Last week, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a $3.1 million award against the US government for the wrongful death of a Massachusetts fisherman who was murdered in Boston by Winter Hill gang leaders Stephen Flemmi and James “Whitey” Bulger after an FBI agent leaked information to them. John McIntyre was murdered in 1984.
The US government has argued that ex-FBI agent John Connolly was a “rogue” agent who acted outside the scope of his job when he ignored the criminal activities of Bulger and Flemmi, who were his informants. The 1st Circuit Court, however, says that even though Connolly’s actions were illegal and went against FBI policy, they did fall within the scope of his job because the government allowed what it knew (or should have known) was going on for “the greater good of bringing down La Cosa Nostra.”
The court said that McIntyre’s wrongful death occurred because of the FBI’s attitude. McIntyre, also a government informant, was tortured to death after Connolly told the two gang leaders that the fisherman was going to implicate them over their involvement in an Irish Republican Army arms-smuggling ring.
Flemmi, who is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to 10 murders, acknowledges that after Connolly gave him the information, he convinced McIntyre to go to a house in South Boston, where the 32-year-old was interrogated and murdered. Connolly is currently on trial for the murder and conspiracy to commit murder related to the 1982 death of business consultant John B. Callahan, whose slaying was also an alleged Bulger-orchestrated hit.
In 2006, the FBI was ordered to pay McIntyre’s mom, 80-year-old Quincy resident Emily McIntyre, $3.1 million.
A wrongful death is when someone dies because another party engaged in an act that was negligent, careless, or reckless. In Massachusetts, family members can file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit in order to recover compensation for their loved one’s death.
Court upholds $3.1M judgement for mom of Whitey Bulger victim, BostonHerald.com, October 17, 2008
Court upholds decision, US liable in killing, Boston.com, October 17, 2008
Related Web Resources:
The myths of ‘Whitey’ Bulger, Boston.com, July 19, 1998
The Attorney General’s Guidelines Regarding the Use of Confidential Informants, USDoj.gov
Bulger’s ex-girlfriend testifies in Connolly trial, Boston.com, October 17, 2008