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September 30, 2008


Been there, lived it, but not involved.

Hey George, Buddy Mclean is rolling over in his grave; you neglected to mmention he started the Winter Hill gang in the 1950's and was the leader until killed in 1966...via the 1961-1966 gang war with Charlestown's Irish Mafia, headed up by the McLaughlin brothers.
Whitey Bulger was not involved with the WH gang at the time Buddy was alive.

Howie Winter didn't take over until after Buddy was killed.
Whitey Bulger then became involved with the WH gang after Winter took over.

I lost a SHS friend who graduated with me in 1949, in that gang war.
He opted to join up with Buddy and the rest is history. He was found dead behind the old First National Store at Wellington Circle, where the new high rise buildings and retail stores now stand.
Last time I saw Bobby was at the Club where he bought a round for me and my friends.

BTW---I doubt very much if there were any bodies buried in the cellar of 12-14 Marshall Street.
Those guys wanted those bodies found as a message to the other gang.

They may have used the cellar for killing or questioning "unfriendlys" or "rats"....but, never for burying corpses.

Myself and my friends were often at the 318 Lounge, A/K/A---(Later) Pal Joey's, Crusher Casey's, etc.,---now the Winter Hill Bakery; when Buddy and friends (bodyguards) were enjoying the live band and dancing.
The ladies loved him, a good-looking Dude; and always a gentleman in public.

He always wore a cardigan sweater over a white long sleeve shirt, no neck-tie, open collar.

Always sat at a table against the wall, in the far back of the crowd, in a chair always facing the front door.

At that time you could exit the place directly on to Marshall Street, directly opposite the 12-14 "garage."

The Club was L-shaped; Broadway to Marshall Street. Since cut up to accommodate the bakery and a private club facing Marshall Street.

The night he was killed, the gang war ended with over 60+ body counts.

Tell you one thing, when Buddy and his people were around, nobody but nobody...punks or otherwise, caused problems on Winter Hill all the way down to Sullivan Square.
Ladies, families, and Seniors could walk the streets safely at any hour of the night.

The crap that is going on now with ethnic gangs would never have got off the ground; and the police would be looking the other way while the WH gang would be "taking care" of the punks.

Larry Leavitt

I was informed the foundation of the Winter Hill Gang was assembled on the admiration of Buddy McLean’s ability to fight. Famously acknowledged the “The Toughest Man” from the Boston area, Buddy was also well liked, respected, and even idolized by those who knew him. He was protective of his family, friends and his reputation. He was fair and capable of settling disputes but definitely the one man you did not bother.
I met Buddy in September of 1965. I was playing football with my brothers and some Somerville kids on Sydney Street. One of Buddy’s sons joined the game while Buddy and a few other men watched from the sidewalk. During one play, I got injured. Buddy came over, gave me a compliment, made a little joke and encouraged me to get back out there. Before he left, Buddy mentioned that I could get stronger if I did pushups and pull-ups. I was only seven at the time, but I will never forget the solid built Irishman with the sharp blue eyes.

Editor's Note (JN): The (new) Somerville News website is up - you can comment on stories over there.


WOW I guess history erases all the "bad" memories and these dead wiseguys are now heroes?


Cosmo, you seem to have a problem with Buddy Mclean's legend as the most revered gang boss in history. Care to elaborate?

Vickey Silvers

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