Mob boss James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, a Massachusetts native, faced a Boston Jury for crimes against society. Whitey the fabled Winter Hill Gang leader was indicted for racketeering and the murder of 19 individuals. Stool pigeon or strategist consultant, Whitey was a former FBI informant and reigned as crime boss in South Boston for most of the early part of the 1970’s thru to the 1990’s.
As a youth Bulger ran with a street gang called the Shamrocks. He was locked up for petty crimes and sentenced to federal prison for his exploits. In his Boston neighborhood he took the persona of Robin Hood for the respect he garnered in the streets. Crime and drug dealings were well controlled in his resident community.
A run of the mill boss, Bulger allegedly dabbled in extortion and protection, loan-sharking, arms-trafficking and indirect drug dealing. He acquired the name ‘Whitey’ from the mane of fine white hair he bore. A schemer and highly intelligent Bulger controlled illegal gambling operations in the South Boston area.
An adaptation of Whitey Bulger’s life has made it to the silver screen in Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. It is believed the Bulger committed a majority of his alleged killings as an FBI agent and fled upon notification by former FBI agent John Connolly. Bulger had been on the run for more than 10 ½ years before being arrested on the 22nd of June in 2011.
Upon being arrested Bulger was found with $800,000.00 dollars in U.S. currency. He had purportedly traveled the world while on the lamb from law enforcement. He had been spotted in London, parts of Europe and throughout the U.S. from sporadic reports.
Robert Fitzpatrick, former agent with the FBI stated, “When I interviewed him, he said he was not an informant and I found that odd because my whole reason for going out there was to assess him as an informant,” on the eve of opening statements in Bulger’s federal racketeering trail.
As well as facing a Jury of his peers, Bulger faced fellow gangsters from the former Winter Hill Gang. Bulger’s former partner in the gang, Stephen ‘The Rifleman’ Fleming, got a life sentence for a plea of murder in the case. Bulger’s lawyers entered a plea of not guilty during court proceedings as they sought to use the immunity defense to refute charges.
The prosecutor’s witness, former hitman John Martorano, testified against Bulger and caused quite a stir during proceedings. A shouting match between Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Wyshk and defense lawyer J.W. Carney Jr., shortly ensued concerning alleged cover-up schemes.
The families of the 19 people whom met their demise at the hand of Whitey Bulger will give testimony in the case. Bulger a prolific criminal had defied facing justice for the better part of twenty years. Bulger could get a life sentence if convicted on only two accounts of the 19 people murdered. Judge Denise Casper ordered jurors and alternates to report to court despite a motion by the defense for a delay in the proceedings. Bulger was one of the FBI’s ten most wanted and the trail will continue despite the antics of the defense to interpose for deferrals.
By Thomas Barr