An unaccepted apology at Bulger trial

tommy donahue bulger bulger trial boston
Tommy Donahue, whose father was alleged killed by James “Whitey” Bulger and his gang during a the targeted hit of another man in 1982, spoke to reporters outside the Moakley federal courthouse.
Credit: Michael Naughton/METRO

A corrupt FBI supervisor tried his best to hold back tears as he sat on a witness stand Monday and apologized to the families of James “Whitey” Bulger’s alleged murder victims for his involvement in their deaths.

John Morris, who admitted to taking bribes from Bulger and his gang while he was a supervisor in Boston’s FBI office, was emotional during his third day of testimony.

During cross examination by Bulger’s lawyer, Hank Brennan, Morris said it was a “spontaneous” action when he told Bulger’s corrupt FBI handler John Connolly that gang member Brian Halloran was cooperating with authorities. About four weeks later, Morris said he learned Halloran, along with another man who had given him a ride, were gunned down.

Brennan highlighted repeatedly during cross examination that Morris took multiple steps to protect himself and to keep under wraps his relationship with Bulger. When he asked Morris if he ever reached out to the families, Morris said no.

“I don’t ask for your forgiveness, but I do want to express my sincere apology for things that I may have done and things that I didn’t do,” Morris said. “Not a day in my life has gone by where I haven’t thought about this. Not a day goes by in my life that I haven’t prayed and ask that God give you blessing and comfort for the pain that you have suffered. I’m truly sorry. I do not ask for forgiveness. That’s too much. But I do acknowledge it publicly.”

The man who gave Halloran a ride that night in 1982 was Michael Donahue. Donahue’s wife and children have attended dozens of Bulger’s hearings and trial days.

Tommy Donahue, his son, said he could care less about the apology, and that he was grateful that Bulger’s lawyers were bringing about the truth from corrupt FBI agents in his father’s murder.

“I thought it was a complete joke. He can actually take his apology and shove it,” Donahue said after Monday’s proceedings. “A couple weeks after he pretty much had my father killed he was asking Whitey for money.

“We know we want Whitey Bulger to go to jail, but we have to rely on Whitey’s lawyers to get us the truth? That’s appaling. The government should be getting us the truth,” he said.

Bulger’s lawyers have tried to suggest Bulger paid off Morris for information rather than providing information to Morris.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


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