Black Mass Question #9: Blurring The Line

by Dick Lehr & Gerard O'Neill

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Black Mass Question #9: Blurring The Line

Unread postby fireflydances » Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:20 pm

From pg. 126: “John Connolly and John Morris were now the keepers of the Bulger flame inside the FBI. And for Boston’s increasingly fearsome foursome—Connolly, Morris, Bulger, and Flemmi—an era of good feeling had begun all around as the boundary lines between the good guys and bad guys blurred.”

What do you think of using criminals to advance your ends?
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Re: Black Mass Question #9: Blurring The Line

Unread postby nebraska » Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:36 am

I have mixed feelings. Informants can certainly be helpful, they have knowledge and sources that would be difficult to obtain in any other way. But as the Whitey story illustrates, it is a dangerous game. There is much opportunity for abuse when collaborating with criminals. Particularly when the law enforcement officers involved are less ethical or more vulnerable. In a perfect world, we wouldn't need to work with criminals. But this is not a perfect world.

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Re: Black Mass Question #9: Blurring The Line

Unread postby Theresa » Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:36 pm

Unfortunately, I think sometimes cases can't be cracked without the assistance of informants.

Of course, Connelly and Morris blew it right from the start because FBI rules for informants stated that the leader (top dog, big guy, boss...) should never be cultivated as an informant because...well, I guess what happened between Connelly and Bulger could pretty much be considered a textbook case for why the boss shouldn't be used as the informant.

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Re: Black Mass Question #9: Blurring The Line

Unread postby Liz » Thu Oct 09, 2014 12:59 am

Good point, Theresa. Informants should be lower down in the chain of command. Then you have the option of getting the boss. But once you make the boss an informant, you're sort of stuck.

And nebraska, I agree with you, that they can be helpful. But the FBI bumbled again and went too far, by choosing to get in bed with Whitey and Flemmi.
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