Jan 16 2009
MIAMI – Tommy Hussey was standing in the courtroom yesterday, watching John Connolly shake hands and hug people, and he couldn’t make heads or tails of it.
“I never seen anything like it,” Tommy Hussey was saying. “Guy gets 40 years and you’d think he won the lottery.”
It is true that John Connolly had just been sentenced to 40 years in prison for setting up a Boston businessman named John Callahan for murder. And it is true that Judge Stanford Blake told Connolly that he had tarnished the badge he wore as an FBI agent, that he was in league with the same gangsters he was supposed to be taking off the streets.
But it is equally true that John Connolly probably will never serve a single day of the 40 years, that he will most likely get out of prison in a couple of years after wrapping up his 10-year racketeering sentence.
This is because even as Judge Blake was telling Connolly he believed him to be guilty of helping Whitey Bulger kill people, he handed out a sentence that even he suggested will not withstand an appeal. The statute of limitations for the second-degree murder Connolly was convicted of had expired, the judge explained. He would have thrown out the verdict yesterday if Connolly’s lawyers hadn’t missed a deadline in filing their motion.
Judge Blake didn’t buy the government’s contention that Connolly’s carrying of his FBI gun made him a principal in the killing of John Callahan. But neither did he buy Connolly’s assertion that he did nothing wrong, that Connolly and the FBI used Bulger and Stevie Flemmi as informants for a greater good, taking down the Mafia. And he made it clear that he believed John Callahan was killed because John Connolly told Whitey Bulger that Callahan was going to implicate them all in the killing of Oklahoma businessman Roger Wheeler.
It took a judge in Florida to state what the Boston office of the FBI has always denied: The Winter Hill Gang run by Bulger and Flemmi was worse, and certainly more murderous, than the Mafia in Boston, that the FBI’s protection of Bulger and Flemmi succeeded only in getting a lot of people killed.
One of those people was Tommy Hussey’s daughter, Debbie, who was raised by Steve Flemmi after Tommy Hussey’s ex-wife moved in with Flemmi. When Debbie Hussey was 13, Steve Flemmi started having sex with her. At some point, she started taking drugs.
“She was a smart girl, a beautiful girl,” Tommy Hussey was saying, as John Connolly embraced his childhood friend Franny Joyce. “I got her to come down here and live with me when she was about 20. I got her a job at a hotel in Boca, and the manager said she was the best waitress he ever had. But she couldn’t stay off the drugs and she went back to Flemmi.”
Debbie Hussey was 26 years old when Whitey Bulger decided she had become a liability and had to die. They lured her to a house in South Boston with the promise of a new coat. Whitey strangled her first, but when Steve Flemmi put his ear to her chest he heard something so he strangled her some more.
“I don’t buy this stuff that they needed Bulger and Flemmi to take out the Mafia,” Tommy Hussey was saying, as John Connolly’s sister Sally and brother Jim came forward to hug him. “But even if you buy that, the FBI bugged the Mafia guys in 1981 and took them off the street in 1983. They murdered my Debbie a couple of years after that.”
Tommy Hussey is 73 years old and he’s no lawyer. But he knows the truth when it’s staring right at him.
“My daughter’s dead because that guy protected Whitey Bulger and Stevie Flemmi,” he said, pointing at John Connolly, who stood 10 feet away hugging his wife, Liz.
John Connolly was still hugging everybody when Tommy Hussey walked, all alone, out of the courtroom and down the hall, on his way home to Deerfield Beach.
Outcome leaves victim’s father at a loss – By Kevin Cullen – Globe Columnist / January 16, 2009 – This story was found at: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/01/16/outcome_leaves_victims_father_at_a_loss/