Murder of Edward Halloran
In May 1982 Whitey Bulger and Stephen Flemmi were informed that Edward Halloran, who went by his middle name of Brian, had been meeting with the FBI out of town, and was back in South Boston. Bulger sent Kevin Weeks to find Halloran and keep watch on him while he and another man – likely an associate of Bulger’s named James Flynn but possibly Patrick Nee, who denied involvement – armed themselves. Weeks learned that Halloran was having dinner at Anthony’s Pier Four, at the time one of the most financially successful restaurants in New England. It was located in South Boston.
Bulger and his accomplice waited in the parking lot in a car. Both men were in disguise. Bulger carried a rifle, his accomplice was armed with a MAC 10, equipped with a suppressor. A MAC 10 is a machine pistol capable of a rate of fire exceeding 1,000 rounds per minute while the suppressor both lessens the noise of firing and makes the weapon easier to control while firing. Bulger also carried a walkie-talkie, allowing him to communicate with Weeks, who was in a position to watch the door and Halloran’s movements.
Inside the restaurant Halloran encountered Michael Donahue, a friend of his. They had not planned on meeting and when Halloran explained that he had not driven to the restaurant Donahue offered him a ride home. Donahue was a truck driver by trade and a member of the Teamsters and other than his acquaintance with Halloran had no known connections with the Winter Hill gang or any other criminal activities.
When Donahue and Halloran left the restaurant, Weeks informed Bulger that Halloran was moving, using the message over the walkie-talkie, “The balloon is up,” a reference to Halloran’s nickname of Balloonhead. Once they were in Donahue’s car Bulger and the other gunman opened fire, with the MAC 10 rounds riddling the car. Donahue was hit in the head and died instantly. Halloran was badly wounded, but survived long enough to inform the authorities that his assailant had been James Flynn. He did not identify Bulger as the second killer.
When Stephen Flemmi turned government witness he stated that Patrick Nee, a Winter Hill associate and IRA member, had been the gunman. Kevin Weeks on the other hand claimed that Bulger had been one of the gunmen. James Flynn was arrested and tried for the murder; he was acquitted. A civil trial later established that the federal government had been responsible for the murder of Michael Donahue and Edward Halloran, through the actions of Connolly and Morris, who provided information regarding Halloran’s whereabouts to the killers.