The Kevin Weeks Saga
John William Tuohy
Weeks. Kevin. Born March 21, 1956, South Boston, Massachusetts. Weeks is a former Irish-American mobster of and a longtime friend and confidant to James J. Bulger.
After his arrest and imprisonment in 1999, Weeks became a cooperating witness. His testimony is viewed as responsible for the convictions of FBI agent John Connolly and mobster Stephen Flemmi.
Weeks graduated from South Boston High in 1974, ending his formal education. His two brothers would later go on to graduate from Harvard University. His brother John (Jack) Jr. became an advance man for Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, and William became a selectman in Acton, Massachusetts.
In 1976, after Weeks gave up on college, he became a bouncer at a popular neighborhood bar, "Triple O's" a frequent hangout of the Winter Hill Gang, which was then headed by James J. Bulger. It was here that Weeks first met Bulger, as well as Bulger's partner Stephen Flemmi. Beginning in 1978, Weeks began working for Bulger part-time as muscle and a personal driver. Impressed by Weeks' knack for making money and genuinely liking him, Bulger decided to bring him in closer than any other associate. Meanwhile, Weeks turned to running a loansharking business on the side.
On the night of May 11, 1982, Bulger was told the whereabouts of a former associate turned Federal informant, Edward Brian Halloran, known on the streets as "Balloon head".
After arriving at the scene, Weeks staked out Anthony's Pier 4 Restaurant, where Halloran and construction worker Michael Donahue were dining together. As Donahue and Halloran drove out of the parking lot Weeks signaled Bulger by stating, "The balloon is in the air", over a hand held radio. Bulger drove up with a masked man armed with a silenced Mac 10; Bulger himself carried a .30 caliber carbine. Bulger and the other shooter opened fire and sprayed Halloran and Donahue's car with bullets. Donahue was shot in the head and killed instantly. Halloran lived long enough to identify his attacker as James Flynn, a Winter Hill associate, who was later tried and acquitted. Flynn remained the prime suspect until 1999, when Weeks agreed to cooperate with investigators.
Bulger, Weeks, and Flemmi became heavily involved in narcotics trafficking in the early 1980s. Bulger began to summon drug dealers from in and around Boston to his headquarters. Flanked by Kevin Weeks and Flemmi, he would inform each dealer that he had been offered a substantial sum to assassinate them. He would then demand a large cash payment not to do so. Eventually, however, the massive profits of drugs proved irresistible.
According to Kevin Weeks “Jimmy, Stevie and I weren't in the import business and weren't bringing in the marijuana or the cocaine. We were in the shakedown business. We didn't bring drugs in; we took money off the people who did. We never dealt with the street dealers, but rather with a dozen large-scale drug distributors all over the State who were bringing in the coke and marijuana and paying hundreds of thousands to Jimmy. The dealers on the street corner sold “eight-balls”, grams, and half grams to customers for their personal use. They were supplied by the mid-level drug dealer who was selling them multiple ounces. In other words, the big importers gave it to the major distributors, who sold it to the middlemen, who then sold it to the street dealers. In order to get to Jimmy, Stevie, and me, someone would have had to go through those four layers of insulation.”
In South Boston, most of the neighborhood's drug trade was managed by a handpicked crew of prize fighters led by John Shea. Edward MacKenzie Jr., a former member of Shea's crew, has stated that this was done because Shea viewed athletes as less likely to abuse the drugs they were selling.
According to Weeks, Bulger enforced strict rules over the dealers who were paying him protection. “The only people we ever put out of business were heroin dealers. Jimmy didn't allow heroin in South Boston. It was a dirty drug that users stuck in their arms, making problems with needles, and later on, AIDS. While people can do cocaine socially and still function, once they do heroin, they're zombies.”
Weeks also insists that Bulger strictly forbade PCP and selling to children and that those dealers who refused to play by his rules were violently driven out of the neighborhood.
In 1990, "Red" Shea and his associates were arrested as part of a joint investigation involving the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Boston Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police. All refused to testify against Bulger, Flemmi, and Weeks.
According to Weeks “Of course, Jimmy lost money once the drug dealers were removed from the streets in the summer raid, but he always had other business going on. Knowing I had to build something on the side, I had concentrated on my shylocking and gambling businesses. The drug business had been good while it lasted. But our major involvement in it was over."
In 1997, shortly after the Boston Globe disclosed that Bulger and Flemmi had been informants, Weeks met with retired Agent John Connolly (later sentenced to 40 years in prison), who showed him a photocopy of Bulger's FBI informant file. In order to explain Bulger and Flemmi's status as informants, Connolly said, "The Mafia was going against Jimmy and Stevie, so Jimmy and Stevie went against them."
On November 17, 1999, Weeks, Kevin O'Neill, and other Winter Hill associates were arrested in South Boston by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Massachusetts State Police. The next afternoon, he was presented with a 29-count indictment under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). At first refusing to cooperate, Weeks was transferred to a Federal penitentiary in Rhode Island.
Imprisoned in Rhode Island, it took about two weeks for Weeks to decide to co-operate with authorities, leading some in South Boston to dub him "Kevin Squeaks" or "Two Weeks". He has stated that he was approached by one of his fellow prisoners, a Made man in the Patriarca crime family, who asked him, "Kid what are you doing? Are you going to take it up the ass for these guys? Remember you can't rat on a rat. Those guys have been giving up everyone for thirty years." In addition, Weeks was also deeply impressed by the cooperation of John Martorano, a legendary enforcer for the Winter Hill Gang.
He led authorities to six different bodies buried by the Winter Hill Gang, including the triple grave of Hussey, McIntyre and Barrett. He implicated Bulger in the murder of Brian Halloran (nicknamed "Ballonhead" by Bulger) as well as agreeing to testify against Stephen Flemmi, Special Agent Connolly, and Whitey Bulger. He was then sentenced to five years in federal prison.
Weeks married his longtime girlfriend, Pamela Cavaleri, on April 26, 1980 at the Gate of Heaven Roman Catholic Church in their native South Boston. They have two sons, Kevin Barry Weeks, to whom Whitey Bulger stood as godfather, and Brian Weeks. The couple later separated.
He was released from Federal prison in early 2005. After a major bidding war over his memoirs he chose to collaborate with journalist Phyllis Karas (of People magazine). Weeks' account of his life with Bulger and Flemmi was published in March 2006.