Bulger Found Guilty

Gangster James Bulger was found guilty on 31 federal counts of conspiracy and racketeering on August 12, 2013. The ruling holds him accountable for 11 murders, in addition to weapon, drug-related, and extortion crimes.

James “Whitey” Bulger was the leader of the Winter Hill gang in the 1970s and 1980s, and in 1994 he fled a criminal indictment and lived in hiding for over 15 years. In 2011, he was found living in Santa Monica with a girlfriend and was brought back to Boston to face trial.

On Tuesday of last week, the jury began discussions on the trial, asking the judge for clarifications on several phases. After five days of deliberations, the jury ultimately carried down the guilty verdict this afternoon, with a sentencing trial to start in November. James Bulger displayed no emotion to the verdict.

The trial has featured 72 witness and was spread out for more than 30 days. Bulger was supposed to take the stand and testify, but he ultimately declined at the last minute.

The extent of Bulger’s cooperation with the FBI is still an unresolved issue. According to Bulger, prior to the trial he was an FBI informant that was giving information about the Italian Mafia. In exchange, the FBI would overlook his own crimes. Bulger has repeatedly stated that he was not a rat, but he did once claim that he paid an FBI agent for various types of information.

Another issue is what law enforcement is going to do with the $822,000 that they confiscated from Bulger’s apartment. One Boston woman wants to use the money to settle $29 million after she sued James Bulger in absentia. However, another family is claiming that they won $15 million from a 2009 civil judgement. Meanwhile, Bulger is insisting that the money goes to the families of the two people he murdered in 1982.

Another pressing issue that was revealed last month was the murder of Stephen Rakes. One of the charges against Bulger blackmailed Rakes for the ownership of a liquor store. Overall, James “Whitey” Bulger will surely spend the rest of his life behind prison.

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