The violent life of notorious
making mistakes, but taking on Tommy King was plainly that.
Tommy King – a key enforcer in the Mullen Gang, an enemy to Whitey in the South Boston gang war.
After Whitey had outmanoeuvred them all at the Chandler ’s summit, they were supposed to be one – Whitey , Tommy King, and everyone else blended into the Winter Hill Gang.
But how could Whitey consolidate his power in Southie with holdovers like Tommy King lurking?
Plus there was this: T ommy King was the shooter who had killed Whitey’ s friend Billy O’Sullivan on Whitey’ s front lawn four years earlier.
Whitey never forgot any of it. But it had taken him time to convince Howie Winter and the others that T ommy King had become hazardous.
Tommy King, Whitey told them, had talked vulgarly to a young girl in the neighbourhood. Her father took exception and went to see Whitey for counsel. So Tommy King went after the father for whining to Whitey.
The episode, Whitey argued, made him, Whitey, look bad.
Then Whitey pushed a story that Tommy King had gone off and threatened to murder a Boston police detective. How reckless was that?
Imagine the law enforcement tsunami that would come the gang’s way if King killed a cop.
That was the clincher. Tommy King was out of control, the others finally concurred.
The plan Whitey had devised had plenty of moving parts, but when King slid into the front seat next to him everything was in place.
Whitey had told King they needed his help killing an underworld associate who had too big a mouth.
It worked. Tommy King climbed in next to Whitey in the front seat of the car, thinking he was joining the others for an act of gang mop-up.
Whitey could see that King had come ready for work; he was wearing a bulletproof vest.
Whitey then could see Stevie Flemmi get out of his car and walk toward him carrying a package.
Whitey took the package and removed four handguns – one for himself, one for Howie Winter,