“I liked John,” Dickie O’Brien said. “I considered him a friend.”
But Dickie wasn’t stupid.
Before he left for the meeting with Stevie, Dickie O’Brien told his daughter, “If I don’t come home, go to the FBI. Don’t go home. Go to the FBI.”
Actually, if Steve Flemmi killed Dickie O’Brien that night, going to the FBI would have been a waste of time. They were still busy covering up for their informants, Whitey and Stevie.
“That goddam Chico,” Flemmi complained to Dickie O’Brien about Chico Krantz, the biggest bookie in Boston who became a government witness. “He turned over. I should have taken care of him when I had the chance.”
Dickie spent the meeting trying to reassure Flemmi that he was the last person who would turn on them. Basically, Dickie O’Brien asked them to trust him, asked them not to kill him.
At that very moment, from the stand, Dickie O’Brien looked at Whitey Bulger.
And Whitey wasn’t smiling anymore.
Kevin Cullen is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.