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James 'Whitey' Bulger Guilty Of Murder, Racketeering

A courtroom sketch of James "Whitey" Bulger (left) and defense attorney J.W. Carney, Jr.
Margaret Small
A courtroom sketch of James "Whitey" Bulger (left) and defense attorney J.W. Carney, Jr.

James 'Whitey' Bulger, the notorious Boston gangster who spent 16 years on the lam before being captured in June of 2011, was found guilty of multiple murders and racketeering by a federal jury in Boston on Monday.

Facing 32 charges, Bulger was convicted on most of them, including 11 murders that date back to the '70s and multiple counts of extortion and money laundering.

Kevin Cullen, a Globe reporter whowrote a book on Bulger, tweeted from the courtroom:

"Whitey looks like he got run over that bus he was waiting for. Hummina."

"Whitey is slack jawed. Looks like he's had better days. Bright side is he looks good in orange."

Shelley Murphy, co-author of Cullen's book, says the 83-year-old Bulger may be sentenced to life "because of [the] guilty verdict on slayings."

The judge presiding over the case set a sentencing hearing for Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. ET.

The jury handed down its verdict on its fifth day of deliberations. Our colleagues at both WGBH and WBUR are live blogging.

Update at 4:16 p.m. ET. Bulger Will Appeal:

The AP reports that one of Bulger's defense attorneys said he will appeal this verdict.

Update at 2:34 p.m. ET. On The Murder Charges:

On the murder charges, WCVB reports:

"Bulger's guilt was proven in the deaths of Paul McGonagle, Edward Connors, Thomas King, Richard Castucci, Roger Wheeler, Brian Halloran, Michael Donahue, John Callahan, Arthur "Bucky" Barrett, John McIntyre and Deborah Hussey.

"The jury found the prosecution failed to prove Bulger's guilt in the deaths of Michael Milano, Al Plummer, William O'Brien, James O'Toole, Al Notorangeli, James Sousa and Francis 'Buddy' Leonard.

"The jury returned a 'no finding' decision in the death of Debra Davis."

Update at 2:24 p.m. ET. No Hollywood Notions:

In its first pass at the verdict, here's howThe Boston Globe wraps up Bulger's legacy:

"Bulger extended his reign of terror under a cloak of protection from the FBI, which considered him a prized FBI informant. Corrupt agents fed him tips that he used to kill rivals and fellow informants.

"His story inspired books, movies, and TV shows as the FBI named him one of America's 'Ten Most Wanted,' and as the corruption of FBI agents was revealed. Another twist in the tale was the parallel rise in the political world of his brother William to become president of the Massachusetts Senate, one of the most powerful politicians in the state.

"The trial, however, laid to rest any romantic Hollywood notions about James Bulger as a Robin Hood figure as witnesses described a scheming, sinister presence and a brutal killer whose victims included young women and innocent bystanders. Bulger took naps after murdering people and joked as he drove past the secret sites where he had buried them, according to witnesses' testimony."

Update at 2:05 p.m. ET. Bulger Guilty Of Racketeering:

The verdict is still being read, but Bulger has been found guilty of two counts of racketeering, the AP and Reuters are reporting.

Update at 1:49 p.m. ET. About That Stanley Cup Ring:

In related news, our colleagues at WBUR report that Bulger filed a document today in which he agreed that if he is found guilty, "he would not fight to keep the money or weapons" confiscated by authorities.

"But both parties have agreed that Bulger may keep a Stanley Cup ring given to him as a gift," WBUR reports. The ring, the NPR member station reports, likely came "from Chris Nilan, the son-in-law of one of Bulger's longtime girlfriends, Teresa Stanley."

Update at 1:42 p.m. ET. 32 Counts:

Bulger is on trial for 32 counts, ranging from murder to money laundering to extortion. WGBH has a full list.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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