John J. Connolly Jr., Southie native and former FBI agent convicted of helping James “Whitey” Bulger’s gang in a Miami murder plot is a free man after spending almost twenty years in prison.
Connolly, who is 80 and has terminal cancer went before the Florida’s Parole and Conditional Medical Releases board on Wednesday morning. According to Bob Ward from Fox 25, the board voted 2 to 1 to allow a compassionate medical release.
The story goes that Connolly tipped off Whitey and his lieutenant, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi that World Jai-Alai President John Callahan was going to rat them out on a past hit. A hit man, John Martorano, was ordered to murder Callahan based on this tip. In 2008, Connolly was convicted of second-degree murder for this crime. Martorano made a deal in return for testimony at Connolly’s case.
In 2002, Connolly was convicted of racketeering for his relationship – in particular tipping them off – with Whitey and company – in particular – tipping them about rats in the ranks and for letting Bulger know the feds were coming after him. Bulger fled and was a fugitive for 16 years before he was caught in Santa Monica in 2011. Bulger was convicted of crimes including racketeering and playing a role 11 murders. Bulger was killed at maximum security prison in West Virginia. He was 89 years old.
The movie “Black Mass” based on the relationship between Whitey and Connolly was filmed in Southie back in 2014.
Image via AP