The trial of former Irish mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger is reaching its end as closing arguments were held today. Bulger is charged with 19 accounts of murder and several other accounts of racketeering in incidents dating back to the 1970s.
Bulger Offers Large Cash Amount To Families Of Slained Victims
Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi On Stand For Fifth Day In Bulger Trial
Removed Bulger Trial Witness Found Dead
FBI Agent, Drug Dealer, and Family of Victim Take The Stand in Bulger Case
From the federal prosecutors’ corner, Bulger was said to be “one of the most vicious, violent and calculating criminals ever to walk the streets of Boston.” They asked that the jury find him guilty of the charges that were laid out at the start of the trial. Those same charges were gone into in depth through the duration of the trial.
The prosecution’s Fred Wyshak went into the torture Bulger put some of the victims through. Two of the victims were chained up for hours being interrogated and finally shot in the head. Two more were sprayed with bullets and the two women in the list were strangled. Also mentioned were the “tools of the trade” for Bulger’s crew—guns, knives, a “hit car”, and walkie-talkies—when they were out to kill someone who had crossed them or were becoming a problem. It’s that definition of “becoming a problem” which partially accounted for the body count.
While the murders were the focus of the trial, Bulger’s hand in extortion, laundering, and stockpiling guns was mentioned in the government’s closing as well.
Prosecutors also touched on Bulger’s time as an FBI informant which the mobster’s lawyers disputed regularly during the trial. It was that disappearance, corrupted agents, innocents killed because of that corruption, and the duration he was on the run for which shined a negative light on the Bureau.
Out of the defense’s corner, Bulger’s lawyers said that three of the government’s main witnesses—former hitman John “The Butcher” Martorano, Kevin Weeks, and former partner Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi—were all suspect and not to be taken as anything resembling the truth. J.W Carney Jr. stated that they chose to “add a little Bulger to mix” to the testimonies of crimes they were involved in to get favorable sentences.
Carney would go on to say that “The witnesses are selling their testimony to the government. The currency that’s used here: How much freedom is the person going to get? The currency is the power of the government to keep someone locked up in a cell, surrounded by four concrete walls topped by barbed wires.”
That assertion has some truth as the three did get better, altered sentenced when they initially spoke to federal prosecutions about Bulger. However at this stage of the Bulger saga, Kevin Weeks and John Martorano finished their time some time ago and had been free for years. Still imprisoned, Stephen Flemmi avoided the death penalty and was given life years ago. In testifying now there’s really nothing for the three to gain as they’ve gotten what they wanted.
Hank Brennan asked the question “Why are they still walking the streets? If they’re so vicious and violent and our government knows about it, why are they out there right now?”
Flemmi was the main target of the defense when it came to the murder of the only two women in the 19 victims Bulger is charged with. Carney said that Flemmi “killed his stepdaughter so she wouldn’t say what he had been doing to her.”
The jury is supposed to deliberate on Tuesday. Bulger faces a mountain of charges and while some of the testimony against him is suspect at best, it would be a miracle of some sort if he managed to beat all of them or even half of them.