Johnny's movies

Shea, “Whitey” and Johnny

Posted in black mass, dick lehr, gerard o'neill, james whitey bulger, Johnny Depp, movies, scott cooper, warner br., whitey bulger by Anna Maria Polidori on January 30, 2016

Exclusive interview of the Daily Mail with Shea


It had to be young John called by everyone “Red” Shea when he decided to join the Winter Hill gang of Jimmy “Whitey” Bulger.

50 years now, he helped the mobster with his intense drug smuggling during the 1980s. It meant for Bulger wagons of money.

“Red” remembers at the Daily Mail Bulger’s temper. “If he lost it…”

The most important lesson learned by “Red”? Whitey taught him “That there was no one lower than a rat”.

“Red” was actively helpful on the set of Black Mass and with the time he became a good friend of Johnny Depp. shea and Johnny Depp_crop (Pic of Shea and Johnny on the set of Black Mass posted by the Daily Mail).

When “Red” saw the transformation of Johnny Depp, olive skin, black eyes, 000002-johnny_depp5 johnny362 10406537_296973293809654_7333082697670845881_nds not exactly blonde in Bulger 11181839_422107524629563_434860139454374437_n, confessed he “lost” a beat of his heart, because of the strong emotions caused by Johnny’s transformation.

But what happened when “Red” saw very closely Johnny Depp after the transformation in James Bulger?

“I had to leave the trailer” Shea told  at the Daily Mail.

“Red” didn’t see anymore Bulger from a long long time, twenty years, but the memory of a big portion of existence spent close to the criminal meant to him remembering sad memories, so he preferred to leave the set.

Shea added that if he would have stayed on trailer and close to Johnny/”Whitey” he would have hit poor innocent Johnny.

Shea told that when he went out of the trailer his body was shaking and he felt the necessity of punching something.

He was terribly angry. With “Whitey”.

Shea is convinced and told to the Daily Mail: “Johnny was Whitey”.

Recently Johnny Depp has been nominated for Best Actor at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday.

He was young,  Shea when his idol became Jimmy Bulger. He started to work for him.

His once idol, not a singer, not an actor, but a criminal, became with the time his biggest delusion.

The main problem in the criminal case of Bulger, this one: he was an informant of the FBI. For the member of his gang, they didn’t know it, most of them it seems didn’t know it, a terrible sin.

And for this reason once discovered it, like also for Kevin Weeks, now after various years spent in jail a successful writer, all the loyal members of the gang of Bulger decided to moving on.

It happened to “Red” as well.

Shea grew up in South Boston. His nickname because of his red hair. When he was a kid he loved sport and boxing.

Shea has been called also during the realization of The Departed with Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jack Nicholson.

The story of Jimmy Bulger is pretty singular. No one would believe that the smiling and joyous face of an old picture of a happy kid young james bulger would become with the time the face of the most notorious mobster of the USA.

But it happened.

It happened because some conditions created the perfect humus for him.

A powerful special agent of the FBI John Connolly (Connolly repeats always he is innocent) decided to ask him to join the FBI as an informant for trying to defeat together the italian mafia created by the brothers Angiulo. In the while Jimmy Bulger had joined the Winter Hill Gang a criminal organization operative from a lot of time.

Mafia, a pale idea of the italian one, and if compared with the ferocious Winter Hill Gang less less dangerous than the South Boston Gang (the italian one operated in North Boston) was defeated and it meant a lot of honor for the city of Boston and of course for the various people involved in this operation. Brothers Angiulo in jail, the city safe.

So: all OK?

Well…Whitey Bulger was seriously interested at the various business of italian mafia and once the mafia was over during the 70s and 80s he became the most powerful mobster of the city. With the protection of the FBI.

Shea remembers who Whitey was: “He was the king of kings, the Irish Godfather. He could be very charismatic and a great friend. He taught me a lot but he could also be very vicious”.

Although Shea is angry with Bulger because he was an informant of the FBI once the investigators asked for his help once the mobster was captured in 2011, Shea said them: “No thanks I don’t want to be involved”.

His responsibilities for bringing drug from Florida to Boston.

In 1990 captured on drugs charges he decided of not telling anything and not to betray his mobster.
“Red” justified it adding at the Daily Mail that it was: “My duty to protect Whitey”. The code of silence to him important.
And so a lot of jail and later the re-birth as a free man. Shea works in the constructions now.

Later Shea wrote a book called: “Rat rat bastardsBastards” where he tells all his life including the years spent with Bulger.

As Shea served out his sentence the biggest delusion to him: Bulger was an informant of the FBI so that’s why he left Boston. At first Shea told to the Daily Mail, he couldn’t believe possible a story like that one and he would have been able to discuss with anyone would have remarked his old boss was an informant.

Later, he started to “accept” it. The man confessed he thought that no one would have captured “Whitey “Bulger.

But it happened.
And the story is singular.

At first Jimmy Bulger appeared to be like a mysterious man once arrived in Santa Monica, California.
Hat and sunglasses, not too much friendly with neighbors, he didn’t appear to be like a big cordial chap.

Cathy Greig, more social, with the time James Bulger became someone involved in various social activities,  people became to start to be affectionate at this elderly man.

The ideal life, a good life without any criminal activity a dreaming phase in “Whitey”s life.

His wife, Catherine Greig cultivated a passion: feeding poor abandoned cats, an activity she started to share with Miss Iceland 1974.
Anna the model had rent a house just close to them and she started to enjoy the company of Mr&Mrs Gasko.

Once back in Iceland watching at the CNN International that two familiar faces she recognized Mr&Mrs. Gasko. But Mr Gasko wasn’t Charlie but “Whitey” Bulger. Unthinkable. And that one Catherine Greig, the companion.

Whitey’s dreaming and peaceful life ended up when Osama bin Laden was captured and killed in a big operation and the agent of the FBI could  start to search the fugitive criminal.

But…What “key” to use for capturing Whitey?
Catherine Greig, the companion.
In synthesis: the companion, various cats, and a model would have brought “Whitey” directly and this time forever, to jail.

Jimmy “Whitey” Bulger’s life once first on the top list of the most wanted criminals once Osama bin Laden disappeared became a nightmare. A nightmare of fears, horrors, suspects.
He thought that everyone could call the FBI. After all 2 million of dollars a lot. And he was there. He was…Money for a lot of people.

Ironically, no one of his long-term neighbors called the FBI  but most of them started to be very worried for his health.

They knocked at the door of Cathy Greig every day. “What is it happening to Charlie? He is not anymore around Carol..We miss him”. Depression, various problems, Greig didn’t know what she had to invent anymore.

Once captured for Whitey a true shock to re-start to be at first the notorious mobster Jimmy “Whitey” Bulger for everyone.
Once in jail he wrote to all his neighbors of Santa Monica. “Don’t believe a word of what they’re saying about me” he told to them, desperate.

Jimmy Bulger was 81 years when captured in 2011. In 2013 the trial. It ended up with two life sentences and five years of jail.

The trial was emotional for the family of poor Michael Donahue.

What a story this one.

Halloran had to die. Weeks was killed by Bulger and “Rifleman” Flemmi.Bulger understood that Halloran told to the FBI of their execution. Halloran told to the agents of the FBI that they had killed Weeks. They had to kill Halloran.

Halloran was de facto a “dead man walking”. The Winter Hill Gang like also all the other criminal organized associations didn’t have any interest in killing of innocent people.

So Halloran, one evening at a bar asked to Michael Donahue, if he could give him a car passage.

To Michael, Brian Halloran was an old companion of games of his childhood. He remembered the years when they were little and they played together. They were born in the same place.
He called his wife, asking to wait for him and reassuring them he would have been there for dinner.

Well: Michael has never arrived home. Whitey and his men killed the two men. The widow of Donahue discovered her husband was dead only later, although all the family guessed it watching the news on TV. That car, that men…

Michael was a truck driver, a peaceful man, he had three sons and in that case as I have always written he was in the wrong place at the wrong moment.

Patricia, the widow of Donahue wanted to see face to face Bulger at the trial but she added: “He looked pathetic”.


Anna Maria Polidori


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