Drug dealer talks about surviving Russian roulette with Bulger

bulger whitey bulger boston
James “Whitey” Bulger seen in a state police surveillance image taken in 1980.
Credit: U.S. Attorney’s office

A drug smuggler told a jury Wednesday that during a shakedown, James “Whitey” Bulger pulled a pair of guns on him — one of which was loaded with one bullet, pointed at his head and the trigger pulled. 

But the gun didn’t go off, said William Lindholm, who testified against the 83-year-old alleged mob boss who he said held him at gunpoint and demanded $1 million.

Lindholm told the jury deciding Bulger’s fate that he made millions smuggling drugs from Colombia into the United States and even recounted one shipment of 125 tons of marijuana that was brought in through Louisiana and had a gross earning of $72 million. His work allowed him to become an antique car and art collector, he said.

But it was in 1983 when an acquaintance asked him to meet up. So he did at the New England Aquarium. The acquaintance later drove him to a downtown club and directed him to go upstairs. That’s where Bulger and his partner Stephen Flemmi were waiting.

Lindholm said Bulger pulled out two guns from under a towel placed on a cart and asked him if he knew why he was there.

“You’re here because you’re not with anybody,” Lindholm said Bulger told him. Other drug dealers and bookmakers have previously testified that Bulger and members of his Winter Hill Gang would collect payments from them to be “with” them so they could operate.

Lindholm said that Bulger then began quizzing him about his different assets.

“I determined he didn’t know that much about me. He knew something about me, but not that much about me … didn’t know the scope of what we were doing” in terms of drug smuggling, Lindholm said.

So when Bulger demanded Lindholm pay him $1 million, Lindholm decided to bluff and downplay the size of his marijuana business because he didn’t want to pay Bulger that much money. He said he eventually negotiated down to $250,000.

That’s when Bulger let him go.

“He shook my hand and told me that I handled myself well and some other people didn’t handle themselves so well,” Lindholm said. “I was just glad to get out of there.”

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Boston Marathon 2014 on high alert, Red Sox…

One year on from the horrific Boston Marathon bombings a ring of steel has been thrown around today's race, and a city stands defiant against…

News

Boston Strong: One year on from Boston Marathon…

  For more than a century the Boston Marathon has been an even centred around sportsmanship, endurance and athleticism, but there's no denying the face…

Local

Hillary Clinton headed to Boston for women's leadership…

Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to visit Massachusetts Wednesday amid continuing speculation about making another bid for the presidency in 2016.

Local

Boston Marathon: Marathoners ready to run, honor victims

Scores of runners will cross the Boston Marathon starting line in Hopkinton Monday and embark on a 26.2-mile journey to Boston in honor of the victims.

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox walk off with…

Red Sox pick up first walk off win of 2014

MLB

Red Sox and Orioles meet Monday morning at…

Red Sox and Orioles meet Monday morning at 11 a.m.

NHL

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings…

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings in Game 2

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.