fb-pixel Skip to main content
Kevin Cullen

It’s always somebody else’s fault at Bulger trial

The trial of Whitey Bulger has reached the stage at which those of us listening to the testimony need to be power-washed after Judge Denise Casper sends the jury home for the day.

What makes the whole thing more repulsive is that none of these degenerates wants to accept responsibility for what he did.

Oh, they admit they stabbed and shot and strangled people. They admit they pulled teeth and trussed up bodies. They admit they dug up rotting corpses and reburied them.

But it was somebody else’s fault.

That’s essentially Whitey’s defense: Yeah, I may have been a racketeer, an extortionist, a drug trafficker. I may have killed some people along the way. But it’s all the FBI’s fault.


The devil didn’t make him do it. The FBI did.

Listening to Whitey’s defense is sickening enough, but it’s just as bad as the prosecution’s samba line of reprobates dances through Courtroom 11, admitting to everything, taking responsibility for nothing.

Monday was a prime example. Stevie Flemmi, Bulger’s alleged partner in crime and informing, was on stage, acting like he held the Bill Clinton chair in semantics.

When Hank Brennan, one of Whitey’s lawyers, observed that Stevie had a sexual relationship with Deborah Hussey, the young teenage daughter of Stevie’s common-law wife, Stevie objected, saying there was no intercourse. It was just oral sex. And it was consensual, Stevie said with a straight face.

When Brennan pointed out that what Stevie did to Debbie was sexual abuse, Stevie demurred. “I never inflicted any abuse on her,” he said.

This would be the same Debbie Hussey who Stevie admitted luring to her death, bringing her to a house 200 feet down the street from his mother’s house, and from the house of Whitey’s politician brother, Billy. Once inside that house, Flemmi stood there and watched as Whitey strangled the life out of a girl he raised as his own.


I never inflicted any abuse on her? Nah, I just watched as my friend murdered her, and then I yanked out her teeth to prevent her from being identified and buried her in a dirt cellar floor.

And it was Debbie’s fault, Stevie told us. She was going around town, dropping Whitey’s and Stevie’s names. She was embarrassing them. She asked for it, Stevie would have you believe. Besides, he didn’t want to do it. Whitey insisted. He just watched.

Stevie wouldn’t even accept Brennan’s characterization of his being called Daddy by Debbie. “Didn’t Debbie sit on your knee and you read stories to her?” Brennan asked.

Stevie scoffed.

“I didn’t even do that with my own children,” Stevie replied indignantly, pointing out that Debbie wasn’t his biological child. As if that made a difference.

Before he gave the Bubba definition of sexual relations, Stevie was explaining how Whitey regaled him with how they murdered Brian Halloran, a hood who shopped Whitey and Stevie to the FBI, not knowing they were FBI informants. Stevie missed the hit, which also claimed the life of an innocent man named Michael Donahue, who had given Halloran a ride home from a waterfront bar.

Stevie testified that Pat Nee was the second man in the car with Whitey, firing. He said he, Whitey, Kevin Weeks, and Nee met at the beach in Southie the day after the hit and that Nee said something.


“That his gun jammed,” Stevie said.

That’s the most incriminating evidence against Nee to date, but he’s never been charged with the murder. Nee, whose name comes up at this trial as much as Whitey’s, says he didn’t do it.

The Donahues want Suffolk County DA Dan Conley to charge Nee. Conley’s office will only say they are following the trial.

Again, who’s taking responsibility?

“How many people have to say it was Nee?” Michael Donahue’s bewildered widow, Pat, asked me.

Last week, Whitey’s lawyer, Jay Carney, had the chutzpah to tell a drug dealer whom Whitey had shaken down that if he had only stopped selling drugs he wouldn’t have to pay Whitey off.

It’s always somebody else’s fault.

Power up that hose.

Kevin Cullen is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at cullen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeCullen.