Robert Anderson of Rockport, ma when I knew him was the Captain of the 75′ “WINNER III” Party boat out of Rockport, ma. Little did I know he was the Husband of my cousin at that time.
My friend Mark Gossom and I would ride back home from the fishing grounds in his Pilot house. Another victim of Whitey Bulger. His life was ruined from then on. He could of said no. but that would’ve been his death sentence. be the first to throw the first stone….
The arrest of James “Whitey” Bulger earlier this week may resonate most deeply in South Boston, but the reverberations can be felt here in Gloucester.
In 1984, on a September night, the swordfish boat Valhalla left Gloucester Harbor.
Her captain, Robert Anderson of Gloucester, had filled her tank with 8,000 gallons of fuel at Gloucester Marine Railways, iced up with 30 tons, and purchased 7,000 pounds of bait mackerel and squid from Quality Seafoods.
Anyone who saw her leaving port probably thought she was headed out to fish.
About two weeks later, the Valhalla stopped in Boston before coming home to Gloucester. The ship was seized there by US Customs officials.
Authorities said Valhalla’s crew has offloaded 7 1/2 tons of automatic rifles, submachines guns and hand grenades worth $1 million destined for the Irish Republican Army to another ship off the Irish coast during its trip. While the second ship and weapons were seized and its crew arrested by Irish authorities, the Valhalla was in international waters and headed back out to sea, albeit under surveillence.
Irish officials said at the time that it was the largest seizure of IRA-bound weapons to date.
In Boston, the Valhalla was searched, but no arms except for an empty 9-mm shell casing were found. Anderson and John McIntyre, the Valhalla’s navigator, were questioned for hours, but let go.
In April 1986, the U.S. government would accuse Andersen, McIntyre, reputed Irish mob boss Joseph Murray Jr. of Charlestown and Patrick Nee of South Boston of gun-running. Neither Murray nor Nee had been on the vessel, but had flown to Ireland to await the shipment, and then flown back to Boston when they heard of the seizure.
Also indicted was New Yorker John Crawley, an ex-Marine who had been arrested by Irish authorities in September 1984 and convicted of smuggling.
Andersen, Murray and McIntyre were also accused of smuggling 30 tons of marijuana to the United States on the return trip in a British freighter.
Police had Murray, a known smuggler, in custody; Anderson would return from a fishing trip a few days later and turn himself in.
However, Nee, a associate of Bulger’s, and McIntyre had fallen off the map.
McIntyre’s mother last saw her boat-building son in Quincy on Nov. 29, 1984, when the 32-year-old came to visit his ailing dad for tea. That night his cat was killed and thrown at the family home’s front door; he told his mom he was being followed.
Closure of the Valhalla case would come in May 1987.