Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Blackfriars Massacre

My late beloved Uncle Patrick, famous throughout the family for his six-and-a-half foot frame, his flame-red hair and his ability play a dozen different games of tiddlywinks simultaneously, claimed to have encountered a refugee from the Blackfriars Massacre in the Father's Three bar on Mass. Ave. back in the summer of '78. The refugee in question was an Italian-American lad still cowering in terror from his brush with The Boston Mob. According to Uncle Pat, the lad was a busboy at Blackfriars and had witnessed something, but he did not say exactly what. The lad's nervously darting eyes suggested that he was telling the truth, what little of the truth he was willing to tell. Uncle Pat was at the time getting blasted at one of those dimly lit, fluted-wood tables at the back of the bar, and could barely register what the lad was saying anyway. His drinking buddy, a pipe-smoking failed painter and self-described "goof" named Parker Prescott, didn't take the lad's account seriously. But then, that dude never took anything seriously. The Blackfriars Massacre involved the gangland style slaying of five men "in the cramped, blood-spattered subterranean basement" of the Blackfriars disco in the wee hours of June 28, 1978. One of the deceased was John A. Kelly, a thirty-four year old ex-TV reporter who was working as the manager of the club. Kelly had been trying to re-enter investigative journalism, and had often been seen “in the company of known members of organized crime” in the months prior to the shooting. The club's owner was a guy named Vincent Solomonte, a onetime friend of Stephen Flemmi, Whitey Bulger's righthand man. There was hearsay evidence that Flemmi and Whitey Bulger were among the hitmen at the scene, but nobody's been able to prove it. Since police "discovered a small arsenal of firearms and small quantities of cocaine and marijuana including $15,000 in loose cash in an open safe", it is safe to say that the massacre was a deliberate hit, and not a botched robbery. The victims had apparently been surprised in the middle of a backgammon game, and whacked with a shotgun and an automatic pistol. Did Kelly found out something he shouldn't have? Did Flemmi and Bulger hold some grudge against Solomonte? It's unlikely we'll ever know, and the case remains unsolved. The real mystery is why nobody has made a movie about this yet. God knows, it has all the freakin' elements.

Blackfriars Massacre (Wikipedia)
The Friends of Jack Kelly (Boston Phoenix)

1 comment:

  1. I think someone should look into the Ted Kennedy connection to this hit.. Kelly was the chief investigative reporter who uncovered many damaging facts regarding the Chappaquiddick incident. Many also believe that "Whitey" did the dirty work for the Kennedy's through his brother Billy (A close confidant of the Kennedy's) Something to think about !!