Big News in Boston

Big news in and for Boston yesterday when a federal judge ruled that the FBI caused the death of a Quncy fisherman by mishandling two informants, including the notorious (and now missing) James "Whitey" Bulger. The judge ordered the feds to pay more than $3 million to the victim's family.

The Boston Globe reports that: "US District Judge Reginald C. Lindsay , who presided over an 18-day bench trial in June, ruled that former FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr. warned Bulger and (Bulger henchman Stephen) Flemmi that (fisherman John) McIntyre was cooperating against them, knowing the tip would likely lead to McIntyre's murder." And it did. The Globe reports that in 1984: "McIntyre, 32, was lured to a South Boston home, chained to a chair, grilled for hours, choked, and shot to death, according to Flemmi. His remains weren't discovered until January 2000."

There are plenty of good books out now about Bulger's fascinating (and disturbing) relationship with law enforcement officials. And, of course, there is a great deal of curiosity in Boston and elsewhere about where Bulger is these days. A lot of folks who have followed the story have complained for years that the law always seems to be a day late and a dollar short in catching up to these guys. Judge Lindsay's ruling yesterday suggests that justice delayed isn't always justice denied.

By Andrew Cohen |  September 6, 2006; 9:00 AM ET
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Someone should write about what accounts for all of the FBI bungling. For the past 15 years there have been routine stories about the FBI trying to update its computers, spending millions in the process, and failing miserably. Why can corporations do it, but the FBI can't? Then there was 9/ll. Preventable. There's something institutionally malfeasant about the FBI hierarchy. Remember Hanson? He was contemptous regarding his peers and bosses. Maybe the FBI accomplishes some good, despite itself. But the Boston case suggests otherwise. Look at Richard Peal, Wen Ho Lee, the anthrax investigation, etc. The FBI must have been the paradigm for the Keystone Cops.

Posted by: Dave | September 6, 2006 10:12 AM

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