Whitey Bulger Convicted in Gangland Killings

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 12 2013 2:15 PM

Whitey Bulger Convicted in Gangland Killings

This courtroom sketch depicts Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi, upper right, on the witness stand as defendant James "Whitey" Bulger listens, seated middle, next to his defense attorney J. W. Carney Jr., seated far right, while prosecutor Fred Wyshak, standing left, questions Flemmi during Bulger's racketeering and murder trial at U.S. District Court in Boston, Friday, July 19, 2013.
This courtroom sketch depicts Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi, upper right, on the witness stand as defendant James "Whitey" Bulger listens, seated middle, next to his defense attorney J. W. Carney Jr., seated far right, while prosecutor Fred Wyshak, standing left, questions Flemmi during Bulger's racketeering and murder trial at U.S. District Court in Boston, Friday, July 19, 2013.

Jane Flavel Collins/AP Photo.

A Boston jury on Monday found James "Whitey" Bulger guilty on racketeering and conspiracy charges, concluding that the former Winter Hill Gang boss was responsible for 11 gangland killings dating back to the 1970s. The Associated Press with the details from the courtroom:

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Bulger ... showed no reaction upon hearing the verdict, which brought to a close a case that not only transfixed the city with its grisly violence but exposed corruption inside the Boston FBI and an overly cozy relationship between the bureau and its underworld snitches.
Bulger was charged primarily with racketeering, a catchall offense that listed 33 criminal acts—among them, 19 murders that he allegedly helped orchestrate or carried out himself during the 1970s and '80s while he led the Winter Hill Gang, Boston's ruthless Irish mob. The racketeering charge also included acts of extortion, money-laundering and drug dealing.
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After five days of deliberations, the jury concluded that Bulger was responsible for some—but not all of—those 19 murders. In the end, however, that will likely have little impact on Bulger's remaining years. Given his advanced age, the convictions almost certainly mean that he will spend the rest of his natural life in prison. A sentencing hearing is set for Nov. 13.

During the high-profile trial, the prosecution painted Bulger as a hands-on crime boss who didn't hesitate to give orders to kill, or to do so himself. Prosecutor Fred Wyshak dubbed the longtime fugitive "one of the most vicious, violent, and calculating criminals ever to walk the streets of Boston."

Slate's Seth Stevenson, who has been covering the trial, will have more analysis on the conviction shortly.

This post was updated with additional information as it became available.

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