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
  • Salem's Collins seeks longer day

    SALEM -- Collins Middle School may look a little different next year. For starters, longtime Principal Mary Manning, who has headed the school for more than 20 years, is retiring and will be replaced by a new, yet-unnamed principal. More than that, t

    April 19, 2014 6 Stories

  • 140418_SN_KYU_WALK_2 Walking the Walk BEVERLY -- Four hundred thirty walkers, 10.5 miles and $65,000. Those are the numbers you can count on just about every year from the Good Friday Walk. The 35th annual walk produced those figures once again yesterday, with the money going to help nee

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Marblehead chief charts drop in crime MARBLEHEAD -- Police chief Robert Picariello has highlighted an overall drop in crime from 2012 to 2013 in his annual report to the town. The decrease was substantial in the category of crimes against persons, down 23 percent for incidents like rape,

    April 19, 2014

  • North Shore residents to run in 2014 Boston Marathon

    The Salem News asked those on the North Shore who are running this year's Boston Marathon to share their reasons for running. 

    If you're running the marathon this year, it's not too late to share why you're running. Send a brief paragraph, a photo of yourself and a link to your fundraising site (if applicable) to Cheryl Richardson at crichardson@salemnews.com.

    April 17, 2014

  • One-way school bus passes to get trial run in Peabody PEABODY -- Students will be able to ride the school bus one way next year without paying the price of a round-trip fare. The School Committee has agreed to offer one-way passes on a trial basis following review of transportation data and a proposal f

    April 19, 2014