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Howie Carr's Evening of Crime' - in Bangor Aug. 16

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On a recent broadcast of 'The Howie Carr Show' (3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays on WVOM, 103.9 FM and WVQM 101.3 FM), the syndicated talk-show host, author and Boston Herald columnist was discussing the final days of the recently completed trial of notorious Boston gangster James 'Whitey' Bulger. 

Carr came close but stopped short of referring to the 'summer of Whitey' as 'the end of an era.' That's too trite of a phrase for Howie Carr - the sort of clich that he would make sport of on the air. But keen listeners knew where he was headed.

If the famously unsentimental Carr sounded like he was experiencing a rare moment of on-air reflection, he has a good reason. For many years, Whitey Bulger was one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives and Carr was one of the figures he hated most of all.  

Shining a spotlight on the fraudsters and the mobsters - the creepy and the corrupt - has long been a Howie Carr hallmark and one that will be on full display   in his new show, 'An Evening of Crime' set for 8 p.m., this Friday evening at Spectacular Event Center, Griffin Road in Bangor. As of this writing, only a few tickets remain and are expected to be gone this week. See www.HowieCarrShow.com for details.

Joining Carr in Bangor will be his radio show producer, Sandy, along with Anthony Amore, lead investigator of the largest art theft in world history, the $500 million Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist of 1990. Earlier that day, Carr's radio show will originate from the WVOM studio at Blueberry Broadcasting in Bangor and sent out live to his flagship station and the rest of his affiliates.

Part two of my recent interview with Howie Carr follows. For the first installment, see last week's issue of The Maine Edge or visit our website, TheMaineEdge.com.

Dow: What has been the audience reaction to some of your recent 'Evening of Crime' shows?  

Carr: They like the show a lot, and they like Anthony. He has a lot of interesting stories to tell and manages to work a lot of humor into his segment. As you probably know, a press conference was held in March where they announced that they know who committed that brazen museum robbery in 1990, but they don't know where the paintings are.   

Dow: So Whitey's trial is over. Were you hoping he would take the stand? 

Carr: Absolutely. I didn't think he would take the stand, but I was disappointed when he didn't. I would have loved to have seen the cross examination on him by the federal prosecutors. They really didn't even need time to prepare, they could have just asked him questions off the top of their heads. They've had 20 years to prepare for this thing. 

Dow: Now that it's finished, how do you sum up Whitey Bulger?  

Carr: He's just a bad guy in every way. Whatever evil you could do, he was doing it. Whitey's line to the judge during the close of the trial, 'Do what youse' want with me' as I said in my (Herald) column this morning, 'Don't worry, weese' will.'  

I think Whitey wanted to go out as one of the immortals of American crime like Jessie James or Al Capone, but this trial has really cut him down to size. He shouldn't have done it. He should have just faded into the woodwork.  

Dow: Will you be writing about a book about the trial and your experiences there?  

Carr: I am. I'm going to do it the same way I did 'The Rifleman' (Carr's chronicle of Bulger's mob partner Stevie Flemmi - published in April) and print it myself. I can work a lot faster that way. There's a lot of new material and a large number of pictures that have come into the public record. A lot of these guys have never talked before, including some of the drug dealers and the surviving victims. I think it'll be a pretty good book and it should be out pretty quickly.  

Dow: Where are you at these days in terms of fulfilling 'your bit' with WRKO? (Note: Carr makes no secret of his displeasure with station owners Entercom and - as he sees it - 'doing time' on the AM band. He tried to bust out of the big house six years ago, but the court ultimately sided with the station owners). I assume you still want to transition to an FM station in Boston.  

Carr: I have about 15 months left. Unfortunately the FM talk station in Boston has become a hip-hop station, so I'm hoping another FM station in Boston will become available very shortly. Right now I'm stuck until Nov. 2014 on my crummy AM station in Boston.

Dow: After you make the move, would you prefer to keep your afternoon time slot or move to mornings?

Carr: I'd prefer the afternoon, but the main thing is to just get to FM. The AM band is dying. I saw some numbers here in Boston and I assume it's the same for the rest of the country. Only 18 percent of the listening audience ever turns on the AM dial. We're fishing in a very small pond. I know I can do well on FM, but I was trapped by a corrupt Massachusetts judicial system and I'm still paying the price for being a critic of them. I exposed them for being corrupt. They got their revenge and my career was damaged. There's no doubt about it. 

Dow: How important are your Maine listeners and callers to the Howie Carr show?

Carr: My Maine listeners are a huge part of my audience. I was born in Maine and was raised there for part of my childhood. I worked summers in Maine for many years and I can't imagine not having a Maine audience. I also like my Wi-Fi listeners. I have a lot more of them than I used to have and I'm very happy about that. I look forward to meeting as many of my listeners as possible while I'm in Bangor.

'The Big Morning Show with Mike Dow' can be heard each morning on Big 104 FM The Biggest Hits of the '60s, '70s & '80s - airing on 104.3 (Augusta/Waterville),104.7 (Bangor/Belfast) and 107.7 (Bar Harbor)

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