Thursday, October 25, 2012
Thursday, October 18, 2012
|Whitmore requested that he be cremated; his remains are in the urn on the table.|
I wrote about Whitmore's horrible ordeal at the hands of a racist criminal justice system, and the effect that had on his life, in an Op-ed article in the NY Times (link: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/13/opinion/who-will-mourn-george-whitmore.html?hpw).
At a funeral parlor in Cape May Courthouse, NJ, I joined Whitmore's daughter, Regina, and his extended family of children and grandchildren. They asked me to speak, and I talked about how George's strength during his ordeal back in the 1960s and early 1970s helped shine a light on an UNJUST justice system. Whitmore paid a heavy price for what he was put through, but he died without bitterness or rancor.
If you don't know the story of George Whitmore, please read the NY Times article and also a recent obituary about Whitmore in the Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/16/nyregion/george-whitmore-jr-68-dies-falsely-confessed-to-3-murders-in-1964.html?pagewanted=all) Please spread the word, teach your children, friends and loved ones about this important episode in our shared civil rights history.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
I interviewed Teresa on two separate occasions late last year before she knew anything about the cancer. I found her to be haunted by the legacy of personal deception and violent crime left by her ex-common law husband, Whitey Bulger. Teresa was a 26-year old divorcee with four kids when she first met Bulger in 1966. He was not the legendary crime figure he would later become. By her own account, she became comfortable in her life with Bulger, who she knew was in "the illegal gambling business" and possibly a lonshark. She says she did not know of Bulger's many murders.
I first met and interviewed Teresa at Marisola's restaurant in South Boston, a neighborhood bistro well known to the locals. I was introduced to Teresa by Pat Nee, a friend and former criminal rival of Bulger's who, among other things, once did eight years in prison for smuggling guns to the Irish Republican Army back in the 1980s. Teresa used to chuckle whenever I mentioned Pat's name, because she knew Pat didn't care for Bulger, and, in fact, tried to kill him once or twice before they finally formed an uneasy partnership. Teresa later conceded that Nee was probably right in his negative assessment of Whitey.
The second time I interviewed Teresa was over breakfast at the Seaport Hotel on the harbor in Boston. Both interview sessions were lengthy -- two hours or more. And Teresa was very forthcoming and frank about her feelings and emotions. I liked her instantly. My feeling was that she was a good person, very sensitive and sweet, who had made a horrible choice in her life by settling down with a master deceiver like Bulger. She would later pay a heavy price for her associations with Bulger, as she became the subject of FBI and other investigations, was called to testify numerous times at hearings and trials, and was ultimately painted with a "scarlet letter" for having been Bulger's paramour for thirty years.
I spoke with Teresa one last time, earlier this year, when I called her on behalf of Newsweek magazine, who was looking to take her photo to accompany my article. Though she had told no one outside her closest family members of her cancer, she told me. I was shocked. Not only had she just learned of her condition, she was told that the cancer was far advanced. I told her I was sorry and that she deserved better; she was a good person.
There are those who vilify Teresa and hold her partly responsible for Bulger's crimes. I do not. She made a bad choice in love, was perhaps naive, maybe even chose to stick her head in the sand during Whitey's reign of power. When it came out that her lover was alleged to have killed so many people, including young women, she was stunned. When I met her, she still seemed to be partly in a state of shock about the whole thing.
Teresa has now arrived at her place of peace. Let the haters spew their venom. They never had to walk in her shoes.
To read the article that was based, in part, on my interviews with Teresa Stanley, go to following link: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/11/whitey-bulger-s-women-inside-the-terror-and-glamor-of-his-ex-girlfriends.html
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
So, a guy in Colorado goes into a movie theater, a fantasy movie, comic book movie, and attempts to slaughter everybody. One of the survivors said he couldn't tell if the sound of gunshots was coming from the movie or the killer's gun. Perfect. Our fantasy world and our reality world are now one. Is anyone surprised? Ho hum. It will happen again. Maybe next time at a theater near you, on some national holiday, when you and the kids are nestling in to enjoy the latest fantasy slaughter fest...
-- T.J. English
Monday, June 18, 2012
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Monday, June 11, 2012
|Whitey Bulger and Teresa Stanley, in better times.|
The article was based on extensive interviews with both women. Especially fascinating was the time I spent with TERESA STANLEY, who was Bulger's common-law wife for 30 years. It was Stanley who, in 1995, was originally going to go on the run with Whitey but decided she could not do it. Whitey exchanged Stanley for his other longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig, and they disappeared together for the next 16 years, until they were captured in Santa Monica, CA in June 2011.
|A recent photo of Teresa Stanley, who is now 70 years old.|
Also interviewed for the article is MARILYN DI SILVA, a woman who in the late 70s was the girlfriend of Steve Flemmi.
I hope to write a few more articles on the Bulger saga leading up to his trial, which is currently scheduled for Nov. 5, 2012.
The article "Whitey's Women" can be accessed at http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/11/whitey-bulger-s-women-inside-the-terror-and-glamor-of-his-ex-girlfriends.html.
-- T.J. English
Friday, May 18, 2012
El Paso butts up against Ciudad Juárez, best known today for its spiraling narco violence. But throughout its history, Juárez has been a vibrant musical crossroads. All manner of musical rhythms coming up from South America and the Caribbean pass through the once-thriving clubs and bars of Juárez, hop the Rio Grande, and cross into the U.S. via El Paso. There, musical styles further mix, cross-pollinate, and create some unique sounds that will inevitably be borrowed, approximated and ripped off by mainstream American music-makers.
|Radio La Chusma performing at The Irish Mexican Alliance event in El Paso.|
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
In 1845, the Unites States government, under the leadership of President James Polk, fully embraced the concept of Manifest Destiny. The belief that the Anglo-Saxon race was destined to rule the continent led to a prevailing attitude of expansionism by force, if necessary. Thus, according to those who adhered to this philosophy, the time had come to spread the U.S. Empire all the way to the Pacific Coast.
The problem was that there was disputed land in the American west and in northern Mexico. This did not matter to the U.S. government. They were determined to take this land, by hook or by crook. The Mexican government disputed and then resisted this flagrant act of aggression. The U.S. cavalry was positioned in the disputed territory, now known as the Texas border region. In 1846, the U.S. government officially declared war against Mexico, and for three years the U.S.-Mexico war destroyed families and claimed nearly 30,000 lives in Mexico and the U.S.
At the time, the rank-and-file of the U.S. cavalry was comprised mostly of immigrants, some Germans and Poles, but mostly Irish Catholics. The Irish immigrants, in particular, had come to the U.S. under the most dire of circumstances. The Great Potato Famine was in the process of devastating Irish society and creating a wave of destitute refuges into the U.S. Many of these refuges were prime fodder for the U.S. military, which offered a job, of sorts, and a swift path to U.S. citizenship.
Many Irish were conscripted, their willingness to join motivated in part by the fact that the U.S. military was then battling British forces in Canada. For many an Irishman, the opportunity to do battle with their colonial oppressor, the United Kingdom, within the context of a well-armed and well-equipped U.S. army, was an appealing concept. With great relish, they headed off to fight the Brits in the north, only to find themselves suddenly transferred to the sweltering, desert-like terrain of Southern Texas, which, to the Irish, must have seemed like the surface of another planet.
The officer corps of the U.S. military was almost entirely WASP (white Anglo-Saxon protestant). Generally, they viewed the soldier class, with their immigrant ways and foreign religion, as a lower species of human being. The military was run not unlike a plantation: discipline was harsh. Soldiers who strayed from camp, got drunk, or disobeyed orders were whipped, held in the stockade, or sometimes tied to a stake and left to fry in the sun. Another common form of punishment was to be held upside down and have water poured down your nose and throat, a technique that in a later century would come to be known as “water boarding” and defined as torture.
These inhumane disciplinary techniques, combined with the fact that the army banned any practice of the Catholic religion, created an undercurrent of resentment within the ranks. Faced with the possibility of an insurrection, the military hierarchy passed an order allowing there to be a mass on Sundays. This mass was held at a local church, presided over by a Mexican-born priest. Unbeknownst to the officers, this ceremony would become a place of inter-cultural exchange, based around the concept of a shared faith, which sowed the seeds of the San Patricio Battalion.
Along with issues of cruel treatment and religious bigotry, the Irish American soldiers had another problem. Many of them had a hard time justifying the motives for this war of which they were now reluctant participants. As they came to know the Mexican people who lived in the region, they identified more with them than they did with the WASP overseers of the U.S. military. The Mexicans were peasant people, living off the land, who had not initiated conflict with anyone. It reminded the Irish of their own situation back in Ireland, only now they found themselves on the side of the imperialist and the oppressor.
The immigrant soldiers met secretly amongst themselves and discussed the situation. Eventually, led by an Irishman named John Riley, they decided to do the unthinkable. Over the course of three days, nearly 200 soldiers threw themselves into the Rio Grande and swam across to the other side. They deserted the U.S. Army. In Mexican territory, they re-gathered and formed a brigade, declaring that they would now fight against the U.S. military on behalf of the Mexican people.
The San Patricio Battalion was comprised mostly of Irish immigrants and Irish Americans, but also Germans, Poles, Italians, and some escaped American slaves. They were the outcasts of the American system, men and women who had lived on the dark side of oppression and were now ready to stake their liberty and lives in support of the right to self-determination. Outfitted and armed by the Mexican military, they rode under their own banner, a brilliant green flag with a harp, the Mexican coat of Arms, and the slogan ‘Erin go Bragh’ (Ireland Forever).
With nothing to lose (except their lives), the San Patricios fought valiantly in a number of key battles. At the Battle of Monterrey, they repelled two separate attacks on the city. Led by John Riley, they distinguished themselves as an artillery unit at the Battle of Buena Vista. They inflicted many casualties but also suffered major losses. By August of 1847, reduced in number, they were overwhelmed in a savage, hand-to-hand battle at Churubusco. Nearly a quarter of the battalion was killed, the remainder captured by U.S. forces.
The surviving San Patricios were charged with desertion and found guilty in a series of court martial tribunals. Many were sentenced to death, either by firing squad or, more commonly, public hanging in the town square. Those who were not executed were branded with a hot iron with the letter ‘D’ for deserter on their cheek. John Riley, leader of the San Patricios, was spared the death penalty because he had deserted before war was officially declared. He was sentenced to 50 lashes on his bare back and branded with the letter ‘D’ on each cheek.
For those who know this history, the legacy of the San Patricios is profound. To give your life in a matter of conscience, to do what you believe is just even though you know it could cost you your liberty and life, is one of the greatest sacrifices a human being can make. We honor the example of the San Patricios not as a call to arms, or as a call to battle, but as a call to do what is right.
Today, in the year 2012, we believe the spirit of the San Patricios is alive and well. It is a spirit of multi-cultural solidarity, cross-cultural solidarity, that we celebrate with music, dance and poetic invention. By honoring this history and making it present in our lives today, we hope to harness the spirit of the San Patricios, and use it to bring attention to instances of injustice and human suffering that exists here today in the U.S.-Mexico borderland.
-- THE IRISH MEXICAN ALLIANCE
The NYC benefit concert was a big success, with Chicano and Irish poets, Celtic and Mexican music, special guest speakers, etc. Proceeds from the evening were donated to the Committee to
Protect Journalists, which has established a legal fund to assist journalists from Mexico who have been forced to flee and are now seeking asylum in the U.S.
The Irish Mexican Alliance was founded on the concept that there is a special connection between Irish and Mexican people, and that this connection can be used as a positive force for social change. The Alliance is rooted in history, specifically the history of the San Patricio Battalion, a group of mostly Irish American soldiers who, during the U.S. Mexico War of 1845-47, deserted the U.S. Army to fight on behalf of the Mexican people. The San Patricios were
captured, and many were found guilty of treason at U.S. military tribunals and executed by hanging.
We honor the sacrifice of the San Patricios. Documents from the era show that the choice to leave the U.S. army and fight on behalf of Mexico was based on principle. The mostly immigrant San Patricios came to believe that the war was wrong, that the U.S. government was engaged in an act of imperialist aggression. The San Patricios came to identify more strongly with the cause of the Mexican people, and they made a sacrifice that would cause most of them to lose their liberty and their lives.
The Irish Mexican Alliance recognizes this history as a heroic example of people standing up to the philosophy of Manifest Destiny. By choosing to identify with the cause of the Mexican people, the San Patricios were saying there is a calling higher than national identity, or nationalism. And that calling is the cause of human dignity and the right of people to self-determination.
The Irish Mexican Alliance hopes to harness the legacy of the San Patricios and apply it to issues of social justice. We hope to do this by staging benefit concerts and other events that celebrate and intermingle Irish, Irish American, Chicano, and Mexican cultural traditions.
NOTE: You do not need to be Irish or Mexican to be a part of the Irish Mexican Alliance. The Alliance is a SYMBOL of multicultural solidarity, cross-cultural solidarity, an example of people coming together across cultures and across continents to support each other on issues of social justice. If you are down with that, you are down with the Irish Mexican Alliance, and we hope to see you at one of our events.
-- THE IRISH MEXICAN ALLIANCE
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
On April 28, 2012 in El Paso, Texas, The Irish Mexican Alliance rides again with a raucous night of entertainment and cross cultural solidarity, all to bring awareness to and raise money for organizations dealing with the trauma of the U.S.-Mexico narco war.
Some of the most popular bands in the Borderland, along with an impressive collection of poets and other artists, are coming together under that banner of THE IRISH MEXICAN ALLIANCE to stage a major fundraising event in downtown El Paso, TX on Sat., April 28. The event will raise money for the El Paso-based charity, Amor por Juárez, an organization that helps fund non-governmental organizations dealing with the trauma caused by the narco war in the U.S.-Mexico borderland.
Along with its serious intent, THE IRISH MEXICAN ALLIANCE event promises to be a raucous night of entertainment, as well as a formidable display of cross-cultural solidarity. There will be Celtic and Mexican music, Chicano and Irish poets, Mexican and Irish beer. Books, CDs, posters, and t-shirts created especially for the event will be raffled off for charity. The event will be held at the historic San Carlos Building at 501 Texas Avenue, in downtown El Paso, from 6-12 pm. The suggested donation for the event is $12.
“There is nothing quite like The Irish Mexican Alliance,” said best-selling author T.J. English, who founded the initiative and will be hosting the event. “We believe there is a spiritual connection between Mexican and Irish people that can be harnessed as a powerful force. In this case, along with staging one of the best concert events to hit El Paso in some time, we will raise money for organizations dealing with the ongoing emotional and human carnage of the narco war.”
Among the entertainers performing at the event are Frontera Bugalú and Radio La Chusma, two of the most popular bands in El Paso; singer Velia Christina, a rising star who will perform songs from her upcoming debut CD; the San Patricios, an El Paso based traditional Irish music group; and Ashley Davis, a Celtic singer who is being flown in from New York City. On the literary side, renowned Chicano poet and author Jimmy Santiago Baca will read, along with local poets Valentin Sandoval and Terrence Welsh, and Myrlin Hepworth, a dynamic young Chicano poet based in Phoenix.
THE IRISH MEXICAN ALLIANCE began in 2010 in NYC with the staging of a similar event in Manhattan. At that event, money was raised for the Committee to Protect Journalists, who established a fund to provide legal assistant to journalists forced to flee Mexico and seek asylum in the U.S. due to threats and the murder of fellow journalists in Mexico.
“Anything that brings attention to what is happening across the border in Juárez is important,” says Valentin Sandoval, a local poet, filmmaker and activist who is a coproducer of the event. “There is a danger people will get tired of hearing about what’s happening there, or simply forget. We want to help make sure that doesn’t happen, and also, at the same, create a special night showcasing some of the most talented artists in El Paso.”
In addition to calling attention to the devastating consequences of the narco war, THE IRISH MEXICAN ALLIANCE draws its impetus from the historical spirit of the San Patricio Battalion, a group of mostly Irish American soldiers who, during the U.S.-Mexico War of 1845-48, deserted the U.S. army to fight on behalf of the Mexican people. Although the San Patricios are thought of as traitors by some (many were executed as traitors by the U.S. military), THE IRISH MEXICAN ALLIANCE celebrates the sacrifice of the San Patricios as an example of men and women following their conscience and standing up to what they saw as injustice and imperialist aggression.
For more information about THE IRISH MEXICAN ALLIANCE and the upcoming event in El Paso, visit the Facebook page and/or website at www.irishmexicanalliance.org.
Media contact: Valentin Sandoval at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 915-694-8863.
Friday, February 24, 2012
THE SAVAGE CITY, the scalding New York Times best-seller by T.J. English, is due out in paperback on March 20, 2012. The book chronicles a particularly violent ten-year period (1963-1973) in the recent history of New York City, with the racial tensions between the black liberation movement and the NYPD as the central fault line. The book has been praised by the New York Times, Mother Jones, The Village Voice, and other publications.
The paperback edition of THE SAVAGE CITY contains a new Afterword by the author that focuses on and updates the story of BILL PHILLIPS, a notoriously corrupt police officer who eventually got caught and testified in front of the Knapp Commission Hearings in 1971. Phillips was later convicted of the double murder of a pimp and a prostitute and sentenced to life in prison. After serving 33 years, Phillips was released. In the new Afterword to THE SAVAGE CITY, English interviews Phillips, gets his response to his portayal in the book and also solicits some starting revelations about what it was like being a former police officer in prison for more than three decades.
In addition to Phillips, THE SAVAGE CITY tells the story of GEORGE WHITMORE, a young black male who is coerced into signing a confession to a horrific double murder he did not commit, and DHORUBA BIN WAHAD, one of the founding members of the Black Panther Party in NYC. These three characters form a narrative thread in the book that reflects on different aspects of race and criminal justice in America during an especially tumultuous time.
So place your orders now for this new and updated version of the latest non-fiction masterpiece by T.J. ENGLISH, author of HAVANA NOCTURNE, THE WESTIES, and other national best sellers, an author who historian and writer Luc Sante has called "one of the great reporters of our time."
Friday, January 27, 2012
(The following book review by T.J. English appeared on The Daily Beast on Jan. 27, 2012.)
In the two decades that James “Whitey” Bulger served as a secret FBI informant while extorting citizens, peddling cocaine and killing people to protect his Boston-based criminal empire, there is only one federal agent who tried seriously to shut him down: Robert Fitzpatrick.
For his efforts, Fitzpatrick was frustrated at every turn, not by Bulger and his fellow gangsters, but by his own FBI.
After being introduced to Bulger in 1981, Fitzpatrick warned his regional supervisor that Whitey was “sociopathic… untrustworthy… likely to commit violence” and suggested that he be “closed” as an informant. Not only were his memos and recommendations ignored, some in the FBI sought to discredit Fitzpatrick and destroy his reputation.
The aggrieved former G-man finally has the opportunity to tell his side of the story in Betrayal, an explosive memoir of his years as Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston office. The book has the feel of an ongoing therapy session, as Fitzpatrick seeks to make sense of a sprawling conspiracy of agents, cops, judges, criminals, and politicians who for decades enabled Bulger and made it possible for his campaign of corruption and terror to infect an entire city. Currently, Bulger awaits trial on nineteen counts of murder, after having been on the lam for sixteen years.
It is a sickening story, one that Fitzpatrick and his co-author Jon Land allow to unfold slowly, like a toxic oil spill that envelopes and destroys the surrounding ecosystem – in this case, the entire criminal justice system of the state of Massachusetts.
It is now common knowledge that Special Agent John Connolly, Bulger’s primary handler in the Bureau who is presently in prison on murder charges, and former state senator William “Billy” Bulger, Whitey’s powerful politician brother, formed a support system that made it possible for the Bulger era to sustain itself. But in Betrayal, Fitzpatrick broadens the conspiracy, detailing the culpability of a vast matrix of enablers, including, most notably, the late-Jeremiah T. O’Sullivan, who, as lead prosecutor for the state’s Organized Crime Strike Force, undermined potential prosecutions of both Whitey and Billy Bulger, and Lawrence Sarhatt and James Greenleaf, successive special agents in charge of the FBI’s Boston office, who buried reports, including Fitzpatrick’s recommendation that Bulger be “closed” as an informant.
Fitzpatrick does not attempt to portray himself as a hero; the dominant tone of the book is one of frustration and astonishment as the author, who was sent to Boston by FBI headquarters in Washington D.C. with the expressed task of evaluating Bulger’s “suitability” as a top-echelon informant, encounters malfeasance and corruption at every level.
Early in the book, he describes being a young boy at the infamous Mount Loretto orphanage in Staten Island, NY, where he encountered bullies and institutional abuse. Late at night, he sought solace by laying in the dark and listening to the popular radio program This Is Your FBI. Fitzpatrick’s belief in the FBI as both an avenue of personal salvation and an institutional force for justice haunts the book, as the reality of corruption and careerism crushes his idealism much the same way Bulger strangled, shot and mutilated his murder victims.
Fitzpatrick came to Boston well suited to deal with subterfuge and corruption. He had gone undercover in the Deep South in the mid-Sixties in an attempt to penetrate and bring down white supremacist organizations. In the 1970s he’d been one of the lead agent on the ABSCAM investigation, a sting operation involving corrupt public officials that led to numerous high-profile arrests, including the indictment of a sitting U.S. senator.
In Boston, Fitzpatrick spent nearly a decade trying to unravel what he calls “the Bulger arrangement.” As a veteran G-man who had trained budding agents on the proper cultivation of criminal informants at the FBI academy in Quantico, VA, he recognized all the telltale signs of a disaster in the making. He saw that Connolly and his supervisor, John Morris, were too close to Bulger. Also, as Fitzpatrick noted to anyone who would listen, the Bulger situation violated one of the most basic tenets of informant cultivation; the proper strategy with informants is to get someone mid-level who can help take down the boss and therefore an entire organization. You cannot have an organized crime kingpin as an informant, because it is inevitable that person will choose to manipulate the information they reveal to their handlers as a way of staying in power.
When it became apparent to Fitzpatrick that his warnings about the Bulger relationship were being ignored, he sought to build his own cases against the mob boss. He developed informants like Brian Halloran, a sad-sack career thug who worked for Bulger, and John McIntyre, a naïve Irish Republican Army (IRA) sympathizer who partnered with Bulger on a scheme to send guns to Northern Ireland in exchange for shipments of marijuana and cocaine. Agents in Fitzpatrick’s own office leaked information to Bulger about the informants; Halloran and McIntyre were both brutally murdered by Bulger, as were other informants whose identities were compromised and revealed to local gangsters by Connolly and Morris.
In the end, Fitzpatrick’s reputation within the Bureau as a potential whistleblower and general “pain in the ass” began to wear him down. It took a personal toll on him and his wife. Fitzpatrick began to get the sense that Bulger and his gangster partner Steve Flemmi, who was also a longtime FBI informant, were more important to the local office than he was. “Apparently Bulger and Flemmi were the FBI’s ‘guys’ while I, somehow, wasn’t,” writes Fitzpatrick. “While busting [the Mafia] remained every bit a top priority in Washington, my efforts and accomplishments were being demeaned by a groupthink mentality that led to a scenario of ‘us versus them,’ with me inexplicably linked with ‘them.’”
When Fitzpatrick, frustrated and disillusioned, resigned from the Bureau in 1987, the full dimensions of Bulger’s partnership with the FBI was not yet known, even to the agent. It wasn’t until the late-1990s, when Bulger went on the lam after being tipped off by his FBI contacts that he was about to be arrested, that the truth started to come out. In a series of hearings and depositions, the Bulger cohorts who were left behind turned “rat” and testified in court. In a groundbreaking hearing presided over by Federal Judge Mark Wolf, Fitzpatrick testified, and for the first time the story of his efforts to rectify the Bureau’s sinister alliance with Bulger began to take shape.
In January 2000, after Whitey’s right hand man provided details on a series of murders, including where the bodies were buried, Fitzpatrick stood in the rain alongside Dorchester gulley as the remains of John McIntyre, his one-time informant, were dug up. “As I stood on that embankment,” writes Fitzpatrick, “steaming over confirmation of what I’d suspected ever since John McIntyre had disappeared in 1984, I never imagined I was looking at the means to achieve my long sought vindication.”
Fitzpatrick’s vindication would come in court, where he testified as part of a civil lawsuit brought by the McIntyre family – and other families of Bulger’s victims – against the FBI and the U.S. government for having underwritten Bulger’s murderous criminal career. In 2006, the McIntyre family was awarded $3.1 million in damages. All told, litigation from cases related to the Bulger debacle would result in damages over $20 million.
Betrayal provides the most complete overview to date of the culture of corruption that made Bulger possible. Fitzpatrick names names and offers an appendix filled with FBI memos, letters and excerpts from depositions and court proceedings. The cumulative effect is a devastating reaffirmation of the findings of a U.S. congressional committee that declared the Bulger-FBI relationship to represent “one of the greatest failures in the history of federal law enforcement.”
The final chapter on Bulger has not yet been written. Whitey is scheduled to stand trial sometime in 2012, and Fitzpatrick will likely be called to testify.
In this sordid saga of homicidal gangsters and dirty federal agents, Fitzpatrick’s perspective – and his book – offers a rare beacon of light.
-- T.J. English
Sunday, January 22, 2012
The venerable MWA annually gives out awards for mystery and crime fiction, as well non-fiction and screenwriting for television and movies. The Edgar Awards, named after legendary writer Edgar Allan Poe, will be given out at the organization's annual awards banquet April 26, 2012 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in NYC.
This is the third time T.J. English has been nominated in this category. His first nomination was for for BORN TO KILL (1995), the true story of a Vietnamese gang based in New York City's Chinatown neighborhood in the early 1990s. English was nominated again in 2009 for HAVANA NOCTURNE, an account of the Mob's infiltration of Havana, Cuba in the 1950s in the years before the Cuban revolution.
THE SAVAGE CITY is an epic account of a ten-year period in NYC history, from 1963 to 1973, when racial tension between the NYPD and the Black liberation movement brought the city to a boiling point. The book was a NY Times best-seller, and English was a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to promote the book.
For a complete list of this year's nominees for the Edgar Award, click the following link: