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Brutal [NOOK Book]

Overview

I grew up in the Old Colony housing project in South Boston and became partners with James "Whitey" Bulger, who I always called Jimmy.

Jimmy and I, we were unstoppable. We took what we wanted. And we made people disappear—permanently. We made millions. And if someone ratted us out, we killed him. We were not nice guys.

I found out that Jimmy had been an FBI informant in 1999, and my life was never the same. When the feds finally got me, I was ...

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Brutal

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Overview

I grew up in the Old Colony housing project in South Boston and became partners with James "Whitey" Bulger, who I always called Jimmy.

Jimmy and I, we were unstoppable. We took what we wanted. And we made people disappear—permanently. We made millions. And if someone ratted us out, we killed him. We were not nice guys.

I found out that Jimmy had been an FBI informant in 1999, and my life was never the same. When the feds finally got me, I was faced with something Jimmy would have killed me for—cooperating with the authorities. I pled guilty to twenty-nine counts, including five murders. I went away for five and a half years.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In Kevin Weeks, mobster James "Whitey" Bulger thought he had found the perfect deputy. For 25 years, Whitey's handpicked assistant performed every task he was assigned: digging graves, witnessing executions, collecting protection money, running phantom businesses. When Bulger decided to go underground, it was only natural that Weeks would provide him with a fake ID and keep him current on gangland gossip. There was only one problem: Whitey's right-hand man was a career FBI informant.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061739736
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/17/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 183,687
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Kevin Weeks is out of prison and living a clean life in Massachusetts.


Phyllis Karas is the coauthor of two previous books. She is a contributor to People magazine and an adjunct professor at the Boston University School of Journalism. She lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts, with her husband.

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First Chapter

Growing Up in SouthieBy South Boston standards, my childhood was surprisingly normal. I grew up in the Old Colony Housing Project, the fifth in a family of six kids, with two older brothers, two older sisters, and one younger sister. The odds were good with a family of six in Southie that one would run afoul of the law. I was that one. Our apartment on 8 Pilsudski Way, apartment 554, was about 1,200 square feet, with four small bedrooms, a parlor, and a kitchen. My parents were in one bedroom; we three boys were in the other. My older sister Maureen had her own bedroom, and Patty and Karen shared theirs. I was born on March 21, 1956, and, at fifty, am two years older than Karen, who is the youngest of the six of us. Billy, at fifty-eight, is the oldest. All eight of us ate dinner together in the kitchen. While I never saw my mother without the crutches her arthritis made necessary, she made sure there was more than enough food for all of us to eat. Our clothes might not have been brand-new, but they looked fine. I never remember wanting for anything. My father, John, changed tires for a living and later worked for the Boston Housing Authority. The most he ever brought home was $160 a week. He grew up in Brooklyn, joined the army as an infantryman during World War II, and was a professional boxer, a middleweight. He had been pretty good at it. A throwback, a big puncher, he was the type of guy who would take two of your punches just to land one of his. He'd also trained boxers. He was twenty-six when he married my mother, Margaret, who was from Boston. My maternal grandparents came to Boston from Ireland, while my father was Welsh and Irish. My father had a real bad temper and was always in a bad mood. He ran our house strictly. We all went to bed early and got up early. He was very physical with all of us. He'd slap the girls, but he'd punch the boys. He was quick with his hands, but you never knew why or where they would strike. He could hit you on the head for no reason at all, saying, "That's for nothing. Now do something." Or he would give you a crack, saying, "That's in case you did something and you got away with it." Not only did he hit his kids, you never knew when you would see him in the street fighting a neighbor. With us, he was a strict disciplinarian who often went over the line in his forms of discipline. By today's standards, he might be arrested for the way he handled his six kids. As a result of the beatings I got from him, I never touched my own sons when I became a father. My mother had a hard life. She was in constant pain from her severe arthritis and had numerous back and knee operations. Both my parents were voracious readers, and books and school were important parts of our lives. Until grade four, I went to the Michael J. Perkins School, right in the Old Colony projects, at the top of my street. For grades five and six, I ventured a little bit farther, to the John Andrew School in Andrew Square. For the next two years I was at the Patrick F. Gavin School on Dorchester Street. All of these were public schools. Our family was a close one, and every Sunday all six of us kids went to nine o'clock Mass at St. Augustine's. Jack, whom we all called Johnny while we were growing up, is four years older than me. He was an altar boy. I wasn't cut out for that. Back then, Mass was still in Latin, and that had no appeal for me. When we got home, we had to tell our father what the sermon was about and the color of the priest's vestment. He wasn't religious, but he made us go. My mother stayed home, and the priest used to come to the house once a week to give her communion. But even more than books and religion, my father made sure that boxing ruled our family life. From as far back as I can remember, I boxed. Whether we wanted to or not, my brothers and I boxed. Every night we would move the furniture in the parlor and the three of us boys would box in the living room. My gloves were hand-me-downs from my brothers and were practically bigger than me. My brothers wouldn't seriously bang on me till we were older, but Johnny and I always boxed in our bedroom, as well as in the parlor. From the time I was eight and he was twelve, right up until he left for Harvard, Johnny would be Muhammed Ali and I would be George Chuvalo. Chuvalo was the Canadian heavyweight champ who used to take a lot of punches but would never quit. That was why I liked him. And when I boxed with Johnny, I would take a lot of punches from Muhammed Ali, but like Chuvalo, I would never quit. As a kid, when I wasn't boxing, I was on the swim team, traveling to meets all over New England, or playing basketball or Ping-Pong. It was fun to get out of the house to travel to swim meets. In high school, I was a diver for the swim team. I enjoyed the exercise, but, like with every sport I did, I always tried to win. Every summer, from ages seven to seventeen, I left the city and went to Boys Club camps down the Cape or all over New England. I was usually sent for two weeks, but most summers I wanted to stay for a longer period of time so I'd get some kind of a . . .
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 39 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2006

    Poorly written and mildly interesting

    Having grown in in this area of Boston around this time, I found the book somewhat interesting, but the writing was quite poor and truthfulness missing in numerous places. Whitey was a cold-blooded killer and Weeks not much more than his shoeshine boy and clean up kid. I found it amusing that he was in on all these murders but he never pulled a trigger - he says. He helped pull out murder victim's teeth, buried bodies all around Boston, enjoyed fracturing skulls, jaws and ribs but his poor heart was breaking if he saw an old lady trying to cross the street or found out that some dastardly person was selling heroin instead of coke or marijuana in ol' Southie. What a crock. Whitey royally screwed him over the whole time and it was evident he didn't want to bad mouth him in the book. Was that fear or embarrassment? He was just another local hood in Boston that thought he was Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting, forced to survive the dangers of South Boston by whatever means possible - an Irish Robin Hood. The truth is that he eventually turned rat on his peers and he knows it. All the murder and mayhem he particpated in was merely 'business'. Maybe Kevie has been watching too many Godfather movies. We all know you are not in Southie because everyone sees you as a crook who ratted everyone else out to the feds to save your behind. And now that you are a corpulent middle-aged fellow, perhaps there are a lot of people there waiting to even up the score. Pass on this fanciful retelling of Whitey Bulger's reign.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 11, 2009

    Brutal by Kevin Weeks

    I thought this book was a vivid account of the incredible events, which transpired in the Boston underworld over a fourty year period. Kevin Weeks provides an inside view of a stanger than fiction story, which has brought dishonour to one of the nations most respected law enforcement agencies. I found it hard to put this book down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2006

    Brutal ...but also a bully

    Kevin Weeks tells the somewhat interesting story of his relationship with Whitey Bulger, who if half of what he says is true, is really a bad guy. As for Weeks' story, he seems to think a lot of himself because he intimidates people, beats people up, and kills people without emotion or remorse. In his mind that is a quality to be admired, but in reality he is just a grown up version of the school yard bully.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2006

    Brutal Writing and Brutally poor Book

    The name is perfect because the writing is brutal. A story about this topic should sizzle, but this fizzles out. I have read some other reviews online and they must have been written by friends of the writer or there publisher. This story does not have a ring of truth to it. Dodging bullets, beating up everyone in Southie/never losing a fight. A 76-2 amateur boxing record, winning the golden gloves. Strange but I checked the Lowell Sun Archives which includes photographs and no mention anyhere of a Kevin Weeks winning the golden Gloves. Lastly this disgusting scam that he is perpetrating that somehow he is helping the victims families. Weeks has no choice they all sued him. This book is so brutally bad I am thinking about asking for my money back.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2006

    An apology here?

    This book contains little knew information if you have been following the case. An interesting note,however, is Mr. Weeks' retort about the state trooper blackballed for stopping Whitey. What we don't get from this book is whether Kevin is regretful or not? Did he and does he believe he and Whitey were right? Was Kevin turned against his former mentors by pressure or reprieve, or did he simply choose to do so? Beneath the proven tough guy accounts, what is Kevin really saying? Does he feel he chose wrong while his brothers chose right? There is also a question no one seems to be raising-- how much random or even not-so-random crime was contained by the activities of these guys, even if unintentional? Were some people NOT killed or harmed who might have been had they not been around? And if the FBI agents involved felt deadly force and questionably legal tactics were needed, why not just come forward and explain why?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2006

    Brutal: The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger's Irish Mob

    I really wanted to like this book, but was very dissapointed in it. Clearly the only good reviews for this book were written by friends and family. You'll notice most haven't recomended other books? What does that tell you? Have they read any other books? If they had there is no way this book deserves anything less than a poor rating. The book is written badly and the author contradicts himself in several places. I also find it hard to believe he is under Whitey and yet is an innocent bystander to all those murders. Save your money and skip this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Poorly written and self serving yet an entertaining page-turner.

    Poorly written and self serving yet an entertaining page-turner. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013

    At the end of the book Weeks calls out journalist and author Dic

    At the end of the book Weeks calls out journalist and author Dick Lehr and says if he was a real man, Dick would come to Weeks and they would deal with it directly, with Weeks intimating that he would beat him up. This of course negates the whole book that comes before it. If Lehr was to act like Weeks he would lure Weeks to some remote spot and have somebody else shoot him, or ambush him by himself with three people with automatic weapons and take him to a remote spot and execute him, or maybe would shoot him and some innocent person at the same time and feel badly about it afterwards even though clearly quite often he knows an innocent person was killed at the same time.




    Also there must be 300 fist fights in the book and either Weeks it the best boxer in the world, king of the sucker punch, or a liar. It is for the reader to guess on that one. A little research on line does not substantiate whether or not Weeks really did have a Golden Gloves title on his resume.




    He did 6 years for being guilty of participating in at least 20 to 40 murders and almost uncountable crimes. Telling whatever version of the truth this is, certainly served him well. In a world where pot dealers get longer sentences than that, not much time at all. Any time at all is hard, but not relative to the crimes.




    It says half the proceeds goes to those involved in his bankruptcy. Over and over he tells of cash being stashed in inaccessible places, so I"m not sure what to think about that. Half of the gross doesn't let anyone know what he is getting financially (which should be nothing, since this is a story of victim after victim, innocent and guilty alike.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    A self serving but interesting insiders account of Whitey Bulge


    A self serving but interesting insiders account of Whitey Bulger and the Boston Irish mob. There have been a lot of kiss and tell books churned out by the Boston Irish hoods but this guy was very close to the Boston Irish Godfather.

    J.R. Locke Author of Possible Twenty, a Gangster Tale

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    Yhgtyytyuyu

    Jhte

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    Whitey Bulger was a throwback gangster who made the system work for him.

    The story of the Irish mob in South Boston is one filled with anger, betrayal, brutality and despair. Whitey Bulger's rise to the "top" of the Irish Mob was due in part to the perfect storm, he had a brother in "high" politics and a dirty FBI agent keeping him one step ahead of the law. This story is told in detail by one of his "inside" men, a good read...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2008

    The best book I've read in Years!!!

    I've always been fascinated with the Whitey Bulger story, but I was totally blown away with this book! I read it in 4 days cover to cover. Mr. Weeks tells his story of live in South Boston, and his first meeting with Jim Bulger, and working for him, and the downfall of the South Boston Mob. I was so fascinated with this book. I highly recommend this to everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2007

    A reviewer

    Like Eddie MacKenzie's 'Street Soldier', Kevin Weeks's story is brutal, fascinating and compelling. Fortunately, it lacks the psychodrama babble that soem reviewers like to impart. Vicious - but you can't put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2006

    Brutal: The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger's Irish Mob

    I have been reading about the latest Bulger scene, the trial involving the death of John McIntyre and the attempt by his family to sue the federal government for their role in his death. After reading BRUTAL, and reading reports of what Weeks had to say on the stand, I have all the more respect for this author. Often when I was reading the book, I noticed how he did not attempt to embellish the story or add emotions he did not feel. He committed terrible acts, but he owned up to each one, never attempting to ask for sympathy from the reader or express feelings he did not feel. Like it or not, this is who he is and what he did. And that is all one can expect from an author who is telling the story of his criminal past. Unquestionably, Weeks is an insider, the one the authorities call on the stand to tell the truth about McIntyre's death. I can not imagine Weeks enjoys this,any more than he enjoyed writing his book, but obviously it is part of his deal. I found BRUTAL gripping and fascinating, as well as well written, and now that Weeks is again in the news, I am grateful that I have read this one true account of the Bulger reign. Anyone who calls this book fiction simply does not know the Bulger story and is just trying to promote some other book. If you're interested in the true story of the Bulger saga, you must read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2006

    Brutal: The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger's Irish Mob

    Man, what a terrific book! Brutal is putting it mildly. From the first page to the last word, this book is full of action. And I can't help but respect this guy who I read didn't want to write the book but is giving 50% of his profits to his victims' families. His insight into Whitey Bulger is fantastic. As his closest confidante, he was by his side for nearly 20 years. Anyone who has any interest in the Irish mob needs to buy this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2006

    A true and gripping account of life in Southie

    Brutal is just that, a gripping and brutal story from a true insider from South Boston¿s infamous Irish Mafia. Growing up in Southie, I always was used to seeing them around the neighborhood. Watching Jimmy, Stevie and Kevin was something very interesting. And reading Brutal lets me relive a lot of what I seen and heard. Unlike other books that have been written about Jimmy Bulger and the Irish Mafia, this one really hits home and is from a true insider, not an opportunistic writer who has a chip on his shoulders and waddles like a duck, or a punk from the street who tried to make a name for himself selling drugs to little kids. Kevin Weeks was there through it all, from Jimmy¿s reign right up until he was arrested, several years after Jimmy was gone and he had complete control over Southie crime. Being from South Boston I seen much of what went on, and knew Kevin Weeks, before everything came public knowledge and after, and watching him and knowing what happened, his book is just that, a true telling of crime and the underworld. After reading Brutal, I would not even bother picking up any of those other supposed Southie Mafia stories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2006

    Brutal: The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger's Irish Mob

    There are plenty of interesting, not to mention, well written books on the subject of the Irish Boston Mob. Unfortunately, this is not one of them. This boy has no remorse, if he did he should be turning ALL the money from the sale of this rag to the victim's families. The title should have been Two Weeks. It took him 2 weeks to RAT and it looks like it took him 2 weeks to write this drivel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2006

    Candid and forceful

    This book does not sugar coat the life of a gangster. Rather it shows the violence and brutality that surrounds such an existence, the cheapness of life and the malevelant forces that rule it. Not for the squeamish and not for those looking for a morality tale. This book shows you what it is like to live a life of crime.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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