Latest Articles


BOOK EXCERPT: Just Don't Clip Anyone: First days as an informant

Whitey had probably always intended to kill Tommy King, the brawler who had been his onetime counterpart and rival.
Excerpt from "Whitey Bulger: America's Most Wanted Gangster."

Goodbye normal street

The US Senate campaign in Maine is about to swerve off the blacktop, crash through the puckerbrush, and plunge into the swamp, dredging up a mass of slime and stinking muck.
Politics + Other Mistakes  
By AL DIAMON  |  June 15, 2012
Boston's Muckrock liberates Ol' Dirty Bastard's explosive FBI file

Boston's Muckrock liberates Ol' Dirty Bastard's explosive FBI file

Muckrock has done it again. The Boston-based web startup, a two-man team that simplifies the process of submitting Freedom of Information Act queries, managed to get...
By Carly Carioli  |  January 13, 2012

Congress gives us all detention

The $662 billion military spending bill expected to go before both houses of Congress later this week includes controversial provisions allowing the US military to arrest and indefinitely detain, without trial, anyone suspected of terrorism-related crim
Rights watch
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  December 16, 2011

The Big Hurt: November Juggalo update

Much clown love, my ninjas!
Persecuted, sued, and snitched on
By DAVID THORPE  |  November 18, 2011
Short Take: J. Edgar

Review: J. Edgar

Filmmaker Clint Eastwood, famously Republican, portrays right-wing hero J. Edgar Hoover, the late FBI head, as a self-aggrandizing, conniving bully and mama's boy who broke the law whenever he wanted to bring anyone down.
DiCaprio as right-wing hero J. Edgar Hoover
By GERALD PEARY  |  November 11, 2011


Whitey Bulger and the Feds: The final act

As the notorious and corrupt pas-de-deux between James "Whitey" Bulger and the Department of Justice approaches its finale with Bulger's capture and eventual trial, we are left to reassess the ultimate implications of this long and fateful dance.
Choosing the slow grind: Why are we trying Whitey in federal court, when state courts would deliver justice more swiftly?
By HARVEY A. SILVERGLATE  |  October 07, 2011

Hollow justice

When Whitey Bulger was arrested in Santa Monica, California, this summer, it may have seemed that a new day had dawned for the local FBI and for the Justice Department.
The FBI might have got its man, but anyone seeking real accountability from Whitey Bulger's government enablers will come away empty-handed yet again
By DAVID BOERI  |  October 07, 2011
"They finally got the rat": Former Whitey Bulger soldier John "Red" Shea reacts to Whitey's capture

"They finally got the rat": Former Whitey Bulger soldier John "Red" Shea reacts to Whitey's capture

"I have this recurring dream all the time. I see him in New York. I see him walking down the street. And I pull him...
By Mike Miliard  |  June 23, 2011
Greatest Hits: Whitey Bulger found ... in the Boston Phoenix archives

Greatest Hits: Whitey Bulger found ... in the Boston Phoenix archives

 Last night in Santa Monica, CA, the 16-year-long manhunt for South Boston Irish mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger came to an end. The 81-year-old Bulger...
By Nate Homan  |  June 23, 2011

ABC backs off Osama's sister's brain?

The bizarre-yet-irresistable story about the FBI taking DNA samples from Osama's sister's brain spread itself across the Internet today. Most accounts source the story to...
By S.I. Rosenbaum  |  May 02, 2011


Chuck Turner is going to jail, but it's the Feds who should be hanging their heads in shame.

Chuck Turner reports to prison Friday. If his sentence sticks, that's where the 70-year-old former Boston city councilor will spend the next three years.
Power play
DOJ turns on Turner, First Amendment

DOJ turns on Turner, First Amendment

The sentencing memorandum filed by Boston federal prosecutors last week, seeking between 33 and 41 months incarceration for convicted former Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner,...
By Harvey Silverglate  |  January 25, 2011
Boston City Council: Chuck Turner's Last Stand. For Now.

Boston City Council: Chuck Turner's Last Stand. For Now.

Chuck Turner is absolutely right. I'm not being sarcastic. The expelled councilor is right that the FBI's case against him was overblown and petty, that...
By Chris Faraone  |  December 01, 2010

The world is watching

You are being watched.
If you don't want the government, big industry, and some 15 year old to know your secrets, you're shit out of luck. And so far no one knows what to do about it.
By MIKE MILIARD  |  September 24, 2010

Addicted to distraction

I have just finished conducting extensive scientific experiments that required me to wear a white lab coat, to order my deformed assistant to dig up corpses from fresh graves, and to combine common household chemicals in plastic soda bottles. The result
Mad political science
By AL DIAMON  |  August 27, 2010


The FBI's spy problem

I've been following the latest Russian spy saga with great interest, partly because of the local color and partly because of my prior experience with the FBI.
Freedom Watch
By HARVEY SILVERGLATE  |  July 09, 2010

Death penalty possible for Watland

Gary Watland, the brilliant and mentally ill convicted murderer whose 2006 scheme to have his wife smuggle a loaded handgun into the Maine State Prison in Warren was foiled when another prisoner tipped off officials, faces a possible death penalty if co
Prison Murder
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  May 28, 2010

Interview: Daniel Ellsberg

"By ordinary standards of presidents, Obama is a decent man. But those standards aren't good enough."
Courage under fire
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  February 12, 2010

History plays

Tracey Scott Wilson manages to knock off Martin Luther King Jr.'s halo without removing the glow.
The Good Negro from Company One; Harriet Jacobs in Central Square; Indulgences at New Rep
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  January 29, 2010

Injustice everywhere

Thank you for the timely interview with Harvey Silverglate.
Letters to the Portland Editor, October 9, 2009
By PORTLAND PHOENIX LETTERS  |  October 09, 2009


I remember when...

It's been a while, and I've been here for all of it. These moments are what I remember best, and what I wish there was more evidence of.
(Or at least I think I do)
By MARC SHEPARD  |  September 18, 2009

The SLA: Unity Through Violent Action?

From Mu, a lost land of legends, they march on America (or at least San Francisco) — the Symbionese Liberation Army.
Patricia Hearst kidnapped, a media mogul's ransom, and the FBI
By VIN MCLELLAN  |  March 30, 2009

Ticket to ride

In April 1999, two weeks after I started on the job at the Providence Phoenix , the FBI raided City Hall, formally unveiling the federal investigation that would land Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci Jr., Rhode Island's rascal king, behind bars.
Reflections on 10 years at the Phoenix
By IAN DONNIS  |  February 11, 2009
The Confident Chuck Turner Gets Arraigned

The Confident Chuck Turner Gets Arraigned

I was recently on the receiving end of one of Chuck Turner’s now infamous jujitsu throws, and boy is my back killing me. Though I...
By Chris Faraone  |  December 11, 2008
Dispatch From The Delusional Chuck Turner's Latest Press Conference

Dispatch From The Delusional Chuck Turner's Latest Press Conference

 Chuck Turner didn’t call this morning’s press conference at his Dudley Square district of...
By Chris Faraone  |  November 26, 2008

Chuck Turner and Maureen Feeney vs. The Media and One Another

Chuck Turner and Maureen Feeney vs. The Media and One Another

  Anyone who believes that only Republicans detest the press should have checked the scene outside Boston City Hall today. Maybe reporters aren’t as biased...
By Chris Faraone  |  November 24, 2008

Brass balls and cold steel

John “Red” Shea’s close-cut hair — the hair that gave him that standard-issue Irish nickname — isn’t quite as fiery as it was when he was a young fighter coming up hard from G Street in South Boston.
Whitey Bulger soldiers John “Red” Shea and Patrick Nee tell their side of the story
By MIKE MILIARD  |  April 05, 2006