Thursday 14 December 2017

'Sociopath' Bulger, should get life – lawyer

James "Whitey" Bulger

Denise Lavoie Boston

JAMES "Whitey" Bulger was described as a "little sociopath" by a prosecutor as he urged a judge to sentence the infamous South Boston gangster to life in prison.

Bulger declined to speak. "He has committed one heinous crime after another," said Assistant US Attorney Brian Kelly. "The carnage that he has caused is grotesque."

Bulger, (84), was convicted in August in a broad indictment that included racketeering charges in a string of murders in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as extortion, money-laundering and weapons charges.

The former head of the mostly Irish-American Winter Hill Gang fled Boston in 1994 ahead of an indictment. He then spent more than 16 years as one of America's most wanted fugitives before being captured in Santa Monica, California, in 2011.

At least a dozen family members of people Bulger was involved in, or accused of killing, spoke on Wednesday.

The first to do so was Sean McGonagle, the son of Bulger victim Paul McGonagle. He called Bulger "Satan," a "domestic terrorist" and a "sad, lonely and irrelevant old man."

Several family members of victims also blasted the Boston office of the FBI and the Justice Department for corruption that allowed Bulger to continue his reign of terror for years. "My family and I have nothing but contempt for you," said David Wheeler, the son of Roger Wheeler, an Oklahoma businessman who was shot between the eyes after a round of golf at a Tulsa country club.

Bulger, wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, stared down at the defence table and mostly did not look at victims' relatives as they spoke.

Irish Independent

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