SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

August 14, 2013

Our view: Crime certainly paid for Whitey Bulger

Justice finally caught up with James “Whitey” Bulger. But after a lifetime of enriching himself through murder and mayhem, his conviction at age 83 makes it hard to argue that crime doesn’t pay.

And just as disturbing is the fact that Bulger was able to make crime pay so well for himself for so many years because he had the assistance of representatives of federal, state and local government — the FBI agents, state and Boston police whom Bulger paid for information that allowed him to stay one step ahead of the law.

Testimony in other mob-related trials revealed that Bulger also had acted as an informant for the FBI from 1975 to 1990. He was, in the parlance of Whitey’s social circles, a rat.

“Rat-a-tat-tat, Whitey,” a woman in the gallery shouted at Bulger as he was led from the courtroom after his conviction Monday.

It’s difficult to find anyone in Bulger’s story, on one side of the law or the other, who wasn’t a rat of some sort.

Bulger yesterday was convicted yesterday on two counts of racketeering, involvement in 11 of the 19 murders of which he stood accused, money laundering, extortion, drug charges and illegal use of firearms. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 13 and, given Bulger’s age, it is difficult to imagine he will not spend the rest of his life behind bars.

During the trial, Bulger seem more upset at the accusation he was an informant than all the murders in which he took part. It was the petty hood’s bravado pouring forth — anything but a rat!

But Bulger’s lawyers plan an appeal based on the judge’s refusal to allow him to testify that he was granted immunity by a now-dead prosecutor for all his crimes.

“As far as I’m concerned, I didn’t get a fair trial, and this is a sham, and do what youse want with me,” Bulger told the judge. “That’s it. That’s my final word.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion

AP Video
U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate
Helium