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Kevin Cullen

Searching for truth in Bulger’s ‘value’ system

Poor Freddie Weichel. He’s done 32 years for a murder he quite possibly didn’t commit, and his best chance of getting out rests with — Whitey Bulger.

That’s like being a diabetic and being told your best chance for a cure rests with some guy named Willy Wonka.

What’s really frustrating for Weichel is that Whitey claims to know who actually ambushed Bobby LaMonica outside his Braintree apartment in 1980. While claiming LaMonica’s actual murderer sought his counsel, Whitey says he couldn’t possibly give him up because that would go against his “values.”

I wonder if by values Whitey was referring to his habit of murdering people and burying them in hidden graves so their corpses could rot while their loved ones had no idea what happened to them.


Or maybe he was referring to his recent refusal to help authorities identify his accomplice in the 1982 murders of Brian Halloran, a hoodlum who shopped him to the FBI, and Michael Donahue, an innocent man whose only mistake was giving Halloran a ride.

In an attempt to get his conviction thrown out, Weichel’s lawyers filed a series of letters Whitey wrote from jail last fall between the time he was convicted and sentenced to two life terms for murdering 11 people, shaking down more people than an earthquake and polluting the South Boston neighborhood he so loved with drugs.

Weichel’s lawyers assert the unnamed hit man Whitey refers to is Weichel’s old friend Tommy Barrett, a boxer of some renown who allegedly confessed to LaMonica’s murder while apologizing to Weichel’s mother for letting Freddie take the fall.

As for that old chestnut about honor among thieves, Barrett took the Fifth years ago when asked about a letter he supposedly wrote to Weichel’s mother, unburdening himself like Gypo Nolan did to Frankie McPhillips’ mom for betraying his old friend in that great John Ford movie, “The Informer.”


Alas, Boston’s own Gypo Nolan, Whitey Bulger, refuses to name the boxer he claims approached him at Triple O’s, Whitey’s lair on West Broadway, seeking advice on what to do about LaMonica, who was looking to avenge a beating he gave one of LaMonica’s buddies.

Being the Ann Landers of the Southie underworld, Whitey gave the boxer a quick primer on criminal etiquette, advising the boxer to “get him first.”

“Kill him,” Whitey told the boxer.

Being the sensitive type, Whitey took great umbrage at being accused of helping to frame Weichel and said the attending publicity “puts me in a terrible light.”

Whitey murdered or menaced half the people in the 02127 zip code and he thinks that somebody claiming that he framed a guy puts him in a bad light?

Whatever meds they’ve got Whitey on out in Tucson, it ain’t enough.

Whitey complains that all this Freddie Weichel business has cost him and his moll Cathy Greig sleep.

Cathy is doing eight years for harboring Whitey while they were on the run for 16 years. In his letters, Whitey said he was going to ask a judge to let Cathy out early because “she is training a puppy to be a service dog for a handicapped child.” He worries Cathy might suffer separation anxiety if the dog gets out of the can before she does.

Hmmm. I don’t remember Whitey expressing any concern about the separation anxiety he caused the families of all those people he murdered and left in secret graves for 20 years.


Look, Freddie Weichel was no choirboy. He ran with a very bad crew from Southie back in the day. But the idea of him doing 30-plus hard years on the basis of a single eyewitness identification while Whitey will be lucky to do just a few before he croaks in the Arizona desert is just another example of anything that Whitey touches going to, um, pot.

In the meantime, maybe Cathy Greig can train that service dog to find hidden bodies.

Kevin Cullen is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at cullen@globe.com.