'Whitey' Bulger boasted of killing FBI informant, court told
The longtime sidekick of James "Whitey" Bulger testified today that the Boston mob boss boasted of a 1982 drive-by shooting in which he killed a mobster he learned was an FBI informant.
"He had good firepower in the car and he was driving," Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi said of the shooting in which Bulger killed Brian Halloran, the FBI informant, and another man, Michael Donahue.
"He leaned over and he fired from the passenger side and hit Donahue, killed Donahue," Flemmi said. Bulger then shot Halloran as he tried to flee, Flemmi said in testimony that began the seventh week of Bulger's trial on charges related to 19 murders prosecutors say he committed or ordered in the 1970s and '80s.
Bulger bragged about the killings during a meeting at Flemmi's mother's house, according to the testimony. Flemmi, one of Bulger's closes associates in the Winter Hill crime gang, is serving life in prison for 10 murders he confessed to.
Bulger has pleaded not guilty to all charges, although his attorney has admitted the 83-year-old defendant was a drug dealer, extortionist and loan shark, in other words an "organized criminal."
Prosecutors say Bulger himself was an informant, giving a corrupt FBI agent from his old Irish-American neighborhood information about the Italian mafia. Bulger and his lawyers have vigorously denied the contention that he ever was an informant.
Witnesses at the trial have recalled an era when Bulger and his cronies routinely shook down bookies, drug dealers and business owners, threatening them with machine guns and burying victims in basements of houses and along the shore.
Unlike two other top Bulger henchmen who took the stand earlier in the trial, Flemmi is still imprisoned.
Bulger fled after a 1994 tip from a corrupt FBI agent that arrest was imminent. He was finally captured after 16 years on the run. His story inspired Martin Scorsese's 2006 film "The Departed," in which Jack Nicholson played a character loosely based on Bulger.
The prosecution is due to wrap up its case in the coming days, at which point it will turn the proceedings over to defense attorneys.