Bulger’s long ties to south suburbs

The gangster’s ties south of Boston go back long before his jailing

J ames J. “Whitey’’ Bulger’s name will always be associated with South Boston, but the aging gangster is no stranger to the suburbs south of the city.

Long before he became a fugitive from justice, Bulger made his home in Quincy with his girlfriend, Catherine Greig. The couple shared a condo off Quincy Shore Drive in the early 1980s. A few years later, when Greig moved into a gray split-level ranch in Squantum, Bulger hung his hat there.

The area’s most notorious mobster is accused, among other things, of shaking down a Dedham restaurant owner and burying two bodies along the banks of the Neponset River in Quincy. Several of his alleged victims and their families are from communities south of Boston.


Last June, after Bulger and Greig were apprehended in California after 16 years on the lam, Bulger made his return. This time, his residence is a county jail cell in Plymouth.

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As Bulger’s lawyer, J.W. Carney Jr., prepares to face US Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler in court tomorrow for a status hearing in the criminal case against Bulger, the 82-year-old remains locked up at the Plymouth County Correctional Facility.

Bulger pleaded not guilty to a federal racketeering indictment that implicates him in 19 homicides, but when he will go to trial remains to be seen.

“I don’t expect a trial date to be set until I’ve had the opportunity with my team to review all the discovery provided by the government and do my own investigation of the case,’’ Carney, who has been working on the matter with four other lawyers, said in a recent telephone interview.

“The pile of boxes containing the discovery were taller than I am,’’ he said.


As the case unfolds in the federal courthouse in Boston, Bulger’s name no doubt will be in the spotlight again and again, as will stories of murders and mayhem he is accused of perpetrating over his years as a crime boss.

“Quincy, being close to Boston, was a nice little haven for them,’’ said former Quincy police detective Richard Bergeron, referring to Bulger and associates such as Stephen “The Rifleman’’ Flemmi and Kevin Weeks. “The regular cops didn’t know them.’’

Bergeron, who spent a decade investigating Bulger and his gang, speculated they might have left more victims out there than are known to authorities today.

“There’s probably others. He may have even forgotten a few of them,’’ he said. “It’s a never-ending saga.’’

Here are some of the people and places south of Boston that have played key roles in the story of Bulger and his associates.


Backside Restaurant in Dedham

The Backside was a popular watering hole that used to be located in the Dedham Plaza on Route 1. One day in 1976, the Globe reported later, Bulger, Stephen J. Flemmi, and John Martorano walked into the Backside and approached its owner, Francis X. Green, to talk about an unpaid loan, good-cop-bad-cop style. Green later told FBI agents that Bulger threatened to cut off his ears and kill him, while Flemmi reassured him that nobody would get hurt as long as he made a payment.

Bergeron said Bulger’s open involvement in the alleged shakedown was a rare occurrence for him, as he usually steered clear of public appearances. “He’d do something like that maybe five times a year,’’ said Bergeron. “Most of the time, he stayed out of sight.’’

Louisburg Square South, Quincy

In 1982, Bulger and Greig shared a town house in a condominium complex called Louisburg Square South. Located off Quincy Shore Drive, by the Neponset River, the condo development was named after the prestigious Beacon Hill address, and like its namesake, its buildings feature brick exteriors and bay windows. In 1984, the US Drug Enforcement Administration placed a surveillance bug in one of the windows of the Bulger-Greig condo. Local detectives used to watch Bulger and Greig come and go from unit number 101, and they even dug through the couple’s trash in search of clues.

“That was his first place in Quincy,’’ said Bergeron. “The place was in her name.’’

Bergeron described Bulger as “not a guy to be crossed’’ and very reclusive.

“He slept most of the day. He was a night guy,’’ he said. “He would arrive [at the condo] at 1 or 2 in the morning, maybe even 3, sleep all day, and get going around 4 or 5 p.m.’’

Bulger split his time between Greig’s place and South Boston, where his other girlfriend lived, according to Bergeron.

16 Hillcrest Road, Quincy

This trim gray ranch house in Squantum was purchased in September 1986 by Greig for $160,000 cash. The Globe reported that within weeks of buying the house, Bulger and Greig began some big renovations: The front door was removed, the windows were replaced, a cathedral ceiling was installed in the living room, and two bathrooms were remodeled.

Edward “Brian’’ Halloran

Edward “Brian’’ Halloran, an associate of the Winter Hill gang, had a target on his back. One time when he was taking the garbage out at his Willard Street home in Quincy, someone took a shot at him.

In January 1982, Halloran was awaiting trial for the murder of George A. Pappas of Braintree when he offered to cooperate with the FBI and implicate Bulger in two murders. In return, Halloran asked for immunity and to be placed in the witness protection program - a request that was denied.

According to the indictment against Bulger, Bulger and his cohorts took swift action after learning about Halloran’s attempt to cooperate with the feds.

On May 11, 1982, Halloran and an acquaintance, Michael Donahue, were gunned down on Northern Avenue in South Boston. Halloran was 41 years old at the time. Two hundred relatives and friends mourned his death at St. Ann’s church in Wollaston.

Authorities reported that Halloran had whispered the name of a Weymouth man, James P. Flynn, as his killer before he died. Flynn fled, was arrested two years later in Billerica, and was ultimately acquitted of the charges.

Last October, US Representative William R. Keating filed legislation seeking $8.5 million to compensate surviving family members of Donahue and Halloran.

Arthur “Bucky’’ Barrett

Arthur “Bucky’’ Barrett was another alleged murder victim from Quincy. He was a skilled safecracker who was allegedly involved in the infamous 1980 Memorial Day weekend burglary of the Depositors Trust Co. in Medford.

According to the indictment against Bulger, Bulger kidnapped and killed Barrett in July 1983. In his memoir, “Brutal: The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger’s Irish Mob,’’ Kevin Weeks wrote that Bulger and Flemmi lured Barrett to a house in South Boston, where they shackled him to a chair, interrogated him, and then took $47,000 from Barrett’s home in Squantum. According to Weeks, Bulger shot Barrett in the head, and Weeks and Flemmi buried his body in the basement of the house. Barrett’s body was found years later in a common grave in Dorchester, along with the bodies of two other alleged Bulger victims from the South Shore: John McIntyre and Deborah A. Hussey.

John McIntyre

McIntyre was a Quincy fisherman who disappeared in fall 1984. A Squantum native, he allegedly got tangled up with Bulger’s associates through an ill-fated plot to ship guns to the Irish Republican Army on a fishing boat called the Valhalla.

In police transcripts obtained by the Globe, McIntyre was recorded saying that he could easily recognize the three men from Bulger’s gang aboard the Valhalla.

“You can tell them right away,’’ said McIntyre. “All of them wear scally caps. They got the Adidas jumpsuits and they ain’t got a speck of dirt on them. They don’t know the first thing about a boat.’’

McIntyre had just returned from the gun-running operation when police picked him up outside his estranged wife’s home in Quincy.

“They thought I was a burglar, because I rang the doorbell last night and no one answered, so I climbed up the balcony,’’ said McIntyre. “I mean, I hadn’t seen her. I’d been out for six weeks.’’

Not long after talking to authorities, McIntyre vanished on Nov. 30, 1984, and was never seen alive again. He was 32 years old.

Debra Davis

Debra Davis was another of Bulger’s alleged victims. She was Flemmi’s girlfriend and was 26 when she disappeared on Sept. 17, 1981. Her mother reported her missing to Randolph police. According to the indictment against Bulger, Bulger and Flemmi murdered Davis and buried her body by the Neponset River in Quincy, not far from Bulger and Greig’s old condo at Louisburg Square South. Her remains were unearthed by authorities in 2000, and the following May she was buried in St. Mary Cemetery in Randolph. Not far from Davis’s makeshift grave by the Neponset, authorities located the remains of another homicide victim: Thomas King, a reputed rival of Bulger who had disappeared on Nov. 5, 1975.

Deborah A. Hussey

Deborah A. Hussey was the daughter of Stephen J. Flemmi’s longtime girlfriend, and lived for a time at 1046 Blue Hill Ave., Milton, a house then owned by Flemmi. Like Davis, she was 26 years old when she was killed in early 1985. Flemmi raised Hussey like a daughter, but when Hussey told her mother that Flemmi had sexually abused her, Hussey’s mother threw him out of the house. Not long after that, around January 1985, Hussey disappeared and was never heard from again. Her remains were found buried with McIntyre’s and Barrett’s by the Southeast Expressway, across from Florian Hall in Dorchester.

In October 2003, Flemmi pleaded guilty to participating in the murders of Hussey, Barrett, McIntyre, Debra Davis, and six others. In January 2004, Flemmi was sentenced to life in prison.

Last month, the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld awards of $1.3 million to the Davis family and $350,000 to Hussey’s family.

79 California Ave. and 64 Lockland St., Milton

In 1995, Bulger’s old comrade John Martorano was arrested in Florida after being on the lam for 16 years, and was indicted on racketeering, gambling, loan sharking, and extortion charges. He confessed to several murders, cooperated with authorities, and his knowledge helped lead to the convictions of former FBI Agent John Connolly, former Massachusetts State Police lieutenant Richard Schneiderhan, of Holbrook, and Flemmi.

Before running into trouble with the law, Martorano grew up with his brother James in Milton at 79 California Ave. and 64 Lockland St. The Martorano brothers graduated from Milton High School in 1959 and co-captained the football team there. Prior to that, John Martorano attended St. Agatha School in Milton with a boy named William Delahunt, who took a vastly different path in life and went on to become a district attorney and congressman.

In a recent telephone interview, Delahunt said he recalled the young Martorano brothers from his childhood as being both bright and very athletic.

“What I’ll always remember was [John’s] ability in math,’’ said Delahunt. “If there were 10 math problems, by the time I’d have two done, he’d have all 10 done.’’

Delahunt said he attended parochial school with Martorano for a few years, and served as an altar boy with him. They ran into each other as adults occasionally. One of those chance encounters occurred at the Backside Restaurant in Dedham in 1976, on the same day Bulger and Flemmi allegedly shook down the restaurant owner.

Delahunt said it was an ironic coincidence, because he was there to meet Martin Boudreau - a law school classmate of his who was on the Federal Organized Crime Strike Force.

14 Marie Ave., Sharon

This was once the home of Francis P. “Cadillac Frank’’ Salemme. In January 1995, Salemme was indicted with Bulger and Flemmi on racketeering and extortion charges. Salemme testified that he was at home in Sharon when he got a call from Flemmi, asking him to pick him up. Salemme drove quickly to Milton and got Flemmi, who warned him about an indictment that was coming down. Flemmi was arrested in Boston in January 1995 and held without bail. Salemme skipped town and was captured seven months later in West Palm Beach, Fla. Bulger, of course, went on the run and evaded capture for years.

MCI-Cedar Junction at Walpole

Several reputed organized crime figures have done time in this maximum-security prison on Route 1A in South Walpole. Salemme served time here, as did hit man-turned-informant Joseph “The Animal’’ Barboza and Flemmi’s brother, Vincent J. “Jimmy the Bear’’ Flemmi. In 2000, Stephen Flemmi was transferred to cell 21 in a segregation unit there while he was awaiting trial.

Emily Sweeney of the Globe staff is author of “Boston Organized Crime,’’ a new book that includes details of Bulger’s alleged exploits and eventual capture. She can be reached at