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Welcome to The Constant

Experience South Boston during Whitey Bulger's reign of terror. Under Mob control, brutal street justice ruled. Whichever side of the fence you chose, life was intense!

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  Thomas Cirignano ran an auto repair shop in 

   the heart of 
South Boston 
during the 1970s & '80s: the heyday of 
mobster "
Whitey" Bulger. 
books offer readers a vivid perspective               of
colorful and violent history.

Title:       The Constant Outsider:

          Memoirs of a South Boston Mechanic 

 Growing up in Dorchester presented real challenges, but once the author took over the family's auto repair shop in                     South Boston, life became intense.


Upcoming Events

Upcoming Podcast.

Thursday, January 15th, 1 PM Eastern Standard Time.
Show, "Doing the Right Thing, Right" 
Hosted by Phyllis Wilson.

In February 2015 I am honored to be one of the first featured guests on a brand new podcast. The hosts of "Authors Talk About It" are Rob and Janelle Alex, PHDs.

(A link to this show will be posted here once it is available)


Joining the print and Kindle editions, the audiobook version of The Constant Outsider: Memoirs of a South Boston Mechanic is now available on Amazon,, and iTunes!

        Listen to a sample of "67 Cents: Creation of a Killer" at the following link.
                                       Also available on, iTunes, or on


Special Promotion: The author is offering a limited number of  free audiobook downloads in exchange for honest reviews to be posted at 
If interested, please email Tom at


My day at James "Whitey" Bulger's trial 


On 7-2-2013, I was one of just ten private citizens allowed into the Whitey Bulger trial, held in South Boston. I sat just 15 feet away from James (Whitey) Bulger, and he looked me right in the eyes as he scanned the small public seating area to see any new faces that might be in attendance. The entire experience was quite intense.

     I heard chilling testimony from an old friend, Joey Tower, who I used to chum around with during the 1970s & '80s. This day, he was as dapper, confident, and imposing as John Gotti ever was. I learned things about him that even I never imagined, such as a machine gun sale he “brokered” with Kevin Weeks, and Joe's dealing in up to 3 Kilos of rock cocaine per week. Whitey got his cut of $4,000 - $10,000 each and every week from him, as protection money. I met-up with Joey (“J” in my book) out in the hall after he left the witness stand, and we had an amiable visit reminiscing just the same. (Like I said in the book, “I'm glad these guys liked me. If they didn't like a person, it meant big trouble.”)


     We heard testimony from William Shea, one of Whitey's top deal organizers. When “Billy” tried to leave the business and move to Florida, he almost paid the ultimate price. Shea told some surreal stories about how they “did business.” We heard from a CSI investigator for the Mass. State Police. She described and showed photos of a murder scene from the 1970s.

     The daughter of one of Whitey's victims took the stand and shared some heart wrenching details about her final words with her father. When she was just 7 years old, her dad left the house after she picked up the receiver during a mysterious phone call from a man. She tearfully testified that “Dad never came home again.” She awoke the next morning to find photos of her father's gruesome murder scene on the news. Seriously, the jurors and others in the courtroom should think twice before chuckling at some of the antics and wisecracks of Whitey and his henchmen. They need to remember that half of the courtroom is filled with family members of Whitey's victims. None of this is funny to them!

     It's also a travesty that no news cameras were being allowed in court for this trial. If the public ever needed to know the truth about went on within a criminal organization, this is the case! Those of you who have pull with the Federal courts, please rally to have this trial included in the pilot program that is now starting which does allow news cameras in a few Federal trials. The public needs to hear the victims’ family members tell how these thugs destroyed their families. Being in that courtroom was an experience I will never forget.

     Right outside the courtroom that day, I met-up with another old acquaintance. (Steve "Stippo" Rakes) He recognized me and seemed very happy to see me. We discussed the old days in Southie and our mutual friends. Stippo's interest in the Bulger case was this: Back in the 1980s, Whitey and his pals put a gun to Stippo's head, handed him a paper bag with $67,000 in it, and extorted his thriving liquor store from him by threatening his life and the lives of his family members. ("67" was a popular number with the Mob back then) A few days after my conversation with Stippo at court that day, his lifeless body was found dumped along the side of a secluded road in Lincoln. Ma. Understandably, Stippo harbored an ongoing hatred of Whitey Bulger, and was hoping to testify against him. That's no longer a possibility.

        Tom C.


67 Cents:

Creation of a Killer

 Tom's second book is a fictional adaptation of his memoirWithin 67 Cents,"Nick" embarks on a radically different path than Tom took in real life, saying "Yes" to every illicit offer that was made to Tom by the Mob while running his Southie shop. 

With those few altered choices, things change dramatically!

      "I've always wondered what my life would have been like if I had become one of  them. 

      In "67 Cents: Creation of a Killer," I find out. "Nick's" life spirals out of control!" - Tom        

Jordan Rich, of  WBZ - Boston, says: "If it's insight you want, into what the crime scene in Southie was really all about, look no further than 67 Cents: Creation of a Killer. Tom Cirignano was an eyewitness to it all and captures the flavor of the city in this crisp, fast-paced novel!"


Get it now! Click here for Amazon Link.                                                                                  

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Mobsters, enforcers, drug dealers, and killers became his friends and clients. Each minute was unpredictable in Southie

This was the era of unbridled illegal activity, courtesy of Whitey Bulger's gang. Tom had to walk a fine line between good and evil, just to co-exist.

His was a life lived on the edge.



Within the area of view from the office door shown, a man was shot several times while at the pumps. A boy was beaten unconscious, and then kicked full-force in the face. A black man was brutally attacked by a gang of youths wielding hockey sticks. Whitey Bulger threatened Tom with a gun.  At a house down the Street, Whitey was killing people and burying them in the cellar. The author confronted another would-be killer who parked at his pumps. That man later returned and shot Tom's friend eleven times. On the lighter side, as a gesture of good will, a local drug dealer often tossed samples from his car window while driving by. There was never a dull moment in 'Southie' during the 1970s and '80s.


Read about all about these incidents, and much more, in

The Constant Outsider: Memoirs of a South Boston Mechanic.