Tag Archives: Black Mass

Black Mass and D. W. Griffith

13 Nov

BOSTON — Dick Lehr is a calm spoken, reserved person who has walked the in the footsteps of some of the edgiest sociopaths of our time.

He is best known for “Black Mass” (2000), the acclaimed chronicle of “Whitey” Bulger he co-authored with Gerard O’Neill, which, as you know from all the traffic-halting filming and Johnny Depp sightings this summer, is finally getting spun into a movie.

In “Judgment Ridge” (2003), Lehr, and co-author Mitchell Zuckoff, explored the heinous thrill-kill murders of Dartmouth professors Half and Susanne Zantop in their remote New Hampshire home.

And back in 1979, when working at the Hartford Courant, Lehr infiltrated a meeting of David Duke and the KKK in Danbury, Connecticut, to debunk Duke’s claim that the Klan had a large and growing membership within the Nutmeg State.

Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger films a violent scene for "Black Mass" in Boston. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment)

Lehr’s latest, “The Birth of a Nation: How a Legendary Director and a Crusading Editor Reignited America’s Civil War,” rewinds history back to 1915. It explores the conflict that played out between the groundbreaking director D.W. Griffith — whose notoriously polarizing film “Birth of a Nation” was on the verge of becoming the originalblockbuster — and journalist and activist William Monroe Trotter.  Continue reading