The clock is ticking on Zip’s compassionate release

I’m a compassionate guy, so let me make clear that I have no problem with John “Zip” Connolly, the Mob hitman/FBI agent, being sent home to Massachusetts to die.

I’m a compassionate guy, so let me make clear that I have no problem with John “Zip” Connolly, the Mob hitman/FBI agent, being sent home to Massachusetts to die.

I’m totally okay with that, with one caveat.

He’s gotta be dead by Feb. 17, 2022.

That’s Zip’s drop-dead date, literally. If he’s still coming down for breakfast as of that date, it will be time to fly him back down to the Sunshine State, in shackles and handcuffs. And he can then resume his 40-year sentence for his role in that 1982 organized-crime hit of Boston businessman John Callahan.

Sorry, Zip, but those are the rules — if you are released from incarceration in Florida because you are “terminally ill,” you are expected to die, within a year.

Call it the Sal DiMasi rule. He’s the jailbird former Massachusetts House speaker, so crooked he needs a corkscrew to get into his trousers in the morning. His Bureau of Prisons number: 27371-038.

Sal got “compassionate release” from his federal sentence because he was at death’s doorstep … in 2016.

Here it is five years later, and not only is Sal not pushing up daisies, he is again making big bucks as a registered lobbyist at the State House — the scene of his crimes, as it were.

Sal, a hack’s hack if ever there was one, put on over on everybody. And you know the old saying — fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

We won’t get fooled again.

The reason I know about Zip’s drop-dead date is that it came up at his Zoom hearing before the Florida Commission on Offender Review last Feb. 17 — there’s that date again.

At the very end of the brief review on whether to cut the bent, bloodthirsty killer cop loose, a call came in from the state’s attorney’s office in Miami-Dade, where Connolly was convicted back in 2008.

The prosecutor said his office wasn’t necessarily opposed to Zip’s release, but just wanted to point out that under state law, “terminally ill” means you have to die within a year, and that their office had received no such medical reports. The Miami prosecutor wanted assurances on the record that the Commission had received such a report from the Department of Correction.

“We have received it,” the chairwoman said, adding that they had been assured that Zip “is terminally ill with a life expectancy of less than a year.”

So he went to live in Pompano Beach with Francis X. Joyce, the former tin whistle player in the Irish Volunteers, the band of payroll patriots that accompanied Whitey Bulger’s younger brother, Billy Bulger, during his musical interludes while he was president of the Mass. State Senate. Franny’s state pension is $80,000 a year.

But Zip wanted to go home. Southie, after all, is his hometown, or used to be.

And after he applied for permission to leave Pompano Beach, I decided to check in again on Florida’s one-year rule. Because, you know, it’s important to follow the rules, right Zip?

And there it is, in Paragraph 13 of the Commission’s instructions to the felons:

They all have to agree to this paragraph, among others:

“In the event there is an improvement in my medical condition to the extent that I am no longer ‘permanently incapacitated’ or ‘terminally ill,’ I will, if directed to do so, report for a conditional medical release revocation hearing.”

Zip, I’m warning you right up front. If you’re still alive on Feb. 17, I’m demanding a “revocation hearing.”

You might think I’m being a little tough on one of the worst human beings in the world. But remember, this thug with a badge is a convicted hitman.

Ask the survivors of Michael Donahue and Brian Halloran who they think tipped off Whitey Bulger that their loved ones were coming out of that low shabeen on Northern Avenue back in the spring of 1981.

Whitey didn’t like me so much either. According to another of his minions, one of Zip’s fellow G-men in the Boston office gave Whitey some C-4 explosives that he planned to use to blow me off.

Just recently, on a true-crime podcast, Chad Marks, a former drug dealer who knew Whitey when both were incarcerated in Tuscon, recalled what Whitey wanted to do to me.

“He said I couldn’t come out, man. I couldn’t come out and kill these people … He used to get furious with that dude when he would talk about him.”

That dude would be me.

“He said man, ‘I couldn’t come and kill this (expletive) guy. If I could have, I’d have ate his fingers off.’ ”

He wanted to eat my fingers off — Zip Connolly’s paymaster, his boss in the Mob. And I’m supposed to turn the other cheek?

“I seen it in his eyes man,” Marks told the interviewer, Jeff Nadu. “You can see death in this dude’s eyes like and when he got angry and would talk about that dude … you could see like fire in his eyes like he would kill him in a minute.”

This is Whitey Bulger, Zip’s hero, the guy who paid him tens of thousands of dollars, enough so that he didn’t even have to cash his FBI checks, enough to buy mansions in Lynnfield and Chatham, enough to buy a big boat for himself, who was spending money so recklessly that Whitey had to put him on an allowance.

And they wanted to eat my fingers, if they couldn’t blow me up with C-4, or shoot me with a high-powered rifle from the cemetery across the street from where I lived.

But so what? I don’t hold any of this against Zip. I don’t even wish him dead. I just want to check his pulse on Feb. 17, 2022.

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