Families of the alleged victims of James “Whitey” Bulger testified Wednesday to describe the impact of the oft-dramatized Boston mob boss’s crimes, ahead of his sentencing Thursday. Bulger, who was captured in 2011 after 16 years on the run, was charged in connection with 19 murders and in August convicted of participating in 11 of them. Prosecutors say he faces life in prison under federal sentencing guidelines.
During the hearing Wednesday, Bulger, whose story loosely inspired the Hollywood hit The Departed, rarely looked at the speakers and declined to make a statement. The judge ruled Wednesday that even family members of alleged victims of crimes for which Bulger was not convicted could testify. Below are tidbits from Wednesday’s testimony, compiled from reports filed from the court.
Bulger was found guilty of murdering Arthur “Bucky” Barrett in 1983. The mob boss allegedly lured him to a South Boston home in 1983, tortured him until he divulged the location of stashed cash, and shot him in the back of the head.
“Hours before [my father] was murdered, he was praying, from what I understood, to a picture of a little girl. … That was me. … You will be summoned to the highest judge. A lethal injection would be too easy of a punishment.” — Theresa Bond, Arthur’s daughter
Bulger was found guilty of conspiracy to murder John Callahan in 1982. Bulger and associate Stephen Flemmi allegedly had Callahan killed because they feared he would collaborate with investigators.
“You won’t even turn around and look at us, coward?” — Patrick Callahan, John’s son
Bulger was found guilty of murdering Eddie Connors, a tavern owner in Dorchester, Mass., in 1975. Hitman John Martorano testified that Bulger decided to kill Connors because he bragged about helping in the murder of a rival mobster.
Bulger was found guilty in the murder of Michael Donahue, an innocent bystander, in 1982. Donahue, a 32-year-old truck driver, was giving the intended target a ride home.
“He was the soul of our family. Everything we treasured was gone in the blink of an eye.” — Patricia Donahue, Michael’s widow
The jury issued no finding on charges that Bulger was involved in strangling Debra Davis, the longtime girlfriend of Flemmi, in 1981.
“This man has built up so much hate in my heart I’d like to strangle him myself … I hope Whitey dies the same way my sister did, gasping for breath.” — Steven Davis, Debra’s brother.
Bulger was found guilty in the murder of mobster Paul McGonagle, who disappeared in Nov. 1974.
“In ’75 you stooped to an all-time low when you called my house and said, ‘Your father is not coming home for Christmas’ … My father was no Boy Scout, but he was a better man than you’ll ever be.” — Sean McGonagle, Paul’s son
The jury said prosecutors failed to prove Bulger participated in the murder of rival gangster Al Notarangeli in 1974.
“You lured him in and then you executed him … I’ll be glad when I don’t see your face in the newspaper, or hear about you in the news … What happened in the 70s and 80s, what happened in this court is never going to go away. It’s always going to be a mark on history.” — Tom Angeli, Alfred’s son
The jury said prosecutors did not prove Bulger participated in the murder of 32-year-old William O’Brien in 1973.
“You learn to cope with your fear, but you never get over it. Here I am 40 years later trying to put into words how that horrific night impacted me … I miss my father all the time, and I always wonder what would have been … We got you, you rat! ” — Marie Mahoney, William’s daughter
Bulger was found guilty in the assassination of millionaire businessman Roger Wheeler in 1981.
“Shame on you, Mr. Bulger. For all your notoriety, you are a punk. And you don’t even matter anymore…. Enjoy your retirement…. My family and I have nothing but contempt for you.” — David Wheeler, Roger’s son.