James “Whitey” Bulger, the super notorious Boston mob boss, was apparently killed in prison Tuesday morning at the US Penitentiary Hazelton in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia, according to multiple media reports. The US Penitentiary Hazelton is a high-security facility housing 1,270 male offenders at Federal Correctional Complex Hazelton.
“He lived violently and he apparently died violently,” Dick Lehr, author of “Whitey: The Life of America’s Most Notorious Mob Boss, told AP media outlets. “It marks the full circle of a terrible life.”
The death is being investigated by the FBI, which seems to have occurred a day after his transfer to the West Virginia prison facility.
“Hopefully the seven years he spent in prison as well as his recent death brings some closure to the families of his many victims,” Brian Kelly, one of the former federal prosecutors who tried Bulger, said in a statement.
Bulger who was 89 years-old, was found unresponsive in the early morning according to a statement from the prisons bureau. He was pronounced dead by the Preston County medical examiner after failed life-saving measures.
Why Bulger was transferred wasn’t exactly clear at present time. Bulger had also served his time at federal penitentiaries in Arizona & Oklahoma.
Bulger, who federal authorities were hunting for more than 16 years before finally being caught and arrested in June 2011, was serving the rest of his life in prison for a bunch of crimes. The most serious being eleven murders.
In November 2013, he was sentenced to two life terms plus five years as the kingpin of a criminal enterprise that, in the words of a federal judge, committed “unfathomable” acts that terrorized Boston, Mass.
Bulger was convicted on 31 counts, including extortion, money laundering, racketeering, drug dealing & weapons possession. The jury found him guilty in 11 killings dating from 1973 through 1985.
“We received word this morning about the death of James ‘Whitey’ Bulger,” US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Andrew Lelling said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with his victims and their families.”
Bulger lived by violence, vengeance, and intimidation. Bulger didn’t make eye contact at sentencing in front of the relatives of the people he killed, nor those who were slain by his cohorts in the treacherous Winter Hill Gang.
Bulger kept his head down and showed no emotion as he scribbled on a pad.
At his trial, Bulger hissed and scowled at witnesses and at prosecutors. At one point, he and his enforcer Kevin Weeks shouted obscenities at each other when Weeks called Bulger a “rat” during his testimony.
Bulger was captured in California a decade and a half after skipping town ahead of a pending indictment. After fleeing Massachusetts, investigators learned that Bulger had been an FBI informant and that Bulger’s FBI handler had not only tipped him off to the charges but also gave up another informant, who was later killed.
Bulger always denied being a government informant, even as he insisted he’d had an immunity deal with the former head of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime Strike Force. Prosecutors countered with a 700-page file outlining how Bulger provided information on drug deals, armed robberies, criminal fugitive whereabouts, and even murders that led to several arrests.
Bulger’s life became the basis for the 2006 Oscar-winning film “The Departed,” which starred Jack Nicholson as a character based on Bulger.
In 2015, actor Johnny Depp played Bulger in the film “Black Mass.”