Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger, 83, was found guilty on 31 of the 32 counts he faced and 11 of 19 racketeering acts related to murder were proved. The counts included extorting drug dealers, bookmakers, and businessmen; money laundering; and building an illegal arsenal of guns. He ran a sprawling criminal enterprise from 1972 to 2000, first as part of the Somerville-based Winter Hill gang and later in his native South Boston.
Bulger was captured in Santa Monica, Calif., on June 22, 2011 after more than 16 years on the run. His racketeering and murder trial began in June and drew attorneys, witnesses, families of alleged victims, and media to the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston. Here are the most explosive moments from Bulger’s two-month trial. Next
Judge rejects immunity claim
US District Court Judge Denise J. Casper presided over the Bulger trial. On May 2, Casper ruled that the notorious South Boston gangster could not claim during his trial that federal law enforcement officials immunized him from prosecution for his alleged crimes. Bulger claimed he was granted immunity by now-deceased federal prosecutor Jeremiah O’Sullivan. Next
Hit man ties Bulger to murder
Former hit man John V. Martorano became the first witness to tie Bulger to murder when he testified on June 17 that he shot and killed Alfred “Indian Al” Notorangeli from a car while Bulger rode in a second car, prepared to intercept anyone who tried to interfere in the murder.
Martorano later detailed other murders allegedly connected to Bulger, some he himself committed and some he said Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi committed.
The jury found the government did not prove the racketeering act involving the murder of Al Notorangeli. Next
Barrages of gunfire
On June 21, witness Frank Capizzi took the stand and described being in a car during a March 1973 gunfire attack in the North End, allegedly committed by Bulger’s gang, that killed Albert Plummer, 49, of Andover. Capizzi said “a firing squad” hit the vehicle and he and another man were wounded.
Diane Sussman de Tennen also survived a barrage of gunfire from an alleged Bulger attack. She, her then-boyfirend Louis Lapiana, and Michael Milano were riding in a car in the North End in March 1973 when she said she heard “this continuing stream of noise, gunfire, rocks throwing.” Milano was killed and Lapiana paralyzed in the attack.
The jury found the government did not prove the racketeering act involving the murders of Al Plummer and Michael Milano. Next
Bulger’s informant file
Though Bulger and his attorneys insisted he was never an informant, an agent with the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General testified in June regarding details of James Joseph Bulger Jr.'s FBI informant file.
Pictured: Bulger’s informant card showed he was an FBI top echelon informant assigned to the number 1544-TE. Next
Bulger curses at former FBI agent
Bulger fired an expletive at former FBI agent John Morris, who took the stand in late June to testify against the notorious gangster. Bulger, who grew to hate the agent after discovering it was he who disclosed to the Globe in 1988 that Bulger was an informant, glared at Morris and said, “you’re a [expletive] liar,” according to a federal prosecutor who said Bulger shouldn’t be allowed to intimidate the witness.
Morris, 67, who retired from the FBI in 1995 and later admitted to taking gifts from Bulger and Flemmi, cooperated in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Next
Bulger imitated a machine gun sound on tapes of jailhouse conversations prosecutors played during his trial on July 2. In one conversation from Oct. 13, 2012, Bulger spoke with his niece and nephew about the 1975 murder of Edward Connors, whom Bulger and Flemmi allegedly shot and killed in a phone booth on Morrissey Boulevard. Bulger did not admit to being the shooter in the conversation.
The jury found Bulger not guilty in the murder of Edward Connors. Next
Bulger, Weeks fire expletives
Kevin Weeks (left) took the stand against his former mentor in a day of dramatic testimony that ended with a heated exchange between the two men. When Bulger’s attorney J. W. Carney asked Weeks if it bothered him that he participated in five murders, Weeks said it did, “because we killed people that were rats and I had the biggest rats right next to me.” This sparked a response from Bulger and a warning from Judge Casper that Bulger should let his attorneys speak for him. Next
Stephen Rakes killed
Stephen Rakes, a potential witness in the Bulger trial, was found dead in Lincoln under circumstances unrelated to the trial. He was allegedly murdered by a Sudbury man who poisoned him after a series of soured business deals left him heavily in debt to Rakes.
Rakes had been a presence at the racketeering trial and accused Bulger of stealing ownership of his South Boston liquor store in 1984 to use as a headquarters for his gang and a legitimate source of income. Rakes was told the day before he died that he would not be testifying in the trial.
Bulger was found guilty in the extortion of Stephen Rakes and Julie Rakes. Next
Alleged victim’s brother lashes out
Steve Davis, the brother of alleged Bulger victim Debra Davis, lashed out at Stephen Flemmi on July 22 after Flemmi said on the stand that Davis was a drug-addicted informant. Davis stood up and shouted, “you’re a [expletive] liar!” Flemmi apologized and said he mixed up Steve and his brother, Mickey. Next
Heated exchange between Bulger, Flemmi
Stephen Flemmi exchanged words with his former partner on July 18, though it was not clear what was said. Flemmi testified over a few days and described Bulger as an informant, detailed murders he was allegedly involved in, and accused him of being a pedophile and taking a 16-year-old girl to Mexico. Next
‘Whitey’ photo collection
Bulger’s lawyers released a collection of photos taken of the alleged gangster over the course of his life and asked the judge to present the photos as evidence.
Pictured: An undated photo showed Bulger holding a goat. Prosecutors complained the photos were an attempt to salvage Bulger’s reputation. Next
“This is a sham”
On Aug. 2, Bulger called his trial a “sham” and said he would not take the stand in his own defense. “I feel that I’ve been choked off from having an opportunity to give an adequate defense and explain about my conversation and agreement with Jeremiah O’Sullivan,’’ Bulger told Judge Casper. “For my protection of his life, in return, he promised to give me immunity,” Bulger said, and noted that he disagreed with the judge’s denial of his immunity defense. “As far as I’m concerned, I didn’t get a fair trial, and this is a sham, and do what yous want with me. That’s it. That’s my final word.” Back to the beginning
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