Richard Schneiderhan and the Massachusetts State Police
Besides receiving information from the FBI through John Connolly and his supervisor, Bulger relied on information from the Massachusetts State Police. In interviews, long-time Bulger associate Kevin Weeks has repeatedly stated that the information received from the Massachusetts State Police was far more valuable to Bulger in pursuit of his criminal activities and his avoidance of arrest for so many years, despite the number of crimes attributed to him. Information from the Massachusetts State Police came directly from the District Attorney’s Organized Crime Unit.
Richard Schneiderhan was an investigator with the Massachusetts State Police and over a period of ten years when he worked within the Organized Crime Unit he rose to become its Chief Intelligence Officer. This placed him in a position from which he worked with prosecutors, other investigators, and federal officers as part of the overall effort to eliminate organized crime in Massachusetts, and especially in Boston. As a liaison between agencies, he was in a position to be aware of the efforts of other investigating agencies, fostering an atmosphere of co-operation between the state and federal efforts.
Schneiderhan was in contact with Stephen Flemmi, and provided Flemmi with information regarding ongoing investigations, including the presence of wiretaps, which Flemmi passed on to Bulger. Schneiderhan was also in contact with Kevin Weeks. How the gangsters compensated Schneiderhan has never been established. It is widely believed that Schneiderhan accepted cash payments for the information, although that charge has never been proved by the authorities. Schneiderhan was a long-time friend of Flemmi’s and it is possible that he provided the information out of friendship alone.
When the FBI put both of Bulger’s brothers under telephone surveillance through wiretaps, Schneiderhan passed the information along to Kevin Weeks, who in turn passed it to Bulger. It was Weeks who later gave the grand jury information which incriminated Schneiderhan, as part of the former’s deal to co-operate with the authorities following his own indictment and Bulger’s disappearance. Schneiderhan had by then been long retired, but he maintained contacts with the FBI, the Massachusetts State Police, and both Flemmi and Weeks.
Schneiderhan was charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy after his role supplying information to the Winter Hill Gang became known, and was sent to federal prison. Because it was determined that the crimes for which he had been convicted occurred after his retirement he continued to draw his pension from the Massachusetts State Police following his conviction. He was released from prison in 2006 and died in 2015. He was never charged for providing information while active with the State Police, although Kevin Weeks claimed his services were of much more value to the gang than those of the FBI.