Enemies Fail Again to Kill Crook in Close-Mouthed Boston NeighborhoodLESLIE DREYFOUS , Associated Press
Jan. 12, 1990 8:27 PM ET
BOSTON (AP) _ A couple of the boys took a sawed-off shotgun and tried to whack Butchy Doe again. As usual, the Charlestown district's most famous hoodlum got a couple of holes put in him, and as usual, he survived.
Butchy - also known as Arthur L. Doe Jr., age 30 - is a convicted bank robber. Police say he's a suspect in three murders. Apparently somebody is very upset with him, too, because they've tried three times to kill him in the past year.
In May, he stopped three bullets when gunmen stormed his girlfriend's apartment in Charlestown, a tough, mostly Irish, mostly working-class district surrounding Bunker Hill. His girlfriend was killed.
In August, he was shot once in the chest outside a neighborhood deli. At least three shots were fired. But the people working in the store say they've never heard of Butchy Doe.
Just after midnight Thursday, Butchy Doe was leaving the Horseshoe Tavern, getting into a cab with a girlfriend when two men came at him with the sawed- off shotgun.
The girl was slightly wounded by the pellets and the taxi's rear window was shattered. Butchy Doe was hit in his left arm and chest.
At Massachusetts General Hospital, they'll tell you Doe is alive. But they won't say anything else and most definitely won't put your call through.
''We don't do this in all cases - not even in many,'' a spokeswoman said Friday. ''But we do it in certain cases and this is one of them.''
Doe was allowed to receive calls while in the hospital last August, and no one was the better for it. An unidentified man called to say, ''Don't bother stitching him up because when he gets out we're gonna shoot him again.''
The locals along Bunker Hill Street figure Doe's luck won't hold out forever. Either Doe will end up in the wrong place at the wrong time or his foes will develop better aim, they said Friday.
Police say they've got plenty on Doe's would-be assassins, but no one to testify. The whole town knows who's shooting at whom, but no one wants to say. Charlestown's residents have always been tight-lipped, but these days it's a matter of more than a community code of silence - it's a code of fear. The days when no one locked their doors and most of the men earned their living down at the Navy Yard are gone.
These days everyone is fair game.
''This is a new generation of drugs and I resent it in a way, but if you talk, you could get killed,'' said a woman who lives in one of the lopsided houses along Bunker Hill Street. ''They go knocking door-to-door.''
Locals talk about how Doe was stabbed as a 14-year-old and shot a year later. But they don't talk about much else.
''Store owners don't want him in their stores,'' said a lifelong ''townie,'' who like just about everyone wants to remain anonymous. ''But people are quiet about it. They have to be because guys like this one are animals and they'll come looking for you.''
There's a great deal of speculation on just why Butchy Doe is so unpopular.
''There are different people trying to shoot him - a whole group,'' said Boston Police Sgt. Robert Thompson. ''He's made a lot of enemies.''
One theory is that Butchy Doe was involved in the May 1989 armed robbery of $254,000 from a bank inside Mass General, that he drove away in the getaway car and refused to share the loot. The robbery has not been solved and Doe has not been charged in it.
Another theory is that Butchy is the target of a vendetta for a murder committed a decade ago.
Police say they're sure it won't be long before Doe is back on the street. The only thing more certain, they said, is that his enemies will be out there too.