I grew up in the Old Colony housing project in South Boston, a tough, working class, mostly Irish neighborhood. I went from being a Golden Gloves boxer to a bouncer in a popular Southie bar called Triple O's. I got into many fights, knocked out a lot of people, and got noticed by one person in particular. People paid him a great deal of respect, came to him with their problems. Sure, I knew who he was. I'd heard stories. He was tough. He could be vicious. He ran the rackets in Southie. His name was James "Whitey" Bulger, although I always called him Jimmy.
In 1982 I went with Jimmy full time. We became partners, running legitimate businesses and some not-so-legitimate businesses. Basically, we were gangsters. We took what we wanted. We shook down drug dealers, bookmakers, like that. What were they gonna do -- go to the police? We beat people up; shot and stabbed them. And we made people disappear -- permanently. We were smart -- experts at avoiding microphones and cameras. We made millions through extortion and loan sharking and protection. And if someone ratted us out, we killed him. We were not nice guys.
I was there when Jimmy went on the lam in 1994 and I was his contact after he'd left Boston for good. With Jimmy gone, I ran things. Shortly before my own arrest in 1999, I found out that Jimmy had been an FBI informant even before I entered the scene. My life was never the same.
When the feds finally got me, I found myself faced with something Jimmy would have killed me for -- cooperating with the authorities.
Do I have any regrets? Nah, not really -- only that I should have spent more time with my wife and sons. But I've got a second chance now, and I gotta tell what happened -- what really happened. It's a lot different from what you read in the newspapers.
I was brutally honest on the witness stand, and this book is brutally honest, too -- the brutal truth that was never before told. How could it? Only three people could tell the true story. With one on the run and one in jail for life, it falls on me.