James 'Whitey' Bulger was convicted of 31 racketeering charges, which he barely contested. He also failed to show that his personal code barred him from killing women or serving as an FBI informant, a tie that battered the FBI's reputation.
With family members of murder victims holding hands and looking on, a federal jury in Boston on Monday found James "Whitey" Bulger guilty of conspiracy and racketeering charges that will likely put him behind bars for the rest of his life.
Mr. Bulger had been charged with 32 counts of racketeering, including 19 murders, with the main racketeering charge encompassing 33 individual criminal acts and all of the killings. The jury found him guilty of 31 racketeering charges including the killings of 11 people.
In many ways, it seemed a sober, somber end to a once-flamboyant criminal career that encompassed decades of mayhem in his South Boston neighborhood, including murder, money laundering, extortion, and drug trafficking by Bulger’s Boston Winter Hill gang from the 1970s into the '80s.
After he was finally indicted in 1994, Bulger went on the run, eluding authorities for 16 more years – his face appearing on billboards and wanted posters across the country. He found a steady spot on the FBI’s Most Wanted List and even became the subject of Hollywood movies and multiple biographies, until finally Bulger and his companion, Catherine Greig, were arrested in Santa Monica on June 22, 2011.
In the end, though, the 83-year-old Bulger did not take the witness stand to defend himself. Nor did his defense team do much to rebut the idea that he was a drug dealer, loan shark, and extortionist, focusing instead on refuting the prosecution's claim that Bulger had been an FBI informant.
It is a claim that Bulger, himself, has long denied. He didn't want to be seen as an informant, or "rat." Bulger also had claimed that a part of his personal criminal code was that he did not murder women. But the jury found that he played a role in the murder of Deborah Hussey, as well as 10 other victims who were men.