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Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy…
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Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the…

by Dick Lehr, Gerard O'Neill

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5291629,712 (3.66)12
John Connolly and James "Whitey" Bulger grew up together on the tough streets of South Boston. Decades later in the mid-1970s, they met again. By then, Connolly was a major figure in the FBI's Boston office and Whitey had become godfather of the Irish Mob. Connolly had an idea, a scheme that might bring Bugler into the FBI fold and John Connolly into the Bureau's big leagues. But Bulger had other plans. Told by two former Boston Globe reporters who were on the case from the beginning, this is the chilling true story of what happened between them; a dark deal that spiraled out of control, leading to drug dealing, racketeering, and murder.… (more)
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» See also 12 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Re-read before seeing the movie! ( )
  LivingReflections | Dec 2, 2018 |
I started out somewhat interested in the story but it soon got bogged down in a mass of details that I lost interest in keeping straight. I'm not that fascinated by true crime or gangsters so it was always going to be a uphill slog for me but I thought the local angle would keep me going and it did, for a while. But I mostly wanted to understand the why more than the what and that I never really got. How did Connolly become the willing conspirator of Flemmi and Bulger, was it just the old neighbor ties? Was it more? Was it just plain old power corrupts? That would have made a more interesting book for me. This just ended up dragging to what I knew was the conclusion.
  amyem58 | Oct 9, 2017 |
This true crime work of investigative reporting exposes the corruption and collusion between Irish mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger and FBI agent John Connolly. Boston Globe's Lehr and O'Neill provide a detailed account of how the Irish mob used the FBI to take out the Italian Mafia in Boston. By serving as FBI informants, Bulger and his partner Stevie Flemmi helped the FBI put away the Angiulo crime family. Meanwhile, the FBI overlooked crimes committed by Bulger and his crew -- including extortion, robberies, drug trafficking, and murder. This "devil's deal" was exposed in 1998 when a federal hearing discovered FBI internal records had been "fictionalized" to obscure Bulger's crimes while embellishing his value. In 1999, Attorney General Janet Reno had Connolly arrested on charges of racketeering and obstruction of justice. Meanwhile, Bulger is now on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List. ( )
  ktoonen | Jul 26, 2016 |
Black Mass has been sitting on my bookshelf for quite a while, I was looking for a third book about Jimmy “Whitey” Bulger written by Dick Lehr, I have “Whitey” and have been trying to find “Underboss”. Then I saw the movie “Black Mass” (starring: Johnny Depp and Benedict Cumberbatch as the Bulger brothers and Joel Edgerton as John Connolly, former FBI agent) was scheduled to be released in September 2015. I decided I had to read the book before I saw the movie, which I desperately want to see (I haven’t seen it yet, I have seen “Pawn Sacrifice” and “Steve Jobs”).

In 1988 Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill started to write a story for the Boston Globe about the Bulger Brothers, Jimmy and Billy. One was Boston’s most powerful criminal and Billy was the most powerful politician (which some might say is the same, but hey he never killed anyone, that we know of). In the course of the investigation, they discovered that Jimmy Bulger seemed to be made of teflon, since 1965, while he climbed the ranks of Boston underworld from street soldier to boss, he had not been arrested, not once. He seemed to know when the authorities were closing in on him. He knew about wiretaps. Some in law enforcement felt ‘the fix was in’ even so far as ‘the FBI had secretly provided him cover all these years’. But there was no proof. Mobsters hated informants, this was the world Whitey Bulger lived in. In the end however, the FBI had to come clean, Bulger and Flemmi (Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi) had been informants for over 20 years.

The first meeting between John Connolly, FBI agent and Jimmy Bulger was in 1975, Flemmi was already an informant at this time, had already experienced the protection the FBI could offer, he was never questioned about his criminal activities, even the murders he may or may not have committed. When asked, he told Bulger “Go talk to him.” The deal was made, and the fix was in. There is more to this story than two mob guys being informants and more FBI involvement than one agent covering up. Connolly covered Flemmi and Bulger, other agents covered him. There was a massive head in the sand approach to what was going on. The truth started to come out in 1997, 10 months later after sworn testimony and the opening of secret FBI files the Boston FBI office was revealed to be a gigantic stack of shit. This book tells it all.

Detailed with extensive documentation this books read like a too good to be true Godfather book, except its true, and it’s fascinating. I recommend this to true crime fans in particular fans of mafia books. ( )
  BellaFoxx | Oct 25, 2015 |
This book is awesome.
  Vicky8937 | Oct 5, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
From Judas Iscariot to Linda Tripp, there have been few figures more reviled than the double-crossing informer. Jews recite a daily prayer imploring God to deny informers any hope of redemption in the world to come. Among the Irish, there is no lower form of life. Sean O'Callaghan, who informed against the I.R.A., wrote that he had been brought up to believe that it would be ''better by far to be a rapist, a murderer, anything but an informer.''
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dick Lehrprimary authorall editionscalculated
O'Neill, Gerardmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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