Whitey Bulger once famously said that “Christmas is for cops and kids.”
And for Zip Connolly, the most crooked FBI agent of all time, every day was Christmas.
But now at the age of 73, doing a 40-year bit in Florida for second-degree murder of a wannabee wiseguy his boss Whitey was afraid wouldn’t stand up, the richest G-man in the world wants another bite at the apple.
On the arm of course. But you knew that. It’s the Bulger way. Zip’s latest appeal will be handled by a group at the University of Miami Law School called the “Innocence Clinic.”
Surely some mistake — shouldn’t Zip be represented by the “Guilt Clinic”?
Over the years, Zip’s sycophants have dwindled to a not-so-precious few. I’m guessing his hero, Billy Bulger, writes him about as often as he attended his brother’s murder trial this summer — never.
Hey Zip, he didn’t see you and you didn’t see him. But those old State House chestnuts don’t seem nearly as funny when you’re doing life, do they? Just like your famous words in that FBI training video — “Never try to out-gangster a gangster.”
It would take a heart of stone not to laugh.
Let’s let the Corrupt Midget sum up Zip’s role in his older brother’s bloodthirsty gang, at Zip’s 1990 retirement dinner at Joe Tecce’s.
“John Connolly is the personification of loyalty,” Billy said, “not only to his old friends and not only to the job he holds, but also to the highest principles.”
The highest principle of all: doing whatever Whitey ordered him to do, in return for hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash.
No wonder his fellow agents derisively called him “Agent Cannoli.”
No wonder a secretary testified that once, in those pre-direct deposit days, she’d gone into his desk and found 10 or 12 uncashed FBI paychecks.
Stevie Flemmi recalled once handing him $25,000 cash from a drug deal, and Zip excitedly saying, “I’m in the gang!”
He was spending his payoffs so wildly that finally Whitey had to give him an ultimatum. He’d still get whatever cash he needed — but first Zip had to tell his serial-killing paymasters what he was going to use it for. Think of it as an allowance.
Now he’s trying to get sprung on a technicality. Irony, anyone? This is the same guy who used to go before the state parole board to argue against the release of the four hoods the FBI had framed for the Teddy Deegan murder. Zip knew they hadn’t done it, but so what?
Zip went to Harvard, you know. Got a master’s degree. The same year he was across the river, he took time out from his arduous schedule to find out whether Brian Halloran was ratting out Whitey, and when he confirmed it, Zip ratted out the rat, to the biggest rat of all. At least that’s what Whitey’s first defense witness at the trial testified.
Zip Connolly, out-gangstered by a gangster.