Bulger Day 20: Hiding Halloran

An FBI agent describes a Bulger victim who feared his imminent death.

So Whitey Bulger’s on trial and you’re interested in hearing about it, but you’ve got this darn day job and you can’t manage to keep up with all the live tweets. We feel you. Here’s what you missed. (Past coverage here.) 

The Witnesses: It was an abbreviated day of testimony in the trial of Whitey Bulger, apparently because one of the jurors was held up by Monday morning rush hour traffic and also because of some extended sidebarring during which the lawyers approached the bench, the judge played some irritating static noises to keep the jury from hearing what was said, and together they all bickered about legal proceedings and had a merry time. But at any rate, there was some testimony. We heard from former medical examiner Dr. Richard Evans who took the jury through the causes of death of the various alleged Bulger victims whose remains were found while he was on the job. We’ve heard a whole lot about the states of those various remains in recent days, so we won’t dwell on that. (Spoiler alert: Most of them died of very gruesome gunshot wounds.)
We also met John Martorano’s lady friend, Patricia Carlson (née Lytle), whom he met when she was 16 and he was 35, so … that’s a bit medieval. When she was 18 and he was a fugitive, he invited her to Florida for a vacation, because “it was the middle of winter in Mass, Florida sounded good,” which … well, right you are Patricia. The vacation lasted 20 years, during which she accepted a whole lot of money from Martorano’s friends. She also described lying to a grand jury in 1995 when Martorano was first arrested.
And finally, we met retired FBI agent Gerald Montanari who handled Brian Halloran, a guy whom Bulger allegedly gunned down when he got word that Halloran was implicating him in another murder. We’ve heard quite a bit about the Halloran murder, too, at this point, but the most interesting stuff in today’s testimony might have been just how aware Halloran was that he might face execution. He told the FBI that Bulger would go to “any extreme,” including the killing of bystanders, to make sure Halloran was dead. The FBI had him in a safe house on Cape Cod, but Montanari says they couldn’t control where he went. And indeed, the prosecution alleges that Bulger killed the innocent Michael Donahue along with Halloran when his time finally did come.
The fashion:  Bulger showed up in a collared shirt for the third day in a row. (Trend alert.) Courtroom reporters want to know: is this an attempt at image rehabilitation after he’s shouted down half the witnesses? And if so, does this collared shirt have magical powers?

Coming up next: It looks like Stephen Flemmi will testify on Wednesday of this week, which given the track record with the other star witnesses thus far, promises to be dramatic.

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