Renowned Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger was found guilty on Monday of multiple murders and racketeering over his decades-long career as a South Boston mob boss. Bulger fled Boston in 1995 and spent 16 years on the run before being tracked down by authorities.
Although media outlets continue to sort out the details of his conviction, it can be reported that a federal jury has found him guilty of 11 murders and other mob-related activity, including the murder of Deborah Hussey, the stepdaughter of one of Bulger's criminal partners, and Oklahoma businessman Roger Wheeler.
Kevin Cullen, a reporter for the Boston Globe who was present in the courtroom during Bulger's verdict, tweeted about the famed mobster's reaction to the jury's decision. "Whitey is slack jawed. Looks like he's had better days. Bright side is he looks good in orange," Cullen, who has also written a book on Bulger's life, wrote.
Bulger was initially charged with 42 counts under the umbrella term of "racketeering," including 19 murders as well as other gangland activity that included drug dealing, extortion, illegal firearms charges, narcotics distribution conspiracy, and money-laundering. In order to be charged with racketeering, the jury had to find that Bulger had committed two of the criminal acts within 10 years of each other. The jury made their decision that Bulger was guilty of 11 murders after nearly five days of deliberation.
Bulger's defense attorney J.W. Carney Jr. told the Associated Press on Monday that Bulger intends to appeal his verdict. U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz told the AP that she hopes Monday's ruling marks "the end of an era that was very ugly in Boston's history."
When Bulger's defense team rested its case, the famed mobster told the judge that he had "involuntarily" chosen not to take the stand during his trial. "I feel that I've been choked off from having an opportunity to give an adequate defense," Bulger said. "My thing is, as far as I'm concerned, I didn't get a fair trial, and this is a sham, and do what youse [sic] want with me. That's it. That's my final word."
Bulger was a former Boston crime boss who served as the head of the Winter Hill Gang, considered to be Boston's notorious Irish mob. Bulger reportedly ran the gang in the 1970's and 1980's. He then fled in 1995 when a corrupt FBI agent informed Bulger that he was going to be indicted. Bulger was then found by the FBI in Santa Monica in 2011, where he had stashed close to $1 million in the walls of the apartment.
Bulger could receive life in prison for his guilty charge, but due to his age, 83, the renowned mob boss may receive a shorter term. Bulger worked as an informant for the FBI beginning in 1975.