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James Joseph BULGER Jr.






A.K.A.: "Whitey" Bulger
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Alleged leader of the Winter Hill Gang
Number of victims: 19 +
Date of murders: 1971 - 1995
Fecha detención: 
Date of birth: September 3, 1929
Victims profile: 11 hombres y 2 mujeres
Method of murder: Arm
LocationMassachusetts, USA
Status: Condenado pena de muerte


James Joseph Bulger, Jr. (born September 3, 1929)—known as "Whitey" Bulger—is a wanted fugitive and alleged leader of the Winter Hill Gang, an Irish-American crime family based in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the older brother of William Michael Bulger, a former President of the Massachusetts State Senate and the University of Massachusetts.

On August 19, 1999, Bulger became the 458th person added to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. He is currently wanted for racketeering (under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)), murder, conspiracy to commit murder, extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion, money laundering, conspiracy to commit money laundering and narcotics distribution. In October 2007, Interpol released a "red notice" for Bulger.

Early life

Bulger was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, to Roman Catholic Irish American parents. His father, James Joseph Bulger, Sr., worked as a longshoreman. The elder Bulger has been described as an honest, hardworking man who was well respected by all who knew him. His mother, the former Miss Jane Veronica McCarthy, was a full-time homemaker.

James Bulger was one of six children. When he was a small child, his parents moved the family to South Boston, Massachusetts. They moved into a new public-housing project called Old Harbor, also known as Mary Ellen McCormick projects. James Bulger attended St. Mark's, a parochial school in Dorchester, for first grade, before transferring to St. Margaret's School in South Boston. According to radio shock jock Howie Carr, Bulger experienced child abuse and sexual abuse while attending St. Margaret's. This is not referred to in any other source, however. The memoirs of his brother, former Massachusetts State Senator William Bulger, describe "Jimmy" as a mischievous child fond of pranks.

James Bulger was first arrested in 1943, at the age of 14, for larceny. He then went on to be arrested for assault and battery and armed robbery. At this time, he was associated with a juvenile street gang known as the Shamrocks. Between 1943 and 1947, Bulger was arrested for larceny, forgery, assault and battery, and armed robbery. For all these crimes, he was sent to a juvenile reformatory from 1943 until 1948.

Shortly after release in April 1948, he joined the Air Force. After completing basic training, he was stationed at the Smoky Hill Air Force Base in Salina, Kansas, and later in Idaho. He spent time in the stockade for a number of assaults. In 1950, he was arrested for going absent without leave. On August 16, 1952, he received an honorable discharge and returned to Massachusetts.

Criminal career

Early career

On returning to Boston, Bulger soon resumed his criminal activities. In 1952, he was involved in the hijacking of a liquor truck. By 1955, he had joined a crew that robbed a string of banks in Rhode Island and Indiana. In January 1956, a federal warrant was issued for his arrest. Bulger then went on the run, was arrested in March 1956 and sentenced to 25 years in prison in June of that year.


Bulger was first in federal custody at Atlanta Penitentiary (1956–59) for armed robbery and hijacking. There, according to Kevin Weeks, he was involved in the MK-ULTRA program, the goal of which was to research mind-control drugs for the Central Intelligence Agency, headed by CIA chemist Sidney Gottlieb. For eighteen months, Bulger and eighteen other inmates who had volunteered to lessen their sentences were given LSD and other drugs. As a result of the experiments, Bulger is said to have suffered from frequent insomnia and nightmares.

He was then transferred from Atlanta to Alcatraz Island, arriving at Alcatraz on November 2, 1959, as prisoner #AZ1428. He became a close friend of fellow inmate Clarence Carnes, alias "The Choctaw Kid." In November 1962, he was transferred to Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary (1962–63), and in the following year to Lewisburg Penitentiary (1963–65). He was released after serving nine years in prison.

The Killeen Gang

After his release, Bulger worked as a janitor prior to becoming an enforcer for Donald Killeen, the boss of the dominant crime family in South Boston. In 1971, Donald Killeen's younger brother bit off the nose of Michael Dwyer, a member of the rival Mullen Gang. A gangland war soon resulted, leading to a string of slayings throughout Boston and the surrounding suburbs. The Killeens quickly found themselves outgunned and outmaneuvered by the younger Mullens.

The end of the war has usually been related as follows. Bulger, realizing that he was on the losing side, secretly approached Howie Winter, the leader of the Winter Hill Gang. He allegedly told Winter that he could end the fighting in South Boston by murdering the leaders of the Killeen gang. Shortly thereafter, Donald Killeen was gunned down outside his home in suburban Framingham, Massachusetts.

Former Mullen Gang boss Patrick Nee, however, disputes this claim. According to Nee, the slaying of Donald Killeen on May 13, 1972, was carried out not by Bulger but by Mullen Gang enforcers James Mantville and Tommy King.

Also according to Nee, Bulger and his fellow Killeens fled the city in the aftermath of their boss's murder, fearing that they would be next. Instead of murdering Bulger, however, Patrick Nee arranged for the dispute to be mediated by Howie Winter and Patriarca crime family captain Joseph Russo. After a sit-down at Chandler's restaurant in the South End, Boston, the two gangs joined forces, with Winter as overall boss.

According to Nee,

"Nobody talked fault, although at first it was tense while we ran down the 'who killed who' list. Whitey was a defeated warrior looking to keep as much honor as possible. He knew the Mullens had courageous, fierce men willing to die for theirs, and he was perceptive. Deep down, Whitey knew that he couldn't take over for the Killeens without cutting the Mullens in on their bookmaking and loansharking. Tommy [King] and I felt victorious, but we didn't want to gloat. The meeting lasted for six hours. We ate good steaks, chasing them down with nothing stronger than ginger ale. It was business, and contrary to media stereotype, we weren't a bunch of lowlifes who sat around drinking beer all day and all night."

Also according to Nee,

"The balance of the meeting was spent forming an alliance, and by far the hardest part was deciding whom to protect. After a war, each side usually gets to protect so many people from harm. Those who aren't protected are fair game for retribution and 'shake-downs.' Everything was split down the middle. All the horses, dogs, bookmaking, and loansharking were now going to be under our mutual control. This was the beginning of our relationship. Whitey and I were now officially partners and nobody at that table could ever have possibly imagined how this treacherous f--- would treat his partners."

The Winter Hill Gang

According to radio talk show host Howie Carr, Bulger rapidly became Howie Winter's man in South Boston by helping the Winter Hill Gang shake down the bookmakers in the North End, Boston. To do this, they had to remove the Notarangeli crew, headed by "Indian Joe" Notarangeli. Bulger allegedly played an important role in the Winter Hill Gang's victory and subsequent domination of organized crime in the Irish-American neighborhoods of Boston. It has been alleged that he was involved in the shooting of two members of the Notarangeli crew that killed Al Plummer and wounded Hugh Shields. Because of this, he became an influential member of the Winter Hill Gang. This cannot be confirmed by any other source, however.

By 1973, Bulger and Nee were in control of the rackets in South Boston. FBI Special Agent Condon noted in his log in September 1973, that Bulger had been heavily shaking down the bookmakers in the area.

After the end of the gangland war, Bulger began to use his influence to remove opposition by persuading Howie Winter to sanction the killings of those whom he viewed as having "stepped out of line." These included Mullen Gang veterans Spike O'Toole, Paulie McGonagle, and Tommy King. It is also alleged that he had direct involvement in the murder of Eddie Connors and Buddy Leonard in November 1975. After 1975, he began to also use his FBI deal to send his rivals to prison.

In 1979, Howie Winter was arrested, along with many members of his inner circle, on charges of fixing horse races. Bulger and Stephen Flemmi, who were left out of the indictments, stepped into the vacuum and took over the leadership of the gang. They transferred its headquarters to the Lancaster Street Garage in Boston near the Boston Garden in the city's North End. As of early 2008, this historic garage is up for sale.

Consolidating power

While Howie Winter and most of his organization's leadership were sentenced for fixing horse races in 1979, the FBI persuaded federal prosecutors to drop all charges against Bulger and Flemmi. 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 Bulger associates whom Bulger viewed as threats; however, the main victim of their relationship with the federal government was the Italian-American Patriarca crime family, which was based in the North End, Boston and in Federal Hill, Providence. After the 1986 RICO indictment of underboss Gennaro Angiulo and his associates, the Patriarca family's Boston operations were in shambles. Bulger and Flemmi stepped into the ensuing vacuum to take control of organized crime in the Boston area.

By 1988, Bulger headed an organization that ran all of the rackets (e.g., extortion, loansharking, bookmaking, truck hijackings and arms trafficking) throughout New England. They were also the main cocaine and marijuana distributor in the state, receiving their drugs from a Cuban-American gang based in South Florida.

Both 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 Bulger's paranoid fear of wiretaps, South Boston's code of silence, and also corruption within the Boston Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Although disgraced FBI agent John Connolly remained Bulger's most infamous friend in law enforcement, Kevin Weeks has insisted that Lieutenant Richard J. Schneiderhan was valued far more highly. According to Weeks, this was because Schneiderhan was the Winter Hill Gang's only source inside of the Massachusetts State Police.

Drug trafficking

Bulger, Weeks, and Flemmi became heavily involved in narcotics trafficking in the early 1980s. Bulger began to summon drug dealers from in and around Boston to his headquarters. Flanked by Kevin Weeks and Flemmi, he would inform each dealer that he had been offered a substantial sum to assassinate them. He would then demand a large cash payment not to do so.

Eventually, however, the massive profits of drugs proved irresistible. According to Kevin Weeks,

"Jimmy, Stevie and I weren't in the import business and weren't bringing in the marijuana or the cocaine. We were in the shakedown business. We didn't bring drugs in; we took money off the people who did. We never dealt with the street dealers, but rather with a dozen large-scale drug distributors all over the State who were bringing in the coke and marijuana and paying hundreds of thousands to Jimmy. The dealers on the street corner sold eight-balls, ...grams, and half grams to customers for their personal use. They were supplied by the mid level drug dealer who was selling them multiple ounces. In other words, the big importers gave it to the major distributors, who sold it to the middlemen, who then sold it to the street dealers. In order to get to Jimmy, Stevie, and me, someone would have had to go through those four layers of insulation."

In South Boston, most of the neighborhood's drug trade was managed by a handpicked crew of prize fighters led by John Shea. Edward MacKenzie Jr., a former member of Shea's crew, has stated that this was done because Shea viewed athletes as less likely to abuse the drugs they were selling.

According to Weeks, Bulger enforced very strict rules over the dealers who were paying him protection.

"The only people we ever put out of business were heroin dealers. Jimmy didn't allow heroin in South Boston. It was a dirty drug that users stuck in their arms, making problems with needles, and later on, AIDS. While people can do cocaine socially and still function, once they do heroin, they're zombies."

He also strictly forbade PCP and selling to children. Those dealers who refused to play by Bulger's rules were violently driven out of the neighborhood. To those who obeyed, however, business was good. The Boston drug scene thrived as "Red" Shea and his crew arranged massive drug deals with Colombian and Cuban-American suppliers based in South Florida. In 1990, however, "Red" Shea and his associates were arrested as part of a joint investigation involving the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Boston Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police. The entire crew refused to violate the neighborhood code of silence by informing on Bulger, to the fury of investigators who had hoped to build a case against him. According to Weeks,

Of course, Jimmy lost money once the drug dealers were removed from the streets in the summer raid, but he always had other business going on. Knowing I had to build something on the side, I had concentrated on my shylocking and gambling businesses. The drug business had been good while it lasted. But our major involvement in it was over."

It would not be until the cooperation of Kevin Weeks in 1999 that Bulger, by then a fugitive, was conclusively linked to the drug trade by investigators.


In April 1994, a joint task force of the DEA, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Boston Police Department launched a probe of Bulger's gambling operations. The FBI, by this time considered compromised, was not informed. After a number of Jewish-American bookmakers agreed to testify to having paid protection money to Bulger, a Federal case was built against him under the RICO Act.


The following December, Bulger was informed by mobbed up FBI Agent John Connolly that sealed indictments had come from the Department of Justice and that the FBI were due to make arrests during the Christmas season. In response, Bulger fled Boston on December 23, 1994 accompanied by his common law wife, Theresa Stanley.

According to Kevin Weeks,

"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'd established a whole other person, Thomas Baxter, with a complete ID and credit cards in that name. He'd even joined associations in Baxter's name, building an entire portfolio for the guy. He'd always said you had to be ready to take off on short notice. And he was."

He 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 (UK) and Venice.

Bulger and Stanley initially spent four days over Christmas in Selden, New York before spending New Year's Day in a hotel in New Orleans' French Quarter. On January 5, 1995, Bulger prepared to return to Boston, believing that it had been a false alarm. That night, however, Stephen Flemmi was arrested outside a Boston restaurant by the DEA. Michael Flemmi, a Boston police officer and Stephen Flemmi's brother, informed Kevin Weeks of the arrest. Weeks immediately passed the information on to Bulger, who altered his plans.

Bulger and Stanley then spent the next three weeks traveling between New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco before Stanley decided that she wanted to return to her children. They then traveled to Clearwater, Florida, where Bulger retrieved his Tom Baxter identification from a safety deposit box. Bulger then drove to Boston and dropped off Theresa Stanley in a parking lot. He then met Kevin Weeks, who had brought with him one of Bulger's favorite mistresses, Catherine Greig. Bulger and Greig then went on the run together.

In his memoirs, Weeks vividly describes a clandestine meeting with Bulger and Greig in Chicago, Illinois. 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."

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."

A rolling stone

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, and adjourned for dinner at a nearby restaurant. According to Weeks,

"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'd 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'd 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, Weeks 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 crime family. The wiseguy 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."

In the aftermath, Weeks decided to cut a deal with Federal prosecutors, and revealed where almost every penny and body was buried. According to Weeks,

"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'd 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'd 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."

Current status

James J. Bulger is currently on the FBI Ten Most Wanted list. A reward of US $2 million is being offered for information leading to his capture. Bulger has been featured on the television show America's Most Wanted 14 times, first in 1995 and last on July 26, 2008.

The last confirmed sighting of Bulger was in London in 2002. Since then, however, there have been unconfirmed sightings elsewhere. FBI agents were sent to Uruguay to investigate a lead. FBI agents were also sent to stake out the 60th memorial of the Battle of Normandy celebrations, as Bulger is an enthusiastic fan of military history.

Reports of a sighting in Italy in April 2007 have proven false. Two persons on video footage shot in Taormina, Sicily, formerly thought to be Bulger and his lover, Catherine Greig, walking in the streets of the city center, were finally identified as a tourist couple from Germany. Evidence was provided by viewers of the German television programme Aktenzeichen XY … ungelöst, which had aired an episode containing a film about Bulger.

FBI informant

In 1971, the FBI, searching for reliable information in their battle against the Patriarca crime family, approached Bulger and attempted to recruit him as an informant. FBI Special Agent Dennis Condon was assigned to make the pitch. Although some information is alleged to have been passed on, Condon noted that Bulger was too concerned about his own safety to start working with the FBI.

In 1974, Bulger became partners with Stephen Flemmi, 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.

Special Agent John Connolly frequently boasted to his fellow agents about how he had recruited Bulger at a late night, beachfront meeting inside an FBI issue car. Author Howie Carr writes that Bulger had been an off-the-books informant since his teenage years and that, like Flemmi, he had been recruited by Special Agent H. Paul Rico. However, Kevin Weeks considers it more likely that Flemmi had helped build a federal case against him. He writes of his belief that Bulger was caught between a rock and a hard place: supply information to the FBI or return to prison.

In 1997, shortly after the Boston Globe disclosed that Bulger and Flemmi had been informants, former Bulger confidant Kevin Weeks met with retired Agent John 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."

According to Weeks,

"As I read over the files at the Top of the Hub that night, Connolly kept telling me that 90 percent of the information in the files came from Stevie. Certainly Jimmy hadn't been around the Mafia the way Stevie had. 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 listened to all that, but now I understood that even though he was retired, Connolly was still getting information, as well as money, from Jimmy. As I continued to read, 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. Whenever I came across the name of someone I knew, I would read exactly what it said about that person. I would see, over and over again, that some of these people had been arrested for crimes that were mentioned in these reports. It didn't take long for me to realize that it had been bullshit when Connolly told me that the files hadn't been disseminated, that they had been for his own personal use. He had been an employee of the FBI. He hadn't worked for himself. 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. I thought about what Jimmy had always said, 'You can lie to your wife and to your girlfriends, but not to your friends. Not to anyone we're in business with.' Maybe Jimmy and Stevie hadn't lied to me. But they sure hadn't been telling me everything."


Bulger and his associates were looked up to and revered by several generations of South Boston youth. Those who have worked for him describe him as a benevolent but ruthless father figure who took very few steps without carefully considering all possible consequences.

In spite of his many violent acts, Bulger was capable of genuine acts of kindness toward South Boston's poor. Weeks' memoirs list a number of incidents, including handing out turkeys for Thanksgiving to poor families in the area and tenderly presenting the gift of a new puppy to a young boy whose dog had recently been killed.

Bulger watched very little television, preferring to read books, especially true crime and military history. He led a very disciplined life, according to Weeks, and the majority of his time was devoted to making money through criminal activity. Although he had taken LSD while in prison, he did not drink to excess, smoke, or use drugs during the time that Weeks knew him.


Beginning in 1967, Bulger began a common law marriage lasting almost thirty years with Theresa Stanley, a South Boston divorcee 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. Like many other mobsters, however, he was repeatedly unfaithful to her with a host of other women and was often absent overseeing the running of his organization. Teresa Stanley has stated that she is planning to publish her memoirs.

Bulger is the older brother of John "Jackie" Bulger, a retired Massachusetts court clerk magistrate who was convicted in April 2003 of perjury to two grand juries regarding sworn statements he gave concerning contacts with his fugitive brother.

Another brother William Bulger, was formerly an influential and deeply popular leader within the Democratic Party in Massachusetts. In a long political career, he rose from obscurity to become President of the Massachusetts State Senate. After his retirement he was appointed President of the University of Massachusetts. In his 2002 testimony before the United States Congress, William Bulger was grilled by legislators from both parties. When asked what he thought his older brother did for a living, Bulger responded:

"I had the feeling that he was in the business of gaming and... or whatever. It was vague to me, illegal but I didn't... not all that violent... For a long while he had some regular jobs but ultimately it was clear that he was not, he wasn't doing what I'd like him to do. Let's just say I was naive in retrospect".

He also stated that he loves his brother and hopes that the most brutal rumors concerning him will be proven false. In addition, he grudgingly admitted to visiting an isolated pay phone in order to speak to his older brother, who was by then a fugitive. As fall-out from these remarks, Billy was forced to resign as president of the University of Massachusetts in 2003.

Urban legends

Due to Bulger's tendency to remain a mystery even to those closest to him, a number of urban legends have grown up around his rise and fall, especially since he was revealed to have been an FBI informant.

Howie Carr

A prime source of such stories is conservative author and radio talk show host Howie Carr's 2006 book The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century. However, some critics have suggested most of Carr’s real motivations stem from his dislike of former State Senator William Bulger, whom he has dubbed, "The Corrupt Midget," on his radio program and in print.

According to Kevin Weeks,

"Over the years, Howie has made a career writing about the Bulgers every chance he gets. Even if the article has nothing to with either Jimmy or Billy, he puts them in. Without this subject, he would have little to talk or write about. His hatred of Jimmy and Billy probably started with Billy, who never was the darling of the press."

Black Mass

According to the 2000 book Black Mass by Boston Globe writers Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill, Bulger once extorted a winning lottery ticket from the real winner, who had purchased the ticket at one of his stores. Black Mass also relates Bulger's involvement in the attempted smuggling of AK-47s to the Provisional IRA. However, O'Neill and Lehr accuse Bulger of using his FBI deal to betray the arms shipment. The source of the leak, however, has since been revealed as Sean O'Callaghan, a mole in the IRA's West Kerry Brigade.

Alleged bisexuality and pedophilia

Bulger is alleged to have been a predatory bisexual by persistent rumor. Howie Carr alleges that, while a teenager, Bulger worked as a male prostitute in Boston's gay bars. He further claims that Bulger's acquaintance with mobbed-up FBI agent H. Paul Rico dates from this time. Rico allegedly recruited Bulger as an informant after following him into a gay bar.

Edward MacKenzie Jr., a former member of the "Red" Shea crew of the Winter Hill Gang, has gone even further in his 2003 memoir Street Soldier: My Life as an Enforcer for Whitey Bulger and the Irish Mob, accusing Bulger of being a cross dresser and a pedophile who preyed on the young boys and girls of South Boston. These allegations are repeated almost verbatim in Carr's book.

However, longtime friend and confidant Kevin Weeks, insists that there is no truth to any of these claims.

"All the stuff and rumors that questioned Jimmy's sexuality were lies spread by the media. He had more women than Hugh Hefner. Guys like Donald Trump weren't even in his league. Whenever we went out to bars and clubs, women of all ages were after him. 'Variety is the spice of life,' he'd say as he enjoyed all of them."


In 2007, a New Hampshire newspaper published a story in an April Fool's Day edition claiming that Bulger had been captured. The Berlin, New Hampshire Daily Sun published an account of FBI agents taking Bulger into custody after a stand-off at the trailer park where he had been hiding. The article jokingly claimed that the FBI was able to force Bulger into surrender by blasting Barry Manilow tunes at the trailer where he was hunkered down.

FBI rebuked

A US District Court judge found on September 5, 2006 the mishandling of Bulger and his associate Stephen Flemmi caused the murder in 1984 of John McIntyre (mobster) in a lawsuit brought by the victim's family who will receive more than $3 million from the US government. The judge stated the FBI failed to properly supervise their own agent John Connolly (convicted and jailed in 2002) and also failed to investigate numerous allegations that Bulger and Flemmi were involved in drug trafficking, murder, and other crimes over decades.

Alleged murder victims

  • Louis Litif

  • Donald McGonagle

  • Paul McGonagle

  • Roger Wheeler (businessman)

  • Edward Brian Halloran

  • John McIntyre (drug smuggler)

  • Debra Hussey

  • Debra Davis

  • John Callahan

  • Arthur Barrett (mobster)

  • Richard Castucci

  • James O'Toole (mobster)

  • Edward Connors

Alleged associates

  • Stephen Flemmi

  • John Connolly

  • H. Paul Rico

  • Kevin Weeks

  • Patrick Nee

  • Richard J. Schneiderhan

  • William S. O'Sullivan

  • Donald Killeen


  • Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill, Harper, 424 pp., ISBN 0-06-095925-8

  • Brutal; My Life Inside Whitey Bulger's Irish Mob by Kevin Weeks and Phyllis Karas, Regan Books, 304 pp., ISBN 0-06-112269-6

  • The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston For a Quarter Century, by Howie Carr, Warner, 352 pp., ISBN 0-446-57651-4

  • 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.

  • A Criminal and an Irishman: The Inside Story of the Boston Mob-IRA Connection, by Patrick Nee, 2006




En la página web del FBI aparecen los diez fugitivos más buscados por la justicia norteamericana. Lecter, el asesino que come carne humana, está obviamente entre ellos. También Osama bin Laden, líder de Al Qaeda. Pero hay otra cara, la de un fugitivo, James Joseph Whitey Bulger, el segundo hombre más buscado de América, con un historial que parece sacado del Chicago de Al Capone. Es buscado por el asesinato de al menos 19 personas, la mayoría delincuentes a los que mató de un tiro o a puñaladas y que en algunos casos acabaron en un féretro de hormigón.

Se le imputan, además, cargos federales por extorsión, contrabando de estupefacientes, blanqueo de capitales y contrabando de armas para el IRA. Y por último, queda el “pequeño” asunto de la corrupción de un oficial del FBI de Boston y de todos los años que se aprovechó de la miopía del FBI en su lucha contra la Cosa Nostra.

Su vida está hecha para la leyenda. Desde principios de los 70 fue el desconocido rey de la Winter Hill Gang, la mafia irlandesa de Boston, en sangrienta competencia con la mucho más famosa mafia italiana, nunca detenido por su cruel reputación y estrecha relación con el FBI.

Sólo cuando empezaron a debilitarse sus relaciones con los federales, a mediados de los 90, comenzó a tambalearse su imperio. Pero para cuando el cerco legal se cerraba sobre él, Bulger ya tenía  su siguiente paso: huir de Nueva Inglaterra con gran parte de sus riquezas y empezar una nueva vida como fugitivo de la justicia.

Hoy, ocho años después, parece el típico abuelo, con el pelo blanco, 73 años a sus espaldas, apenas 1,75 de altura, problemas de corazón y unos kilos de más alrededor de la cintura, pero no es el abuelo de nadie. Es un hábil y despiadado asesino que siempre lleva consigo un cuchillo y lo utiliza sin dudarlo si se considera amenazado.

Con su cabeza valorada en un millón de dólares y una miriada de enemigos a ambos lados de la ley, sabe que son muchos los que desean verle entre rejas, aunque, escurridizo como un pez, ha conseguido escapar de todas las redes que le han tendido. Es un maestro del disfraz, con la sangre fría y los recursos para vivir bien aun en las circunstancias más complicadas. Se ha mofado del FBI visitando los más famosos lugares de recreo del planeta.

Bulger es un viajero incansable, ávido lector y amante de la historia. Sabe disfrutar de su libertad y en los últimos años se le ha visto en España, Italia, Canadá y varios estados de EE.UU., así como en Reino Unido e Irlanda. Se sabe que viaja con la que ha sido su compañera de toda la vida, Catherine Greig, una higienista dental de 52 años, que también puede ir armada y a quien el FBI describe como muy peligrosa.

La pareja, que, como era de esperar, ha sido comparada con Bonnie y Clyde, cambia de nombre y aspecto con frecuencia y cuida de no dejar pistas que puedan identificarla. Sin embargo, y a pesar de su existencia errante, mantienen relación con su familia y amigos y se las arreglan para visitar museos, galerías de arte y cines.

Otros personajes implicados en la red de corrupción de Whitey han tenido menos suerte. El teniente retirado de la policía de Boston, Richard Schneiderhan, fue declarado el mes pasado culpable de obstrucción a la justicia al informar a los hermanos de Bulger de que se habían intervenido sus teléfonos. El  “contacto”  de Withey Bulger en el FBI, John Conolly, que en 1975 llegó a un acuerdo con él para que éste facilitara información sobre la mafia a cambio de inmunidad, fue condenado a diez años de prisión el pasado otoño. La policía declaró que había ayudado a Bulger y a su hombre de confianza, Stephen Flemmi, a conocer de antemano los movimientos de los investigadores.

Bulger no es precisamente benevolente con aquellos que conspiran en su contra. Tras recibir información a través de Connolly sobre las investigaciones policiales en curso, dicen que ordenó la ejecución de dos informadores del FBI y de una tercera persona que era un posible testigo de cargo. Los tres fueron asesinados a tiros.

El ascenso de Bulger en los 70 fue posible gracias a dos razones principales: era un asesino nato con un insaciable apetito de violencia y tenía al FBI de su lado. Aunque muchos dicen que fue esto último lo que realmente desempeñó un papel decisivo, ¿cómo llegó a ocurrir todo esto?, ¿cómo un don nadie pudo terminar convirtiéndose en un personaje tan importante?.

Para encontrar respuestas a estas preguntas debemos remontarnos a una reunión celebrada en Quince (Boston), en 1975, para John Connolly, desesperado por labrarse una reputación en el FBI, lo único verdaderamente importante era cómo enfrentarse a la LCN (La Cosa Nostra). Durante años, la mafia había provocado quebraderos de cabeza a las autoridades de la ciudad, que necesitaban un infiltrado que pudiese suministrarles información.

Sentados en el sedán Plymouth de Connolly, éste y el gánster Bulger llegaron a un acuerdo. A cambio de inmunidad por los delitos “ordinarios”, Bulger aportaría información sobre sus rivales italianos. La agencia se llevaría los honores de terminar con el crimen organizado y, gradualmente, Bulger y la Winter Hill Gang se irían haciendo con el control de los negocios ilícitos. Incluso antes de que él y Connolly estableciesen su pacto, Bulger ya había peleado, pateado, acuchillado e incluso ametrallado en varias ocasiones para ascender en el escalafón de la Winter Hill Gang, equivalente irlandés de la mafia, y conocida por algunos como “los Murphis”. Todo lo que necesitaba para completar su ascenso era un “empujón”… que Connolly le proporcionó.

En la interminable guerra entre el FBI y el capo mafioso Gennaro Angiulo, Connolly y su hombre irlandés recibieron todas las felicitaciones.

Como cabía esperar, Bulger y Flemmi –ahora en libertad provisional, a la espera del juicio- siguieron haciendo negocios con los italianos. La policía de Massachussets reunió un impresionante dossier contra ellos, con pruebas de que la Winter Hill Gang se había pasado al tráfico de drogas y al negocio de la “protección”.

El FBI no reaccionó. Connolly rechazaba que su hombre fuese un capo importante e insistía en que estaba desempeñando un papel fundamental en la lucha contra la mafia. Al mismo tiempo, él y Bulger mantenían una relación de amistad.

Si Bulger llega a ser detenido, su juicio promete ser un espectáculo judicial sin precedentes. Él y Flemmi están acusados de haber participado en 19 y 10 asesinatos, respectivamente, entre 1973 y 1985.

Bulger, Flemmi y sus cómplices fueron acusados de participar en el tráfico de cocaína y marihuana; de extorsionar a los traficantes de drogas, corredores de apuestas y prestamistas, de obstrucción a la justicia y de blanqueo de capitales procedentes de operaciones ilícitas relacionadas con el sector inmobiliario y corporativo.

A pesar de todo ello, Bulger sigue teniendo defensores en el sur de Boston, donde es recordado, casi con cariño, como una especie de Pimpinela Escarlata, y el símbolo más poderoso de la mafia irlandesa.

El Semanal de ABC - 3 de agosto del 2003



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