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The arrest, trial of James 'Whitey' Bulger

The Arrest of Whitey Bulger
James "Whitey" Bulger, Boston's most notorious gangster, allegedly worked hand-in-hand with FBI agents, ratting out his rivals in exchange for protection. When the partnership unraveled, he disappeared. He was arrested in Santa Monica, Calif., with his long-time girlfriend, Catherine Greig, on June 22, 2011. His trial began in June 2013.

Book: Whitey Bulger biography

By Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy
This unforgettable narrative follows the astonishing career and epic manhunt for Whitey Bulger — a gangster whose life was more sensational than fiction.

Buy the book Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Powells  |  iBookstore  |  Indiebound

Bulger e-books

Latest news

James 'Whitey' Bulger gets two life sentences plus five years

A federal judge cited the depravity of James “Whitey” Bulger’s crimes and the lives he wrecked during his murderous reign in Boston’s underworld as she sentenced him to two life sentences in prison plus five years. (10:30 a.m.)

Whitey Bulger case judge OKs testimony from additional families

A federal judge ruled that the families of all 19 people allegedly killed by James “Whitey” Bulger may speak at his sentencing hearing, even though a jury only determined that 11 of them were killed by Bulger during his long rampage through Boston’s underworld. (11/13/13)

Bulger lawyers ask judge to bar some testimony at sentencing

Lawyers for James 'Whitey' Bulger asked a judge to bar testimony at his November sentencing from relatives of his alleged murder victims whose deaths were not tied decisively to the gangster.

Bulger's taxpayer-funded defense cost $2.6 million and counting

Notorious gangster James “Whitey” Bulger’s taxpayer-funded defense team billed the court more than $2.6 million over the past two years and those costs will climb because they do not include lawyers’ fees and expenses from July and August while his federal racketeering trial was underway, according to court records. (9/13/13)

Bulger convicted of murder in sweeping racketeering case

James “Whitey” Bulger, the notorious Boston gangster who rampaged through the city’s underworld for decades, was convicted today in federal court of charges that will likely keep him in prison for the rest of his life. (8/12/13)

Bulger gets Cup ring, loses cash

Gangster “Whitey” Bulger won’t fight to keep $822,000 found stashed in the walls of his Calif. home, but he will keep a Stanley Cup ring he received as a gift, court documents said. (8/9/13)
Scenes from the trial

Scenes from the trial

The long-awaited trial of the notorious gangster drew attorneys, witnesses, and families of alleged Bulger victims to the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse.
Bulger trial evidence

Bulger trial evidence

An exhibit photo taken by the FBI showed stacks of money discovered in Whitey Bulger's apartment in California. See more of the evidence introduced at the trial.

Jury seeks guidance for deliberations in trial

Prosecutors, defense attorneys, and the judge held animated discussions about the James "Whitey" Bulger trial as jurors deliberated, but the parties have not said publicly what issue they are confronting in the trial of gangster and FBI informant. (8/7/13)

Prosecutor says 'Whitey' Bulger was one of the most vicious, violent criminals ever in Boston

During closing arguments, a federal prosecutor said James "Whitey" Bulger was no Robin Hood, despite the myth that he kept drugs off the streets of South Boston. (8/5/13)

'Whitey' Bulger won't testify

After days of speculation over whether he would take the stand, James "Whitey" Bulger told Judge Denise Casper he would not state his own case even though he wanted to, saying the trial was a "sham" and his defense was "choked off." (8/2/13)

Death of Bulger foe Stephen Rakes a homicide, unrelated to case, prosecutor says

Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan said that Stephen “Stippo” Rakes was allegedly murdered by a Sudbury man who "acted alone" with no connection to the James 'Whitey" Bulger trial. Rakes was told he would not testify in Bulger's trial the day before his death. (8/2/13)
Photo shows Bulger with defrocked priest

Photo shows Bulger with defrocked priest

A man pictured sitting next to the notorious gangster was identified as an ex-priest who was defrocked for allegedly sexually abusing boys.

Jurors won't be sequestered during deliberations

US District Court Judge Denise J. Casper refused James "Whitey" Bulger's request to sequester jurors in his trial, saying from the bench that she was “not inclined to inconvenience these jurors.” (7/30/13)

Bulger defense calls first witness

Attorneys for James “Whitey” Bulger called retired FBI agent Robert Fitzpatrick, who tried in the early 1980s to stop his agency from using Bulger as an informant. (7/29/13)

Bulger wants to sequester jurors

Defense attorneys for Bulger filed a motion to sequester the jury when they begin deliberating whether he is guilty of the sweeping racketeering indictment he faces, including allegations he participated in 19 murders. (7/29/13)
Bulger judge walks a fine line

Bulger judge walks a fine line

US District Court Judge Denise J. Casper, 45, has had the ultimate task in tending to jurors, monitoring an angry defendant, and settling emotional lawyers while also entertaining their arguments over 25 days of testimony. (7/29/13)

Flemmi takes a dig at Bulger's informant status

Stephen Flemmi, a former partner of James “Whitey” Bulger, took a dig at Bulger's service as an FBI informant. After being asked if he liked being called a "rat," Flemmi said, "I don't think anyone likes it. I don't think Mr. Bulger likes it, either." (7/24/13)

Flemmi calls Bulger a pedophile

James "Whitey" Bulger had a relationship with a teenage girl he once brought with him to Mexico, Stephen Flemmi testified as he fought off sharp questioning from the Bulger defense. (7/23/13)

Angry words fly as Stephen Flemmi takes the stand again

The brother of one of James “Whitey” Bulger’s alleged victims shouted out in rage that Bulger’s partner, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, was lying about him on the witness stand. Flemmi apologized, saying he had mixed up Steve Davis with his brother, Mickey. (7/19/13)

Stephen Flemmi takes the stand

The two former partners exchanged heated words after Flemmi testified that Bulger was an FBI informant and passed details to law enforcement "hundreds of times" during their shared criminal careers. (7/18/13)

Daughter of alleged Whitey Bulger victim discusses father's business

Attorney Pam Wheeler said her father Roger Wheeler wanted to sell World Jai Alai because it was not performing as he had hoped. Wheeler was killed in 1981 after John Callahan, a Boston businessman and former president of the company, asked hitman John Martorano to kill Wheeler to end his probe into the company's finances. (7/17/13)

Retired State Police trooper testifies on his brother's death

Robert Halloran told jurors his brother, Edward "Brian" Halloran, said he was going to be an informant for the FBI because he feared James "Whitey" Bulger. Halloran was killed in May 1982, four months after he began cooperating with authorities. (7/16/13)

Retired FBI agent: Alleged Bulger victim feared for his life

Jerry Montanari, an FBI agent involved in opening an informant file for Brian Halloran, said Halloran feared for his life in the months before he was shot to death in South Boston because he had been cooperating with authorities. (7/16/13)

Ex-dealers say they paid Bulger

A convicted drug dealer from South Boston told a US District Court jury today that James "Whitey" Bulger ordered him to pay $100,000 in tribute in the 1980s, and he only agreed to pay the money to the gangster after his 17-year-old brother was shot. (7/12/13)

Judge refuses to suspend Bulger trial despite defense claim gangster is 'exhausted'

US District Court Judge Denise J. Casper today denied a request by James "Whitey" Bulger for a delay in his racketeering and murder trial, a delay defense attorneys said was needed because the 83-year-old gangster is "exhausted" by the fast pace of the trial. (7/11/13)

Forensic expert describes remains found in Dorchester grave

A forensic anthropologist with the state medical examiner’s office testified that investigators recovered the remains of three bodies from a secret grave in Dorchester where James "Whitey" Bulger allegedly buried three people he is accused of murdering. (7/10/13)

Former 'Whitey' Bulger protege describes killings

Kevin Weeks told a US District Court jury that he led investigators to the graves of three of Bulger's alleged victims in 2000, after he began cooperating with authorities. (7/9/13)

Prosecutors play tapes of Whitey Bulger jailhouse conversations

James “Whitey” Bulger could be heard imitating a machine gun on tapes of a jailhouse conversation during which he discussed the 1975 murder of Edward Connors, whom Bulger and Stephen Flemmi allegedly shot in a phone booth on Morrissey Boulevard. (7/2/13)

Former FBI agent apologizes to family of Whitey Bulger victim

Disgraced former FBI agent John Morris admitted passing on information that allegedly led to two murders, and apologized to the family of Michael Donahue, killed in 1982, for his "indirect" role in the killing. (7/1/13)

Disgraced FBI supervisor says he feared being prosecuted

John Morris, a former FBI supervisor, told a US District Court jury today that he panicked in 1995 when federal prosecutors arrested Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, out of fear that the member of the Winter Hill Gang would expose the FBI agent’s own crimes. (6/28/13)

Prosecutor: Whitey Bulger curses old FBI nemesis in federal trial

James “Whitey” Bulger glared at a disgraced former FBI official who was testifying against him and told him, “You’re a [expletive] liar,” a federal prosecutor said today at the notorious gangster’s trial. (6/27/13)

Out-of-state police testify

A retired Miami cop and and an Oklahoma lab tech testified briefly in the "Whitey" Bulger trial. (6/26/13)

Ex-FBI supervisor testifies at Bulger trial

A former FBI agent who admitted taking payoffs from James "Whitey" Bulger is expected to be the next witness at Bulger's racketeering trial. (6/26/13)

Widow of Bulger victim says he told her that her husband left town

Margaret King, widow of Tommy King, said Bulger told her that her husband “was probably in Canada robbing banks, that’s what he originally wanted to do.” King was killed in 1975. (6/25/13)

Prosecutors share information from informant file

James “Whitey” Bulger looked upset as jurors in his federal racketeering and murder trial were provided a detailed account of his role as FBI Informant 1544, a relationship that, according to prosecutors, lasted between the gangster and the nation’s top law enforcement agency for years. (6/24/13)

Alleged Bulger victim describes attack: ‘A firing squad hit us’

Former professional gambler Frank Capizzi was wounded in a North End attack on March 19, 1973 that killed Albert Plummer. He described the incident in testimony as prosecutors continued to outline the human toll of the gang James "Whitey" Bulger allegedly led. (6/21/13)

Alleged victim describes ducking hail of bullets

Diane Sussman de Tennen survived a barrage of gunfire on March 8, 1973, when she, her then-boyfriend Louis Lapiana, and their friend Michael Milano were driving through the North End. John Martorano claimed responsibility for the attack that killed Milano, paralyzed Lapiana, and left de Tennen with a bullet wound. (6/20/13)

John Martorano testified to avoid death penalty

After three days testifying against Whitey Bulger, admitted killer John V. Martorano said he cooperated with law enforcement to receive a light sentence and avoid the death penalty for murders he committed in Oklahoma and Florida. (6/19/13)
Map: Whitey's Boston

Map: Whitey's Boston

After 16 years on the run, Whitey Bulger is facing trial in Boston for his alleged crimes. Here's a look at some of the local places where Bulger made his mark.

Bulger trial enters third day; two bookmakers slated to testify

Jurors in Bulger’s long-anticipated trial are set today to hear testimony from James Katz and Richard O’Brien, two Boston area bookmakers whom Bulger and his associates allegedly shook down and forced to pay tribute. (6/14/13)

Bulger trial resumes with testimony from retired detective who led surveillance in 1980

Robert Long led the State Police operation at a garage on one of the side streets near the Boston Garden, where the agency observed Bulger, local Mafia leaders, and other gangland figures. (6/13/13)
Key people in Bulger's trial  |  Court transcript

Bulger defense claims he was no informant, questions credibility of prosecution witnesses

James “Whitey” Bulger made millions of dollars in crime, including in the drug trade, during his decades-long rampage through the Boston underworld and paid off corrupt law enforcement officers, but he was not an FBI informant and the witnesses expected to detail his crimes are unreliable, Bulger’s defense attorney said today in opening statements at the notorious gangster’s much-anticipated trial. (6/12/13)

Prosecutors: Families should testify at Bulger trial

James “Whitey” Bulger should not be allowed to limit emotional testimony from relatives of his alleged victims when his racketeering trial begins next week. (5/28/13)

Judge: Bulger can't use immunity defense

US District Court Judge Denise J. Casper ruled that the notorious South Boston gangster cannot claim during his trial that federal law enforcement officials immunized him from prosecution. (5/2/13)
Live chat recap: Authors of James 'Whitey' Bulger book speak

Live chat recap: Authors of James 'Whitey' Bulger book speak

Globe writers Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy, who recently penned a book on reputed South Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger, recently chatted with Boston.com readers.
New judge wants Bulger trial to start June 10, as previously planned

New judge wants Bulger trial to start June 10, as previously planned

US District Court Judge Denise Casper says she will not let her late arrival in the case push the long-awaited trial beyond its previously scheduled start date. (3/26/13)

In win for Bulger, appeals court removes judge

US District Court Judge Richard Stearns, who was a federal prosecutor when James "Whitey" Bulger was accused of serving as an FBI informant, was tossed off the case. (3/14/13)

Bulger's hospitalized for heart woes

James "Whitey" Bulger was quietly examined this month for an irregular heartbeat, raising questions about whether health problems will keep him from his long-anticipated trial. (2/21/13)

Bulger’s lawyer gets extension to file papers on informant defense

US District Judge Richard Stearns has given the attorneys for notorious gangster James “Whitey” Bulger extra time to file paperwork defending Bulger’s claim that he was authorized by federal law enforcement officials to commit crimes in return for working as an informant. (Globe, 1/2/13)

Bulger’s attorney accuses prosecution of document overload

The defense attorney for James “Whitey” Bulger stated in court papers filed Thursday night that federal prosecutors are wasting time by handing over multiple copies of the same documents in the 360,000 pages of evidence that Bulger’s defense team has received. (Globe, 9/7/12)

Images, documents provide window into Greig's life on the run

Prosecutors released evidence in the Catherine Greig case, including the couple's utility bills for their apartment, fake IDs, and a small arsenal of guns. (Globe, 6/15/12)

Attorney: Greig won't challenge conviction

Catherine Greig will not appeal her conviction for helping Bulger evade capture for more than 16 years, but is thinking about whether she wants to challenge her eight-year prison sentence. (Globe, 6/14/12)

Greig's twin sister asked judge to be lenient

In an unsealed letter, Margeret McCusker said her sister "never possessed an evil bone in her body" and wasn't involved in "Whitey" Bulger's crimes. (Globe, 6/13/12)

Greig sentenced to eight years, fined $150,000

Catherine Greig, the girlfriend who spent years on the run with notorious Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, was sentenced today to eight years in prison by a federal judge who said that Greig had aided “someone accused of the most serious crimes imaginable” to evade capture by law enforcement. (Globe, 6/12/12)

Records: 'Whitey' was informant as early as '50s

When James "Whitey" Bulger grew from small crimes to bank robbery, he gave up his accomplices, which may be how he learned to use the FBI. (Globe, 5/30/12)

Supreme Court won't hear appeals from alleged Bulger victim's family

The court won't hear an appeal over whether the family of a man allegedly killed by "Whitey" Bulger should get millions of dollars from the government.

Documents: Bulger may have penned memoirs

James "Whitey" Bulger may have written two memoirs, one of which was titled "My Life in the Irish Mafia Wars," according to new court documents. (Boston Globe, 3/13/12)

Appeals court rules against kin
of Bulger’s alleged victims

A lawyer for the US Department of Justice argued against damages already awarded to the families of Whitey Bulger’s victims, saying there’s no cause and effect linking the government’s corrupt informant to these particular murders. (Boston Globe, 10/6/11)

Lawyer: Greig won't cooperate with authorities

James "Whitey" Bulger's girlfriend pleaded not guilty to a federal charge today. Her attorney said she will not cooperate with authorities. (Boston Globe, 8/18/11)

Prosecutors detail life on lam with Bulger

James “Whitey’’ Bulger and his companion, Catherine Greig, used at least 15 aliases, including one embossed on an AARP card, during their 16 years on the lam, federal authorities said. (Boston Globe)

Bulger pleads not guilty before watchful eyes

James “Whitey’’ Bulger pleaded not guilty to a federal racketeering indictment charging him with the murders of 19 people, speaking softly during a packed hearing that offered a glimpse of how the case against Boston’s most infamous gangster might unfold. (Boston Globe)

Politicians, media felt Whitey's shadow

The Bulger brothers — politician William and gangster Whitey — cast long shadows for years in realms that sometimes intersected, veterans of the era recall. (Boston Globe)

Despite notoriety, Bulger no easy case

What might seem like a slam-dunk case against James “Whitey’’ Bulger will be an immensely complex undertaking, costing taxpayers millions and playing out over years, former prosecutors and defense attorneys say. (Boston Globe)

Earlier Bulger charges dropped

A federal judge granted a request by prosecutors yesterday to dismiss racketeering charges brought against James “Whitey’’ Bulger in 1995, saying it was “very much in the public interest’’ that the 81-year-old stand trial in a later case charging him with 19 murders. (Boston Globe)

Prominent pair poised to take up the defense

Two prominent Boston lawyers are poised to team up on one of Boston’s most sensational criminal cases, representing reputed mobster James “Whitey’’ Bulger against accusations that he is responsible for 19 murders. (Boston Globe)

Bulger tells of armed visits to Hub

James “Whitey’’ Bulger returned to Boston in disguise and “armed to the teeth’’ several times during his 16 years on the run because he had “to take care of some unfinished business,’’ prosecutors said in court documents yesterday. (Boston Globe)

Many figuring that Bulger will name names

From the gritty South Boston housing development where James “Whitey’’ Bulger grew up to the grassy stretches of Castle Island, people said that they expect the former crime boss to implicate more federal agents for corruption in the handling of his case. (Boston Globe)

Bulger offers new details to authorities

A chatty James “Whitey’’ Bulger provided FBI agents with intriguing details about his life on the run after his arrest last week, boasting that he routinely slipped into Mexico to buy medicine for a heart condition, according to a law enforcement official. (Boston Globe)

For neighbors in California,
memories now seem surreal

They were the gray-haired couple who blended in, yet often surprised people with acts of almost excessive kindness. On Wednesday, neighbors in the Princess Eugenia apartment building where the couple lived learned who they really were. (Boston Globe)

Families cynical of FBI's role

Some worry that the truth about James "Whitey" Bulger's crimes will be concealed while the case is controlled by the federal government. (Boston Globe)
Brian McGrory

Justice, finally, for Boston

In James “Whitey’’ Bulger’s capture, there is finally justice for all. (Boston Globe)

Guns, 'substantial' amount of cash found in Calif.

After 16 years on the run, fugitive mobster James "Whitey" Bulger was arrested yesterday at a house in Santa Monica, Calif. with more than 20 guns and a small fortune in cash, police said. (Globe, 6/23/11)

Records: Bulger lived in apartment since 1999

Fugitive gangster James “Whitey’’ Bulger had hundreds of thousands of dollars at his disposal – but he lived in a rent-controlled apartment since at least 1999, according to the building manager and city records. (Globe, 6/23/11)
KEVIN CULLEN

Alleged victim's family reacts

Tommy Donahue was awakened by a call telling him the man alleged to have killed his father Michael 30 years ago was finally captured. (Globe, 6/23/11)
Scot Lehigh

Now, the rest of the story

Lehigh discusses how the search for a fugitive has ended, but it also opens a whole new chapter in the search for truth. (Globe, 6/23/11)

James Bulger cast powerful aura over brother

William M. Bulger reached the top of the Massachusetts Senate and the University of Massachusetts system because of his own smarts, connections, and innate understanding of politics. Nonetheless, there has always been an aura around him rooted in his close relationship with his gangster brother, James “Whitey” Bulger. (Globe, 6/23/11)

TV ads are latest tactic in hunt for 'Whitey' Bulger

The Boston task force searching for "Whitey" Bulger has embarked on a new strategy: using daytime television to find Bulger's longtime companion, Catherine Greig. (Boston Globe, 6/21/11)
The never-told story of the gangster and his little son
Whitey Bulger was his dad

Fifteen years after he fled town for good, you’d think there’d be nothing new to say about Boston’s most-chronicled serial killer. Oh, but it seems there is. (Boston Globe, 1/23/10)

From the archives

On its 16th anniversary, search goes on

The FBI says its worldwide manhunt got a boost last year from an appeal to plastic surgeons and dentists to be on the lookout for the elderly gangster and his girlfriend. (Boston Globe, 1/5/11)

US Marshals joins hunt

For the first time, the US Marshals Service has joined the international manhunt for Bulger. (Boston Globe, 10/7/10)

Judge raps US over Bulger civil trial

A federal judge found that the Justice Department tried to humiliate and embarrass the families of two women who were murdered. (Boston Globe, 9/25/10)

A makeover in effort to find Bulger

The FBI hopes that James “Whitey’’ Bulger's girlfriend, Catherine Greig, might have felt the need for a little makeover. (Boston Globe, 5/13/10)

Connolly convicted

Ending a chapter in Boston history that has cast a shadow on the FBI for more than a decade, a Florida jury convicted retired agent John J. Connolly Jr. (right) of second-degree murder for plotting with informants "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi to kill a potential witness. (Boston Globe, 11/7/08)

FBI ups ante for capture

As fugitive gangster James "Whitey" Bulger marked his 79th birthday, the FBI increased the reward for information leading directly to Bulger's capture from $1 million to $2 million. (Boston Globe, 9/4/08)

Martorano to return to Hub after prison term

He was one of the most notorious hitmen in Boston mob history. He became the first in a rogues gallery of underworld figures to turn government witness against gangsters James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi and their corrupt FBI handlers. (Globe Staff, 3/20/07)

For Weeks, life of crime is all over

Kevin Weeks said his book about James ''Whitey" Bulger helped him close the chapter on living in the gangster's shadow for 25 years. (Boston Globe, 3/13/06)

Chapter closes on Flemmi

Tim Connors was only a baby when his father, Eddie, was snatched from him by gangsters Stephen Flemmi and James "Whitey" Bulger, gunned down on June 12, 1975, as he stood defenseless inside a Dorchester telephone booth, prosecutors say. (Globe Staff, 1/28/04)