Whitey Bulger Will Testify To Redeem His Family’s Name

James “Whitey”  Bulger has been in prison for a little more than a year.  He was locked up at age 81 and within a month he’ll have his 83rd birthday.  He’s smart enough to know that there is no way that he’ll ever get out of prison unless he escapes.  (Wouldn’t that be a great career ending move?)

If he bests the government in his 19-murder trial in Boston, a very dubious prospect, he’s off to the hell hole prisons of Oklahoma and Florida to face murder charges in those death penalty states.  If he beats those, which is unlikely seeing the result in the case of FBI agent John Connolly, he’ll be in his late 80s.  Then he’ll face the rock solid gun charges out in California or some other charges that will insure he’ll never shed his orange jump suit.

His decision now has to be how he fills his final few years given the limited control he has over his life.  Within the context of things he controls, the big one is whether to go to trial in Boston.  If he does, then he must decide whether to testify on his own behalf.

We can look for a hint to how he will make this decision by reading what his younger brother Billy Bulger wrote in his autobiography, While The Music Lasts.  He said Whitey always wanted to be a leader, a person in control of his life.

He went on to write that there have been many lurid allegations against Whitey.  He said of them, “I know some of the allegations and much of the innuendo to be absolutely false.” (Emphasis Billy’s)  He went on to discuss his flight after being indicted writing that he was subject to “planted press stories, absurd rumors, wild exaggerations, the lot.”  He then suggested the indictment against him was based on “purchased testimony” and noting “a ‘get out of jail’ card has been available to anyone who would give testimony against my brother . . . all of the evidence [against my brother] has been purchased.  Inducements more precious than money – release from prison, the waiver of criminal charges – have been offered time and time again.  Some of those who insisted they had nothing to offer at the beginning of their incarceration have had second thoughts and suddenly ‘remembered’ things they could barter for advantage.  Without such purchased testimony there would be no accusations.” (Emphasis Billy’s)

Billy is telling us that many of the stories about Whitey are fabrications.  Apparently he must have some inside knowledge about this or he would not be so bold as to assert it.  Given that, there is a need to have a forum in which to set the record straight.

Kevin Weeks, Whitey’s strong-arm thug, said Whitey would never want to stand trial because it would cause his family embarrassment.  Embarrass his family?  That’s a joke!  You’ve heard the derogatory term “his name is mud.”  Some attributed the saying to Dr. Samuel Mudd who fixed the leg of John Wilkes Booth.  Right now in the Boston area I’m not surprised that it is not replaced by the saying, “his name is Bulger.”

I’m suggesting that there is no way Whitey can embarrass his family by testifying.  The relentless assaults by a hostile media on everything Bulger and its the blackening of their name at every opportunity by providing people with a personal hatred or insatiable greed with a venue in which to spew their vile and villainous attacks has held up the Bulger name to general opprobrium.  Whitey is in a position that where no matter what he does he will not bring embarrassment against his family.

Weeks spent years by Whitey’s side.  He apparently had no idea of the man he was working with.  Everything within Whitey, who when I first began my study of him I thought he seemed to be somewhat of a coward but the more I learned of him I realized he was a man of immense courage and fortitude who feared nothing, will cry out for a chance to tell his story.  The last thing he wants is to have people like Martorano or Flemmi or Weeks write his life’s story.  He is too proud of a man to do let that happen.  He’s also not going to let Billy’s defense of him look like empty bluster.   Nor is he going to let the name of his beloved father, James Bulger, be wrongfully defiled by not answering the attacks against himself.

Whitey knows he has done some criminal acts and my guess is he’ll own up to them.  He has nothing to lose.  My background suggests to me he has not done others attributed to him.  When I lived in Southie I learned that if you got in trouble and got caught you don’t give up the name of the person with you who got away.  By the time I moved out of the project it seemed us kids had settled upon one name which we’d offer when pressed, Albie X.  (I omit his true last name.)  If you were running through the tunnels knocking over the barrels and were grabbed by a janitor or some other adult you’d deny doing it but say it was done by Albie X.  I learned that as my Southie friends got older and headed down the Cape or up to Hampton Beach they’d leave their identities home.  If they got into trouble they’d identify themselves as Albie X.  I heard the plan came a cropper when the cops found the three guys they arrested after a fight were named Albie X.

You get the idea.  All these hoodlums had their own Albie X.  It was Whitey Bulger.  If they killed a guy and were caught, they’d say Whitey did it or made them do it.  Just as the kids used Albie X as a way to escape personal responsibility, so do the gangsters use the name Whitey, as Billy said, to serve as a ‘get out of jail’ card.

When you wonder if Whitey will testify think of this.  He has no way to go but up.  His whole life tells us he will not let others tell his story.  We’ve only heard one side of many stories from those getting a break for telling them.  Whitey will fill in the blanks.  There are many people who hope he doesn’t.  I can hardly wait.


  1. Sometimes, the good guys lose. Life is not fair. Perception is reality. Wrongs go unavenged.(To this day, Atty. Wendy Murphy claims that the Duke Lacrosse team was guilty. Like all good progressives with an axe to grind or a buck to be made, she doesn’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.) As TS Eliot put it, “this is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper”.

    • Thanks for commenting. You bring up a pet peeve of mine, Wendy Murphy. I’ve never quite figured out her qualifications. She was born in 1960 and got admitted to the bar in December, 1967. She’s vague on her prosecutorial experience. As best I can figure she was in Middlesex between 1988 and 1991. Three to four years as a prosecutor is not much experience. She probably handle few if any cases of significance. In a book she wrote she stated about her time as a prosecutor that she tried to change the justice system (hardly true for a young prosecutor), “But after one too many judges told me that my job was to ‘state the law, not complain about it,’ I gave up.” When I read that I figured I was about to read a work of fiction so I too gave up reading what she wrote. She’s always ready to comment on any subject whether she has any knowledge of it or not. She can never be wrong that’s why she can’t change her mind on the Duke lacrosse players. Why she’s considered an expert in everything is a mystery to me. But as you said, “As you said perception is reality.”

  2. Your assessment of Connolly’s conduct in the FBI is correct. Everything he did was authorized and sanctioned by the bosses in Boston and D.C. Whether one likes it or not they have the power to chose who gets immunity and who gets prosecuted. There is no credible evidence Connolly took any money.He was not a “rogue agent” anymore than Naimovich was a “rogue cop”. The entire episode is comparable to ” Murder on the Orient Express”. Inspector Poirot can provide the siomple explanation (false) that Ratchet was killed by a vendetta of single mafiosi or the more complex answer ( the truth) that all 12 pasengers had a part in the killing. Maybe the complex answer was too difficult for the press or public to grasp so we’ve been fed the simple false version. 2.Is the jury pool so tainted and contaminated that a fair trial is impossible? If the government was remotely interestd in fairness the trial would be in Albany NY with a judge from Vermont. It seems that all the prosecutor would have to do is present several autopsy reports where the pathologists concluded the death was a homicide. Then have one cop say that the defendant is from Southie and his nickname is Whitey. The government could then rest. The Globe could put a hundred other bad acts of the defendant on it’s front page as it did with Geogan, and voila a guilty finding would ensue. as if by magic. The jurors wouldn’t have to retire to the jury room to render a verdict 3. Whitey was no more “created” by the FBI than Martorano or Myles Connor were “created” by the State Police. They were all career criminals long before they had any contact with law enforcement. Could Fitzpatrick have been correct that the Feds have been investigating Bill Bulger for 20 years? If so they’ve spent millions of dollars drilling a dry hole.Is an apology in order? Weeks brother was not a gangster because Kevin was. Pres. Clinton wasn’t a drug dealer because his brother was. But a different standard is applied because he’s from S. Boston? 4. Gen. Brown of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was asked back in the 70s to describe the British Military. He said it was “pathetic” it’s all generals, admirals and bands.Would pathetic be an apt description of the media coverage of the Connolly matter. No curiosity, no alternative view. It’s reminiscent of the first 3 weeks of the Duke lacross coverage. An avalache of negatve press against the innocent athletes. Eventually that was exposed as a fraud. Hopefully Connolly’s frameup will also be seen. 5. Justice will be served when Connolly is freed and the Rodgers and Hamerstein solution “Oklahoma” is imposed i.e. Whitey, Flemmi, Martorano, Nee, Weeks, Winter and Salemme are shipped to the heartland to face the music in the Wheeler matter.

    • You won’t see the justice you seek. Flemmi, Martorano and Weeks have all made deals to avoid going to Oklahoma. The only one scheduled to go there is Whitey. The press has consistently been anti-Bulger and anti-Connolly. As you know I’m no big Connolly fan but I can’t understand how none of the press seemed bothered by a Florida Appeals Court confirming a 40 year murder sentence without writing an opinion. At least in Massachusetts he’d have have the legal issues reviewed and a decision written — which might be range from the sagacious to the absurd but at least it would be better than silence. I don’t know what his Florida counsel are doing but I’d note the prisoners at Gitmo got written opinions from the federal appeals courts. Why aren’t they in federal court?
      I agree they are career criminals but Whitey was protected by the FBI during his career unlike Martorano or Connor.
      You make a good point about former ASAC Fitzpatrick — he says he had an investigation going into Billy Bulger back in 1981, he wrote to me (I think it’s him) telling how Billy’s been investigates several times — since a prosecutor can indict a banana peel I’d guess some type of apology is owed Billy Bulger since they haven’t come up with anything against him, and you can rest assured had they we would have heard about it.
      You’re right about the unfairness of saying one brother’s a crook because the other one is.
      Just read an article in a BC Law magazine about J.W. Carney. He says we can’t call Whitey Whitey. We have to call him Jim.