Gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, on trail for numerous murders strangled his right hand man’s girlfriend. Former Whitey henchman testified that he and Whitey murdered his 26-year-old girlfriend in 1981. Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi said Whitey suspected that the victim could link them to corrupt FBI contacts and was a distraction to the gang’s operations.
Flemmi, former right hand man of Bulger, is serving life in prison after admitting to 10 murders. Flemmi, 79, testified he didn’t want to kill Debra Davis but Bulger was persistent in orchestrating the killing. He described in graphic detail how Davis was led to an empty house in Boston and upon entering was strangled bare handed by Bulger.
“She walked in the entrance and he grabbed her by the neck,” Flemmi said.
Flemmi told the court she was later wrapped in a tarp and the body was taken to Neponsit River. It is believed she was buried by the two at a point near the river and any evidence was discarded. Whitey Bulger appeared to have shown no sympathy for the man’s strangled girlfriend.
Flemmi expressed regret in the death of his former girlfriend Debra Davis and commented that he would remember the incident until the end of his life. Jurors were moved by the incident, one juror appeared to have shed tears after Flemmi finished his recollection of the event.
The brother of Debra Davis seemed visibly disturbed during the entire testimony. “It’s been like throwing salt on an open wound,” said Steve Davis. “I’m tired of it. I just want this case to end,” he said. Davis was thrown out of court when he lashed out in Flemmi’s 2003 testimony.
Flemmi went on to recount numerous other murders he and Bulger participated in during the gang’s rule. Tavern owner, Ed “Loose Lip” Connors, was believed to have met his demise at the hands of the gang. Flemmi said Bulger emptied a double-barreled shot gun and pistol into Connors.
“We just stepped out from the side of the building – the garage – and shot him,” said Flemmi. “We just fired on him.” Connors was trapped in a phone booth by the gang and gunned down. The body was also set ablaze and burned, as the gang tried to conceal any evidence.
As Flemmi stepped down after his testimony he and Bulger exchanged stares during court proceedings. A few sarcastic words were exchanged between the two former gang companions. Bulger, 83, seemed to control his anger when exchanging words with Flemmi.
Flemmi was transferred to a more comfortable prison and escaped the death penalty as part of his cooperation with federal agents. In addition, Flemmi confirmed that Bulger relayed information to former corrupt FBI agent John Connolly.
Bulger spent more than 16 years on the run before being collared by law enforcement. He continually insists that he would never kill a woman. Flemmi’s testimony demonstrated that Whitey Bulger is capable of strangling any man’s girlfriend without remorse.
By Thomas Barr