- Patrick Nee
Patrick Nee was born in
Rosmuc, County Galway, Irelandin 1943. Like many families in the Connemara Gaeltacht, the Nees spoke the Irish languagein the home.
He was brought to America by his parents in 1952 and grew up in
South Boston, Massachusetts. He became a member of the Mullen Gangat the age of 14 and fought in several turf battles before joining the U.S. Marine Corps. He arrived in Vietnamwith the 4th Marine Brigadein 1965 and saw combat at Phu Bai.
After his return to South Boston in October 1966, he rejoined to the Mullen gang and became one of its leaders in a war against the crime family bossed by the Killeen brothers. He relates in his memoirs that his mother would henceforth regret not throwing him off the back of the immigrant ship in 1952.
On May 13, 1972, South Boston mob boss
Donald Killeenwas shot to death by Mullen gang enforcer Jimmy Mantvilleoutside his home in suburban Framingham, Massachusetts. The leadership of the Killeen faction then devolved on James Bulger, who was then in hiding on Cape Cod. Rather than murdering Bulger as some Mullen gang members desired, Nee arranged for their dispute to be mediated by Howie Winter, the godfather of the Irish-American Winter Hill Gangof Somerville. After a sit-down at Chandler's restaurant in the South End, Boston, the two gangs joined forces with Winter as overall boss.
After Winter was convicted of fixing horse races in 1979 the leadership of the gang fell on James "Whitey" Bulger. Nee responded by relocating to
Charlestown, Massachusettsand concentrating his energy on raising money and smuggling guns to the Provisional IRA. He has written that Bulger frequently urged him to cut his links to the IRA, saying that it was too great a risk for not enough profit.
However, Nee remained an occasional associate throughout the years and masterminded a 1984 attempt to smuggle seven tons of assault rifles to the IRA. With Bulger's assistance, the guns were loaded aboard the "Valhalla", a
fishing trawlerfrom Gloucester, Massachusetts. However, British Intelligencelearned of the scheme via an informant in the IRA's Kerry Brigade and the cargo was intercepted by a combined force of the Irish Navyand the Garda Siochana. The "Valhalla's" crew was arrested by U.S. Customsagents immediately after returning to Gloucester.
The failure of that attempt led Bulger to torture and murder
John McIntyre (mobster), a member of the "Valhalla's" crew who had informed on the scheme to U.S. Customsagents and agreed to wear a wire on Bulger and Nee. Nee has admitted to bringing McIntyre to the South Boston house where Bulger, Stephen Flemmi, and Kevin Weekswere waiting for him. He claims that he believed they were only going to talk to him and that he was disgusted to return later and find the trio about to bury McIntyre's ravaged body in the basement.
Nee fled Boston after being informed by Bulger that Federal agents were looking for him. After several years in hiding, he was arrested in 1987 and served an eighteen month sentence in Federal prison.
After his release in 1989, Nee was disgusted by McIntyre's murder and, motivated increasingly by
Irish nationalism, he decided to cut his links to Bulger. He put together a crew of his own and began planning armed robberiesto raise money for the IRA. He was arrested by the FBI during an armored car robbery in Abington, Massachusettson January 13, 1990. He was sentenced to thirty-seven years in Federal prison, but was released after eight.
Patrick Nee currently works as a union laborer in Boston and spends time with his two daughters and his grandchildren. Worked Construction on "The Big Dig" in Boston Mass.
"Our family had it tough in--Recalling his memories of the "Old Country."
Ireland, sure, but I'm not going to tell you any of that " Angela's Ashes" crap to try to gain your sympathy. We might not have had many good clothes, but Ma washed them every day. There was always good food. In fact, Ma never let my brothers and I go to bed hungry. And I remember falling asleep every night to a penetrating fire that burned until early morning." ["A Criminal and an Irishman," page 27. ]
"My progression to crime was as easy as a baby's transition from crawling to walking. I didn't have an epiphany; I never sat down and had a soul searching experience in which I decided that being a criminal was my goal in life. It just seemed natural - there was a lot of money to be had if you spent the time planning the jobs right. The more I hung with the Mullens, the easier it was to go out on jobs. I'd simply ask if they needed another guy." ["A Criminal and an Irishman", page 80.]--Describing his initiation into "The Life."
*T. J. English, "Paddy Whacked; The Untold Story of the Irish-American Gangster", 2005.
*Patrick Nee, "A Criminal and an Irishman", 2006.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.