Monday, November 26, 2007

3rd family may get $hot at FBI in Whitey case

By Laurel J. Sweet
Monday, November 26, 2007

A judge has left open the door for family of a third alleged victim of fugitive gangland butcher James “Whitey” Bulger to financially exact revenge on the FBI without enduring the torment of a trial.

Sandra Castucci, widow of slain FBI informant Richard Castucci, will have her day in court Feb. 19 when U.S. District Court Judge Reginald C. Lindsay considers her motion for summary judgment.

Lindsay scheduled the hearing fresh off his rebuke of the U.S. Department of Justice last week. In a rare bombshell from the bench, he declared the feds liable for the 1982 murders of Edward Brian Halloran and Michael Donahue.

Bulger was allegedly gunning for Halloran because rogue Boston FBI Agent John “Zip” Connolly told him Halloran was going to implicate him in a murder. Donahue was an innocent bystander.

The DOJ has refused to comment on Lindsay’s stern suggestion that it settle a half-dozen wrongful-death suits spun off Bulger’s reign of terror in Boston.

“There’s absolutely no empathy in this Justice Department. Nothing,” said Michael Laurano, Sandra Castucci’s attorney.

“I think I have the evidence on paper to prove my case,” Laurano said. “I think I will prevail on summary judgment, but personally, I don’t think they’re going to settle.”

Castucci, 48, a nightclub owner and father of four, was shot to death on Dec. 29, 1976, by Bulger hitman John Martorano, his bloodied body stuffed in the trunk of his Cadillac in a snowdrift in Revere. Acting on yet another tip from Connolly, Bulger allegedly ordered Castucci killed for giving up the hiding place of two fellow hoods.

Laurano maintains Connolly was motivated to buddy up to Bulger and his sidekick Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi because the poison pair were crucial to the FBI’s mission of destroying the Mafia. Connolly faces the death penalty in Florida if convicted of helping Bulger’s crew whack a Miami businessman.

More grieving families are waiting in the wings of federal court. They include:

• Anna Litif, widow of Louis Litif, a bookie Bulger allegedly silenced for talking to the FBI.

• Olga Davis, mother of Debra Davis, who Flemmi has testified was strangled to death because she knew too much about his and Bulger’s partnership with the FBI.

• Marion Hussey, mother of Deborah Hussey. Flemmi testified his girlfriend’s teenage daughter was choked to death for dropping his and Bulger’s names to get preferential treatment.

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