As he talked about a man he is accused of gunning down, James “Whitey” Bulger made the sound of a machine gun in a jailhouse conversation he had with his family members.
That recorded conversation was one of three that were played in court Tuesday during Bulger’s trial. Plymouth County Correctional Facility investigator Ken Brady testified about the conversations that took place in the fall and winter of 2012.
The first conversation took place between Bulger and his brother Jackie as the two talked about an incident in which Bulger pulled a shotgun on a group of men coming into a liquor store Bulger owned.
“We would have had to tell the kids … ‘you’ve gotta say you shot these bastards,” Bugler said on the recording.
A second recording took place between Bulger and his nephew, William Bulger Jr., the son of former state senate president and UMass president William Bulger. In that conversation Bulger referenced the murder of Eddie Connors, who was gunned down in a Morrissey Boulevard phone booth in 1975. Winter Hill Gang member John Martorano previously testified that Bulger and Stephen Flemmi killed Connors.
“Somebody threw my name in the mix,” Bulger said on the recording, referring to being blamed for the murder.
The third conversation took place between Bulger and his brother. In that conversation Bulger asks his brother about some of his confessed Winter Hill Gang associates receiving money.
The 83-year-old Bulger was arrested in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2011 after 16 years on the run. Bulger fled after corrupt FBI agent John Connolly tipped him off just before his indictment for various crimes including racketeering, extortion and 19 murders.
During cross-examination Bulger’s attorney J. W. Carney, Jr., focused not on the calls, but instead of Bulger’s treatment in jail after his 2011 arrest.
During questioning, Brady acknowledged that Bulger has been kept in solitary confinement and remains in his cell except for an hour a day, five days per week. He also acknowledged that Bulger was stripped search multiple times a day and had a camera in his cell. Carney tried to ask Brady about the strip searches stopping only after Carney got involved, but prosecutors objected.
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