Whitey had only been an informant for a little more than a month when he killed Tommy King and Buddy Leonard, and he quickly realized how useful his new arrangement with the FBI could be. He had been feeding Connolly mostly gangland gossip, but he was able to use Connolly to disseminate reports to the FBI and Boston police that kept the focus of the investigation of the King and Leonard murders away from him.
Four days after Leonard's body was found in King's car, Connolly quoted his unnamed informant, who was Whitey, saying that King had killed Leonard after a violent argument. "Source stated that King would probably face some reprimand from the Mullin [sic] gang for killing Leonard in that manner although it would probably not be anything severe as Leonard was disliked by almost all of the Mullin crew, and himself had been responsible for a few murders."
Eleven days later, Whitey went back to Connolly with a new story.
Source advised that Tommy King, who recently murdered Francis X. "Buddy" Leonard, was told by the Mullin [sic] gang that he is to remain out of the Boston area on a permanent basis. According to source, King was forced to accept the decision but agreed that it would be best if he never came back in light of speculation that the police are believed to have a couple of witnesses to the Leonard murder. Both the Mullin [sic] gang and the Winter Hill people made the decision and, according to the source, they plan to support King while he is away.
Sometime around New Year's Eve, Whitey decided to alter the story for a third and final time. He could write his own history and he was starting to enjoy it. "Source stated that the word is out that Tommy King has been 'taken out.' Source stated that various rumors are flying about as to whether or not he is actually gone and the reasons for it," Connolly wrote. "Source heard that King had gone 'kill crazy' and was placing people's lives in jeopardy in that he was talking crazy about killing various people including police officers. Source stated that King gave them no alternative but to make a move on him."
When Whitey fed John Connolly those stories, they were sitting in a car less than a mile from Tommy King's body. P
Excerpted from Whitey Bulger: America's Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt that Brought Him to Justice by Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy. Copyright © 2013 by Globe Newspaper Company, Inc. Published by W.W. Norton & Company.