(Updated) Bulger guilty of murder, money laundering and conspiracy

Mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger was found guilty on 31 of 32 counts. Credit: Provided
Mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger was found guilty on 31 of 32 counts. Credit: Provided

James “Whitey” Bulger, the notorious and storied leader of the violent Winter Hill Gang, was found guilty on Monday of his crimes that left a neighborhood in fear, cast doubt on the FBI and stole loved ones away from their families. 

But while the jury found him guilty of multiple charges, they also delivered a surprise and declared that the government did not prove that Bulger was involved in eight accused murders.

A jury deliberated for about 32 hours over five days before returning guilty verdicts against the 83-year-old former mob boss. Judge Denise Casper scheduled his sentencing for Nov. 13. Bulger will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars. The first count alone carries a life in prison sentence.

Bulger stood up with his hands folded in front of him as the verdicts were read. There was stunned silence in the courtroom as the first few murder charges were declared “not proven” by the court clerk who read out loud the jury’s verdict form.

Outside the courthouse, some relatives of the Bulger’s victims were angered at the jury’s findings.

“My father just got murdered 40 years later,” said William O’Brien, whose father William was allegedly killed by Bugler in 1973. The jury found that the government did not prove Bugler was involved in his murder. “The prosecution dropped the ball. The jury should be ashamed of themselves.”

Other relatives rejoiced at the news. Seeing the man that had killed their loved ones and then flee to California for 16 years finally be brought to justice brought tears to their eyes.

“I think there was justice today for me,” said Pat Donahue, whose husband Michael was killed by Bulger in 1982.

But Bulger’s guilty verdict will not be enough for some people.

While the conviction of Bulger ends a dark chapter for the city, it will always remain a part of Boston’s history. Bulger was able to commit crimes and avoid prosecution for years because of his status as an FBI informant and his relationship with corrupt agents. One agent, John Connolly, who was Bulger’s handler, is serving a prison sentence in Florida.

But some of the victims families, and those who endured Bulger’s tenure, feel there are more people that helped Bulger who also need to be held responsible.

“Our road’s not done yet, we still have another guy to go for,” said Tommy Donahue, Michael Donahue’s son. Donahue said he wants the state to prosecute a former Winter Hill Gang member as the second gunman who helped Bugler kill his father.

Bulger’s defense team tried to make their case by putting the government on trial. During his closing argument, J. W. Carney urged the jurors to “stand up to governmental abuse” when they return their verdict.

Carney said after the verdict that Bulger would appeal because he was unable to present his defense that he was allegedly given immunity by a former federal prosecutor.

Hank Brennan, Bulger’s other lawyer, hinted that Bulger would speak at some point.

“I don’t think you’ve heard the last word from James Bulger,” Brennan said.

US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Carmen Oritz said that making deals with some of the witnesses like confessed killer John Martorano and confessed mobster Kevin Weeks were part of an imperfect system.

“Here there were numerous people that were clearly responsible and I think we did the best that we could,” Ortiz said.

 Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

PHOTOS: More than $12 million in heroin, crystal…

Authorities seized more than 44 pounds of heroin and 17 pounds of crystal meth from two stash houses this week during a Manhattan drug bust.

Local

How to donate during the blood drive at…

The Metro-North Railroad and New York Blood Center are hosting a blood drive at Grand Central Terminal Thursday.

Local

Bloomberg launches $50 million anti-gun violence effort

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to spend $50 million on a grassroots anti-gun violence network to challenge the National Rifle Association.

Local

East Village woman fights off rape attempt from…

An East Village woman fought off an attempted rapist that she woke to find standing on her bed over the weekend, police said.

Books

Becoming friends with New York City's oldest known…

"The Life and Times of Richard Musto" tells the story, through a poem, of the oldest known homeless man in New York City.

Movies

Interview: Johnny Depp says he looks like himself,…

Johnny Depp talks about his new sci-fi thriller "Transcendence," not wearing gaudy makeup and wigs for a change and how he's a bit of a Luddite.

Movies

Review: 'Heaven is for Real' tries to be…

The mega-bestseller "Heaven is for Real" becomes a movie that tries to portray wrestling with faith — or at least it tries to try.

Movies

Slideshow: Check out Johnny Depp looking weird through…

Johnny Depp says he looks like himself in "Transcendence." He usually doesn't. Here's a slideshow of his weirder faces.

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

NHL

Islanders back to rebuilding mode after disappointing season

One season after qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2006-07, the Islanders finished 2013-14 with a 34-37-11 record.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

Wellbeing

Cognitive skills begin to drop at age 24

But the news isn't all that bad.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.

Career

How to get a job at a startup:…

We talked to Tarek Pertew, one of the co-founders behind Uncubed, about how to get your dream job at a startup.

Parenting

The 'smartest' summer camps across the country

See a list of summer camps across the country that emphasis learning, while still being fun.