It is probably safe to assume that Tommy Hussey is the only guy who ever spit in Stevie Flemmi’s face and lived to talk about it.
“Stevie moved in with my wife, Marion,’’ Tommy Hussey said, over a coffee, the strongest thing he drinks these days, “and one day he walked into a place called Lombardi’s on Columbia Road. I was drinking and I went over and spit in his face.’’
“Stevie beat the [expletive] outta me,’’ he said.
Stevie left him in a bloody heap, which is a lot less than what Stevie’s partner in crime, Whitey Bulger, would have done.
The other day, Stevie was on the witness stand complaining that Whitey shot Bucky Barrett, the safecracker, in the head from behind while Stevie was leading him down the stairs at the house in Southie where they shook Bucky down for a cut of the Depositors Trust heist.
“The bullet could have gone through him and hit me,’’ said the great humanitarian, Stevie Flemmi.
As this was being said, Tommy Hussey sat 30 feet away from the man who moved in with his estranged wife, the man who helped Whitey Bulger kill his daughter.
Debbie Hussey was just a kid, maybe 4, when her parents split up. Flemmi helped raise her. Then he started having sex with her when she was a teenager.
Stevie recounted how Whitey decided Debbie had to go because she was a junkie, as if her being a junkie had nothing to do with his having had sex with her while he slept with her mother.
He described how Whitey strangled her. He denied accounts of how he put his ear to Debbie’s chest and, hearing a faint heartbeat, put a rope around her neck and finished her off.
Tommy Hussey moved to Florida a long time ago, leaving behind the booze and the madness and Stevie Flemmi. He got into the plumber’s union and brought Debbie down and got her a job in Boca.
But she went back to Stevie, because she always did, until she was dead, hidden in a shallow grave, dirt filling the nostrils that once flared with her smile.
Tommy Hussey was back in town last week to listen to the lawyers fight over how much his daughter’s life amounted to in cold, hard cash.
While the government lawyers from Washington who defend the indefensible deals with Bulger and Flemmi stay in four-star hotels, Tommy Hussey stays in a former YWCA in the Back Bay.
“Fifty-five bucks a night,’’ he said. “Can’t beat it.’’
It’s on Berkeley Street, and so the other night Tommy Hussey walked a couple of blocks to the South End bar where all the wise guys hung out in the ’60s and ’70s.
“Does Johnny Martorano still come in here?’’ Tommy Hussey asked the bartender.
The bartender, who wasn’t even alive when Johnny Martorano was busy making so many people dead, shook his head in bewilderment.
So Tommy walked back to his room.
Tommy got a cheap flight up from Florida, but he’s flying back tomorrow.
“I got a ticket back for $104, on US Air. Not bad,’’ he said. “I’d like to stay and hear all the testimony, but I can’t afford to.’’
Tommy Hussey looked out the window and a tall ship floated by, like a dream.
And then he smiled. thanks Kevin Cullen