Born: January 26, 1930
Died: October 31, 1965
Address: Snow Terrace, Somerville, Massachusetts
Affiliation: Original boss of the Winter Hill Gang
“He looks like a choir boy but fights like the devil.”This is how Buddy McLean was described by many friends and foes.Also see T.J. English the author on the book on Irish Mobs, “Paddy Whacked.”McLean was an orphan who was reared by hard working immigrant Portuguese parents.
He worked as a longshoremen in Charlestown and East Boston, where he developed a reputation for being a tough street fighter.Moving to the Winter Hill section of Somerville, he oversaw a crew of hoodlums who ran a host of enterprises from gambling to loan-sharking.
The Irish Gang Wars:
He had attempted to settle matters with Charlestown thugs after George McLaughlin was brutally beaten up following an altercation on Salisbury Beach on Labor Day 1961.The gang war was now engaged in earnest. Other deaths soon followed, as newspapers kept a running tally in the Boston Herald’s Obituaries also known as “The Irish Sports Page,” by many Bostonian gangsters both Italian and Irish gangs and hoodlums.Also the newspapers speculated about the identities of the killers and the reasons for the slayings, which seemed to make little sense, but promoted the selling of newspapers.He took preemptive action thereafter. On October 31, 1961, he shot gunned down Bernie McLaughlin near City Square in Charlestown. The gang war was now engaged in full throttle.Other deaths soon followed. as the newspapers kept a running tally and speculated about the identities of the killers and the reasons for the slayings, which seemed to make little sense at the time.The McLaughlin brothers were finished off by 1965, thanks to the Italians getting involve with the dispute in their attempt to end the gang war was to kill off the McLaughlin’s and their Charlestown Gang. Some of the key killers in the Irish gang war were : Frank “Cadillac Frank” Salemme; Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi; Joseph Baron “The Animal” Barboza; Vincent “The Bear” Flemmi; John “The Butcher” Martorano; James “Whitey” Bulger, and others.The New England Mafia wanted the Irish Gang War to be over with as it was impeding their lucrative illegal businesses.
Ten days after the death of the last McLaughlin, McLean was leaving a Somerville bar on Broadway near Marshall Street in the wee hours of the morning with three companions when, according to patrolman Edward Kiley, quoted in the Boston Globe, McLean walked up to the policeman and rubbed his badge, saying, “That’s for luck.” A few moments later, as another policeman watched, a man stepped out of the shadows and fired at McLean and his companions.McLean was too late when he tried to draw his own .38 caliber, but was gunned down before he could get off a shot.The policeman gave chase and was slowed down as the gunmen also fired in his direction, the gunman ran through an alleyway to a getaway car waiting on Sewall Street. The Hit was alleged to be carried out by the Hughes brothers of Charlestown, strong allies of the McLaughlin’s, apparently did the infamous hit.
New Leadership of the Winter Hill gang :
After McLean’s death he was succeeded , Howard “Howie” Winter would take over the Winter Hill Gang. Even though the name Winter Hill is the same spelling as Howie Winter’s last name, it was just a the name of the location of Somerville called “Winter Hill.” Both Hughes brothers would be slain later within two years by the Italians.Once Howie Winter was arrested from fixing Professional Horse Racing at Race Tracks nation-wide, Bulger and Flemmi whom were involved with it received a free pass from the United States Attorneys Office District of Massachusetts Department of Justice and the FBI. Allowed James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi to take over without any resistance from anyone the Winter Hill gang, as the Public Records so supports.