Tuesday 24 October 2017

Long-awaited murder trial of mob boss Bulger to get under way

James 'Whitey' Bulger
James 'Whitey' Bulger

James 'Whitey' Bulger is no longer the feared man who swaggered around South Boston and later became one of the most-wanted fugitives.

At 83, the hair that earned Bulger his nickname is all but gone and his status as the leader of a violent gang has passed.

But as Bulger's long-awaited trial gets under way, it's clear that the passage of time has done little to diminish Boston's fascination with Bulger. He would eventually be charged with playing a role in 19 murders but fled in late 1994 after former FBI Agent John Connolly Jr tipped him off. He remained a fugitive for more than 16 years before finally being captured in Santa Monica, California, in 2011.

Bulger's trial promises to have all the glamour and gore of a TV mob drama. Prosecutors plan to call a collection of infamous figures, including Bulger's former partner, Stephen 'The Rifleman' Flemmi, who is now serving a life sentence for 10 murders and admitted pulling the teeth out of some of the gang's victims.

Former hit man John Martorano, who admitted killing 20 people, will also take the stand, as will Kevin Weeks, a former Bulger lieutenant who eventually led authorities to half a dozen bodies.

Irish Independent

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