Whitey Bulger prosecution sums up case against one of Boston's 'most vicious' (+video)
Almost 19 years after Whitey Bulger was first indicted, the prosecution summed up its case, calling him 'one of the most vicious, violent, and calculating criminals ever to walk the streets of Boston.'
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Putting it even more succinctly at another point, he told jurors, “whether he’s an informant or not, he’s a murderer.”Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Sentenced! James 'Whitey' Bulger
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Much of the evidence the government brought against Bulger throughout the trial came in the form of testimony by former criminal gang members, several of whom brokered deals in their own cases in return for testifying against their former boss.
During his closing argument Wyshak urged the jurors not to allow the questionable character of those mobsters affect how they interpreted the testimonies.
“It’s not whether you like the witness,” he said. “Nobody likes these men.”
Instead, he said, the jury was obligated simply to consider the facts – many of them brutal and damning. During the trial, several of Bulger’s closest former associates, including his business partner, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, hit man John Martorano, and one-time Bulger protégé Kevin Weeks, repeatedly testified to either witnessing or directly participating in execution-style murders directed by Bulger – hits against rivals, bystanders, and others who threatened the gang’s ability to run their South Boston criminal world.
Over the course of the trial, the prosecution called 63 witnesses, and the defense 10 (Mr. Martorano was called by both sides). But Bulger himself was not among them. The defendant announced Friday that he would not testify in his own defense, claiming a now-deceased federal prosecutor had previously promised him immunity and that his entire trial had been a farce.
“As far as I’m concerned, I didn’t get a fair trial and this is a sham,” he spat at the judge. “Do what yous want with me. That’s it. That’s my final word.”
“You’re a coward!” a woman yelled back from the spectator gallery. It was Patricia Donahue, whose late husband is among Bulger’s alleged victims.
On Monday, Bulger once again sat quietly at the defense table, listening to Wyshak’s hurried version of the epic story that had made him one of America’s most watched gangsters.
At one point, the prosecutor described the day in 1981 when Bulger lured a young woman named Debbie Davis, then Mr. Flemmi’s girlfriend, to a South Boston house. There, he said, Flemmi and Bulger strangled Ms. Davis to death, stripped her body and pulled out her teeth with a pair of pliers, then buried her under the house.
It was “a horrific murder,” Wyshak said simply.
Bulger didn’t even look up.