By Jim Smith
BOSTON — State police and federal agents last Wednesday unearthed the skeletal remains of a man believed to be Paul McGonagle, who disappeared 26 years ago, the apparent victim of a turf war in South Boston with notorious gangster and FBI informant James "Whitey" Bulger.
The discovery of the shallow sandy grave at Tenean Beach in Dorchester was the second such mob-related find this year. Former Bulger lieutenant Kevin Weeks, who in July agreed to tell all he knows about Bulger’s mob activities in exchange for leniency, is believed to be leading investigators to sites where Bulger enemies are buried.
Weeks, who was indicted last November on federal racketeering charges, led agents in January to the Dorchester grave of John McIntyre and two other murder victims.
McIntyre, who vanished in 1984, 10 years after McGonagle disappeared, had reportedly been talking to Quincy police about his and Bulger’s involvement in the ill-fated voyage of the Valhalla, the fishing trawler used in the aborted attempt in 1984 to smuggle seven tons of arms and ammunition to the IRA off the coast of Ireland.
McIntyre’s family is preparing a wrongful-death suit against the FBI, claiming that former agent John J. Connolly Jr., who was Bulger’s handler when the mobster and informant was helping to bring down the New England Mafia, told Bulger that McIntyre had implicated him in the gun-running and related crimes.
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Family and friends of McGonagle, including Boston City Council President James Kelly, are expressing relief that the mystery of McGonagle’s disappearance may now be solved and that his remains can finally be laid to rest.
The search for other mob victims is continuing. Federal authorities began digging in nearby Quincy this week, hoping to find the bodies of other victims believed killed by Bulger and his associates.
Bulger turned 71 earlier this month and has been on the run for five years. Connolly, meanwhile, is under indictment for obstruction of justice for allegedly tipping off Bulger early in 1995 about an imminent extortion and racketeering indictment that would have led to Bulger’s arrest.
Bulger is the subject of two separate federal racketeering indictments. New charges, including homicide, are now expected.