Check out our latest episode!
April 25, 2022

On The Waterfront - Part 2 - Punchy McLaughlin & Buddy McLean


The two leaders in Boston's 1960s Gang War were murdered within ten days of one another. We're taking you through the events that led up to their assassinations, the role played by Raymond Patriarca and the mafia, and why Edward "Punchy" McLaughlin and James "Buddy" McLean were ultimately eliminated.

Episode 7

Episode 13

Episode 25

Follow us on Twitter for sneak peeks of upcoming episodes. You can also find us on Instagram and Facebook.

Questions or comments, email lara@doubledealpodcast.com or nina@doubledealpodcast.com

Donate to Lara and Nina

Thank you for listening!

All the best,

Lara & Nina

Transcript

Lara:

 

Welcome back everyone! Last week Nina and I discussed the victims of the gang war who had met their end in 1965, but we saved Buddy Mclean and Punchy McLaughlin for this episode. Today we’re going to take a look at their early lives, criminal careers and their murders. If you haven’t listened to episodes 13 and 25, you might want to check those out too. 



Nina:

 

We’re also going to debate the confessions, theories, stories and our own thoughts about the responsible parties.



Lara:

 

Oh, is this when I get to tear apart Frankie Salemme’s congressional testimony?



Nina:

 

We both do! At least when Howie gave a statement about the attempts on Punchy McLaughlin’s life he got the location right.



Lara:

 

Speaking of Howie, has the FBI responded to your FOIA request yet?



Nina:

 

Yes, the FBI denied my request. 



Lara:

 

Why?



Nina:

 

They said it wasn’t consistent with their terms of service. Whatever that means. 

 

Lara:

 

Interesting. Maybe when Frankie Salemme and Stevie Flemmi pass you should try again.



Nina:

 

I agree with you. There are too many things that the Feds are still trying to hide about their favorite informants.

 

I’ve also submitted a FOIA for Punchy, and they said they have so much information about him that it was going to take awhile to get it to me. And it looks like nobody has ever submitted a FOIA for Buddy McLean either. I guess we should also submit a request for his file too.

 

Anyhow, let's get started. Rather than going into detail today about Punchy and Buddy’s backgrounds I think we should give an outline of their criminal activities. As you mentioned at the beginning, if our listeners want more details they can check out episodes 13 and 25.



Lara:

 

Good idea. And I know you want to include more about Tommy Callahan, a long time associate of Raymond Patriarca. 



Nina:

 

Yes. As we mentioned in the last episode, Tommy was shot by unnamed assailants in December of ‘64. That incident led to a meeting between his gang and the LCN the following month. The two parties agreed that something needed to be done to stop the killings in the Boston area. Not because they cared that men were dying, but because it was putting too much heat on everyone and hurting their bottom lines. In addition, the Mafia agreed that whoever had shot at Tommy should be hit. The second part of the agreement was the subject of multiple conversations throughout the first part of ‘65. And it played into the McLean-McLaughlin feud since Tommy was backing the McLean faction.



Lara:

 

Ok, Since Edward “Punchy” McLaughlin was Buddy’s elder let’s start with him.

 

Eddie was born in Charlestown on May 16, 1917 to John McLaughlin and Anna Clafferty both of County Donegal, Ireland. Punchy was one of nine children. Along with two of his brothers George and Bernard, they were the core of the McLaughlin gang of Charlestown.

 

Punchy earned his nickname from his time as a boxer. Long before he was known for his criminal activity, Punchy fought under his own name, Eddie McLaughlin. The 160 lb light heavyweight competed for the diamond belt in 1935. His boxing career lasted five years. 

 

Punchy’s record dated back to 1931 when he was arrested for trying to steal a car. In ‘34 he was picked up for breaking and entering. Mugging a man for $50 was the reason for his arrest in 1939, but by 1947 the charges were becoming more serious when he was arrested for armed robbery. It would be over a decade until his next two arrests for auto theft and larceny. Punchy was picked up again for larceny in ‘62. We’ll get to his final arrest a little later.

 

Looking at Punchy’s rap sheet it would appear he was a petty criminal, but the Union delegate was said to be the leader of the second most powerful crime family in New England with strong ties to New York organized crime, in particular the Genovese Family. I think that was another reason Raymond Patriarca inevitably sided with the McLean faction.



Nina:

 

Definitely. As we’ve discussed so far this season the alliances and connections of many wiseguys with different New York families had an effect on their existences. 

 

James Joseph “Buddy” Mclean was born in Somerville on January 26, 1930 to William J. and Dorothy McLean. Dorothy was 14 years younger than her husband, and she abandoned them both. William, a longshoreman, left Buddy to live with a neighbor, Mary Raposa, along with 2 other foster children and Mary’s 2 grown children. 

 

Buddy began his criminal career in 1948 hijacking trucks with Tommy Ballou, a close associate of Tommy Callahan. Buddy’s chance to shine came in the summer of ‘57 when Joe MacDonald went on the lam. Joe’s numbers and loan sharking racket tripled in revenue, and Buddy’s success didn’t go unnoticed. His first arrest wasn’t until 1958 for hijacking a truck full of liquor. He was never convicted of those charges. Buddy was an FBI informant since at least 1960 which most likely happened in part because of the case. His next arrests occurred in the fall of 1961, three prior to the murder of Bernie McLaughlin one for destruction of property, one for assualt and the other illegal possession of a firearm. His final arrest was for the shooting of Bernie. The only charge he would do time for was the weapons one for which he received three to four years in State prison.

 

 

Lara:

 

In early 1961 the McLaughlin Brothers tried to negotiate a business agreement with Buddy. They wanted assurances that bettors and loan seekers from Charlestown wouldn’t be serviced by McLean’s crew and in turn they would send Somerville folks back to him. An agreement was reached and the situation was peaceful until one fateful Labor Day weekend.

 

At an annual end of the summer party attended by a group of friends, acquaintances and rivals in Salisbury Beach, Georgie McLaughlin’s reckless and drunken behavior would shift simmering tensions into a full-on, nearly decade-long gangland war. 



Nina:

 

Let’s not rehash the brawl. Again if anyone wants to hear more about it then listen to episode 13.

 

I’ll give a quick summary of the events. Bernie asked Buddy to hand over the men responsible for Georgie’s beating. Buddy denied this request. That same evening on October 29th, a bomb was planted on the engine of Buddy’s wife’s car. On October 31st, Buddy shot Bernie at point blank range in broad daylight in front of over 100 witnesses. Buddy’s accomplices were Bobo Petricone and MDC police officer Russ Nicholson.



Lara:

 

The following month, Georgie was involved in a serious car accident when his car overturned on Cambridge St. in Brighton. He was hospitalized, suffering from multiple lacerations and contusions of the face and body. The police said that the accident had occurred because of wet road conditions, but the timing was awfully suspicious since it was just a couple of weeks after his brother Bernie had been murdered.

 

On December 16th, the charge of murder against Buddy and Bobo were dropped citing a lack of evidence. 

 

On May 9th, 1962 Georgie was beaten and stabbed. He had been seen driving his late brother, Bernie’s, car on the evening of May 8th. Police were called to Third St in Chelsea at 4 in the morning on May 9th where they found his blood soaked car on the side of the road. But Georgie had disappeared. When the cops went to search the surrounding area for clues, the car sped off. That same morning a man appeared in a nearby hospital with a knife wound to his throat. 

 

Georgie had been scheduled to appear in court on the 17th for an appeal on an automobile violation but he failed to show. His lawyer stated that Georgie had been beaten over the head with a lead pipe and was unable to appear. 





Nina:

 

Buddy was sent to prison on May 16th, so I suspect that it was Buddy and his crew who tried to kill Georgie the previous week. By May of 1963, Buddy was back on the street. The following month someone took a shot at Buddy while he was walking on Broadway in Somerville. The rumor was that it was Georgie McLaughlin. But the following months were relatively quiet. In late December 1963 Frank Dogie Murray was killed in Rhode Island. We’ll be covering Frank’s story in a future episode.

 

Then in March 1964, at a christening party, another attempt was made on Georgie McLaughlin’s life. But the killer missed and shot an innocent bystander, William Sheridan, instead. The Feds, who’d had it out for the McLaughlins for years, seized the opportunity and accused Georgie of the murder. Georgie went on the lam and was placed on the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted List in May.

 

That same month, Russ Nicholson was killed. Of course, everyone suspected it was the McLaughlins or someone in their crew who took him out. If you want to hear more about that and the other murders that took place that summer listen to episode 25 The Hit Parade of 1964.

 

In late September, Sammy Granito went to visit Raymond Patriarca. The conversation started off with Sammy bragging about the new silencer he had gotten for $350 along with some five round lightweight pistols. Granito told Raymond that he fixed the silencer for his gun. The man who fixed the silencer for Granito told him that if he ran steel wool through the barrel after it had been used, it would be impossible to identify a bullet coming from the gun. 



Lara:

 

The steel wool trick was also used by Roy Appleton, but he also somehow rigged the silencers with steel wool.



Nina:

 

I remember that. I wonder if there was some connection there. 

 

The conversation shifted to Punchy McLaughlin. Granito reported that Wimpy Bennett had set up a score for Punchy that netted him $3400. Upon hearing this info Granito claimed that he approached Wimpy not to collect the additional money that he had coming from it. According to Granito, Wimpy was upset about his suggestion. 







Lara:

 

Never one to pass up a good gossip session, Granito continued on saying that Wimpy had a couple of bad kids hanging around with him. The names were redacted, but who do you think he was referring to?



Nina:

 

My first thought was the Flemmi brothers since the names were redacted.



Lara:

 

I was thinking the same thing.

 

In early November, Jerry Angiulo told Raymond that he was still worried that Buddy and his group were taking over the gambling in Somerville, which had been Jerry’s territory. But Raymond told Jerry to just sit back and wait to see what happened. If Buddy came on too strong, Raymond said that he'd take steps to “curtail his progress”. 

 

A couple of weeks later, Jerry reported to Raymond and Sam Cufari that he’d been in contact with an unnamed individual who was attempting to make arrangements for Georgie McLaughlin’s surrender. The District Attorney Garrett Byrne had apparently agreed to a bond in the amount of $35,000.



Nina:

 

Angiulo said that he’d told the person (who I believe was Punchy McLaughlin) to make sure that he got a definite deal from Byrne because he did not trust him. 

 

Five days later, on November 23, at just after 11 o’clock in the morning, Punchy McLaughlin was shot with a twelve gauge sawed off shotgun while he sat in his parked car on Regent Circle near Beacon Street in Brookline near Washington Sq. And that’s nowhere near the Beth Israel Hospital in case Frank Salemme is listening and still can’t recall the area he claims to have shot Punchy in.

 

We’re just going to keep rubbing it in, Frank!




Lara:

 

Don’t forget the number of journos and authors who ran with that story and never bothered to verify it! How many newspapers and books brought that to print? 



Nina:

 

Calm down! We’re trying to set the record straight here. My favorite is the guy who wrote a book offering business advice and included that story as an illustration! Although for the life of me, I can’t remember what the principal was supposed to be.

 

The initial police report said that Punchy had been partially dragged from the car by his assailant, who had first shot through the car window, shattering it. But the gunman was forced to flee in a black 1962 Pontiac sedan with Rhode Island registration plates after witnesses stopped at the scene. Punchy staggered from his bloodstained car to the barbershop of the Beaconsfield Hotel where he collapsed. He was rushed to Beth Israel Hospital by the police who said he was in critical condition. It didn’t look like he’d survive, and the last rites were administered before he was wheeled into what would be an eight hour surgery. The shots had smashed his jaw, and sliced his liver.

 

When the cops asked Punchy who had shot him, he shook his head, which the cops took to mean that he didn’t know. But maybe he just wouldn’t say. The area where the attack took place was one of Punchy’s regular haunts. He frequently purchased boxes of candy at a nearby shop and a two pound box from the same store was sitting on the front seat of his car at the time of the attack. He’d been warned to stay away from the neighborhood by the cops as his life was in danger. But he’d returned to the area for a meeting with an unnamed man who Punchy refused to identify.

 

I still think that the attempt was related to raising money for Georgie’s bail. Whether that was because Punchy was shaking down Jack to raise funds, or because the Feds were trying to make sure Georgie didn’t come in on his own is probably something we will never know for sure.



Lara:

 

A few days later, Patriarca told Granito not to fool around with either the McLeans or the McLaughlins. Patriarca’s plan was to let them fight it out and step in to pick up the pieces when the battle was over. Granito was told by Patriarca that Buddy McLean met with Teddy Fuccilo in order for Fuccilo to relay to Raymond that he wanted no trouble with the Italians. Raymond sent word back that as long as Buddy and his people didn’t encroach on his territory, Raymond didn’t care what he did (41.57).

 

But Raymond was still on the fence, and on another occasion he stated that because of his association with the McLaughlin brothers, he would favor them. Like Wimpy Bennett, Raymond didn’t want to back the losing party, so he hedged his bet.



Nina:

 

Two weeks after the attempt on Punchy’s life, Edmund Flynn, New York hitter and associate of Elmer Trigger Burke, was shot in the neck while driving in RI by his unnamed passenger. Flynn told the authorities that he played possum to avoid another bullet and then drove himself to the hospital. But he remained tightlipped about why he was in Rhode Island and if he’d been going or coming. 

 

If you listened to episode 26 The Defense Never Rests you might remember that Joseph (not the lawyer) and his brother Frank Balliro were taken into protective custody in early 1963 after their brother Rocco had killed an associate of Flynn’s in a love triangle. Edmund Flynn and his brother were said to be allies of the McLaughlin Brothers, and had been questioned several times over the years about murders in the Boston area.



Lara:

 

Of course, Raymond and Louis Taglianetti had a gossip session about Flynn’s incident. Raymond was of the opinion that the shooter was a close associate of Flynn’s named George. According to him, the dispute was over money.

 

Then on December 22nd, Tommy Callahan was shot three times in the neck, stomach and leg. He was wounded after leaving a bar on Mass Ave and Albany St in the South End of Boston.

 

The police said that Callahan was shot at close range with a .38 caliber revolver. The newspapers reported that Callah and Tommy Ballou had been arrested in 1956 for the murder of Brink’s suspect, Wiiliam J. Cameron. They also noted that Callahan was a close friend of Jordan Perry who had been arrested for passing some of the moldy Brink’s loot in Baltimore. If you want to listen to that story checkout episode 7, Moldy Loot.



Nina:

 

While Tommy was recuperating from the attempt on his life, Raymond was busy doling out advice. In January of ‘65, Ronnie Cassesso arranged a meeting between Wimpy Bennett, Jimmy Flemmi and Patriarca with the approval of Jerry Anguilo. According to the wiretap at the Coin-O-Matic, Patriarca had put the word out that he wanted to meet with Bennett and Flemmi, and that’s what prompted Wimpy to reach out to Cassesso to set up the meet. Wimpy had his own motive for the meeting. He was trying to determine whether or not Raymond could affect a peace deal in the gang war in Boston in the event that Georgie McLaughlin, who was still on the FBI’s most wanted list, "was killed." What Wimpy took away from that meeting is unknown to us, but after this meeting it appears that Wimpy did finally pick a side, Buddy McLean.



Lara:

 

Jerry Angiulo reported to Raymond that Wimpy had also contacted him sometime before his meeting with Raymond. Wimpy’s conversation with Jerry also revolved around the gang war, his disgust with the situation, and the possibility of a peace agreement. He also told Jerry that hoodlums such as Edmund Flynn were coming in from NY, and there was no way of knowing who was going to be killed or when. And just as in his later conversation with Raymond, he didn’t know what side to take in the feud. 

 

Jerry told Wimpy that he had to choose a side and stick with his decision. In his report to Raymond, Jerry relayed a conversation between Jimmy Flemmi and Peter Limone. Jimmy told  Limone not to worry about Punchy as he was going to be taken out. Harold Hannon had told Jerry shortly before he was killed that Jimmy was crazy and was going to get everyone killed.



Nina:

 

Another gabfest took place on January 25th between Raymond and Jerry. Jerry told Raymong that Spike O’Toole had reached out to Peter Limone requesting a meeting with Raymond. Spike wanted to arrange for Georgie McLaughlin, who was still on the lam after the murder of William Sheridan, to speak to Raymond. Limone and Spike concocted an elaborate scheme involving a public payphone, but it appears the plan never came to fruition.

 

Raymond asked Jerry if he had heard that Georgie had wanted to get in with Bernie McGarry. This apparently occurred six months earlier when Harold Hannon had been involved in efforts to arrange Georgie’s bail. Hannon had ultimately been murdered for his trouble. Jerry also commented that Hannon had told him that Wimpy had been trying to frame the McLaughlins, and the McLaughlins were very apprehensive of Wimpy. (42.69) Which still has to make you wonder about Wimpy’s role in Hannon’s torture and murder.

 

The following day, FBI SA Kehoe wrote up the above conversation in a memo to Hoover. As we’ve noted in previous episodes, the Boston FBI had it out for the McLaughlins and did not want Georgie coming in on his own. That was likely why two days after Kehoe’s memo was posted, Spike O’Toole was arrested in Everett on the charge of fathering an illegitimate child with Dottie Barchard. He was released on $1000 bail and his case was continued for a month. During Spike’s arraignment, he admitted that he was a friend of Georgie McLaughlin’s. And when he was asked where Georgie was, Spike answered, “probably shot up some place.”



Lara:

 

Of course, Spike knew exactly where Georgie was because he went back to the apartment they were sharing in Dorchester. On February 24, 1965 Georgie was apprehended there along with Spike. Spike decked out in nothing other than his boxer shorts and Georgie in his jammies, they were apprehended without incident despite there being three loaded .38 caliber revolvers within reach of both of them.

 

Spike was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for hiding and concealing a known fugitive on March 2nd. He was in custody in Charles Street jail in default of $35,000 bail. 

On March 4th, Spike was brought to the Federal Building to sign a bail bond and be released. The plan then was for the local authorities to arrest him on the same charges. But Spike refused to sign, and was sent back to Charles Street. He was freed on the 15th and promptly arrested by the Somerville police on the morals charge. Dorothy was ordered to appear in court the following day, but when she failed to show up because was still in New York at the Crazy Joe Donahue trial, the judge postponed the case for two weeks. Spike was released on $1000 bail. Dorothy’s lover John Fitzgerald represented Spike at the hearing.




Nina:

 

Once on the street, Spike contacted Larry Baione aka Illario Zannino at the El Morocco nightclub. He asked Baione to arrange a meeting with Jerry Angiulo as soon as possible. This was at least his third attempt to meet with Jerry since he’d gotten out of prison in December of ‘64. Jerry finally agreed to meet Spike at the El Morocco later that same evening.

 

Jerry assured Raymond later that he took every precaution to ensure he wasn’t tailed to the meeting.



Lara:

 

I can only imagine the precautions he took. Hopefully it wasn’t as complicated as Raymond’s trips to New York City, hiding in public bathrooms.



Nina:

 

But I bet it was close to that! It didn’t matter, though, because Jerry told the Feds everything that had happened when he relayed the story to Raymond the following week. According to Jerry, Spike informed him that Wimpy Bennett was a “stool pigeon” because the law knew everything that happened immediately if Wimpy was involved in it. Spike also told Jerry about Margaret Sylvester’s murder back in November 1964, how Jimmy had botched the cleanup he’d been hired to do, and instead unburdened himself to Detective Billy Stuart. 

 

After his meeting with Spike, Jerry summoned Jimmy Flemmi and swore him to secrecy. He told him that Spike was out to kill Jimmy, his brother Stevie and Wimpy Bennett on the weekend of April 3rd.




Lara:

 

On April 3rd at 12:30am, Jimmy rushed into Jay’s Lounge in the North End of Boston and demanded to see Jerry. When Jerry appeared, Jimmy blurted out that Spike had tried to kill Wimpy at his house, but missed. He told Jerry that three shots were fired at Wimpy Bennett as he left his house. But Wimpy was armed and was able to fire back. One of Wimpy’s assailants drove off in a car and the other ran off on foot. He added that Wimpy was grateful to Jerry for warning him of the possible “hit.”

 

Jerry was pissed off that Jimmy had told Wimpy of the possible hit. The more Jimmy attempted to defend himself the angrier Jerry grew. Finally during this exchange Jimmy admitted that he was very friendly with Detective Billy Stuart of the Boston PD.



Nina:

 

He also confessed to Jerry that Tommy Callahan and Leo Swartz had requested his assistance in killing Spike O’Toole and Francis “Gaga” Murray. When Jimmy asked for compensation, they sent him to Bernie McGarry, noted Boston bookmaker. As we mentioned earlier, Harold Hannon had reached out to Bernie to raise bail money for Georgie McLaughlin in the summer of 1964. We will be discussing Bernie McGarry in more detail later this season. 



Lara:

 

Another one of the names that I heard constantly as a kid that became an obsession. I can still hear the way they pronounced his name.



Nina:

 

Well, now you have to say it for us! 




Lara:

 

Bernie McGarry.



Nina:

 

All of their crazy pronunciations helped keep those stories fresh in your mind. Makes planning and researching these episodes much easier.

 

Jerry also told Raymond that shortly after the McGarry meet, John J Callahan of the Boston Licensing Board contacted him concerning a card game. During the course of this conversation Callahan asked Jerry specifically as to what type of fellows the Flemmi brothers were because they were trying to move in on McGarry. 

 

Jerry told Callahan that they were “not bad kids.” But Callahan replied that McGarry was going to back away from them. At least McGarry had some sense, unlike Jerry. They were serial killers!



Lara:

 

Jerry said that Gaga Murray told him that Jimmy Flemmi had stated that the “guineas down the North End” had given O’Toole and the Murray faction $500 to keep going.

That’s a very telling statement on Jimmy’s part. Obviously the resentment that he and his brother Stevie had against the “old timers” was a long standing one that possibly fueled Stevie’s desires to help the Feds bring down the LCN in Boston later in the ‘80s.



Nina:

 

No question, but I still don’t fully understand why. They were full-blooded Italian. Jerry wasn’t wrong about that. Granted they were mental patients and should have been institutionalized, but in theory they could have easily become part of the LCN. But by this point, their loyalties were obviously with the Winter Hill crew (and the Feds). This was clear in Jimmy’s statement that he was very angry with Angiulo and his crew for furnishing funds to Murray and O’Toole.



Lara:

 

Jerry also informed Raymond that when Wimpy was shot at he called Det. Stuart, but Stuart wasn’t available. Wimpy left his name and number with the BPD requesting Stuart to contact him immediately. Det. Powers of the BPD provided the info to Jerry about Wimpy’s call and the complaint he filed with the BPD. Powers also told Jerry that Stuart had reported to his superiors that he had proof that Jerry and his group were inciting the gang war. 



Nina:

 

From who? Wimpy Bennett??



Lara:

 

During that same conversation, Henry Tameleo referred to a meeting between Patriarca and Wimpy some time ago. The only individuals who knew of the meet were Patriarca, Wimpy and Tameleo. Shortly after the meet, many people in Boston, as well as the law, were aware of the meet. Patriarca said he told Jerry long ago that Bennett was not to be trusted and this incident proved he was right.



Nina:

 

Two days after Wimpy was shot at, Jimmy met with his FBI handler, SA Rico. He told Rico that it was Spike O’Toole and Gaga Murray who had tried to kill Wimpy. Spike had been the one who fired at Wimpy from the bushes, and when Wimpy returned his fire, Spike ran. Gaga Murray, who was parked in the car, pulled up when he heard the shooting to pick up Spike. When he saw Wimpy shoot, he abandoned Spike. 

 

Rico asked Jimmy why the shooting had taken place, and Jimmy replied that the McLaughlins had come to the conclusion that Wimpy and his friends were the cause of their troubles; and that they blamed Wimpy for the attempted assassination of Punchy back in November.



Lara:

 

About a week after Wimpy was shot at, Jerome Sullivan wrote in his column: “Two Greater Boston jungle tribes whose long-standing feud is believed to have precipitated at least six of the 19 gangland slayings of the past year have joined forces. Whether the sudden bury-the-hatchet merger of the erstwhile gangs is a good thing remains to be seen. Police are skeptical and are speculating on what will happen next. In the fusion of the two factions, however, one of the McLaughlin lieutenants has been dumped by both sides – and Boston detectives will tell you his life right now is not worth the price of a cheap cigar.”





Nina:

 

He meant, of course, Spike O’Toole.



Lara:

 

Let’s backtrack a few days. In the middle of all of this chaos Punchy was arrested on April 6th while he was boosting at the Westgate shopping center in Brockton. A shop manager saw Punchy take a transistor radio, so he followed Punchy out to his car and accused him of stealing. Punchy returned to the store and offered to pay for it, but the manager wouldn’t accept the money and called the police instead. Employees from another store reported that they had seen Punchy stuff two cans of rug cleaner under his coat.

 

At first, Punchy told the cops that his name was John Sullivan and that he lived on High Street in Milton. But he was carrying his own driver's license with his own name on it, and he gave his address as Ashland Street in Canton. He pleaded innocent and was released on $600 bail. 

 

His home address was printed in the newspaper! Anyone would have known where he lived. This puts another hole in Frankie Salemme’s congressional testimony. He claimed that Rico didn’t provide him and Stevie Flemmi with Punchy’s address until September. But the timeline he provided regarding the second attempt on Punchy didn’t match as the attempt was made on his life in August four months after his address was printed in the newspaper. 



Nina:

 

Here’s the thing about that, though. Ashland Street doesn’t exist. They did get the first half right: but it was Ashdale Street. But the town was correct, so I suppose someone with half a brain and who knew the area, or had a map, would not have found that a huge obstacle. But I doubt that Frankie Salemme was that person.



Lara:

 

A few days later, Jimmy Flemmi was picked up on the wiretap at Coin-O alleging that Punchy had deliberately gotten himself arrested to establish an alibi for something that was going to happen at the time he was arrested, but he wasn’t specific about what that something was.

 

Raymond told Jimmy that Punchy had always been the person who made the snowballs and had others fire them. 

 

One of dad’s favorite sayings too. Must have been a thing at that time.



Nina:

 

Maybe he got it from Raymond! It’s a great saying!

 

On April 28th, Punchy appeared in court surrounded by a heavy police presence due to an anonymous phone call threatening to “get Punchy”. Two police cruisers and an unmarked car carrying two detectives with rifles circled the block around the courthouse. Another half a dozen police were stationed inside the building. Punchy was found guilty on charges of larceny and giving a false name, and fined $100.

 

While Punchy was dealing with his legal problems and hiding in Canton, Patriarca had set up a meeting with Buddy McLean, using Teddy Fucillo as the intermediary. The three men had already met once before and Raymond later told Jerry that he was still feeling Buddy out. 

 

Teddy met Buddy at the Brook Manor in Attleboro, MA at approximately 1:30 in the afternoon. The two men then proceeded to the Cantina Restaurant on Atwells Avenue in Providence, where they were joined by Patriarca.

 

Buddy later told his FBI handler, H. Paul Rico, that the consultation was held in an effort to negotiate the peace deal with the McLaughlins. Buddy allegedly told Patriarca that if Raymond

would sit at the “peace table”, he, McLean, would be willing to end his dispute with the McLaughlins. 

 

Lara:

 

Patriarca told McLean that he would not sit at the “peace table” because he considered McLean to be completely honorable, and he knew the reputation of the Hughes brothers for being extremely treacherous, and he would be doing an injustice to McLean if he set up such a “peace”. Patriarca advised that it would be a matter of time before the Hughes brothers broke their word and killed McLean or one of his associates.

 

Again, both Raymond and Jerry were creating more problems than solving them.

 

McLean told Patriarca that after the alleged shooting of Wimpy by Spike, he met with the Flemmi brothers and Wimpy Bennett, and that they said they would openly support him.

 

But Raymond warned Buddy that Wimpy was a “stool pigeon” for Det. Stuart. He claimed that he had been suspicious of Wimpy for years but because of their past history and some favor that Wimpy had once done for him with Fats Buccelli he’d never seriously pursued the issue.





Nina:

 

Raymond repeated the story to Buddy that Jerry had told him about Wimpy getting shot at earlier in the month, and how Wimpy called Det. Stuart immediately afterwards and filed an official complaint about the shooting. Raymond said that Wimpy’s phone call to Stuart was the last straw, and that anyone who would call the police when they had problems must be a stoolie. He also warned Buddy about Jimmy’s relationship with Stuart, but said he wasn’t sure if Jimmy actually was a stool pigeon. I guess that Raymond didn’t know that Jimmy had called up Billy Stuart himself when Maureen Flemmi had shot him in the leg back in September!

 

Raymond told Buddy that he planned to meet Jimmy again the following week and that he’d question him about his relationship with Billy Stuart and let Buddy know what he found out.



Lara:

 

Raymond also told Buddy that he believed Jimmy and Barboza killed Francione at the request of Frank Smith, and that Frank was moving too fast. He said that he’d checked to make sure that Buddy had not talked about their previous meeting, and he knew that Buddy had kept his word, and hadn’t told anyone about it.



Nina:

 

Except his FBI handler, Rico!



Lara:

 

Not one to miss an opportunity to make himself feel extra special, Raymond told Buddy that he had stuck his neck out for him on more than one occasion, and reciprocity would be expected of Buddy.



Nina:

 

Buddy was to tell Raymond if he had any problems whatsoever with any Italians in the Boston area, to check in with him before taking any action. Raymond promised to either straighten the matter out or give the “OK” to go ahead and handle the situation. But Raymond reassured Buddy that he wouldn’t have any problems with the Italians. He reassured Buddy one last time that he wanted to see a peaceful end to the feud.




Lara:

 

Liar! Between Raymond and Jerry they were stirring things up any chance they had. Somehow they imagined that the feud wouldn’t spill over into their worlds. 



Nina:

 

It already had! But they still had their heads in the sand. Remember that all of this was happening after Teddy Deegan had been murdered. And Raymond and Jerry were well aware of the fact that Jimmy and Joe had killed Teddy and that Teddy wasn’t their only victim.




Lara:

 

Raymond also told Buddy that he wanted him to handle the shylocking on the waterfront for him once the feud was settled. The Tommy Calahan shooting was discussed, and Raymond said that a silencer had been used in the shooting. Raymond told Buddy that he only knew of two men who had access to silencers, Sammy Granito and Wimpy, but Raymond was going to question both of them if they were aware of whether or not others had access to them. He promised to let Buddy know what he found out.

 

I know who else had access to silencers, Jack Kelley!



Nina:

 

Raymond also failed to mention to Buddy that Tommy Callahan had told Larry Baione that he was sure it was Spike who tried to kill him. But I still have my doubts if that was true. The media reported at the time that Tommy had gone straight, but we know that was a lie. So who knows what Tommy was into. He certainly had his share of enemies. He’d been active for four decades, and his history with the LCN went back that long too.

 

On May 3rd, Jimmy Flemmi, Joe Barboza and Ronnie Cassesso paid another visit to Raymond. They told Raymond that they’d come up with a scheme to install a phone tap on an associate of Spike’s. By doing so they hoped to track down Spike’s location and set him up for a hit. Raymond did not object to their plan. 

 

As he’d promised Buddy McLean he would, Raymond asked Jimmy about his relationship with Billy Stuart. Jimmy dodged the question, and launched into a recounting of the shooting at Wimpy’s the previous month. Jimmy claimed that Spike had been picked up for questioning by the BPD afterward. Supposedly Jimmy and his crew got a stolen vehicle and waited outside of Police Headquarters hoping to follow Spike when he came out and kill him. They waited there for several hours but Spike had snuck out of the police station by a side or rear door and Flemmi missed him. Raymond did not repeat his question about Stuart.



Lara:

 

Being the pathological liar that he was, Jimmy said that Frank Smith was the one who had referred to the Italian element as “guineas.” Raymond lost it and said that Smith was moving too fast and should have been killed.



Nina:

 

He really was pathological! Jimmy was the one calling them “guineas!” And Raymond knew that because Jerry had already told him that Jimmy said it!

 

To add to the drama, Jimmy said that if he ever ran into Smith he’d finish him off. And Raymond happily gave his blessing.

 

Jimmy was shooting for a two birds with one stone blessing and figured he’d get permission to take out another rival while he was at it. He told Raymond that Punchy Clifford, a Balliro associate who had recently been released from prison, had joined up with the McLaughlins along with three other individuals who he didn’t name. 



Lara:

 

And while he was at it Jimmy threw Barney Blaine, brother of Johnny Blaine aka “Itsy Bloom” under the bus claiming he was giving him problems. 

 

Again, this was a case of Jimmy covering his own ass. Bloom and another man were running the Old Dudley Lounge for the Flemmi brothers. Dope was being peddled out of the place day and night. Raymond wouldn’t be happy learning about that, and Jimmy and Stevie didn’t want to lose their revenue stream. So he made a scapegoat out of Blaine instead. Jimmy would never own his own shit. He may have been a serial killer, but he was a fucking coward when it came to taking the heat for his own actions.

 

Jimmy told Raymond there was too much heat on the place and that he was thinking of burning it down.






Nina:

 

Better to ask forgiveness than permission! Especially if you can blame it on someone else! He’d already tried (and failed) to burn The Place down in April with a hand grenade that he’d hurled through the window!  It was 2am so The Place was unoccupied and nobody was injured. The blast was so minimal that none of the neighbors reportedly heard it. Two patrolmen had discovered the window smashed as they walked by. 

 

Not one to let a grudge go, Jimmy also told Raymond that he had contacted Cecelia Cyrus, one of the women in the apartment at the time of Spike and Georgie’s apprehension, in an effort to set up Spike for a hit. Cecelia said she hadn’t seen Spike for a couple of weeks, and had nothing more to do with him. But Jimmy claimed he knew she called Spike the minute he left.

 

Paranoid weirdo!



Lara:

 

Jimmy and Raymond returned to discussing Wimpy. He declared to Raymond that he never made any money with Wimpy and once Spike was out of the picture he would end his relationship with Wimpy. Raymond expressed his disdain for Wimpy going into detail about how he assisted Wimpy and Fats Buccelli in the early ‘50s, but Wimpy never kicked a dime up to him. 

 

That same evening Jimmy was shot and seriously wounded outside of his home in Dorchester. He was shot a total of seven times. I want to note that Joe Barboza and Ronnie Cassesso had been present at the meeting with Raymond earlier that day, but left just before the final discussion about Wimpy was had. As we mentioned in episode 27, The Boys of Winter Hill, Flemmi was supposed to be meeting up again with Cassesso and Barboza that evening. He was running late because the babysitter was running late, and they went looking for him as the shooting occured.

 

Awfully suspicious timing!



Nina:

 

Maureen was supposedly at a baby shower at 10 at night, thus the need for a babysitter. Jimmy later told SA Rico that he was ambushed by Spike, Stevie Hughes, and Punchy. 








Lara:

 

Forgive me but who the fuck has a baby shower at 10 in the evening? Between the all night christenings and late evening baby showers, what kind of people do that? I thought those things took place on a Saturday afternoon.



Nina:

 

Trashy!!!



Lara: 

 

And I’m sorry, but Jimmy blamed every bad thing that happened to him on Spike and Punchy. I think Raymond himself may have been involved in orchestrating that hit attempt especially since it was botched.



Nina:

 

It makes sense. Jimmy had met with Raymond that morning, and clearly what was said over the course of the conversation proved to Raymond what he already knew. Jimmy was a rat! If only he’d known that he was in bed with Rico too. But there was no time to call Greg Scarpa, and Raymond still didn’t have a hitter, so he had to make do with sloppy seconds.

 

On May 10th, SA Rico went to visit his favorite informant in the hospital. During the course of their conversation, Jimmy told Rico that Tommy Callahan had warned him that Spike and the McLaughlin crew were going to make a move on someone the same night he’d been shot. He was angry at himself for not taking Tommy’s warning seriously and not being better prepared when he’d been attacked. Jimmy also told Rico that he got off three rounds before his assailants fled, and that he believed that at least one round had hit Spike.

 

Meanwhile, Tommy Callahan met with Sammy Granito to get assurances that he still had permission to take out Spike. Granito assured him that Raymond’s ok was still good. Tommy also told Granito that he didn’t trust Wimpy since he lied and told different stories depending on who his audience was.

 

Lara:

 

On May 28th, Francis Xavier Murray was arrested by two Westwood cops as he was allegedly trying to burglarize the Tenderland Meat Supply Company on Rte 1 in Norwood. The patrolmen fired two warning shots as Murray tried to flee. But the cops found him hiding under a car at the Mack Chevrolet dealership. Murray was charged with attempted b&e in the nighttime, possession of burglar’s tools and unlawful possession of a firearm. The firearm was a fully loaded .32 caliber automatic that the cops had found in Murray’s own car that was parked near the meat supply company. I’m including this here because the butcher was located near Punchy’s Canton home.



Nina:

 

He’d either been with Punchy or was going to see Punchy after. That’s my opinion.

 

Just two days later, while Gaga was locked up, Barboza made his unsanctioned attempt on Spike. As we mentioned in several previous episodes, Barboza had sought Raymond’s permission to kill Spike at his mother’s house, and wasn’t concerned that Spike’s mother could have died in the process. Raymond refused to give permission but Barboza tried anyway and ultimately failed.

 

It wasn’t so much that Raymond cared about Spike living or dying, but he had some red line about killing family members.

 

June seems to have been relatively quiet in gangland activity. So we’ll fast-forward to the middle of July, just a few days after Romeo Martin was murdered.  At a little before 3 in the morning of the 13th, John J Flannery was shot in the stomach and dumped from a 1963 bronze Cadillac on Tremont Street in the South End. He staggered to a taxi parked nearby and asked to be taken to the hospital. “Spike O’Toole did it,” he alleged. The cops said Flannery probably believed he was dying. 

 

Flannery survived, but I have to say here that nobody else ever named their shooters so I find this story less than credible.

 

The car which Flannery had been driving was found several hours later on Atlantic Ave near Otis Wharf. Inside were a spent bullet and a bullet clip. On the arm rest dividing the front seat, police found a fully loaded .25 caliber gun. 

 

A warrant was issued for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon with intent to murder, and Spike O’Toole went into hiding from both the cops and the assassins.



Lara:

 

On July 22, Rico again made contact with Jimmy Flemmi. He was still in the hospital and had a drain coming out of one of his wounds, and seven pieces of lead in him. He told Rico that he would like the opportunity to meet with Spike and personally settle their differences. He further stated that he did not know why Spike had shot at Flannery, but noted that Spike was “a real nut” and it was only a matter of time before someone caught up with him. 

 

Nina:

 

Jimmy was one to talk about who was a nut!



Lara:

 

Hey it takes one to know one!

 

Jimmy said his biggest regret was that he didn’t kill Georgie McLaughlin when he was hanging around the Old Dudley Lounge before he went on the lam. He said that he had wanted to strangle Georgie with his bare hands and Stevie told him to forget about it. 



Nina:

 

In August, Punchy McLaughlin was still hiding out in Canton, trying to avoid assassins. But thanks to the newspaper everyone knew exactly where he was holed up. At just a little after noon on the 16th as Punchy drove along Canton Street in Westwood on his way to West Roxbury for an appointment, another attempt was made on his life. Near the Norfolk Golf Club a car with three or four men in it pulled alongside him. A hail of bullets peppered his car, at least one of them going through the windshield and smashing his right hand. About 15 shots were fired in all, most of them smashing into the car. 

 

Punchy, in a frantic effort to escape, drove left handed at high speed to Route 128 driving the wrong way down an entrance ramp, then north on the southbound lane of 128 to a gas station on Route 1 in Westwood where he staggered into the office and collapsed, his clothing covered in blood. The gas station attendant applied a makeshift tourniquet with his belt and notified the police. 



Lara:

 

Shell casings found near the scene of the attack were described by police as slightly less than .38 caliber from an automatic weapon. Punchy was first taken to the hospital in Norwood, where he told the local police chief that he didn’t see who shot him “and I don’t know why they should want to kill me.” Punchy was given blood plasma and transferred to Mass General Hospital where his right hand had to be amputated. After a 16 day hospital stay, Punchy returned to Canton. 

 

Punchy later told the Boston Globe’s Jerome Sullivan:

 

“They were lying in wait for me. I think they’d been watching and waiting for many days. The funny part of it is I had been up very early that morning and had gone into town to get the papers. Nothing happened. Then about noon I pulled out from the house. I was heading for West Roxbury on an errand. As I drove along, I noticed a beach wagon with some men in it on Dedham Street. They put on the brakes and followed me. They had a walkie talkie and were in contact with some guys hiding in the woods. One of them was in a tree. I think they were about to give up their stake-out for the day when I drove along. Then came the bullets – from a repeating rifle and a machine gun. The first bullet went through the windshield and ripped into my right hand. Fifteen or 20 tore into the car, raking the side of it. I had to drive left-handed with my right hand hanging by my side, bleeding like the devil.”

 

A little over a month after the attempt on his life, Punchy was fitted with a prosthetic hand.



Nina:

 

Four days after that, Gaga Murray was shot at as he drove down the Southwest Expressway at 1:30 in the afternoon. One bullet shattered the rear window of his car. The other punctured the trunk. Murray was unhurt. He later told the police that a man in a black convertible fired the shots after a chase between Dover and Kneeland streets. Gaga said he had no idea why he was shot at or who did the shooting. But the detectives were not convinced. They believed Gaga knew who had shot at him. I think I know too! 

 

On the evening of September 27th, Spike O’Toole was arrested when he went home to visit his sick mother in Dorchester. He told the cops that he had been hiding out on the Cape since July. 



Lara:

 

He should have stayed there or better yet journeyed off to Ireland.

 

On October 20th, Punchy McLaughlin was killed while waiting to board a bus to the court house. He was shot 7 times on the corner of the VFW Pkwy and Spring St in West Roxbury. It was the third and final attempt on Punchy’s life. Punchy was a sitting duck. With the loss of his right hand he was forced to carry his pistol in a brown lunch bag. His coat was draped over his right arm. He walked across the entrance to the MBTA turnaround. The bus was waiting there, and as the bus driver opened the door and Punchy was stepping into the bus, a man appeared out of nowhere and began firing just a few feet away. Two shots knocked Punchy to the ground and he fell to the right front of the bus. The assassin kept on shooting Punchy as he laid on the pavement. Once he was sure the job was finished, Punchy’s killer ran across a lot, then between two houses and jumped into a gold Pontiac convertible.

 

As Punchy stumbled to the ground he passed the bag in his hand to a woman who was also waiting for the bus. The woman took the bag home with her and didn’t discover the gun inside until later.

 

The story I heard was that Pro was dressed as a construction worker wearing a hard hat and carrying a lunch pail. The pail was concealing a 7 round .38 caliber revolver. After Punchy was down he fled to a parked getaway car. Considering how clean the job was done, I tend to believe it was Pro. 



Nina: 

 

I agree that the hit was clean and no innocent bystanders were hurt. It was nothing like the fiasco that Frankie and company had tried to pull off near the golf course two months earlier.

 

Punchy frequently said he knew his murder was inevitable, he just hoped no one else would be hurt or killed when it happened. The police said he was shot a total of seven times, but during a press conference with the coroner, when asked by reporters how many times Punchy was shot he said, “you can’t count them, his body is riddled with bullets.”

 

Multiple gunshot wounds had pierced his heart, liver, lungs, spleen, and intestines.

 

Punchy left behind one son, Edward Jr, five sisters and his estranged wife Eleanor Melody who was living in Canada at the time of his murder. She had been awaiting their upcoming divorce hearing.



Lara:

 

I don’t blame Eleanor for getting out of Dodge.

 

When Al Farese delivered the news to Georgie in his detention cell at the courthouse that his brother had been killed, Georgie brokedown and burst into tears. Farese asked the judge for a recess. Supposedly, Farese was using Punchy as an investigator throughout the court case. Georgie wasn’t even allowed to attend his brother’s funeral. Georgie was the last McLaughlin brother alive, losing two to the gangwar and two in WWII. As we’ve mentioned in the hit parade of 1964, to the best of our knowledge Georgie is still alive and has finally been released from prison. I’ll make the plea again that if anyone is in contact with him, please email Nina or me. Our email addresses are in the shownotes.

 

That evening an unnamed suspect was picked up for questioning. The man was said to be an associate of Carlton Eaton, Teddy Deegan and Romeo Martin. Of course Buddy McLean was a prime suspect. The Boston Globe ran a great quote:

 

“Mention a McLaughlin and someone will mention McLean even if he’s in Ethiopia.”



Nina:

 

Frankie Salemme later told the Congressional Committee that he knew Punchy’s destination because Punchy was attending Georgie’s trial every day at Suffolk Superior Court in downtown Boston. But Frankie claimed that they couldn’t get him there because “it’s tough to walk up to a guy and snuff him right there.”

 

According to him, they followed Punchy from Canton as he made his way into town. Punchy couldn’t drive because of his injury, so he’d get dropped off by his girlfriend at the VA hospital bus stop in West Roxbury. 

 

“When the bus made a turn around, at the bus stop, you’d make the hit, back out again on the road, and there was no jeopardy to people around. You could back out again, and you were blinded from trees and everything, and nobody could really see what happened unless they witnessed the murder, and they couldn't get back outside on the road.”



Lara:

 

But the getaway car wasn’t at the bus stop! And there was only one hitter!



First, we’ve seen on multiple occasions how sloppy and random the work of Stevie and Frankie was. I know people have a hard time believing that someone would confess to murders that they didn’t commit, but as we’ve seen this doesn’t seem to be a rare occurrence. Whether because the self proclaimed hitter was looking to increase his street cred or to make a better deal with the government in a plea agreement. 



Nina:

 

And John Durham let Frankie sit there and lie and lie and lie. And even worse, he led Frankie in his lies!



Lara:

 

As for Frankie’s tale. We know that Punchy was NEVER shot at the Beth Israel Hospital. We discussed this earlier in the episode, so I won’t go on another tirade. Punchy was not killed on the side of Spring Street that the VA Hospital is located on. He was killed on the side of the street where Joe’s cafe is now located. There used to be a little circular inlet there right after where the little bus stop was. You know one of those shelter things with a bench and a cover. The buses would pull in there to let people off and on since the traffic has always been so heavy in that area. There was no tree cover there, and the tree’s on the median strip of the VFW don’t start until after you’ve crossed Spring Street if you're coming from the Dedham direction. The man is a liar! I know people might say that a long time passed between the events and the telling of them, so maybe it’s not clear in his mind. I think killing someone would stick in your head. I only know the stories I heard from my childhood, and I certainly didn’t forget those details.



Nina:

 

According to the police, the assassin was operating alone. He approached Punchy openly and the police theorized that he may have been a stranger imported specifically to do the job. They also stated that the killer had made at least four trial runs in the week leading up to Punchy’s slaying using the same gold car. The last time had been on Sunday, three days before Punchy was killed. The car had been parked on both Spring Street and Billing Street during the dry runs, apparently testing different getaway routes.



Lara:

 

I believe Dad’s story that Pro killed Punchy. As we mentioned earlier, Punchy had been shaking down Jack since before Punchy was shot in Brookline. The day of that shooting, in addition to Puchy’s favorite candy being on the front seat, there was a brown paper package with $25,000 in it right next to the candy. That amount matches the amount that Jack had supposedly given to him. And the theory that it was a lone killer also fits Pro.

 

The Boston Globe said:

 

“As recently as last month, two suspects in the Plymouth mail robbery were questioned by Boston homicide detectives in the slaying of Punchy McLaughlin at a West Roxbury bus stop. Reports emanating from the underworld were to the effect that Punchy had tried to shake down the mail robbers – or the guardians of the loot – to raise money for George.”



Nina:

 

Just ten days later on October 30th, the McLaughlins’ archrival Buddy McLean was shot at 1:05 in the morning, as he was leaving a lounge in Winter Hill. He was hit with blasts from a 12-gauge pump shotgun in the heart, temple, and scalp.

 

The gunman escaped, although the shooting was witnessed by a police officer, who pursued the assassin but lost him in the back of the abandoned Capital Theater on Broadway in Somerville. That same policeman had witnessed Buddy, Rico Sacrimone, D’agostino and a woman leaving the bar just prior to the shooting.

 

A brand new single-barrelled automatic shotgun capable of firing six shells in rapid succession was later found in an alley behind the theater. Five of the six shells had been fired. The cops also found a knotted nylon stocking which the gunman had used as a mask.

 

After losing the shooter, the cop ran back to Buddy. He said that when he turned McLean face up, he noticed that McLean had a .38 in his belt but hadn’t had a chance to draw it.



Lara:

 

On the way to the hospital Rico Sacremone told the cops that he only had a slight acquaintance with Buddy and did not know D’Agostino. 

 

Buddy’s condition was reported as critical. In an operation that lasted 5 hours, surgeons at Mass Gen removed a pellet that had lodged near Buddy’s heart and another that penetrated his left temple and slammed into his brain. They reported the following day that Buddy had a 50-50 chance of living, but would likely be left a vegetable if he survived. 

 

He passed away a couple of days later.



Nina:

 

The Somerville police and detectives from DA Garrett Byrne’s office stationed themselves both inside and outside the funeral home in Somerville before the visitors arrived to pay their respects. In unmarked police vehicles and plain clothes, they were still conspicuous and outnumbered the guests. They jotted down registration numbers and noted who was in attendance.

 

One guest, Tommy Ballou, was arrested as he was leaving. He was served with a warrant charging him with illegal possession of a firearm from back in September. The BPD claimed that they had stopped Buddy and Ballou in Charlestown and found a .38 caliber weapon on Ballou.



Lara:

 

The reason Jack had it in for Buddy was that Buddy was sleeping with the wife of one of Jack’s crew members. As I’ve said in a previous episode, I don’t want to name her here, as it’s never been made public. Although she’s deceased, I know for certain her relatives are listening. If any of our listeners are amateur detectives like ourselves, they should take a look at Howie Carr’s Pug Uglies. One of the police reports contained in that book will tell you her identity.

 

The story I know is that Pro Lerner reported to Jack that he saw Buddy hanging around the business establishment of his new lover’s husband. Buddy was trying to get close to her husband as Buddy suspected he was involved in the Plymouth heist. Jack couldn’t let that happen. Jack told Pro that he knew Buddy was sleeping with her, and that she must have been bragging about how much money she and her husband had. Dad suggested Jack talk to Buddy, but Jack believed that Buddy had become bloodthirsty as the war had raged on, and that the only solution was to kill him. The second suggestion from dad was to go to Barboza, but Jack believed that although Barboza was with Buddy, he would have taken him out already if he had the means. Jack’s solution was Pro.

 

The night of the hit, the husband of Buddy’s lover and his best friend/partner in crime were at a card game in the North End. When Buddy exited the bar he got in the backseat of the car while D’Agostino and Sacrimone sat in the front. Before the driver could even pull away from the curb shots ripped through the car. Pro was located on a flat rooftop and took off before he even saw the car careen off of the street. He flung the shotgun as he would a baseball bat and disappeared.



Nina:

 

The following month an FBI report stated that BS-869-C (Buddy McLean) had told his handler, H. Paul Rico that Stevie Flemmi, the leader of the Dearborn Square gang, and members of an East Boston gang led by Joe Barboza, Tommy Callahan’s gang, and the Somerville gang which would later be taken over by Howie Winter after Buddy’s death, was actively involved in the gangland war between the dwindling McLaughlin gang.

 

The report continued that although the LCN hadn’t actively taken part in the gang war, but there was the possibility that they would become involved in the near future. Since Flemmi was in contact with the leaders of the different groups that were against the remaining McLaughlin faction, Rico believed that Flemmi would be in a position to furnish information on LCN members in the area.

 

Stevie Flemmi had been contacted on November 1st and he reported to SA Rico that he believed that Larry Baione would eventually support Stevie Hughes and the remaining McLaughlin allies.



Lara:

 

Larry Baione and Stevie Hughes were very close to one another when both were incarcerated in State Prison. In true paranoid Flemmi fashion he said that Baione was an extremely treacherous and dangerous individual and that he believed that Baione would act against Patriarca if he thought it necessary.

 

Gee who does that sound like?



Nina:

 

Jimmy and Barboza! 



Lara:

 

Hey birds of a feather and all that.

 

Stevie told Rico that he believed that the murder of Buddy McLean was perpetrated by Stevie Hughes and that he believed that the getaway car used was driven by Maxie Shackleford or Gaga Murray. He based his theory on the belief that Hughes was the only one in the group that had the courage to go into the Winter Hill section of Somerville.

 

The final line of the report is the kicker:

 

“This individual appears to be emotionally stable and if he survives the gang war he would be a very influential individual in the Boston criminal element.”



Nina:

 

Emotionally stable! He was a predator, a serial killer. Bumping off women and ripping out the teeth of his victims. And Rico wanted to use him to do the FBI’s bidding, and it continued for decades. As everyone knows, Stevie’s relationship with Rico continued on long after Rico had left both Boston and the FBI.

 

Most of our listeners know Stevie’s story, but we’ll be bringing more of them this season and the next. 



Lara:

 

Let us know who you think the perpetrators were in the shooting deaths of Punchy and Buddy. We’d love to hear your thoughts. Next week, we’ll be discussing the bank and armored car robberies between 1965 and 1967. Listen in to see what Jack Kelley, dad and others were up to and hear about the scores they pulled off!

 

As always thanks for listening, please subscribe, share an episode, leave a comment or make a small donation!



Nina & Lara:

 

BYE!!!