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Federal Judge Says FBI is Liable In 1982 Wrongful Death Murders by Winter Hill Gang in Massachusetts

In Boston, US District Judge Reginald C. Lindsay issued a ruling yesterday that held the FBI responsible for the 1982 execution-style killings of two men who were allegedly murdered by the Winter Hill gang. The judge called on prosecutors to negotiate wrongful death settlements with the families of the two men.

The federal judge pointed to evidence of liability when it cited several high-profile cases in which the government said that Michael Donohue and Edward Brian Halloran were killed because a rogue FBI agent told James “Whitey” Bulger, a fugitive mobster, that Halloran was an informant.

Judge Lindsay said wrongful death trials were not needed to determine whether the government should be held liable in the slayings of the two men. He also told Prosecutor Andrew Kaplan to tell the US Department of Justice that it should settle not only the Donahue and Halloran lawsuits, but also at least four other wrongful death lawsuits filed by families of people allegedly murdered because of the way the FBi mishandled Bulger and other criminal informants.

Judge Lindsay will hold a trial next year to determine the damages that the government owes the families of the two men.

Last year, Judge Lindsay ordered the government to pay Quincy resident John McIntyre’s mother over $3 million because he found the FBI liable in the fisherman’s murder. The ruling was the first one brought against the government by victims of Bulger and his mob.

Judge Lindsay also said that the FBI properly supervised John J. Connolly Jr, a former FBI agent. The government had previously argued that it was not liable for the slayings because Connelly acted within the scope of his authority. Connelly was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his conviction related to racketeering, lying to an agent, and obstruction of justice charges.

Connelly is scheduled to stand trial in Florida on state charges that he assisted Burger and Flemmi in organizing the murder of a Boston businessman.

Filing a wrongful death claim or lawsuit against a state or federal government is more complicated than filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit against a person or business. This type of case requires the expertise of an experienced wrongful death lawyer that understands the complexities that can arise.

US judge faults FBI in 1982 slayings, Boston.com, November 20, 2007

Related Web Resources:

FBI posts pictures of possible Whitey Bulger, Boston.com, September 14, 2007
Judge: Connolly Jury Can Hear About Mob Murders, Laborers/Boston Herald, April 10, 2002