The Weirdest Testimony Robert Fitzpatrick Gave During the Bulger Trial

...that wasn’t a lie, according to the federal government.

Robert Fitzpatrick leaves federal court after his arraignment on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.
Robert Fitzpatrick leaves federal court after his arraignment on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. –AP

Former FBI agent Robert Fitzpatrick, called as a defense witness in the James “Whitey’’ Bulger trial in 2013, told lots of stories during his testimony.

Some of those stories were made up, federal prosecutors said April 30 in an indictment.

Among those challenged statements: No, Bulger never denied to Fitzpatrick that he was an informant. No, Fitzpatrick wasn’t given a special assignment at the Boston office. No, he didn’t leave the FBI because of retaliation. No, he didn’t personally arrest a major mob boss and no, he didn’t first find the rifle used to assassinate Martin Luther King, Jr.


But in his two days of testimony, those weren’t the only entertaining tales Fitzpatrick told. Here’s some of the more interesting things he said.

He wasn’t indicted for any of these, so far as we know, prosecutors think they’re true.

He tried to see into Whitey’s soul

Fitzpatrick testified about going to meet Bulger in a Quincy condo. He went to shake Bulger’s hand, but Bulger didn’t take it.

“And I said, ‘That’s not a nice way to start the conversation,’’’ Fitzpatrick testified. “But that’s the way it was.’’

He tried to “size up’’ Bulger, but was thwarted by the gangster’s sunglasses.

Two of the cases he mentioned were later turned into movies

The movie American Hustle was based on the ABSCAM corruption investigation by the FBI, which Fitzpatrick testified he worked on.

He also worked undercover during an investigation of the Ku Klux Klan, he said. That was later turned into the movie Mississippi Burning, he said.

He does not drink Beck beer

But Bulger may have thought he did. U.S. Attorney Brian T. Kelly questioned Fitzpatrick about his nicknames and what kind of beer he drank.

A manuscript found in Bulger’s apartment had a notation that may have been about Fitzpatrick.


Some new acronyms

Forget YOLO. Fitzpatrick used a couple acronyms we hadn’t heard of before.

He wrote a book, but it didn’t make much money

Fitzpatrickpublished a book in 2012 titled Betrayal: Whitey Bulger and the FBI Agent Who Fought to Bring Him Down.

Kelly, the prosecutor, repeatedly quoted from it, comparing what Fitzpatrick wrote to what he said in testimony.

At the time of his 2013 testimony, he was working on a second book.

It’s unclear if his indictment will put publication on hold.

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