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Saturday, January 13, 1990 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Boston's Most-Targeted Hoodlum Gets More Bullet Holes

AP

BOSTON - A couple of the boys took a sawed-off shotgun and tried to whack Butchy Doe again. As usual, the city's most famous hoodlum got a couple of holes put in him. 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 a tavern, getting into a cab with a girlfriend when two men came at him with the sawed-off shotgun.

The woman 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.

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.''

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.

``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.''

``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 unsolved May 1989 armed robbery of $254,000 from a bank - that he drove away in the getaway car and wouldn't share the loot.

Copyright (c) 1990 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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