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James Bulger

Updated: Jan 28, 2022

James Joseph "Whitey" Bulger Jr.

Born: September 3, 1929, Boston, Massachusetts Died: October 30, 2018, United States Penitentiary, Hazelton, West Virginia Nicknames: Whitey Associates: Killeen Gang, Mullen Gang.

Courtesy of CBS News

James Joseph “Whitey” Bulger Jr. was born on September 3rd, 1929, to James Bulger Sr. and Veronica “Jean” McCarthy. Bulger and his brothers grew up in the impoverished South Boston area because of his father’s inability to work after a workplace accident took his arm. Bulger joined small-time gangs around the South Boston area until his arrest in 1943. Bulger was given the nickname “Whitey” by police officers during Bulger’s early criminal history.

He would be sent to a reformatory and spend several years there before his release in 1948. Bulger would be 19 at the time of his departure. Bulger would join the airforce that same year but was honorably discharged in 1952.

In 1956, Bulger was found guilty of hijacking a truck and served the next nine years in prison. He would not be reimprisoned until his capture in 2011. During his sentence, Bulger would opt for the ​MK-ULTRA​ program to gain a shorter sentence.

After his release in 1965, Bulger moved back to South Boston and joined the Killeen gang as a bookmaker and loan shark. Bulger joined the gang in the middle of a war with the Mullen gang. During this time, Bulger showed his true harsh nature and was willing to kill to gain power.

Many theorize that Bulger knew that he was on the losing side with the Killeens, so he bargained with the Mullens. The deal was that Bulger would kill Donald Killeen and join the gangs. In May of 1972, Donald Killeen would be assassinated, and the gang would promptly disperse. Bulger would join the Muller gang with a portion of the original Killeen gang that did not leave. Bulger would eventually become the boss of the Winter Hill gang after the imprisonment of its leader.

Bulger would rule the underground in South Boston until law enforcement began cracking down on his case in 1994. Law enforcement specifically kept the FBI out of the investigation. In late 1994, Bulger would flee his home after a tip from Connolly about an imminent arrest. Bulger would be a fugitive for the next 16 years until his capture on July 6th, 2011. He would be sentenced to two life-time imprisonments.

Stuart Cahill via The Boston Harold

On October 30th, 2018, Bulger would be killed and mutilated by other inmates after being transferred to United States Penitentiary, Hazelton, West Virginia. Bulger was in a wheelchair at the time and unable to move. Bulger was beaten to death with a padlock inside a sock and a prison shiv. The inmates attempted to cut off his tongue and gouge his eyes out. A law enforcement officer stated that Bulger was almost unrecognizable. It is unknown who put the hit on Bulger, and many believe it to be just the killer’s animosity for Bulger’s past.

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