By Dick Lehr, Gerard O'Neill

John Connolly and James “Whitey” Bulger grew up jointly at the difficult streets of South Boston. a long time later within the mid-1970s, they met back. via then, Connolly used to be a massive determine within the FBI’s Boston workplace and Whitey had develop into godfather of the Irish Mob. Connolly had an concept, a scheme that may carry Bugler into the FBI fold and John Connolly into the Bureau’s monstrous leagues. yet Bulger had different plans. quickly to be an important movie starring Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger, Black Mass is the chilling real tale of what occurred among them—a darkish deal that spiraled uncontrolled, resulting in drug dealing, racketeering, and homicide.

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Additional resources for Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil's Deal

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In a rare interview about his family Bulger talked wistfully about his father, his stoic manner and hard-luck fate, wishing that they had talked more and that there had been more shared moments. He recalled the day he went off to the army toward the end of the Korean War, his parents 1610391092-text_Lehr design 3/15/12 1:47 PM Page 24 24 BLACK MASS tight-lipped with worry because their son-in-law had been killed in action two years earlier. James and Jean took Billy to South Station for the train to Fort Dix, New Jersey.

And it wasn’t just Southie: Boston’s economy had calcified, and well into the 1940s, the formative years for the Bulger boys and John Connolly, the city was a hapless backwater down on its luck. Its office buildings were short and dreary, and its prospects were dim. Income was down, taxes were up, and business was lethargic. The legacy of a ruling oligarchy of Brahmins who lost their verve afflicted the city. The dynamic Yankees of the nineteenth century had given way to suburban bankers indifferent to downtown, a generation of cautious coupon clippers who nurtured trust funds instead of forging new businesses.

By the time Connolly and Bulger met, the young FBI agent had done his homework. He knew Bulger and the Winter Hill gang were facing a two-pronged threat from a local Mafia that for decades was controlled by the powerful underboss Gennaro J. Angiulo and his four brothers. Pending at that moment was a dispute between the two organizations over the placement of vending machines throughout the region. There had been wiseguy bluster about shootouts as a way to settle the matter. With all this instability, Connolly argued, a wiseguy could use a friend.

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