October 19, 2022 — A jury in Massachusetts has awarded former Boston Irish mob figure Freddy Weichel a judgement of $33,000,0000 against the Commonwealth connected to a wrongful conviction and a subsequent 36 years spent in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. The corruption in Weichel’s case at the state level dovetailed with the unholy alliance forged by the FBI in Boston and the city’s longtime Irish mob boss James (Whitey) Bulger.
The civil trial lasted two weeks and resulted in a decision in favor of the 70-year old Weichel Tuesday. State law normally caps judgements at $1,000,000. Even though Bulger is dead, his former driver and bodyguard Kevin Weeks testified in the case, backing up his alibi and telling jurors Bulger never cared much for Weichel personally.
In 1981, Weichel was found guilty of murdering Bobby LaMonica at a jury trial in Norfolk County. LaMonica was shot to death on May 30, 1980 in the parking lot of his Braintree, Massachusetts apartment building returning from work. Weichel’s guilty verdict was tossed by a Massachusetts appellate court in 2017 and he was set free. He has another civil case still pending against the federal government.
Weichel operated on the outer fringes of Bulger’s Winter Hill Gang. According to his civil lawsuit, Bulger essentially used his pull in law enforcement to frame Weichel for the crime despite knowing that it was in fact Winter Hill Gang lieutenant Tommy (The Boxer) Barrett, who had killed LaMonica. Barrett and LaMonica had been feuding in fallout from a bar fight two weeks before.
The demonic Bulger ruled the Irish underworld in New England from the 1970s into the mid-1990s when he went on the run and spent the next decade and a half as a fugitive. Actors Jack Nicholson and Johnny Depp played Bulger in films (2006’s The Departed and 2015 Black Mass, respectively), introducing him into the American pop-culture ethos and creating a mystique of evil surrounding his name and reputation.
During his two-decade reign of terror on the streets of South Boston, Bulger was doubling as a confidential informant for the FBI and benefiting from its protection. He was finally brought into custody in 2011 — found hiding in Santa Monica, California — and sent to prison for his role in 13 gangland homicides. Bulger would be slain himself inside his West Virginia federal prison cell in October 2018, allegedly by a one-time cellmate of Weichel’s in an act of retribution (Springfield, Massachusetts mob hit man Freddy Geas, and two others, are currently facing charges in the Bulger homicide).
Prior to his murder, Bulger wrote a letter to Weichel’s attorney telling him Weichel wasn’t guilty of his crime, but refused to testify or sign a sworn affidavit to that fact. Tommy Barrett also wrote a letter to Weichel’s mother Gloria confessing to murdering LaMonica in the months following Weichel’s conviction 41 years ago.
Weichel testified that Bulger approached him in the days after LaMonica was murdered and threatened to hurt him and his family if he ever implicated Barrett to authorities in LaMonica’s homicide. Weichel and Barrett were drinking buddies and Weichel was present at a pair of physical altercations between Barrett and LaMonica in the days and weeks preceding LaMonica’s murder.
Bulger instructed Barrett to “strike first” in his beef with LaMonica, per court records. These records indicate that LaMonica, 25, made death threats towards Barrett and aggressive comments in the direction of the Winter Hill Gang as a whole. The records show Bulger instructed his moles in the FBI to steer clear of the LaMonica investigation while informing them Weichel wasn’t involved. Specifically, a police report naming Barrett as the doer and Weichel a patsy was buried and never turned over to Weichel’s attorney in the pre-trial discovery process.
Weichel was found guilty based mainly on shaky eyewitness testimony placing Weichel at the scene. In reality, Weichel was drinking at Bulger’s Triple O’s Lounge in South Boston at the time LaMonica was murdered according to multiple witnesses, including Bulger’s right-hand man, Kevin Weeks. Weichel was 28 years old at the time and known for being a thief, not a tough-guy or murderer.
Barrett, 69, used to be a pro boxer and dodged a television camera crew seeking to ask him about the LaMonica slaying back in 2017 on a construction site in Boston he was working at. Called in front of multiple grand juries connected to the LaMonica case through the years, Barrett has always asserted his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
This article was originally posted here