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Jury Finds Mobster James “Whitey” Bulger Guilty of Murder, Drug Dealing

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

 

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Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

By Jason Islas
Staff Writer

August 13, 2013 -- More than two years after police arrested notorious mobster Whitey Bulger near his rent-controlled Santa Monica apartment, a jury found him guilty Monday of 11 murders and other crimes committed while he was head of Boston's Irish mob.

The verdict, which could come with a life sentence for the 83-year-old gangster, ends a saga that began nearly 20 years ago when Bulger -- a one-time FBI informant -- disappeared after learning that he was about to be indicted.

According to the Associated Press, during the two-month trial, prosecutors portrayed Bulger, who spent 16 years on the FBI's list of 10 most wanted fugitives, as a ruthless crime boss responsible for murdering rival gangsters and innocents, undermining an image of the gangster as a protector of working-class South Boston.

“This is not some Robin Hood story about a guy who kept angel dust and heroin out of Southie,” prosecutor Fred Wyshak told the jury in closing arguments.

During the trial, Bulger saw a number of his former partners-in-crime testify against him, including Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemming, hit man John Moratorano and his one-time protege, Kevin Weeks.

“I feel that I've been choked off from having an opportunity to give an adequate defense,” Bulger complained to the judge in the last days of the trial, according to the Associated Press. “My thing is, as far as I'm concerned, I didn't get a fair trial, and this is a sham, and do what youse want with me. That's it. That's my final word.”

According to the Associated Press, Bulger stood accused of, among other things, strangling two women -- a charge which Bulger vehemently denied -- and executing two men after spending hours interrogating them while they were chained to stairs.

Aside from the 11 counts of murder -- out of 19 that he was charged with -- the jury also found him guilty of extortion, money-laundering and drug dealing. He will face sentencing in November.

While on the lam, Bulger settled down in an apartment just north of the Third Street Promenade, a far cry from the housing project in impoverished South Boston where Bulger grew up during the Great Depression.

Bulger and his girlfriend Catherine Greig had been living in the quiet, well-heeled neighborhood for nearly 20 years when authorities finally caught up to them in 2011.

According to testimony, when FBI agents confronted Bulger outside his apartment building, they insisted that he get on his knees. The former mobster swore at the officers and, because he was wearing white pants, refused.

During their 16 years in Santa Monica, Bulger and Greig went by the aliases Charles and Carol Gasko and, neighbors said, would often head to the weekly Farmers Market on Arizona Avenue between Fourth Street and Second Street in Downtown Santa Monica.

The couple were reportedly model tenants and would pay the $1,145 a month for their rent-controlled apartment in cash and on time.

However, when Bulger was arrested, authorities found a cache of weapons and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash.

Grieg was sentenced to nine years for her role in helping Bulger evade law enforcement during the couple's 16 years on the run.


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