Whitey Bulger’s sharpshooting partner, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi has a date with the a Florida parole board on August 18th for his freedom.
He has served 26 years, so far, of a life sentence for his role in the back-to-back murder of World Jai-alai President John Callahan in Florida, and World Jai-alai owner Roger Wheeler in Oklahoma along with at least 8 other “gangland” executions.
In the state of Florida, prisoners can ask for a “compassionate release” where those who are at least 65 years old, experiencing serious deterioration in physical or mental health due to age and have served at least 10 years or 75% of their sentence. Flemmi is now 87 years old and is locked up in Florida prison unknown to the public because he has been labeled as a “Rat” for the deal he received in testifying against Whitey Bulger to avoid the death penalty.
There’s at least one person not too happy about this. Mary Callahan told the Boston Herald “I don’t think so. He’s talking about compassion? I didn’t see him having any compassion for his victims”. Her husband John was shot to death and left in a truck of a car at the Miami airport in 1982 because he knew too much about Bulger and Flemmi working as informants for the FBI. Bulger went on the run for 16 years before getting captured nearly 3 years ago at the age of 89. He was sentenced to a penitentiary in Hazelton West Virginia and was murdered by inmates just hours after arriving in a wheelchair.
Flemmi is hoping to gain his release- just like his former FBI handler, John Connolly, who was released last February. Connolly has claimed that he is terminally ill. Flemmi actually got his nickname “The Rifleman” during the Korena War as a member of the Army and ran the Boston Winter Hill Gang with Bulger and was the plot of the movie “Black Mass” starring Johnny Depp that was released in 2015 and featured a phony jai-alai scene. There are no details on the condition of Flemmi’s health at this time. I guess we will find out next month.