Cause of Death for ‘Whitey’ Bulger Revealed: Reports

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
October 30, 2018US News

James “Whitey” Bulger, the longtime gangster who became an FBI informant and later a most-wanted fugitive, was killed at the Penitentiary Hazelton in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia on Oct. 30, said officials.

“He lived violently and he apparently died violently,” Dick Lehr, who is the author of “Whitey: The Life of America’s Most Notorious Mob Boss,” told CNN after reports of his death emerged.

“It marks the full circle of a terrible life,” Lehr said of the 89-year-old former mobster.

Two Federal Bureau of Prisons employees told the New York Times that Bulger was beaten unrecognizable by other inmates, but further details are not clear. It’s also not clear why the inmates beat him to death.

“Hopefully the seven years he spent in prison, as well as his recent death, brings some closure to the families of his many victims,” Brian Kelly, who was a former federal prosecutor who tried Bulger, told CNN.

The report said he was found unresponsive at 8:20 a.m. and was pronounced dead by the Preston County medical examiner. No other staff or inmates were harmed, said officials.

This June 23, 2011 booking file photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows gangster James “Whitey” Bulger. (AP Photo/ U.S. Marshals Service, File)

“He was sentenced to life in prison, but as a result of decisions by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, that sentence has been changed to the death penalty,” defense attorney J.W. Carney Jr. told CNN.

Bulger was sentenced to life in prison for 11 murders.

Bulger was organized crime boss of the Winter Hill Gang for a number of years and was second after terrorist Osama bin Laden the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list for 12 years. A character in the 2006 Martin Scorsese film “The Departed” was based on Bulger. His story also became the subject of the 2015 Johnny Depp movie “Black Mass.”

When he was captured, Bulger was convicted in 2013 of partaking in 11 murders stretching from Florida to Oklahoma to Massachusetts.

Bulger had been moved from a prison in Florida to a transfer facility in Oklahoma City. He was also held in a Tucson, Arizona facility, according to NBC Boston.

“Bulger embarked upon a life of crime at the age of 14 and had become a prominent figure in Boston’s organized crime scene by the late 1970s. From 1975 to 1990, Bulger also served as an FBI informant, tipping off the police to the Patriarca crime family while also building his own crime network,” according to He then became a fugitive in 1995.

And, from 1975 to 1990, “unbeknownst to even his closest associates, Bulger was an FBI informant. Taking advantage of his brother William’s stature in the Massachusetts State Senate and childhood friendships that linked him to members of the police force, Bulger helped bring down the Patriarcas, a New England organized crime family, while simultaneously building a more powerful and arguably more violent crime network of his own,” according to the website.

From The Epoch Times

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