James “Whitey” Bulger, the notorious Boston mobster accused of killing nearly 20 people, has been found guilty of 32 charges that include murder, racketeering, and money laundering.
The 83-year old, who inspired a character in the popular Scorsese film “The Departed” played by Jack Nicholson, was convicted of 11 counts of murder on Monday after the jury found they couldn’t prove he was responsible for eight of the deaths he’d originally been accused of. After the verdicts were read, Bulger was “pleased” with the outcome, according to his lawyer Jay Carney.
“It was important to him that the government corruption be exposed,” Carney said. “He knew as soon as he was arrested that he would die (in prison) or on a gurney.”
Bulger was indicted in 1994 for racketeering, which he managed with the help of some friends in the Bureau. For decades, he ran a large underground world of crime in the Boston area and had several law enforcement officials in his pocket. One of them, John Connolly, tipped Bulger off about his impending arrest in the ’90s and allowed him to run free. He eventually fled with longtime girlfriend Catherine Greig and ended up in San Francisco, where a curious neighbor started the chain of events that led to his capture in 2011.
“The guy is a sociopathic killer,” Tom Foley, an organized crime investigator who spent most of his career with the Massachusetts State Police trying to bust Bulger, told CNN. “He loved that type of life. He’s one of the hardest and cruelest individuals that operated in the Boston area. He’s a bad, bad, bad guy.”
Bulger will be sentenced in November, and plans to appeal the verdict.