NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

August 14, 2013

Our view: Crime certainly paid for Whitey Bulger

(Continued)

But if that is Bulger’s claim, what could he possibly have offered a prosecutor for his purported immunity but information?

Bulger was once mythologized as a hero in his native South Boston, the poor kid from the projects who grew up and made certain folks had a turkey for Thanksgiving. A regular Robin Hood, he was, and he was said to have kept the really bad crime off the street. This trial revealed that Bulger was committing much of the “really bad crime” himself.

Real estate developer Richard Buccheri told the court of how Bulger threatened to kill him and his family if he did not pay $200,000. Buccheri related how Bulger slammed his hand on a table in anger.

“With that, he takes the shotgun that was on the table — he sticks it in my mouth,” Buccheri said as reported by the Associated Press.

According to testimony, Bulger strangled two women to death — the girlfriend and stepdaughter of associate Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi — because they knew too much about his operations. The jury found that Bulger was involved in the murder of Deborah Hussey — the stepdaughter — but made no finding in the death of Debra Davis, the girlfriend.

After a tip in 1995 from now-jailed FBI agent John Connolly that he was about to be indicted, Bulger went on the run. He eluded capture for 16 years before a tip led agents to an apartment in Santa Monica, Calif. Hidden in the apartment, officials found a stash of guns, $822,000 in cash and a Stanley Cup ring that Bulger said he received as a gift. Bulger agreed to forfeit the guns and cash but may keep the ring.

Perhaps Bulger can admire it as he spends the rest of his days in prison.

Whitey Bulger lived a life of luxury and leisure supported by the death and misery he visited upon others. True justice may have to wait until his days have reached an end.

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