|FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive|
|Born||James Joseph Bulger Jr.|
September 3, 1929
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Died||October 30, 2018 (aged 89)|
USP Hazelton, Preston County, West Virginia, U.S.
|Cause of death||Blunt force trauma|
|Height||5 ft 7 in (170 cm)|
|Weight||165 lb (75 kg)|
|Children||Douglas Glenn Cyr |
|Penalty||Life plus five years, forfeiture of $25.2 million, $19.8 million restitution|
|Added||August 19, 1999|
|Caught||June 22, 2011|
James Joseph "Whitey" Bulger Jr. (//; September 3, 1929 – October 30, 2018) was an American organized crime boss and FBI informant who led the Winter Hill Gang in the Winter Hill neighborhood of Somerville, Massachusetts, a city directly northwest of Boston. On December 23, 1994, Bulger fled the Boston area and went into hiding after his former FBI handler, John Connolly, tipped him off about a pending RICO indictment against him. Bulger remained at large for sixteen years. After his 2011 arrest, federal prosecutors tried Bulger for nineteen murders based on the grand jury testimony from Kevin Weeks and other former criminal associates.
Although adamantly denied by Bulger, the FBI admitted that he served as an informant for several years starting in 1975. Bulger provided information about the inner workings of the Patriarca crime family, his Italian-American Mafia rivals based in Boston and Providence, Rhode Island. In return, Connolly, as Bulger's FBI handler, ensured that the Winter Hill Gang effectively went ignored. Beginning in 1997, the news media exposed various instances of criminal misconduct by officials tied to Bulger from federal, state, and local law enforcement. This caused great embarrassment to each of these agencies, but none more so than the FBI.
Bulger was added to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list in 1999, and was considered the most wanted person on the list behind Osama bin Laden. He was finally apprehended along with his longtime girlfriend Catherine Greig outside an apartment complex in Santa Monica, California, on June 22, 2011. By then he was 81 years old. Bulger and Greig were then promptly extradited to Boston and taken under heavy guard to the United States Courthouse, which had to be partially closed for their arrival. In June 2012, Greig pleaded guilty to conspiracy to harbor a fugitive, identity fraud, and conspiracy to commit identity fraud, receiving a sentence of eight years in prison. Bulger declined to seek bail and remained in custody.
Bulger's trial began on June 12, 2013. He was tried on 32 counts of racketeering, money laundering, extortion and weapons charges, including complicity in nineteen murders. On August 12, Bulger was found guilty on 31 counts, including both racketeering charges, and was found to have been involved in eleven murders. On November 14, he received two consecutive life sentences plus five years for his crimes by U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper. Bulger was incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary Coleman II in Sumterville, Florida.
Bulger was transferred to several facilities in October 2018; first to the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma and then to the United States Penitentiary, Hazelton, near Bruceton Mills, West Virginia. Bulger, who was in a wheelchair, was murdered by inmates on October 30, 2018, within hours of his arrival at Hazelton.
James Bulger's father, James Joseph Bulger Sr., was from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, Canada. After settling in Everett, Massachusetts, James Sr. married Jane Veronica "Jean" McCarthy, a first-generation Irish immigrant. Their first child, James Joseph Bulger, Jr., was born in 1929.
Bulger's father worked as a union laborer and occasional longshoreman; he lost his arm in an industrial accident:48 and the family was reduced to poverty.:49 In May 1938, the Mary Ellen McCormack Housing Project was opened in the neighborhood of South Boston. The Bulger family moved in and the children grew up there. The other Bulger children, William Bulger and John P. Bulger, excelled at school; James Bulger Jr. became drawn into street life.
Early in his criminal career, local police gave Bulger the nickname "Whitey" because of his blond hair. Bulger hated the name; he preferred to be called "Jim", "Jimmy", or even "Boots". The last nickname came from his habit of wearing cowboy boots, which he used to hide a switchblade. However, the nickname "Whitey" stuck.
Early criminal career
Bulger developed a reputation as a thief and street fighter fiercely loyal to South Boston. This led to his meeting more experienced criminals and finding more lucrative opportunities. In 1943, 14-year-old Bulger was arrested and charged with larceny. By then he had joined a street gang known as the "Shamrocks" and would eventually be arrested for assault, forgery and armed robbery. Bulger was sentenced to a juvenile reformatory for these crimes.
Shortly after his release in April 1948, Bulger joined the United States Air Force, but he had not reformed. He spent time in the military prison for several assaults and was later arrested by Air Force police in 1950 for going absent without leave. Nevertheless, he received an honorable discharge in 1952 and returned to Massachusetts.
In 1956, Bulger served his first term in federal prison at Atlanta Penitentiary for armed robbery and truck hijacking. He later told mobster Kevin Weeks that while there, he was involuntarily used as a human subject in the CIA sponsored MK-ULTRA program. He was told the goal was to help find a cure for schizophrenia when in fact the goal was to research mind control drugs for the CIA. For eighteen months, Bulger and eighteen other inmates, all of whom, under false information, had volunteered in return for reduced sentences, were given LSD and other drugs. None of the prisoners were informed of the truth about the experiment that was in fact part of the CIA MK-ULTRA program. Prisoners were used in these experiments without knowledge of the real facts involved.
Bulger later complained that they had been "recruited by deception" and were told they were helping to find "a cure for schizophrenia." The facts were later confirmed as the documents of the CIA experiments emerged. He described his experience as "nightmarish" and said it took him "to the depths of insanity." Notebooks Bulger wrote described the terror he felt at the thought of ingesting an additional dose of LSD. He wrote that he heard voices, and feared that if he admitted this to anyone, he would be "committed for life".
In 1959, Bulger was briefly transferred to maximum security at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in California. Later in his sentence, he was transferred to Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary and, in 1963, to Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary. Bulger's third petition for parole, in 1965, was granted after he had served nine years in prison. He would not be arrested again for 46 years.
After his release, Bulger worked as a janitor and construction worker before becoming a bookmaker and loan shark under mobster Donald Killeen, whose gang, The Killeens, had dominated South Boston for over twenty years. The Killeens were led by three brothers—Donnie, Kenny and Eddie—along with Billy O'Sullivan and Jack Curran. Their base was the Transit Cafe in South Boston, which later became Whitey's Triple O's. In 1971, Killeen's younger brother Kenny allegedly shot and mauled Michael "Mickey" Dwyer, a member of the rival Mullen Gang, during a brawl at the Transit Cafe. A gang war resulted, leading to a string of killings throughout Boston and the surrounding suburbs. The Killeens quickly found themselves outgunned and outmaneuvered by the younger Mullens. It was during the war that Bulger set out to commit what Weeks describes as his first murder, of Mullen member Paul McGonagle. However, Bulger instead executed McGonagle's law-abiding brother Donald in a case of mistaken identity.
Although [McGonagle] never did anything, he kept on stirring everything up with his mouth. So Jimmy decided to kill him. ... Jimmy shot him right between the eyes. Only ... it wasn't Paulie. It was Donald. ... Jimmy drove straight to his mentor Billy O'Sullivan's house on Savin Hill Avenue and told O'Sullivan ... 'I shot the wrong one. I shot Donald.' Billy ... said, 'Don't worry about it. He wasn't healthy anyway. He smoked. He would have gotten lung cancer.'
According to former Mullen boss Patrick "Pat" Nee, McGonagle ambushed and murdered O'Sullivan on the assumption he was the one responsible for his brother's killing. Bulger, realizing he was on the losing side, secretly approached Howie Winter, the leader of the Winter Hill Gang, and claimed he could end the war by murdering the Killeen leadership. Shortly thereafter, on May 13, 1972, Donald Killeen was gunned down outside his home in the suburb of Framingham. Nee disputes this, claiming that Killeen was murdered by Mullen enforcers James Mantville and Tommy King, not Bulger.:123–125
Bulger and the Killeens fled Boston, fearing they would be next. Nee arranged for the dispute to be mediated by Winter and Joseph Russo, caporegime of the Patriarca crime family in Rhode Island. In a sit-down at Chandler's nightclub in Boston's South End, the Mullens were represented by Nee and King, and the Killeens by Bulger. The two gangs joined forces, with Winter as overall boss.:127–134 Soon after, Donald's sole surviving brother, Kenny, was jogging in Boston's City Point neighborhood when Bulger called him over to a car and said, "It's over. You're out of business. No more warnings.":30 Kenny would later testify that Winter Hill enforcers Stephen Flemmi and John Martorano were in the car with Bulger.
Winter Hill Gang
After the 1972 truce, Bulger and the Mullens were in control of South Boston's criminal underworld. FBI Special Agent Dennis Condon noted in his log in September 1973 that Bulger and Nee had been heavily shaking down the neighborhood's bookmakers and loan sharks. Over the years that followed, Bulger began to remove opposition by persuading Winter to sanction the killings of those who "stepped out of line". In a 2004 interview, Winter recalled that the highly intelligent Bulger "could teach the devil tricks". During this era, Bulger's victims included Mullen veterans McGonagle, King, and James "Spike" O'Toole.
According to Weeks:
"As a criminal, he made a point of only preying upon criminals... And when things couldn't be worked out to his satisfaction with these people, after all the other options had been explored, he wouldn't hesitate to use violence. ... Tommy King, in 1975, was one example. ... Tommy's problems began when he and Jimmy had worked in Triple O's. Tommy, who was a Mullins, made a fist. And Jimmy saw it. ... A week later, Tommy was dead. Tommy's second and last mistake had been getting into the car with Jimmy, Stevie, and Johnny Martorano. ... Later that same night, Jimmy killed Buddy Leonard and left him in Tommy's car on Pilsudski Way in the Old Colony projects to confuse the authorities.":90–91
In 1979, Winter was arrested, along with many members of his inner circle, on charges of fixing horse races. Bulger and Flemmi were left out of the indictments. They stepped into the power vacuum and took over the leadership of the gang, transferring its headquarters to the Lancaster Street Garage in Boston's West End, near the Boston Garden.
In late August or early September 1974, Bulger and an accomplice reportedly set fire to an elementary school in Wellesley to intimidate U.S. District Court Judge Wendell Arthur Garrity Jr. over his mandated plan to desegregate schools in the city of Boston by means of busing. One year later, on September 8, 1975, Bulger and an unidentified person tossed a Molotov cocktail into the John F. Kennedy birthplace in Brookline in retaliation for Senator Ted Kennedy's vocal support for Boston school desegregation. Bulger then used black spray paint to scrawl “Bus Teddy” on the sidewalk just outside of the national historic site.
In 1971, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) approached Bulger and attempted to recruit him as an informant as part of their effort against the Patriarca crime family. FBI Special Agent John Connolly was assigned to make the pitch. However, Connolly failed to win Bulger's trust.:5 Three years later, Bulger partnered with Flemmi, an Italian-American mobster who had been an FBI informant since 1965. Although it is a documented fact that Bulger soon followed Flemmi's example, exactly how and why continues to be debated. Connolly frequently boasted to his fellow agents about how he had recruited Bulger at a late-night meeting at Wollaston Beach inside an FBI-issue car. Connolly allegedly said that the FBI could help in Bulger's feud with Patriarca underboss Gennaro Angiulo. After listening to the pitch, Bulger is said to have responded, "Alright, if they want to play checkers, we'll play chess. Fuck 'em.":14
Weeks considers it more likely that Flemmi had betrayed Bulger to the FBI, given the choice to supply information to the bureau or return to prison.:xvi–xvii In 1997, shortly after The Boston Globe disclosed that Bulger and Flemmi had been informants, Weeks met with Connolly, who showed him a photocopy of Bulger's FBI informant file. In order to explain Bulger and Flemmi's status as informants, Connolly said, "The Mafia was going against Jimmy and Stevie, so Jimmy and Stevie went against them.":247 In a 2011 interview, Flemmi recalled, "Me and Whitey gave [the Feds] shit, and they gave us gold."
According to Weeks::248
...Connolly kept telling me that 90 percent of the information in the files came from Stevie. ... But, Connolly told me, he had to put Jimmy's name on the files to keep his file active. As long as Jimmy was an active informant, Connolly said, he could justify meeting with Jimmy and giving him valuable information. Even after he retired, Connolly still had friends in the FBI, and he and Jimmy kept meeting to let each other know what was going on. ...I could see that a lot of the reports were not just against the Italians. There were more and more names of Polish and Irish guys, of people we had done business with, of friends of mine. ... I would see, over and over again, that some of these people had been arrested for crimes that were mentioned in these reports. ...it had been bullshit when Connolly told me that the files hadn't been disseminated, that they had been for his own personal use. ... If there was some investigation going on and his supervisor said, 'Let me take a look at that,' what was Connolly going to do? He had to give it up. And he obviously had.
FBI Agent John Morris was put in charge of the Organized Crime Squad at the FBI's Boston field office in December 1977.:54 Morris not only proved himself unable to rein in Connolly's protection of Bulger, but even began assisting him. By 1982, Morris was "thoroughly compromised", having had Bulger buy plane tickets for his then-girlfriend Debbie Noseworthy to visit him in Georgia while he was being trained for drug investigations. Even after 1983, when Morris was transferred to head up the Boston FBI's anti-drug task force, he remained an accomplice to Connolly and Bulger.:135–138 In 1988, Bulger's work as an FBI informant was revealed publicly when the Globe's "Spotlight" team, led by journalist Gerard O'Neill, published a story detailing his work with the FBI while still actively committing crimes.
In 1995, Bulger and Flemmi were indicted on racketeering charges along with two Boston mafiosi, Frank Salemme and Bobby DeLuca. During the discovery phase, Salemme and DeLuca were listening to a tape from a roving bug, which is normally authorized when the FBI has no advance knowledge of where criminal activity will take place. They overheard two of the agents who were listening in on the bug mention that they should have told one of their informants to give "a list of questions" to the other wiseguys. When their lawyer, Tony Cardinale, learned about this, he realized that the FBI had lied about the basis for the bug in order to protect an informant. Suspecting that this was not the first time this had happened, Cardinale sought to force prosecutors to reveal the identities of any informants used in connection with the case.:288–289, 291–293 Federal judge Mark L. Wolf granted Cardinale's motion on May 22, 1997. On June 3, Paul E. Coffey, the head of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the Department of Justice, gave a sworn statement admitting that Bulger had been an FBI informant. Coffey stated that since Bulger was accused of "leading a criminal enterprise" while working as an informant and was also now a fugitive, he had "forfeited any reasonable expectation" that his identity would be protected.:300–301
On September 5, 2006, federal judge Reginald C. Lindsay ruled that the mishandling of Bulger and Flemmi caused the 1984 murder of informant John McIntyre, awarding his family $3.1 million in damages. Lindsay stated the FBI failed to properly supervise Connolly (convicted and jailed in 2002) and "stuck its head in the sand" regarding numerous allegations that Bulger and Flemmi were involved in drug trafficking, murder and other crimes for decades.
Criminal activities in South Boston
In February 1979, federal prosecutors indicted numerous members of the Winter Hill Gang, including boss Howie Winter, for fixing horse races. Bulger and Flemmi were originally going to be part of this indictment, but Connolly and Morris were able to persuade prosecutor Jeremiah T. O'Sullivan to drop the charges against them at the last minute. Bulger and Flemmi were instead named as unindicted co-conspirators.:64–68
Bulger and Flemmi then took over the remnants of the Winter Hill Gang and used their status as informants to eliminate competition. The information they supplied to the FBI in subsequent years was responsible for the imprisonment of several of Bulger's associates whom Bulger viewed as threats; however, the main victim of their relationship with the federal government was the Patriarca family, which was based in Boston's North End and in Federal Hill, Providence, Rhode Island. After the 1986 RICO indictment of Angiulo and his associates, the Patriarca family's Boston operations were in a shambles. Bulger and Flemmi stepped into the ensuing vacuum to take control of organized crime in the Boston area.
The murder of Louis Litif
In 1980, Bulger was approached in Triple O's by Louis Litif, a Lebanese-American neighborhood bookmaker. Weeks, a bouncer at the bar, said, "He wasn't a big guy, maybe five seven and 185 pounds. Of Arab descent, he had a mustache like Saddam Hussein. ... That night, as always, he was talking in his obnoxious loud voice. Even when there were 400 people in the bar, you always knew Louie was there.":57
Litif had been stealing money from his partners in the bookmaking operation and using the money to traffic cocaine, and had not only refused to pay Bulger a cut of his drug profits but committed two murders without Bulger's permission.:57–59 Litif told an outraged Bulger he was also going to kill his partner, "Joe the Barber", whom he accused of stealing from the bookmaking operation. Bulger refused to sanction this, but Litif vowed to proceed. Bulger replied, "You've stepped over the line. You're no longer just a bookmaker.":58 Litif responded that, as Bulger was his friend, he had nothing to worry about. Bulger coldly responded, "We're not friends anymore, Louie.":53
At the time, Weeks was about to get married and, shortly before the wedding, informed Bulger that he was having difficulty finding a seat for Litif at the reception. "Don't worry about it", Bulger responded. "He probably won't show.":55 "[Louie] had always been a major moneymaker for Jimmy. ... And now he wanted to kill a friend of Jimmy. There was no way that would be allowed. Shortly after that, a week or so before my wedding, Louie was found stuffed into a garbage bag in the trunk of his car, which had been dumped in the South End. He had been stabbed with an ice pick and shot. 'He was color coordinated,' Jimmy told me. 'He was wearing green underwear and was in a green garbage bag.'":59
According to Weeks,
Strangley enough, Jimmy, told me, 'Louie's last words to me were a lie.' Apparently, Louie had insisted that he'd come by himself and that nobody had driven him over. It was hard to figure out why Louie lied to Jimmy that night. If he'd told Jimmy that someone had driven him, he might have gotten a pass. But it wouldn't have lasted long, since Jimmy had no intention of letting Louie run wild.
Halloran and Donahue murders
In 1982, a South Boston cocaine dealer named Edward Brian Halloran, known on the streets as "Balloonhead", approached the FBI and stated that he had witnessed Bulger and Flemmi murdering Litif. Connolly kept Bulger and Flemmi closely briefed on what Halloran was saying, specifically his knowledge of their participation, along with their youngest associate James "Gentleman Jim" Mulvey, in the murder of businessman Roger Wheeler.:216 Connolly reported that Halloran was shopping this information to the FBI for a chance for him and his family to be placed in the Witness Protection Program.:221–223 Soon after, on May 11, 1982, Bulger, Flemmi, and Weeks were tipped off that Halloran had returned to South Boston. After arriving at the scene, Weeks staked out the Anthony's Pier 4 restaurant, where Halloran was dining. Michael Donahue, a friend of Halloran's from Dorchester, incidentally ran into him at the restaurant. In a decision that would prove costly to him, Donahue offered Halloran a ride home.
As Donahue and Halloran drove out of the parking lot, Weeks signaled Bulger by stating, "The balloon is in the air" over a walkie-talkie. Bulger drove up with another man armed with a silenced MAC-10; Bulger himself carried a .30 Carbine. Bulger and the other gunman, both disguised, opened fire and sprayed Halloran and Donahue's car with bullets. Donahue was shot in the head and killed instantly. Halloran lived long enough to identify his attacker as James Flynn, a Winter Hill associate, who was later tried and acquitted. Flynn remained the prime suspect until 1999, when Weeks agreed to cooperate with investigators and identified Bulger as one of the shooters. Flemmi has identified the second shooter as Mulvey, who has denied the allegation and has yet to be charged.
Donahue was survived by his wife and three sons. His family, and Halloran's, eventually filed a civil lawsuit against the U.S. government after learning that Connolly had informed Bulger of Halloran's informant status. Both families were awarded several million dollars in damages. However, the verdict was overturned on appeal due to the late filing of the claims. Thomas Donahue, who was eight years old when his father was murdered, has become a spokesman for the families of those allegedly murdered by the Winter Hill Gang.
Throughout the 1980s, Bulger, Flemmi, and Weeks operated rackets throughout eastern Massachusetts including loansharking, bookmaking, truck hijacking, arms trafficking, and extortion. State and federal agencies were repeatedly stymied in their attempts to build cases against Bulger and his inner circle. This was caused by several factors. Among them was the trio's fear of wiretaps and policy of never discussing their business over the telephone or in vehicles. Other reasons included South Boston's code of silence and corruption within the FBI, the Boston Police Department, and the Massachusetts State Police. Although Connolly was Bulger's most infamous source inside law enforcement, Weeks has stated that Massachusetts State Police Lt. Richard J. Schneiderhan, the crew's only source inside that agency, was valued more highly.
Extortion of drug dealers
During the mid-1980s, Bulger began to summon drug dealers from in and around Boston to his headquarters. Flanked by Weeks and Flemmi, Bulger would inform each dealer that he had been offered a substantial sum in return for that dealer's assassination. He would then demand a large cash payment as the price of not killing them. Eventually, however, the massive profits of drugs proved irresistible.
Most of South Boston's cocaine and marijuana trafficking was under the control of a crew led by mobster John Shea. According to Weeks, Bulger briefly considered killing Shea, but eventually decided to extort a weekly cut of his profits. Weeks also said that Bulger enforced strict rules over the dealers who operated on his territory,:156 strictly forbidding the use of PCP and selling drugs to children,:179 adding that those dealers who refused to play by his rules were violently driven out of his turf. In 1990, Shea and his associates were arrested at the end of an investigation by the DEA, the Boston Police, and the Massachusetts State Police. He quietly served a long prison sentence and refused to admit to having paid protection money to Bulger, Flemmi and Weeks. He repeatedly got in fights with other inmates who accused Bulger of being "a rat." This earned Shea a legendary reputation in South Boston.:167
It would not be until the 1999 cooperation of Weeks that Bulger, by then a fugitive, was conclusively linked to the drug trade by investigators. According to an interview conducted with Globe reporters Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy, Weeks "estimated that Whitey made about thirty million dollars... most of it from shaking down drug dealers to let them do business on his turf.":194
During the most violent period of The Troubles, sympathy for Irish nationalism and the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) was very common in South Boston, as were efforts to raise money and smuggle weapons for the IRA's campaign against the British presence in Northern Ireland. From the start of his involvement with the FBI, Bulger "insisted ... that he would never give up the IRA." Bulger had previously donated to NORAID and shipped weapons—"guns and a block of C-4 plastic explosives"—in a van to the IRA in the early 1980s. After meeting with IRA Chief of Staff Joe Cahill, Bulger and Nee raised $1 million "by shaking down drug dealers in South Boston and Charlestown." This money was used to buy weapons for the IRA which would be shipped across the Atlantic Ocean in the trawler Valhalla. Bulger also personally donated some of his own weapons. Before the use of Valhalla, he oversaw a shipment of guns and C-4 in a van at least once. Bulger was annoyed when he learned that the IRA members he supplied had burned the van that contained the weapons.
On September 13, 1984, Bulger, Weeks and Nee supervised the loading of Valhalla. The final cache included "91 rifles, 8 submachine guns, 13 shotguns, 51 handguns, 11 bullet-proof vests, 70,000 rounds of ammunition, plus an array of hand grenades and rocket heads." Valhalla rendezvoused 120 miles off the west coast of Ireland with the Marita Ann, an IRA ship that had sailed from Tralee. During the return voyage, the Irish Navy stopped Marita Ann and seized the hidden arsenal, arresting IRA members Martin Ferris, Mike Browne and John Crawley. The operation had been compromised by IRA member Sean O'Callaghan, who was an informant for the Irish National Police.
When Valhalla crew member John McIntyre was arrested "for trying to visit his estranged wife", he confessed his role in the weapons smuggling to the Boston Police. McIntyre implicated Bulger in the botched smuggling to FBI agent Roderick Kennedy, but Kennedy "insisted that [Bulger's handler] Connolly overheard him ... talking about someone on the Valhalla cooperating." Connolly confirmed Bulger's suspicions of McIntyre, leading Bulger and Flemmi to consider murdering McIntyre for his betrayal.:206–268
According to Weeks, when Bulger met with McIntyre in a South Boston house, he hoped to avoid murdering the informant and offered to send him to South America with money and the understanding that he was never to contact his family or friends again. After interrogating McIntyre over several hours, however, Bulger decided that he did not have the discipline to cut ties with everyone. He then killed McIntyre and went upstairs to take a nap while Weeks and Flemmi removed the corpse's teeth with a pair of pliers and buried it in the basement.
In the summer of 1991, Bulger and Weeks, along with associates Patrick and Michael Linskey, came into possession of a winning Massachusetts Lottery ticket which had been bought at a store he owned. The four men shared a prize of around US$14 million. Bulger was widely thought to have obtained his share of the jackpot illegitimately.
In April 1994, a joint task force of the DEA, the Boston Police, and the Massachusetts State Police launched a probe of Bulger's illegal gambling operations. The FBI, by this time considered compromised, was not informed. After a number of bookmakers agreed to testify to having paid protection money to Bulger, a federal case was built against him under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
According to Weeks::215
In 1993 and 1994, before the pinches came down, Jimmy and Stevie were traveling on the French and Italian Riviera. The two of them traveled all over Europe, sometimes separating for a while. Sometimes they took girls, sometimes just the two of them went. They would rent cars and travel all through Europe. It was more preparation than anything, getting ready for another life. They didn't ask me to go, not that I would have wanted to. Jimmy had prepared for the run for years. He had established a whole other person, Thomas Baxter, with a complete ID and credit cards in that name. He had even joined associations in Baxter's name, building an entire portfolio for the guy. He had always said you had to be ready to take off on short notice. And he was.
Bulger had also set up safe deposit boxes containing cash, jewelry and passports in locations across North America and Europe, including Florida, Oklahoma, Montreal, Dublin, London, Birmingham and Venice. In December 1994, he was informed by Connolly that sealed indictments had come from the Department of Justice and that the FBI was set to make arrests during the Christmas season. In response, Bulger fled Boston on December 23, 1994, accompanied by his common-law wife Theresa Stanley.
After fleeing Boston, Bulger and Stanley spent four days over Christmas in Selden, New York, before spending New Year's Day in a hotel in New Orleans's French Quarter. On January 5, 1995, Bulger prepared to return to Boston, believing that it had been a false alarm. That night, however, Flemmi was arrested outside a Boston restaurant by the DEA. Boston police detective Michael Flemmi, Stephen's brother, informed Weeks of the arrest. Weeks immediately passed the information on to Bulger, who altered his plans.
Bulger and Stanley spent the next three weeks traveling to New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco before Stanley decided that she wanted to return to her children. They traveled to Clearwater, Florida, where Bulger retrieved his "Tom Baxter" identification from a safety deposit box. He then drove to Boston and dropped off Stanley in a parking lot. Bulger met with Weeks at Malibu Beach in Dorchester, where Weeks brought Bulger's girlfriend, Catherine Greig. Bulger and Greig then went on the run together.
In his memoirs, Weeks describes a clandestine meeting with Bulger and Greig in Chicago. Bulger reminisced fondly about his time hiding out with a family in Louisiana. He told Weeks, who had replaced him as head of the Winter Hill Gang, "If anything comes down, put it on me.":231–232 As they adjourned to a nearby Japanese restaurant, Bulger finally revealed how exhausted he was with life on the run. He told Weeks, "Every day out there is another day I beat them. Every good meal is a meal they can't take away from me.":233
In mid-November 1995, Weeks and Bulger met for the last time at the lion statues at the front of the New York Public Library Main Branch and adjourned for dinner at a nearby restaurant. According to Weeks::236
At the end of our dinner, he seemed more aware of everything around him. His tone was a little more serious, and there wasn't as much joking as usual. He repeated the phrase he had used before that a rolling stone gathers no moss, which told me that he knew he was going to be on the move again. I got the feeling that he was resigning himself to the fact that he wasn't coming back. Up until then, I always believed he thought there was a chance he had beat the case. However, at that point, there was something different going on with him. I didn't fully understand all the aspects of his case. It would be another six months before it became clearer. Yet at that moment, in that restaurant in New York, I sensed that he had moved to a new place in his mind. It was over. He'd never return to South Boston.
On November 17, 1999, Weeks was arrested by a combined force of the DEA and the Massachusetts State Police. Although by this time he was aware of Bulger's FBI deal, he was determined to remain faithful to the neighborhood code of silence. However, while awaiting trial in Rhode Island's Wyatt federal prison, Weeks was approached by a fellow inmate, a "made man" in the Patriarca family, who told him, "Kid, what are you doing? Are you going to take it up the ass for these guys? Remember, you can't rat on a rat. Those guys have been giving up everyone for thirty years.":261
I had known all along, however, that it would not be easy for anyone to capture Jimmy. If he saw them coming, he would take them with him. He wouldn't hesitate. Even before he went on the run, he would always say, "Let's all go to hell together." And he meant it. I also knew that Jimmy wouldn't go to trial. He would rather plead out to a life sentence than put his family through the embarrassment of a trial. If he had a gun on him, he would go out in a blaze of glory rather than spend the rest of his life in jail. But I don't think they'll ever catch him.
The first confirmed sighting of Bulger before his capture was in London in 2002. However, there were unconfirmed sightings elsewhere. At one point, FBI agents were sent to Uruguay to investigate a lead. Other agents were sent to stake out the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Battle of Normandy, as Bulger was reportedly an enthusiastic fan of military history. Later reports of a sighting in Italy in April 2007 proved false. Two people on video footage shot in Taormina, Sicily, formerly thought to be Bulger and Greig walking in the streets of the city center, were later identified as a tourist couple from Germany.
In 2010, the FBI turned its focus to Victoria, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island. In pursuit of Bulger, a known book lover, the FBI visited bookstores in the area, questioned employees and distributed wanted posters. Following his arrest, Bulger revealed that instead of being reclusive, he had in fact traveled frequently, with witnesses coming forward to say they had seen him on the Santa Monica Pier and elsewhere in southern California. A confirmed report by an off-duty Boston police officer after a San Diego screening of The Departed also led to a search in southern California that lasted "a few weeks".
After sixteen years at large and twelve years on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, Bulger was arrested in Santa Monica, California, on June 22, 2011. He was 81 years old at the time of the arrest.
Bulger was captured as a result of the work of the Bulger Fugitive Task Force, which consisted of FBI agents and a Deputy U.S. Marshal. According to retired FBI agent Scott Bakken, "Here you have somebody who is far more sophisticated than some 18-year-old who killed someone in a drive-by. To be a successful fugitive you have to cut all contacts from your previous life. He had the means and kept a low profile."
A reward of US$2 million had been offered for information leading to his capture. This amount was second only to Osama Bin Laden's capture reward on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. Bulger had been featured on the television show America's Most Wanted sixteen times, first in 1995, and finally on October 2, 2010. According to authorities, the arrests were a "direct result" of the media campaign launched by the FBI in fourteen television markets across the country where Bulger and Greig reportedly had ties. The campaign focused on Greig, describing her as an animal lover who frequently went to beauty salons.
Authorities received a tip from a woman in Iceland that Bulger was living in an apartment near a beach in Santa Monica. The Boston Globe identified the tipster as Anna Björnsdóttir, a former model, actress, and Miss Iceland 1974, who lived in Bulger's neighborhood. A day later, "using a ruse, agents and other task force members lured Mr. Bulger out of his apartment", "arrested him 'without incident', then went in the house and arrested Greig". Bulger was charged with murder, "conspiracy to commit murder, extortion, narcotics distribution and money-laundering". Agents found "more than $800,000 in cash, 30 firearms, and fake IDs" at the apartment. Carmen Ortiz, U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said "she believes the death penalty is not an option in the federal charges Bulger faces in her district, but that he could face the death penalty for two cases outside the district". In Oklahoma, where Bulger is alleged to have ordered the killing of businessman Roger Wheeler Sr., in 1981, Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris said, "It is our intention to bring Bulger to justice and to be held accountable for the murder of Mr. Wheeler". In Florida, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said, "After a 16-year delay, I will be working to ensure that a Miami jury has the opportunity to look [Bulger] in the eyes and determine his fate".
Immediately after being brought back to Boston, Bulger began talking to authorities. He said that during his days as a fugitive he often went back and forth across the border to Mexico to buy medicine for his heart disease. Many anticipated, and some feared, that Bulger, in exchange for favorable treatment in sentencing, would have much to tell authorities about corruption at the local, state and federal levels, which allowed him to operate his criminal enterprise for so long.
Bulger was arraigned in federal court on July 6, 2011. He pleaded not guilty to 48 charges, including 19 counts of murder, extortion, money laundering, obstruction of justice, perjury, narcotics distribution and weapons violations.
In a 2011 interview Kevin Weeks expressed surprise at Bulger's decision to cooperate after his arrest. Weeks said, "I don't understand because he's not the same as I remember him. I can't believe he's so chatty right now. So I don't know what he's doing". Weeks added that he is not afraid of Bulger, and that the residents of Boston should not be either: "I don't think he's Pablo Escobar where he can just walk out of his prison cell and come to South Boston or anywhere. No, no one's worried about him."
Bulger's companion during his years as a fugitive was his longtime girlfriend Catherine Greig, who is almost 22 years younger than Bulger. Greig grew up in Boston and had an identical twin sister, Margaret, and a younger brother, David. Their father was a machinist from Glasgow and their mother was from Canada, as was Bulger's father.
At about age 20, Greig married Robert "Bobby" McGonagle, a Boston firefighter. He was from a family that led the Mullen Gang and was injured during a mob gunfight in 1969. Before his 1987 death by drug overdose, McGonagle reportedly held Bulger responsible for the murders of his brothers, twins Donald and Paul McGonagle, who were killed during fighting between the Mullen-Killeen gang war. The body of Paul McGonagle, of whom Greig's sister Margaret was a widow, lay hidden and buried for 25 years on Tenean Beach in Dorchester. Greig's younger brother David, a close associate of Bulger, was found shot dead on Cape Cod in an apparent suicide.
Greig met Bulger in her late 20s after she divorced Bobby McGonagle. She worked as a dental hygienist. Greig has been described as intelligent, hardworking and educated, although was very subservient to, and dominated by, Bulger. She and Bulger lived together for a time at her home in Squantum, a section of Quincy.
Greig had been wanted by the FBI since 1999. The criminal complaint against her alleges that she harbored a fugitive, Whitey Bulger. She was represented in the criminal proceedings by the prominent criminal attorney Kevin Reddington of Brockton, Massachusetts. After being captured alongside Bulger, Greig sought release on bail and home confinement, a request that was denied.
Greig initially indicated that she would go to trial rather than accept a plea bargain. In March 2012, however, Greig pleaded guilty to conspiracy to harbor a fugitive, identity fraud and conspiracy to commit identity fraud. On June 12, 2012, she was sentenced to eight years in federal prison. She declined to speak during her sentencing.
In September 2015, Greig was indicted on a charge of criminal contempt stemming from her refusal to testify before a grand jury about whether other people aided Bulger while he was a fugitive. In February 2016, Greig pleaded guilty to this charge. Greig's attorney recommended 12 months in prison, while prosecutors—citing Greig's "unrepentant ... obstruction"—asked for 37 months. In April 2016, U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV sentenced Greig, then midway through her sentence for harboring Bulger, to 21 months on the contempt charge, pushing her release date to late 2020.
Greig served much of her eight-year sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution, Waseca in Minnesota, but was also detained at various points in Rhode Island ahead of proceedings in the criminal contempt case.
Greig completed her sentence on July 23, 2020, and has been released from home confinement and electronic monitoring. She has been living quietly in South Boston with her twin sister Margaret McCusker.
According to an excerpt of a book on Bulger published by Boston magazine, Bulger only made one friend during his post-sentencing detention, Clement "Chip" Janis, a young convict who was trusted to run art classes for other convicts.
According to Janis, Bulger was attacked by a fellow convict nicknamed "Retro", whose knife pierced Bulger's neck and skull, and sent him to the prison infirmary for a month. Retro had no beef with Bulger, and launched the near-fatal attack solely so he would be put in solitary confinement, where he could put off paying for drugs he had acquired from other convicts.
Bulger was able to start counseling with a prison psychologist at the Tucson facility. But rumours circulated that she was too sympathetic to Bulger, and may even have allowed him to use her cell phone. His counseling was soon terminated, and he was transferred to the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Florida.
At Coleman, Bulger started to have night terrors, which he attributed to the 1960s experiments where he had been administered LSD. Bulger, who started his imprisonment with a rigorous exercise regime, now used a wheelchair.
Racketeering trial and conviction
On June 12, 2013, Bulger went on trial in South Boston's John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse before Judge Denise J. Casper on 32 counts of racketeering and firearms possession. The racketeering counts included allegations that Bulger was complicit in 19 murders. The trial lasted two months and included the testimony of 72 witnesses; the jury began deliberations August 6. On August 12, the jury convicted Bulger of 31 out of 32 counts in the indictment. As part of the racketeering charges, the jury convicted Bulger of the murders of 11 victims—Paul McGonagle, Edward Connors, Thomas King, Richard Castucci, Roger Wheeler, Brian Halloran, Michael Donahue, John Callahan, Arthur "Bucky" Barrett, John McIntyre, and Deborah Hussey. The jury acquitted Bulger of killing Michael Milano, Al Plummer, William O'Brien, James O'Toole, Al Notorangeli, James Sousa and Francis Leonard. They also reported themselves unable to agree about the murder of Deborah Davis, though Bulger had already been found liable for her death in a civil suit. Following the verdict, Bulger's attorneys J. W. Carney Jr. and Hank Brennan vowed to appeal, citing Casper's ruling which prevented Bulger from claiming he had been given immunity.
On November 14, 2013, Bulger was sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment, plus five years. Casper told Bulger that such a sentence was necessary given his "unfathomable" crimes, some of which inflicted "agonizing" suffering on his victims. He was also ordered to forfeit $25.2 million and pay $19.5 million in restitution. Prosecutors in Florida and Oklahoma announced after Bulger's conviction that they would wait until after sentencing concluded before deciding whether or not to prosecute Bulger in their states. Bulger was indicted in Florida for the murder of Callahan and in Oklahoma for the murder of Roger Wheeler, and could have received the death penalty in those states.
In September 2014, Bulger entered the Coleman II United States Penitentiary in Sumterville, Florida. In October 2018, he was transferred to the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City, and then a few days later to the Federal Penitentiary in West Virginia. According to prison documents obtained by The New York Times, Bulger gained a reputation for disconcerting behavior during his time in prison: "At the Coleman prison complex in Florida in September 2014, he was disciplined multiple times, including once for masturbating in front of a male staff member and once, in February, for threatening a female medical staff member". Bulger was also in poor health, as he was unable to walk and had a damaged hip, often falling out of bed. His health also declined due to a lack of exercise.
Bulger was transferred from the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City to United States Penitentiary, Hazelton, in West Virginia on October 29, 2018. At 8:20 a.m. on October 30, the 89-year-old Bulger was found dead. Bulger was in a wheelchair and had been beaten to death by multiple inmates armed with a sock-wrapped padlock and a shiv. His eyes had nearly been gouged out and his tongue almost cut off; a law enforcement official described Bulger as "unrecognizable". This was the third homicide at the prison in a 40-day span. Correctional officers had warned Congress just days before the most recent Hazelton death that facilities were being dangerously understaffed. Massachusetts-based mafia hitman Fotios "Freddy" Geas is the primary suspect in orchestrating the killing of Bulger. Geas, 51, and his brother were sentenced to life in prison in 2011 for their roles in several violent crimes, including the 2003 killing of Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno, a Genovese crime family capo who was shot in a Springfield, Massachusetts parking lot. According to ABC News, Bulger's medical status had been lowered on October 8, 2018, shortly before he was transferred.
On November 8, 2018, a funeral mass was held for Bulger at Saint Monica – Saint Augustine Church in South Boston. Family members, including his brother, former Massachusetts state Senate president William M. Bulger, and the twin sister of Catherine Greig attended. Bulger's death came as a relief to many Bostonians, especially for family members of his victims; Steven Davis, whose sister Debra was reportedly killed by Bulger in 1981, stated that "[h]e died the way I hoped he always was going to die."
Bulger is buried at St. Joseph's Cemetery in the Boston Neighborhood of West Roxbury under the Bulger family headstone inscribed with the names of his parents. In September 2019, the Bulger family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Justice Department, alleging that, by lowering Bulger's medical status and transferring him to Hazelton, he "was deliberately placed in harm's way... There is simply no other explanation for the transfer of someone in his condition and inmate status to be placed in the general population of one of the country's most violent federal penitentiaries." The Bulger family is seeking US$200,000 in damages.
Bulger had two younger brothers, William Michael "Billy" Bulger (born 1934) and John "Jackie" P. Bulger (born 1938). William Bulger served in the military during the Korean War but was never posted to Korea. He was formerly an influential leader of the Democratic Party in Massachusetts. In a long political career, William rose to become President of the Massachusetts Senate. After his retirement he was appointed President of the University of Massachusetts system.
In December 2002, William Bulger appeared before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and refused to testify, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. In April 2003, the committee voted "to grant William Bulger immunity to obtain information concerning Whitey's whereabouts and the FBI's misuse of informants." In June 2003, William appeared before the committee, where he was grilled by legislators from both parties. He testified: "I do not know where my brother is. I do not know where he has been over the past eight years. I have not aided James Bulger in any way while he has been a fugitive." He added: "while I worried about my brother, I now recognize that I didn't fully grasp the dimensions of his life. Few people probably did. By definition, his was a secretive life. His actions were covert, hidden even from—or perhaps hidden especially from those who loved and cared about him. The subject that interests so many, the life and the activities of my brother James is painful and difficult for me." William said that the only contact with his brother during the fugitive years was a short telephone call in January 1995, shortly after his brother was indicted. Following this testimony, Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney waged an extended and ultimately successful effort to get William to resign from the presidency of the University of Massachusetts, which he finally did in August 2003.
John "Jackie" Bulger, a retired Massachusetts court clerk magistrate, was convicted in April 2003 of committing perjury in front of two grand juries regarding sworn statements he gave concerning contacts with his fugitive brother.
Bulger fathered one child, Douglas Glenn Cyr (1967–1973), during a 12-year relationship with Lindsey Cyr, a waitress and former fashion model living in North Weymouth, Massachusetts. Bulger and Cyr began living together in 1966, when Cyr was 21 and a waitress at a North Quincy café. According to Cyr, "He used to say that there were four people he would turn up on a street corner for: Douglas, me, Billy, or his mother. And we all made him vulnerable." At six years of age, Douglas died from Reye syndrome after having a severe allergic reaction to an aspirin injection. Lindsey Cyr later recalled it as:
An absolute nightmare, and it was very difficult for Jimmy because, no matter what, there was nothing that could save this. Money didn't matter, his power didn't matter. ... I remember that we were walking out of the hospital the night that he died, and he was holding my hand. And Jimmy said, "I'm never going to hurt like this again."
After Bulger's arrest, Cyr announced her support of him, stating:
If he wanted to see me, I'd be happy to. If he needs help getting attorneys and what have you, I'd be happy to help him. Part of me does [still love him]. I still care for him. I would always help him. I certainly always stand by him. He is the father of my child. He is 12 years of my life. I want to see him well protected. ... And I'm not particularly sympathetic to some of the people involved, some of the victims' families.
After his split from Cyr, Bulger began a relationship with Theresa Stanley, a South Boston divorcée with several children. Bulger bought her an expensive house in suburban Quincy, Massachusetts, and acted as father to her children while commuting to "work" in South Boston. However, he was repeatedly unfaithful to her with a host of other women, and was often absent while overseeing the running of his organization. In a 2004 interview Stanley stated that she was planning to publish her memoirs; however, she died of lung cancer in 2012 at the age of 71.
According to Weeks::209
Most of the time, The Boston Globe wasn't as inaccurate as the Herald. They just knocked the people from Southie during busing. They also liked to describe me as, 'Whitey's surrogate son', another example of the media putting labels on people they wrote about. Jimmy and I were friends, not like father and son. Even though he was the boss, he always treated me equally, like an associate, not a son. The reporter who seemed to do the most research and put real effort into getting the true story without having been there was Shelley Murphy, who had been at the Herald for ten years when she went to work for the Globe in 1993. But Jimmy and I usually ended up laughing at most of the news stories, as time and time again the media had it wrong, over and over again holding to their pledge to never let the truth get in the way of a good story.
According to Weeks's memoirs, in 1980 Boston Herald reporter Paul Corsetti began researching an article about Louis Litif's murder and Bulger's suspected involvement. After reporting the story for several days, Corsetti was approached by a man who said, "I'm Jim Bulger and if you continue to write shit about me, I'm going to blow your fucking head off.":207 Corsetti sought help from the Patriarca crime family, but they said that Bulger was outside their control. "The next day, Corsetti reported the meeting to the Boston police. He was issued a pistol permit within 24 hours. The cop who gave him the permit told him, 'I'm glad my last name is not Corsetti.' A couple days later Jimmy told me about the scene with the cop and was glad to hear how uncomfortable he had made Corsetti.":207
In his memoirs, Kevin Weeks related his participation in an attempt to assassinate reporter Howie Carr at his house in suburban Acton. Weeks stated that Carr was targeted because he was "writing nasty stories about people, he was an oxygen thief who didn't deserve to breathe." Carr has been among the most aggressive critics of the Bulger brothers, Whitey and Billy, for their careers in the Boston area; among his works is the book The Brothers Bulger, detailing the Bulger brothers' 25-year period of controlling Boston politics and the Boston underworld.
Weeks stated that, although several plans were considered, all were abandoned because there was too much risk of injuring Carr's wife and children. The plans climaxed with Weeks' own attempt to shoot Carr with a sniper rifle as he came out of his house. However, when Carr came out the front door holding the hand of his young daughter, Weeks could not bring himself to shoot. He wanted another opportunity to "finish the job," but Bulger advised him to forget about Howie Carr.:205–206 In his 2006 memoir Weeks said that, although he was aware of the public outcry that would have followed, he regretted not murdering Carr. "His murder would have been an attack on the system, like attacking freedom of the press, the fabric of the American way of life, and they would have spared no expense to solve the crime. But in the long run, Jimmy and I got sidetracked and the maggot lived. Still, I wish I'd killed him. No question about it.":206
Depictions in fiction and non-fiction
- The 2014 documentary film Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger, made by Joe Berlinger, is based on Bulger's trials.
- The film Black Mass—released September 18, 2015 in the US—stars Johnny Depp as Bulger and was directed by Scott Cooper. The film's screenplay, by Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth, is based on the 2001 non-fiction book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob, by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill. The film chronicles Bulger's years as an FBI informant, and his manipulation of his FBI handler as a means to eradicate his rivals for control of the Boston underworld, the Italian Mafia.
- Bulger is mentioned considerably in the book All Souls: A Family Story from Southie by Michael Patrick MacDonald – a memoir about the author's life growing up in Boston during the 1970s and 1980s.
Characters based on Whitey Bulger
- In season 11, episode 21 of the television series Law & Order entitled "Brother's Keeper", certain plot details are inspired by Bulger's criminal career. Specifically, an Irish-heritage criminal having a secret working relationship with the FBI via a childhood friend in the agency.
- The character of Frank Costello (played by Jack Nicholson) in the 2006 Martin Scorsese film The Departed is loosely based on Bulger, though the plot of the movie is adapted from the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs.
- The 2006–2008 Showtime TV series Brotherhood, about two Irish-American brothers on opposite sides of the law, was inspired by the relationship between Whitey and Billy Bulger, although the show takes place not in Boston but in nearby Providence, Rhode Island.
- In the TV series Rizzoli & Isles, which premiered in 2010, the character of Paddy Doyle, an Irish-American mobster who is the biological father of lead character Maura Isles, is based on a romanticized vision of Bulger.
- In season one of the Showtime series Ray Donovan, the character of Patrick "Sully" Sullivan, played by James Woods, is loosely based on Bulger.
- The 2013 television drama The Blacklist starring James Spader about a career criminal who turns himself in to work with the FBI on his own terms was inspired by Bulger's story.
- List of fugitives from justice who are no longer sought
- The World's 10 Most Wanted (See The World's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives) Vardi, Nathan (June 14, 2011). "The World's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives". Forbes. Wayback Machine. Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2019. Quinn (December 18, 2017). "Top 10 Most Wanted Criminals in the World 2018". improb.com. Wayback Machine: Improb. Archived from the original on April 7, 2019. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
- James "Whitey" Bulger 2013 trial
- "Famed crime boss James 'Whitey' Bulger arrested in Santa Monica". Los Angeles Times. June 22, 2011.
- Nagorney, Adam; Lovett, Ian (June 23, 2011). "Whitey Bulger Is Arrested in California". The New York Times.
- Zezima, Katie (June 23, 2011). "In South Boston, Mixed Memories of Whitey Bulger". The New York Times.
- "Patricia Donahue, Individually and In Her Capacity v. United States of America". law.com. February 13, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
- "FBI helped Bulger evade detection, ex-cop says". CBS News. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- "Whitey Bulger arrest may revive old scandals". CBS News. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- "FBI corruption and Whitey Bulger". necn.com. June 23, 2011. Archived from the original on September 19, 2012. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- Rudolf, John (June 24, 2011). "Nabbed Gangster 'Whitey' Bulger Could Spill FBI Corruption Secrets". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on December 17, 2014.
- Sonmez, Felicia (June 25, 2011). "James 'Whitey' Bulger's capture could cause trouble inside the FBI". The Washington Post.
- Lavoie, Denise; Crimaldi, Laura; Anderson, Curt (June 24, 2011). "Capture Of Boston Gangster Could Mean More Scandal". WBUR. AP. Archived from the original on June 27, 2011. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
- "'Whitey' Bulger: Mob hitman suspected as prison killer". BBC. November 1, 2018.
- Dockterman, Eliana (September 21, 2015). "The True Story Behind Black Mass". Time. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
... Whitey Bulger, who stood just behind Osama bin Laden on the FBI's most-wanted list for years...
- Nagourney, Adam; Lovett, Ian (June 23, 2011). "Whitey Bulger Is Arrested in California". The New York Times.
- Johnson, Kevin (June 23, 2011). "Mobster Whitey Bulger arrested in California". USA Today. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- "One of America's Top Fugitives James "Whitey" Bulger: Caught in Santa Monica"". International Business Times. June 23, 2011. Archived from the original on June 26, 2011.
- Shelley Murphy; Milton J. Valencia; Brian Ballou; John R. Ellement; Martin Finucane (June 12, 2013). "'Whitey' Bulger defense claims he was no informant, questions credibility of prosecution witnesses". The Boston Globe. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
- Shelley Murphy; Milton J. Valencia; Martin Finucane (August 12, 2013). "Whitey Bulger, notorious Boston gangster, convicted in sweeping racketeering case; jury finds he participated in 11 murders". The Boston Globe. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
- "Topic Galleries". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on November 17, 2013.
- "Whitey Bulger transferred to federal prison in Florida". The Boston Globe. Retrieved December 7, 2014.
- "Whitey Bulger moved from Florida prison to Oklahoma City transfer facility". WFXT. October 26, 2018. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
- Sanchez, Ray (October 30, 2018). "Boston gangster James 'Whitey' Bulger killed in West Virginia prison a day after transfer". CNN. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
- McFadden, Robert D. (October 30, 2018). "Whitey Bulger Is Dead in Prison at 89; Long-Hunted Boston Mob Boss". The New York Times. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
- "Prison drops visits after Whitey Bulger slaying". Boston Herald.
- Chinlund, Christine; Lehr, Dick; Cullen, Kevin (September 18, 1988). "The Bulger Mystique Part 1. Senate president: A mix of family, Southie, power". The Boston Globe. Retrieved October 10, 2010.
- Ross, Harold Wallace; White, Katharine Sergeant Angell (1991). The New Yorker. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- "Ancestry offers Whitey and Billy Bulger". Wargs.com. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- Carr, Howie (February 23, 2006). Horgan, Rick; Pockell, Les (eds.). The Brothers Bulger: How they terrorized and corrupted Boston for a quarter century. New York: Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 978-0-4465-7651-2. LCCN 2005023524. OCLC 61295860.
- Vale, Lawrence J., From the Puritans to the projects: public housing and public neighbors, Harvard University Press, 2000. Cf. especially page 175 re Old Harbor Village history.
- "Whitey Bulger case returns to court". WMUR-TV. July 27, 2015. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
- "Boston Crime Boss James 'Whitey' Bulger Wanted for Murder". Fox News. January 14, 2008. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
- Weeks, Kevin; Karas, Phyllis (2007). Brutal: The Untold Story Of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger's Irish Mob. Harper Collins. pp. 83–84. ISBN 978-0-06-114806-4.
- Kinzer, Stephen (2019). Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control. New York: Henry Holt & Co.
- Grigg, William Norman (June 23, 2011). "How Whitey Bulger Bought Boston". The American Conservative. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
- Gross, Terry (September 9, 2019). "The CIA's Secret Quest For Mind Control: Torture, LSD And A 'Poisoner In Chief'". NPR. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
- Kinzer, Stephen (2013). The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War. New York: Times Books. p. 135.
Kathy Curran (July 7, 2011). "I-Team: Whitey Bulger's Notebook Chronicles LSD Prison Testing". WBZ-TV. Boston, MA. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
At one point, Whitey wrote that he developed a 'morbid fear of LSD' and felt if he had any more of it, 'it would push me over the edge.' He was afraid that 'if I mentioned hearing voices' or the 'seeming movement of calendar in cell, etc., that I'd be committed for life and never see the outside again.'
James "Whitey" Bulger (May 19, 2017). "Whitey bulger: i was a guinea pig for cia drug experiments". Ozy. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
In 1957, while a prisoner at the Atlanta penitentiary, I was recruited by Dr. Carl Pfeiffer of Emory University to join a medical project that was researching a cure for schizophrenia. For our participation, we would receive three days of good time for each month on the project.
- Boeri, David (May 30, 2012). "'Whitey' The Prisoner: A Master Manipulator". WBUR. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
- Nee, Patrick (2006). A Criminal and an Irishman: The Inside Story of the Boston Mob–IRA Connection.
- Lehr, O'Neill, Dick, Gerard (2001). Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil's Deal. HarperCollins. ISBN 9781610391689. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
- Murphy, Shelley (April 18, 2004). "Gangster's Life Lures Host of Storytellers". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
- "The Victims". Archived from the original on September 23, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
- Murphy, Shelley (April 22, 2001). "Bulger linked to '70s antibusing attack". Boston.com. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
- Oaks, Bob (February 19, 2013). "New Book Offers Glimpse Into 'Whitey' Bulger's Early Years". WBUR. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
- Katharine Q. Seelye (August 23, 2019). "Gerard O'Neill, Boston Globe Investigative Reporter, Dies at 76". The New York Times.
- Murphy, Shelley; Cramer, Maria (September 6, 2006). "FBI found liable for Bulger, Flemmi". The Boston Globe.
- Ibid, page 59.
- Cullen, Kevin; Murphy, S. (2013). Whitey Bulger: America's Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice. New York: W. W. Norton.
- "Donahue v. United States". FindLaw. United States Court of Appeals,First Circuit. October 6, 2011.
- Barry, Dan (July 15, 2011). "A Voice for Those Silenced in a Mobster's Reign". New York Times.
- Former State Police Lieutenant Convicted Of Obstruction, WCBV-TV, March 19, 2003 Archived February 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- Murphy, Shelley (June 13, 2006). "Ex-FBI agent tells of '81 probe". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on June 10, 2007.
- Lehr, Dick (February 27, 2000). "Mob underling's tale of guns, drugs, fear". Boston.com. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
- Kornacki, Steve (June 23, 2011). "Mike Barnicle: The best friend a gangster could have: When Whitey Bulger was at the peak of his power, he could always count on a friendly columnist to do his P.R." Salon.
[T]he only reason [Bulger] owned the South Boston Liquor Mart was because he'd paid a visit a few years earlier to its previous owner, Stephen "Stippo" Rakes, intimating that Rakes' child might be harmed if he didn't agree to sell the store to Whitey. Similar coercion, just about everyone figured, accounted for Whitey's lottery score.
- Cullen, Kevin; Murphy, Shelley (May 30, 2012). "Whitey learned to talk early on". The Boston Globe.
- Shelley Murphy (August 26, 2009). "Whitey Bulger hunt aims at Florida". The Boston Globe.
- Shelley Murphy (April 20, 2010). "Search for Whitey Bulger turns to Canada". The Boston Globe.
- Marjorie Kehe. "James 'Whitey' Bulger is captured — but not in a bookstore". Chapter and Verse blog. The Christian Science Monitor. June 23, 2011.
- Rogers, John (June 23, 2011). "People say Bulger liked to visit Santa Monica Pier". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Associated Press.
- Laurel J. Sweet and Dave Wedge, "Calif. cop: I knew he was here all along!" Archived September 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Boston Herald, June 24, 2011
- "Hearing this afternoon for fugitive mobster snared by FBI". CNN. June 22, 2011. Retrieved June 23, 2011.
- Wilson, Michael (June 22, 2011). "Whitey Bulger's New York". The New York Times. Retrieved June 23, 2011.
- Allen, Nick (June 23, 2011). "James 'Whitey' Bulger captured after 16 years on the run". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved June 23, 2011.
- Flaccus, Gillian; Hoag, Christina (June 25, 2011). "Mobster's run almost textbook case of evasion". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- "FBI Doubles Reward For Whitey Bulger". WPRI. Associated Press. September 3, 2008. Archived from the original on July 20, 2009. Retrieved September 3, 2008.
Bulger, the former head of the notorious Winter Hill Gang and an FBI informant, fled in January 1995, after being tipped by a former Boston FBI agent that he was about to be indicted on federal racketeering charges. He was later charged in connection with 19 murders.
- "$2 Million Reward for Bulger". Federal Bureau of Investigation. September 3, 2008. Archived from the original on August 7, 2010. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- "FBI used 'ruse' to lure mobster to his capture". CNN. June 24, 2011.
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A musician helps the FBI capture America's Most Wanted.
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James 'Whitey' Bulger, the Boston mobster arrested in California last month after 16 years on the run, pleaded not guilty to 48 charges including racketeering, extortion, money laundering, obstruction of justice, perjury, and weapons violations.
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"He did not like or respect anyone who was a rat," said the lawyer of one of the inmates under suspicion.
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- on YouTube
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- Street Soldier; My Life as an Enforcer for "Whitey" Bulger and the Boston Irish Mob by Edward MacKenzie and Phyllis Karas, Steerforth, 256 pp., ISBN 1-58642-076-3
- Rat Bastards: A Memoir of South Boston's Most Honorable Irish Mobster by John "Red" Shea
- Paddy Whacked; The Untold Story of the Irish-American Gangster by T. J. English, 2005.
- Hitman: The Untold Story of Johnny Martorano: Whitey Bulger's Enforcer and the Most Feared Gangster in the Underworld by Howie Carr (April 26, 2011)
- Notorious mob boss Whitey Bulger found dead in prison from NBC News (October 30, 2018)
- Betrayal: Whitey Bulger and the FBI Agent Who Fought to Bring Him Down by Robert Fitzpatrick and Jon Land; Forge Books, 2012. ISBN 0765335514
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to James J. Bulger.|
- Whitey Bulger at IMDb
- Collected news and commentary at The Boston Globe
- "Whitey Bulger collected news and commentary". The New York Times.
- Bulger Court Case Documents
- Court Ruling Denying Compensation to Victims Families
- Bulger's FBI Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitive Alert
- Whitey Bulger on crimelibrary.com
- "James 'Whitey' Bulger capture means on FBI's Most Wanted List, two down, eight to go"(subscription required) by Melissa Bell, Washingtonpost.com (June 23, 2011), retrieved June 26, 2018