charges of racketeering, extortion, drug conspiracy, and money-laundering as a member of Bulger's criminal organization.

He's also prepared to admit that he helped Bulger, Flemmi, and their associates in the slayings of five people between 1982 and 1985 while serving as a loyal deputy to Bulger.

In exchange for Weeks's cooperation, federal prosecutors have agreed to recommend a prison term ranging from five to 15 years. But Weeks's lawyer may argue for far less.

"He's decided to step up to the plate and square away his life and move forward," said attorney Dennis Kelly, who represents Weeks. "He has no ax to grind against anyone and what he's going to do is what the agreement requires: that when he's called upon, he will tell the truth."

Weeks is poised to plead guilty to charges that he served as "lookout" in the May 1982 murder of Brian Halloran, who was gunned down just weeks after telling the FBI that Bulger and Flemmi, both longtime FBI informants, were involved in a series of killings.

Also killed in the shooting was Michael Donahue, who had the misfortune of offering Halloran a ride home from a bar along Boston's waterfront.

The charges say Weeks helped others, including "John Doe 1," kill Halloran and Donahue. While Bulger isn't named in the charges, it's apparent from prior court testimony that he is John Doe 1.

Attorney Robert A. George, who represents the Donahue family, said the family hopes Weeks's cooperation will help confirm suspicions that rogue FBI agents warned Bulger and Flemmi that Halloran was cooperating against him.

`I'm not going to cry foul about the deal with Kevin Weeks," George said. "If it wasn't for Kevin Weeks at this point we wouldn't know as much as we know today. And I'm sure as time goes on we'll know more and more."

The other murders Weeks has admitted involvement in are those of Arthur "Bucky" Barrett and John McIntyre, both of Quincy, and Deborah Hussey, the daughter of Flemmi's longtime girlfriend. The remains of all three were discovered in January in the makeshift grave in Dorchester.

Barrett, who was 46 when he disappeared on July 26, 1983, had been involved in the 1980 Memorial Day weekend robbery of $1.5 million in cash and jewelry from Depositors Trust in Medford. Friends believe his murderers tortured him, trying to get him to turn over his share of whatever was left from the heist.

McIntyre, who was 32 when he vanished on Nov. 30, 1984, disappeared weeks after implicating Bulger in an ill-fated plot to smuggle weapons to the Irish Republican Army aboard a Gloucester-based boat, the Valhalla.

The new charges say Barrett and McIntyre were kidnapped and brought to an undisclosed location, where Weeks helped hold them captive while they were murdered by John Doe 1 and John Doe 2, apparently Bulger and Flemmi.

Hussey, who was 26 when she vanished in early 1985, was kidnapped and murdered by "leaders of the Bulger Group," then Weeks assisted in burying her body, according to the superseding information.

Hussey was just a toddler when Flemmi began romancing her mother, Marion, and moved them into his home in Milton. Marion Hussey and Flemmi had three children together.

Law enforcement sources say Flemmi allegedly had been having a sexual relationship with Deborah Hussey since she was a teenager and they had had a falling out.

The new charges against Weeks reveal that the bodies of Hussey, Barrett, and McIntyre were exhumed in October 1985 and reburied in Dorchester "to prevent the discovery of those remains."

Barrett's wife, Elaine, declined to comment on Weeks's admission that he played a role in her husband's murder, saying only, "Whoever did it should be brought to justice."

Attorney Kevin Glynn, who represents the Barrett family, said he'll be issuing a statement on their behalf within the next week.

McIntyre's brother, Chris, said, "This is just too brutal to put into words right now. He kills them and he buries them and he digs them up and he buries them again. Can you imagine the horror my brother went through that day."

The Globe reported in January that one or more of the victims whose bodies were unearthed in Dorchester may have been killed in the cellar of a South Boston home where another Bulger associate, Patrick Nee, used to live.

Federal and state investigators notified an unwitting South Boston homeowner in January that they suspected someone was killed in the cellar of his East Third Street house before he purchased it in December 1985 from relatives of Nee, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

US Attorney Donald K. Stern defended the deal with Weeks yesterday, saying, "For the prosecutors and the investigators who have worked on these matters for a long time, and we hope for the families, this will be seen as an important step in the ongoing investigation."

Suffolk District Attorney Ralph C. Martin II has agreed not to prosecute Weeks for the murders of Halloran, Donahue, Barrett, McIntyre, and Hussey.

Under the deal, Weeks will be placed in security while in prison and has the option of joining the witness protection program.

Kelly said he'll urge a judge to sentence Weeks to less than five years in prison, if Weeks fulfills his promise to the government to cooperate with authorities and testify at upcoming trials.

Suggesting that Weeks played only a minor role in Bulger's organization, Kelly said, "To the extent Kevin is pleading to participation in the murders, it should be clear that he's not someone who pulled the trigger or did any affirmative act to kill somebody."

This story ran on page A1 of the Boston Globe on 7/13/2000.
© Copyright 2000 Globe Newspaper Company.



 KEY FIGURES
Whitey Bulger
Stephen Flemmi
Frank Salemme
Kevin Weeks
John Martorano
John Connolly
John Morris

 FEATURES
Photo gallery
Whitey sightings
Books on Whitey
Whitey chats
Whitey links on the Web

 GLOBE SPECIAL REPORTS
1 9 8 8
The Bulger mystique
A look at Boston's famous brothers, William and Whitey.

1 9 9 5
The story of Whitey's fall
How investigators brought down the elusive criminal.

1 9 9 8
Whitey & the FBI
The relationship between Bulger and Boston's law men.

1 9 9 8
Whitey's life on the run
The fugitive mobster's relentless travels across the country.

Complete list of reports

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