By Dick Lehr
Black Mass : the real tale of an Unholy Alliance among the FBI and the Irish Mob by means of Dick Lehr and ONeill Gerard . HarperCollins Publishers,2000
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Additional info for Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob
So that spring we set out with two other Globe reporters to change all that. Christine Chinlund, whose interests lay in politics, focused on Billy Bulger. Kevin Cullen, the city’s best police reporter at that time, looked into Whitey. We swung between the two, with Lehr eventually working mostly with Cullen and O’Neill overseeing the whole affair. Even though we usually did investigative work, this project was seen as an in-depth biographical study of two of the city’s most colorful and beguiling brothers.
Connolly’s parents—John J. Connolly, a Gillette employee for fifty years, and his stay-in-the-background mother, Bridget T. Kelly—lived in the project until John was twelve years old. In 1952 the family moved “up” to City Point, which was Southie’s best address because it looked out to sea from the far end of the promontory. Connolly’s father was known as “Galway John,” after the Irish county of his birth. He made the church, South Boston, and his family the center of his life. Somehow the father of three children pulled the money together to send John to the Catholic school in the Italian North End, Columbus High.
Swirling around were sensational disclosures involving a bizarre partnership between the CIA and the Mafia, also unearthed during congressional investigations. There was talk of a CIA deal with mafiosi to assassinate Cuba’s Fidel Castro, and of murder plots that involved poisoned pens and poisoned cigars. Indeed, it suddenly seemed like the Mafia was everywhere and everyone wanted a piece of the mysterious and somehow glamorous organization, including Hollywood. Francis Ford Coppola’s movie masterpiece, The Godfather, Part II, had played to huge audiences when it opened the year before.