John Connolly is proud of his having grown up in South Boston in a hard-working family of very modest means. Under such circumstances, he greatly appreciated the opportunity to attend and graduate from Boston College, to attend Suffolk Law School, and earn a graduate degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Today he is married to a wonderful supportive wife, and is the proud father of three terrific teenage boys. It should be of no surprise given his background, that he became a highly decorated and respected FBI Special Agent for approximately 23 years. John retired from the FBI honorably in 1990, accepting the position of being the Director of Government Affairs for one of New England’s largest utilities.
John Connolly retired from the FBI with numerous commendations for his investigative accomplishments in the field of organized crime. These numerous commendations, documented in court records, included eight (8) personal commendations from every FBI Director, from J. Edgar Hoover to Judge William Sessions. To read the commendations click here.
John Connolly, for the majority of his FBI career, was a street agent who put his life on the line by dealing – at the behest of the U.S. Department of Justice – with some of the most dangerous individuals in the world. In 1973, John first became assigned to the FBI office in Boston, and remained in this assignment until his retirement in 1990. He was primarily charged with developing so-called Top Echelon Criminal Informants, and this effort was particularly successful in New England.
The FBI’s Top Echelon Criminal Informant Program was at the time relevant to John’s career deemed to be a secret FBI program. It was designed by the FBI to recruit high-ranking criminals as informants in the U. S. Justice Department’s war on the American Mafia.
John Connolly was advised by FBI headquarters that he had developed more “member sources,” actual Mafia members, as Top Echelon informants, than any other FBI Agent and was periodically assigned to lecture to other FBI agents at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia on Informant Development Tactics and Techniques. As a member of the Boston FBI’s Organized Crime Squad, John was tasked to utilize his many Top Echelon informants to penetrate the innermost sanctions of the Patriarca Crime Family and emerge with the necessary “probable cause,” enabling his FBI collegues and federal prosecutors to indict and convict numerous members of the La Cosa Nostra and their associates.
John is one of the FBI’s most decorated Special Agents in the U.S. Government’s war on organized crime. Another one of the FBI’s most decorated Agents, Joseph Pistone, spent six years “Undercover” in the Bonanno Mafia crime family. He is the celebrated author of two books, and the subject of the popular film, “Donnie Brasco.” In his book, “The Ceremony,” former Special Agent Pistone wrote; “The reign of the Patriarca Family is ended. A substantial amount of the credit for the demise of that Mob Family must be given to one man, Special Agent John Connolly.”
(left) FBI Agent John Connolly and (right) FBI Agent Joseph Pistone (“Donnie Brasco”)
Taken at Joseph Pistone’s retirement party held at an undisclosed location.Former Attorney General Award winning FBI Agent, Joseph Pistone, author of “Donnie Brasco, My Undercover Life In the Mafia,” wrote the following in his book,”The Ceremony.”
“The reign of the Patriarca Family is ended. A substantial amount of the credit for the demise of that mob family must be given to one man, Special Agent John Connolly.”
There were trilogies of FBI investigations that are credited with bringing down the New England Mafia. The first was the installation of an electronic surveillance (i.e., bugs) in the Prince Street Boston Headquarters of Mafia Underboss Gennaro “Jerry” Angiulo. The second was the bugging of Vanessa’s Restaurant in Boston’s Prudential Center, where Mafia members were intercepted extorting $500,000 from two elderly Jewish bookmakers and threatening one of their lives. The third was the bugging of the now infamous “Mafia Induction Ceremony” on October 29, 1989, in Medford, Massachusetts. By conservative estimates, John Connolly furnished as much as 70% of the “probable cause” information utilized by the three U.S. District Court Federal Judges who approved the Title III electronic surveillances for all of these highly successful and critical law enforcment investigative efforts.
Events Leading Up To John’s Arrest
So, what happened that caused a highly decorated FBI Agent to be targeted for prosecution? The prosecution of John Connolly had it’s beginnings on the streets of New York City on December 14, 1972, when John Connolly, in the company of two fellow FBI Agents, Thomas Baker and Arthur “Artie” Grubert, recognized Frances Salemme, a.k.a. “Cadillac Frank,” as a wanted FBI fugitive. Salemme, “proposed” member of the Patriarca Family, was a fugitive, along with his sidekick and fellow “proposed” member, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi for a Boston gangland slaying as well as the 1968 Mafia ordered car bombing of Attorney, John Fitzgerald, targeted by Mafia Boss, Raymond L.S. Patriarca, who believed Fitzgerald was poised to become a Government witness against him. Attorney John Fitzgerald, miraculously, survived the car bombing but was badly maimed and lost a leg in the blast. After recognizing Salemme, a brief chase on the streets of the Upper East Side ensued and Connolly brought down Salemme, arresting him at gunpoint while his fellow agents subdued a Mafia associate who was with Salemme. John Connolly testified against “Cadillac Frank” Salemme in his 1973 trial in Boston, which resulted in his being convicted of attempted murder and mayhem. Salemme was sentenced to twenty years in prison. Salemme served 16 years, and was paroled in 1988. He was promptly inducted as a member of the Patriarca Crime Family. The treacherous and cunning Frank Salemme enjoyed a serendipitous rise through the ranks of the Mafia thanks to the depletion of the Mafia hierarchy due to successful FBI prosecutions coupled with Salemme’s murdering several of his rivals. Salemme was named boss of the New England Mafia in the early 1990′s and was indicted in a RICO Enterprise Case in early January of 1995 along with several other co-defendants, including FBI Top Echelon Informants, James “Whitey” Bulger, and Stephen “The Rifelman” Flemmi.
John Connolly’s Arrest
In December of 1999, three days before Christmas, and 10 years after his retirement from the FBI, John Connolly was indicted for racketeering just before the statute of limitations ran out. John was indicted through the misguided efforts of certain federal prosecutors, working in tandem with a so-called investigation being conducted by a certain DEA Agent and a Massachusetts State Police Officer, both of whom admit to a personal agenda against the FBI in general. The charges included one that alleged that five years after his retirement from the FBI, John tipped off James “Whitey” Bulger, and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, that they were about to be indicted — despite the fact that it had already been widely publicized in the newspapers for several months earlier that a grand jury had been sitting on their case, and that indictments were expected soon. Additionally, the indictment of John came following extensive and highly publicized pretrial hearings in federal district court before U.S. District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf in the racketeering case of United States v. Frances P. Salemme, James J. Bulger, Stephen Flemmi, et al., U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, No. 94-10287 (the “Wolf Hearings”). The government’s “Star” witness against John Connolly was none other than Frank “Cadillac Frank” Salemme. By the time of Salemme’s 1995 indictment he had become the prime suspect in numerous murders, but as part of his plea deal in testifying against Connolly, he had only admitted to involvement to six murders. As we will show, the Government cut this deal with Salemme even though they believed him responsible for 6 additional murders that he didn’t admit to. Government witness Roger Vella, Jr., would put the figure at eleven (11)”other” murders for a grand total of 19! Prosecutors compounded matters by cutting a deal with, Johnny Martorano, a world class assassin known in the Boston underworld as the “Basin Street Butcher.” Martorana, admitted to 20 murders in a “deal” with the prosecutors and to the fact that he never even met John Connolly! John Connolly was acquitted of everything Martorano testified to. The government also cut deals with Kevin Weeks who admitted to participating in 5 murders, along with John Connolly’s admittedly corrupt supervisor John Morris. Ironincally, Morris admitted to taking money from FBI informant, Bulger and Flemmi, but admitted under oath that he never knew John Connolly to take any money! Read more on the background of the case against John in the Website Mission
John Acquitted of Most of The Charges Against Him
John was acquitted of the vast majority of multiple charges brought against him. John was convicted of one count of racketeering (although acquitted of 9 out of the 14 alleged predicate acts), two counts of obstruction of justice and one count of furnishing a false statement. Newly discovered evidence disclosed since his conviction in May of 2002, places his conviction in serious doubt. Read about the newly discovered evidence
John Indicted In Florida May 2005
In May 2005, John Connolly was indicted on one count of murder and one count of conspiracy to murder John Callahan (a known criminal and former president of World Jai Alai) The main witness against John Connolly for the indictment are the same witnesses that lied in John’s Boston trial; Stephen Flemmi, Kevin Weeks, John Martarono. Also, John was acquitted in the Boston trial of alerting Bulger and Flemmi that John Callahan was being sought to testify before a grand jury. John Connolly and his family have suffered due to his wrongful conviction and false imprisonment and as he fights to clear his name he is in need of our help. This website represents the many friends and supporters of John Connolly, Jr., and come from all walks of life. Our goal is to see a travesty of justice reversed and to see John return home from his unjust incarceration to his family. In pursuit of this goal, we present visitors to this website, with court documents, transcripts of testimony, and other documents which now clearly demonstrate that John Connolly, Jr., did not receive a fair trial. If you would like to donate to John’s fight for justice, please go to the support page.