James “Whitey” Bulger had a relationship with a 16-year-old girl he once brought with him to Mexico, former Bulger crony Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi testified today as he tried to fend off a tough cross-examination by defense attorney Hank Brennan in Bulger’s trial in federal court in Boston.
Flemmi made the disclosure as Brennan questioned him about Flemmi’s own sexual relationship with Deborah Hussey, the daughter of Flemmi’s common-law wife. Flemmi has testified that Deborah Hussey was strangled by Bulger and then buried by Flemmi in the basement of a South Boston home in January 1985.
“So if you want to come down on me. ... He had a young girl, 16 years old,’’ Flemmi told jurors at Bulger’s racketeering trial in US District Court, where he is a key witness for the prosecution. “He took her to Mexico.’’
When pressed by Brennan about the murder of Hussey, Flemmi pointed towards Bulger, sitting at the defense table, and accused the South Boston gangster of being a sexual predator.
“You want to talk about pedophilia — right over there at that table,” said Flemmi. Bulger did not look up from the defense table in front of him.
At another point, Brennan forced Flemmi to look at the damage he had done to Hussey’s corpse by displaying an image of her skull, with vacant spaces where Hussey’s teeth once were. Flemmi admitted pulling the teeth with a pair of pliers after the 26-year-old woman was dead in an effort to prevent the body from being identified.
“Does that refresh your memory of how many teeth you pulled?” Brennan asked.
“I don’t want to see that,’’ Flemmi said.
Flemmi appeared annoyed and upset by a barrage of questions about his molestation of a girl he raised like a daughter. Hussey was a toddler when Flemmi moved in with her mother, Marion. The girl called him “Daddy” as he raised her along with three children he had with Marion Hussey.
Flemmi insisted that he did not abuse Hussey, and he called his decision to have sex with her a mistake that so “embarrassed” him he did not tell law enforcement officials about those incidents when he made a deal with them to testify against Bulger.
But Flemmi also told Brennan — under questioning so fierce that Judge Denise J. Casper ordered Brennan to slow down —that he agreed with Bulger that Hussey should die after she became a “problem” for their gang, and that he did what he could to make sure she had no idea death awaited her when he guided her into his mother’s home.
“I took her shopping,” Flemmi said, adding that he did so knowing she would soon be dead. “She wasn’t aware she was going to be killed.’’
Flemmi also said Bulger could have called off the murder, a move Flemmi said he would have welcomed.
“He could have prevented it. All he had to do was say, ‘Pass,’” Flemmi testified. “And I would have been so happy.’’
Bulger, 83, has vehemently denied killing Hussey or Debra Davis, also 26, the only female victims among 19 people whose murders he was allegedly involved in. The slayings are part of a federal racketeering indictment that also charges Bulger with extortion, money laundering, and illegal gun possession.
Flemmi testified last week that Bulger also strangled Davis, who was Flemmi’s girlfriend, because she knew they were FBI informants and was ending her relationship with Flemmi.
Bulger has also denied that he was an FBI informant, but Flemmi has contradicted that, identifying numerous FBI reports that, he said, contained information that he and Bulger had provided against Mafia members and South Boston associates.
Flemmi said Bulger wanted to kill Hussey, and he reluctantly agreed. He said he brought her to a South Boston house, where Bulger and two associates, Patrick Nee and Kevin Weeks, were waiting.
Mobile users unable to see the video, click here.Globe columnist Kevin Cullen contributed to this report. Shelley Murphy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @shelleymurph.
Milton J. Valencia can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @miltonvalencia.