Outlaw Empires, a documentary series about the outlaw dynasties who inhabit or inhabited the land is created by Kurt Sutter, who presented the acclaimed Sons of Anarchy. Sutter explores the organized outlaw gangs indigenous to different parts of the United States and presents them to the viewers with his particular brand of spin.
This episode gives insight into the Irish mob that inhabited South Boston from the 1880s through the 1970s. Sutter gives the fans a chance to see outlaws from a storyteller’s perspective; without judgment, from the outlaws who tell their own story and how outlaws have shaped this country from the days of the Old West to now.
Kurt Sutter is not a historian or member of law enforcement; he is a storyteller and he certainly has the knack to tell a story. But in Outlaw Empires he has found members of these empires who share the spotlight to give the viewers insight into what it takes to be an outlaw.
Kevin Weeks is a former member of the Irish Mob, fans get to hear his tale; admitting to murder and knowing there was no way out. He was the last person to see James J. Bulger aka Whitey in a Boston train station, Bulger was on the FBI Most Wanted List since 1994 and Kevin admits to seeing him in November of 1996. Kevin grew up in the projects of Boston and learned how to fight. The Irish immigrated to Boston and met with contempt by the Americans and the street games became their refuge from the opposition they faced in their neighborhood. Called Southies, their former leader, Pat Nee tells how nothing went on in South Boston without their approval. They ruled South Boston and nobody crossed the Southies.
Another former member, Rick Marinick knew Whitey Bolger well, but many people did not even know what he looked like. He was more like a ghost who ruled with an iron fist. Nobody committed a crime in South Boston without his permission. Rick was known to run a crew that robbed armored cars, but he also answered to Whitey.
Whitey also had affiliation with legitimate businesses too. He ruled the roost at the Triple O Bar, and Kevin worked there and was not afraid to fight anyone who came there to make trouble back in the 70s. He beat up one person and the next day Whitey picked him up and went for a ride. Not knowing what he did wrong, Kevin kept his mouth shut until Whitey picked up another guy. Finally Whitey started beating the crap out of the other guy and Kevin chimed in to help. The next day Whitey gave him an envelope with $1,000 and back in 1974, that was a lot of money. He became a favorite of Whitey and a paid enforcer. There were only about five or six hard-core members of the gang, but that was all they needed, as their infamy grew.
Whitey Bulger was Kevin’s mentor, he taught him everything and loyalty was the number one. Kevin saw how Whitey handled rats. They found out that Brian Halloran had been talking about Whitey and his illegal doings to the feds. It was Kevin’s true test of loyalty when he met up with Brian and radioed Whitey as to his whereabouts. Whitey pulled up in a car and shot him dead in broad daylight letting every other mobster know what happens to a rat.
Rick knew that being in Whitey’s crew was a lucrative endeavor and the mob helped the Irish Republican Army with finances and was sending guns over on a ship called the “Valhalla.” The ship and its cargo of weapons were intercepted by the Irish authorities before it could read the IRA and when the ship returned to the United States. John McIntyre, the mechanic was aboard when the U.S. Customs seized the boat. The mob received word that it was McIntyre who was cooperating with law enforcement and took him to a cute little house in the suburbs that looked like the picture of innocence; but it hid a dirty secret inside. Whitey tried to get info from him as to what he told the feds and he told the truth. They then took him to the basement and killed him, then Whitey laid on the sofa and took a peaceful nap.
They had cops, prosecutors, and judges and even FBI people on their payroll and avoided traps that were set to ensnare them. But as his empire grew; so did the people around him. When the house was being sold; they went to dig up the graves which was worse than burying them in the first place. Then they buried them in another place and nearly were spotted doing the dirty deed.
In 1994, Kevin went to New York to meet Whitey who had been on the run for two years and never saw him again. Kevin kept the syndicate going during his absence. In 1997, Kevin was watching television and found out that another mobster, Steve and Whitey Bulger were FBI informants. Kevin was blindsided by the news and was soon arrested on 29 counts of racketeering. Following the lead of his mentor; he turned all the info over against Whitey and Steve. In June of 2011, the second most wanted criminal, after Osama Bin Laden was found in Santa Monica, California. Kevin served only six years instead of life, Rick served ten years in prison for robbery. Pat Nee is active in veterans affairs and currently filming a documentary about Southie vets from WWII to today. Kevin still lives in Boston and has written two books on his experiences in this faction of Outlaw Empires.