Weeks turns on Bulger in '82 ambush of suspected informant
By Shelley Murphy, Globe Staff, 7/13/2000
Brian Halloran was gunned down outside a bar on South Boston's waterfront
on May 11, 1982, after the FBI refused his offer to cooperate against
notorious gangsters James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen Flemmi.
Now 18 years later, a longtime Bulger associate has admitted standing
"lookout" during the ambush of Halloran and has implicated Bulger in the
slaying, according to court documents unsealed yesterday. Halloran's friend
Michael Donahue was also killed by the spray of bullets.
Under a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Bulger deputy Kevin Weeks
has confirmed what has long been suspected: that Halloran was killed because
he'd implicated Bulger and Flemmi in the murder of a Tulsa millionaire.
Four months before he was killed, Halloran walked into the FBI's Boston
office and announced that he wanted to "go all the way" against Bulger and
Flemmi because he feared they were going to kill him.
But unbeknownst to Halloran, both Bulger and Flemmi were longtime FBI
Halloran claimed that Bulger and Flemmi had orchestrated the murder of
Roger Wheeler, the Telex Corp. chairman who was shot to death on May 27, 1981
outside an exclusive country club in Tulsa, Okla.
Wheeler had bought World Jai Alai three years earlier and suspected that
Somerville's Winter Hill gang was skimming profits from the company's
operation in Connecticut.
Halloran claimed that his friend, John Callahan, former president of World
Jai Alai, summoned him to a meeting with Bulger and Flemmi in January 1981.
Halloran said Callahan asked him to murder Wheeler, who suspected that
employees who remained loyal to Callahan were doing the skimming. Later,
Halloran said, Callahan told him he wasn't needed and the murder was carried
out by Bulger, Flemmi and John Martorano.
The FBI deemed Halloran unreliable and turned him away from a Cape Cod safe
house. Weeks later he was killed. Three months after Halloran was murdered,
Callahan was found shot to death in the trunk of a car at a Miami airport.
Last year, Martorano also struck a deal with prosecutors and confessed to
being the triggerman in the murders of Wheeler and Callahan, acting on orders
from Bulger and Flemmi.
During court hearings in 1998 exposing the relationship between the FBI and
Flemmi and Bulger, former FBI supervisor John Morris claimed he told the
pair's handler, agent John Connolly, that Halloran was cooperating and had
implicated Bulger and Flemmi in Wheeler's murder.
Although Morris testified that he believed Connolly told Bulger and Flemmi
about Halloran's cooperation, Connolly insisted he "absolutely never" told
them and wasn't even aware that Halloran had offered to cooperate with the
It's unclear from Weeks's plea agreement whether he knows whether any FBI
agent tipped Bulger and Flemmi to Halloran's cooperation.
The new charges only say that Bulger's group "fostered and maintained
relationships with law enforcement officers in order to obtain confidential
investigative information to which they were not entitled."
Still, attorney Robert A. George, who represents the Donahue family, said,
"I think we'll see that John Connolly was either at the scene or was the cause
of the shooting. It's our intention to file a lawsuit against the federal
government, the FBI, John Morris, John Connolly, and everyone else involved in
Attorney Tracy Miner, who represents Connolly, said, "John Connolly was
neither at the scene of the Halloran shooting or the cause of it and the
government will have no proof of either.
"While the family's distress is understandable, they are simply looking at
the wrong person," she said.
This story ran on page B4 of the Boston Globe on 7/13/2000.
© Copyright 2000 Globe Newspaper Company.