by Matthew Warsofsky
On Tuesday, October 30th, James “Whitey” Bulger was brutally murdered in Hazelton Federal Penitentiary. This ends his long and complicated life as both a crime boss and secret FBI informant.
Since Bulger was a kid, he was getting into trouble. According to The New York Times, the first time he got arrested was when he was 13 years old when he got arrested for delinquency. He was originally imprisoned in 1956 for bank robberies and even spent time in Alcatraz before being granted parole in 1965.
Over the next decades, Bulger became a major crime boss and was in charge in multiple gang wars. Years later, it was revealed that Bulger had many personal ties with the FBI, and worked as a top-echelon informant starting in 1975. Bulger’s “handler” was former FBI and South Boston native agent John Connolly who, in 1994, would give him tips on escaping the police, who were planning on indicting him.
In 1994, Bulger fled from Boston to Santa Monica, California, then in 1999, after Connolly got indicted for helping Bulger, Bulger was put on the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted List. According the The New York Times, in 2011, he was caught again after Whitey’s neighbor tipped off the FBI of their whereabouts after seeing him and his girlfriend on the TV. He was tried on 32 counts of racketeering, money laundering, extortion, and weapons charges, including complicity in 19 murders. On August 12, 2011, Bulger was found guilty on 31 counts, including both racketeering charges, and was found to have been involved in 11 murders.
On November 14, 2011, according to Wikipedia, he was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences plus five years for his crimes. He then spent seven years in United States Penitentiary Coleman II in Sumterville, Florida, until October of this year. He was first transferred to the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma in October of this year and then he was shortly transferred to Hazelton where he was put into the general population ward and was murdered. Jay Carney, who defended Bulger in his Boston federal court trial in 2013, said in a statement Tuesday that Bulger “was sentenced to prison, but as a result of decisions by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, that sentence has been changed to the death penalty.”
As of today, there has been no clear verdict on who killed him due to the fact that he was in general population when he was murdered however they do have a suspect named Freddy Geas. According to the Boston Globe, the police believe he killed him because he said that “he hates rats”.