Whitey Bulger, the notorious Boston crime boss who was convicted last summer of 32 charges that included murder, racketeering, and money laundering, has reportedly written a letter that may help free an innocent man imprisoned for murder.
Bulger wrote the letter last fall while incarcerated, saying that he encouraged the murder of Robert Lamonica decades ago after a friend came to him in fear of retribution. The friend–believed to be Thomas Barrett–allegedly told Bulger that Lamonica was out to get him because Barrett had beaten up a friend of his.
“I told him get him first, kill him … if you don’t get him first I’d say he will get you — he’s dangerous — so again kill him and it’s over,” Bulger wrote.
However, authorities believe that Bulger helped frame a man named Fred Weichel for Lamonica’s murder–as the two had reportedly been feuding for years–by pressuring a former FBI agent not to tell police that he’d seen Weichel at a Boston bar just before Lamonica was shot to death in Braintree. Weichel has been imprisoned for the murder for over three decades.
“We believe that the letters mean that Bulger encouraged Barrett to kill the victim (LaMonica), that Bulger warned Barrett not to talk about their conversation ever again and that Bulger is encouraging Barrett to come forward because Weichel is innocent,” Weichel’s attorney Michael Ricciuti said.
Bulger has been a notorious figure in the crime world for decades, and managed to go on the run in the ’90s when an FBI agent friend of his tipped him off about an impending arrest. He was later captured in 2011 and put on trial; the 84-year old is now serving two life sentences plus five years in November of 2013.
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