SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Region

June 17, 2013

Boston trial of 'Whitey' Bulger ends its 1st week

BOSTON (AP) — One of the FBI’s Most Wanted for more than a decade, James “Whitey” Bulger went on trial last week. Here’s a look back at the first week of the racketeering trial of a man who prosecutors say participated in 19 killings.

THE HISTORY

The 83-year-old Bulger, who authorities say led the Winter Hill Gang, was one of the nation’s most wanted fugitives after he fled Boston in 1994. He was captured in 2011 in Santa Monica, Calif., where he had been living with his longtime girlfriend in a rent-controlled apartment. His early image as a modern-day Robin Hood who gave Thanksgiving dinners to working-class neighbors and kept drug dealers out of his South Boston neighborhood was shattered when authorities started digging up bodies.

THE ALLEGATIONS

Prosecutor Brian Kelly told the jury that Bulger was a “hands-on killer” who was responsible for “murder and mayhem” in Boston for almost 30 years. In his opening statement Wednesday, Kelly offered chilling details of some of the 19 killings Bulger is charged in, saying the mob boss strangled two 26-year-old women and asked one man if he wanted a bullet in the head after an attempt to strangle the man with a rope failed. Kelly said Bulger was a longtime FBI informant who provided information on the New England Mafia, his gang’s rivals.

THE TESTIMONY

A retired state police colonel told jurors Thursday that Bulger and his gang demanded payment from bookmakers, drug dealers and others who wanted to do business in the area they controlled. Failure to pay up could mean being run out of business, “taking a beating” or being killed, retired state police Col. Thomas Foley told the jury.

Two bookies who testified Friday told the jury they were forced to pay monthly “rent” or “tribute” payments to Bulger and his gang if they wanted to stay in business. James Katz said if bookies did not pay Bulger’s gang, they could “wind up in the hospital.” Richard O’Brien said he had been affiliated with the New England Mafia but decided to operate independently after members of the mob were arrested. He said Bulger told him during a meeting, “If you want to be in business, you’re with us.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

Local News
  • Keenan to resign to take Salem State job

    SALEM — State Rep. John Keenan said Tuesday he will resign from office Aug. 24 to take a new job as vice president of administration at Salem State University.
    His announcement ended months of speculation about where the five-term Democrat would end up after leaving the Legislature. As it turns out, he is leaving four months before his term would have expired.

    July 29, 2014

  • Axe in Windshield Close call on I-95 in Topsfield when loose ax chops through windshield

    TOPSFIELD — Some motorists on Interstate 95 southbound had a scary moment Wednesday around 11 a.m. when a loose ax flew off a landscaper dump truck in front of them and cleaved partly through their car's windshield.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Chism attorney challenging legislation

    DANVERS -- The attorney for the Danvers teen charged with raping and murdering his math teacher last October is arguing that the 1996 state law requiring that he be tried as an adult is unconstitutional. The argument by Philip Chism's attorney comes

    July 30, 2014

  • 140729_SN_DLE_PATROL4 Party problems persist in Point SALEM -- 'Tis the season for parties in the Point. Three years after a large Fourth of July gathering in the densely inhabited neighborhood led to a violent confrontation between partygoers and police, Chief Paul Tucker says his department continues

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • lottery.jpg 'Lucky' Salem store sells $15M lottery ticket

    SALEM -- An anonymous person used a trust to claim a $15 million grand prize Tuesday from a $30 scratch ticket bought at a local corner store. It is the largest instant "scratch and win" prize ever in the state's history. Nicole's Food Store at 406

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo