Whitey Bulger, the Boston crime boss who was convicted of 32 charges in August, was sentenced to serve two life terms plus five years this morning.
Bulger was found guilty of charges which included the murder of at least eleven people, racketeering, and money laundering, among other things, and on Wednesday sat in court as the family members of some of his victims testified against him. One of them–Sean McGonagle–says he was just eleven years old when his father, a rival gang member, disappeared. Paul McGonagle’s body was found decades later, but Sean said he’ll never forget answering the phone as a child and hearing Bulger’s voice say, “Your father won’t be coming home for Christmas.” When the boy asked who he was speaking to, Bulger allegedly replied, “Santa Claus.”
“You’re a domestic terrorist fueled by greed and sickening evil,” McGonagle told Bulger.
Bulger ran an underworld empire throughout the ’70s and ’80s with the help of several law enforcement agents who were in his pocket; one of them, FBI agent John Connolly, tipped off Bulger about an impending arrest in the ’90s and allowed him to run. He hid successfully for years, until a curious neighbor started a chain of events that led to his arrest in 2011 in San Francisco.