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 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.
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
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
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
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,
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."
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.
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.
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
"Every day out there is another day I beat them.
Every good meal is a meal they can't take away from me."
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
"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
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."
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.
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
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
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.
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
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."
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
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.
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
H. Paul Rico
Richard J. Schneiderhan
William S. O'Sullivan
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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?.
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.
interminable guerra entre el FBI y el capo mafioso Gennaro Angiulo,
Connolly y su hombre irlandés recibieron todas las felicitaciones.
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
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.
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