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Most Wanted: Pursuing Whitey Bulger, the Murderous Mob Chief the FBI Secretly Protected

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  • Posted May 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Fascinating, behind the scenes look at mobster Whitey Bulger

    James “Whitey” Bulger was one of the country’s most horrific mobsters. The head of the Winter Hill Gang from South Boston, he ruled for several decades while the FBI looked the other way. Then, in the mid-90s, when the tireless investigative team led by Thomas Foley was closing in on Bulger, he was tipped off and fled. After sixteen years living as a fugitive with his girlfriend, he was finally captured and now awaits trail. This is the riveting behind the scenes story of Whitey Bulger, the bloody trail he left and how he was finally found, told by the man who led that investigation. The author of Most Wanted, Thomas J. Foley knows the Bulger case like no other person in law enforcement and he breaks it all down in this book, from Bulger’s childhood, first scuffles with the law, to his growing power and murderous rampages. Accused of killing 19 people (and possibly more), Bulger was trouble from the start. Released from prison after serving just nine years, Whitey continued his life of crime and in the 1960s, aligned himself with one of the local Irish gangs. A gang war was going on and Whitey, through manipulation and murder, rose to the top of the Winter Hill Gang. From there, he would reign through the 90s, controlling much of organized crime’s activities in Massachusetts. Foley, the former head of the Massachusetts State Police, was also the commander of the SSS (Special Services Section) and was in charge of bringing Bulger and his right-hand man, Steve Flemmi, to justice. He recounts the attempts in the 80s to get Bulger, with sweeping ideas of bugging every home, car and restaurant where members of the gang were known to hang out. Unfortunately, Bulger was always one step ahead and bugs were removed faster than they were placed in hiding spots. In the 90s, with Foley in charge, the focus of the investigation was changed and attention was turned first to the lowly bookies; get them, surmised Foley, and they’d be able to go up the chain of command in the Winter Hill Gang. The author provides a fascinating look into how they went about getting various members, and how those members were convinced to testify (and why some refused). Foley suspected early on that there was something going on with the FBI, and when his suspicions were proven, we see what the author had to deal with to keep his case alive. He was stymied almost every step of the way by the FBI, and particularly by John Connolly, Bulger’s FBI contact. Many men would give up and walk away but Foley was tireless, in part no doubt, because the victims’ families were desperate for help. Through testimony from Bulger’s accomplices, the reader will learn just what happened to many of the crime boss’s victims, how he liked to do the killings himself, and what was done with the bodies. Considered by some in South Boston as a sort of Robin Hood, this book brings to light the absolutely horrific, disgusting man Whitey Bulger was, and no doubt, still is today. Thanks to Foley’s efforts, he will finally be brought to justice when his trial starts later this year. Hopefully it will also bring some semblance of peace to those who suffered at Bulger’s hands. Quill says: An eye-opening, fascinating look into the life of Whitey Bulger and how a team of dedicated law enforcement officers brought him to justice.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    You Don't Want To Believe It

    Thomas Foley made it his life work to get James "Whitey" Bulger. Reading his story will frighten could they??? They meaning the FBI!
    Thomas Foley wanted this monster off the streets of Boston so badly that it did affect his health....and he was thwarted on each try of capturing him by the FBI.
    The story is so riveting you won't be able to put the book down. The book brings to lite a lot of the "Irish Mob" in Boston, and a lot of the ones that aren't there anymore.
    The "Evil" one was finally caught decades later,I saw it on the news. Now in his eighties and just plain old. To think he got to live the good life after all he had done. Foley is now retired, but he is the one responsible for bring down this man.
    I recommend this really good will grab you and really make you think. Amazing that this is going on ...and yet we know it, but don't want to believe it!

    I received this book from Simon & Schuster Publishing, and was not required to give a positive review.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Thomas J. Foley and John Sedgwick in their new book, “Most

    Thomas J. Foley and John Sedgwick in their new book, “Most Wanted” published by Touchstone takes us on the true case Pursuing Whitey Bulger, the Murderous Mob Chief the FBI Secretly Protected.

    From the back cover: When Whitey was captured, and flown back to Boston, he was the talk of the city, and much of the country, too. But it wasn’t for another month that I laid eyes on him myself. He was just a wisp of a guy shuffling around, his rough voice all that was left of the vitality that had once terrified an entire city. Just seeing how old Whitey was as he sat, his shoulders curved, on that chair—it reminded me of how long he’d been gone, and I remembered why he hadn’t been rotting in prison as he deserved. Why someone like Whitey Bulger had been able to stay in business for so long, killing, extorting, dealing drugs, terrorizing. How could it still fester, wrecking more lives, like those of the families of the victims sitting around me? I was pleased to see him captured, no question. But what kept coming back as I looked at this old man was the cold fury that had so often surged through me on this case.

    From the inside jacket flap: June 23, 2011. The news of the notorious gangster Whitey Bulger’s capture—after sixteen years on the FBI’s Most Wanted list—swept the nation. Many breathed a sigh of relief. But for Thomas J. Foley, a former Massachusetts state police colonel and the investigator who sparked Bulger’s flight from Boston, the moment was bittersweet. The FBI may have caught Bulger, but as Foley had painfully discovered almost two decades before, they were also responsible for his escape.

    It has been known that Whitey Bulger was a secret informant for the FBI, but it has never been revealed—until now—that the FBI was actually actively protecting Bulger from Foley, effectively derailing Foley’s efforts to stop Bulger’s horrific crime sprees time and again. At one point, the FBI even presented Foley with a plaque at a holiday party that read “the Most Hated Man in Law Enforcement,” a not-so-subtle suggestion that he and his team should lay off their investigation.

    Most Wanted is a true-life thriller, and Foley is the hero at its center. His investigative efforts resulted in criminal convictions of a half-dozen of Boston’s most notorious thugs and also led to the conviction of John Connolly, one of the FBI agents who abetted Bulger; Connolly is now serving a forty-year prison sentence. In this book, Foley, a cop’s cop, honestly recounts how his wide-eyed admiration for the nation’s top law enforcement agency was gradually transformed by dark realities he didn’t want to believe.

    There is a particular movie where the hero is at the top of one hill and the villain is at the top of a distant hill and the two of them face each other which let you know these two would battle throughout the movie. It was quite exciting. This is the same feeling I get when reading “Most Wanted” and what is even better is that this is a true story with Thomas J. Foley against Whitey Bulger. Get ready for a page-turning, thrill ride. I am a fan of the fiction books where the FBI hero is after a serial killer and all the dips and turns those cases take us on. While those books are exciting “Most Wanted” is even better as these events actually occurred. Colonel Foley was in a twenty year pursuit of Whitey Bulger simply because certain individuals within the FBI were tipping Mr. Bulger off of the pursuit. So “Most Wanted” becomes a two-way chase as Col. Foley continues after Bulger but also has to pursue who it is in the FBI that is after him and informing against him. Misters Foley and Sedgwick get us caught up in the story as they propel us along at a brisk clip in this true investigation. They show us what one man of integrity and honesty can do when even the system is operating against you. If you like true life police procedurals then this is the story for you.

    If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand.

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    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Touchstone. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2012

    Highly recommended must be checked out !

    fast moving and interesting

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2013

    I won't repeat the accolades others have left. But suffice this

    I won't repeat the accolades others have left. But suffice this to say it's a true story, and those are often very difficult to tell well. The book does that and more. I also read Howie Carr's Hitman. What struck me is the different view of the state police officer Hanrahan (spelling) and his role in protecting/ taking kickbacks from the mob. Of course, Foley discusses it, but makes his role seem superficial, almost harmless. Not so in Carr's book. Other than this possible lapse due to personal loyalties, the book Foley co-wrote is among the best on this whole sordid (and true) chapter in New England history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2013

    OUTSTANDING ACCOUNT This account of the Whitey Bulger saga is, i

    This account of the Whitey Bulger saga is, in my opinion, the most interesting because it is from perspective
    of a law enforcement officer trying to apprehend Whitey Bulger and stymied every step of the way not only
    by the FBI but from within State government and even his own agency as well.  Mass "State Police Trooper
    Tom Foley, (later Colonel) and his co-author, John Sedgwick, have produced an excellent narrative that is an
    easy read detailing this complex and fascinating case up to and including Whitey's capture in California
     in June 2011.  

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  • Posted August 16, 2012

    What a great book, I could not put it down. If you read Black Ma

    What a great book, I could not put it down. If you read Black Mass then
    this book really puts everthing into perspective .Tom Foley has a winner
    with this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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