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Weeks turns on Bulger in '82 ambush of suspected informant

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

Brian Halloran was gunned down outside a bar on South Boston's waterfront on May 11, 1982, after the FBI refused his offer to cooperate against notorious gangsters James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen Flemmi.

Now 18 years later, a longtime Bulger associate has admitted standing "lookout" during the ambush of Halloran and has implicated Bulger in the slaying, according to court documents unsealed yesterday. Halloran's friend Michael Donahue was also killed by the spray of bullets.

Under a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Bulger deputy Kevin Weeks has confirmed what has long been suspected: that Halloran was killed because he'd implicated Bulger and Flemmi in the murder of a Tulsa millionaire.

Four months before he was killed, Halloran walked into the FBI's Boston office and announced that he wanted to "go all the way" against Bulger and Flemmi because he feared they were going to kill him.

But unbeknownst to Halloran, both Bulger and Flemmi were longtime FBI informants.

Halloran claimed that Bulger and Flemmi had orchestrated the murder of Roger Wheeler, the Telex Corp. chairman who was shot to death on May 27, 1981 outside an exclusive country club in Tulsa, Okla.

Wheeler had bought World Jai Alai three years earlier and suspected that Somerville's Winter Hill gang was skimming profits from the company's operation in Connecticut.

Halloran claimed that his friend, John Callahan, former president of World Jai Alai, summoned him to a meeting with Bulger and Flemmi in January 1981.

Halloran said Callahan asked him to murder Wheeler, who suspected that employees who remained loyal to Callahan were doing the skimming. Later, Halloran said, Callahan told him he wasn't needed and the murder was carried out by Bulger, Flemmi and John Martorano.

The FBI deemed Halloran unreliable and turned him away from a Cape Cod safe house. Weeks later he was killed. Three months after Halloran was murdered, Callahan was found shot to death in the trunk of a car at a Miami airport.

Last year, Martorano also struck a deal with prosecutors and confessed to being the triggerman in the murders of Wheeler and Callahan, acting on orders from Bulger and Flemmi.

During court hearings in 1998 exposing the relationship between the FBI and Flemmi and Bulger, former FBI supervisor John Morris claimed he told the pair's handler, agent John Connolly, that Halloran was cooperating and had implicated Bulger and Flemmi in Wheeler's murder.

Although Morris testified that he believed Connolly told Bulger and Flemmi about Halloran's cooperation, Connolly insisted he "absolutely never" told them and wasn't even aware that Halloran had offered to cooperate with the FBI.

It's unclear from Weeks's plea agreement whether he knows whether any FBI agent tipped Bulger and Flemmi to Halloran's cooperation.

The new charges only say that Bulger's group "fostered and maintained relationships with law enforcement officers in order to obtain confidential investigative information to which they were not entitled."

Still, attorney Robert A. George, who represents the Donahue family, said, "I think we'll see that John Connolly was either at the scene or was the cause of the shooting. It's our intention to file a lawsuit against the federal government, the FBI, John Morris, John Connolly, and everyone else involved in killing."

Attorney Tracy Miner, who represents Connolly, said, "John Connolly was neither at the scene of the Halloran shooting or the cause of it and the government will have no proof of either.

"While the family's distress is understandable, they are simply looking at the wrong person," she said.

This story ran on page B4 of the Boston Globe on 7/13/2000.
© Copyright 2000 Globe Newspaper Company.



 KEY FIGURES
Whitey Bulger
Stephen Flemmi
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The Bulger mystique
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The story of Whitey's fall
How investigators brought down the elusive criminal.

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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.

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