‘Whitey’ Bulger impassive as relatives of victims vent anger
Gangster labelled ‘a disgrace to the Irish’ during a day of powerful testimony in Boston
Marie Mahoney – whose father William O’Brien was murdered by Bulger, according to prosecutors, but which a jury found was not proven – shouted: “We got you, you rat!” at him as she walked away.
“You won’t even turn around and look at us?” said Patrick Callahan, who was 14 when his father was slain by a hitman acting on Bulger’s orders in Florida in 1982.
Wheeler told the court the Justice Department had admitted in a filing to another US court that the FBI “bore some responsibility for both the death of Roger Wheeler and the subsequent cover-up”.
FBI must ‘come clean’
“It won’t end for me until the FBI and the Justice Department come clean and we have a chance to face them in court,” Wheeler told reporters afterwards.
Steven Davis struggled to talk about the murder of his sister Debra, who prosecutors said was strangled by Bulger. The jury made no finding in her murder.
“This man has built up so much hate in my heart, I’d like to strangle him myself,” said Davis, adding: “You piece of shit, look at me!” drawing one of only two visible reactions from Bulger during the hearing.
The other reaction came when Theresa Bond, daughter of Arthur Barrett who was shot by Bulger in 1983 while handcuffed to a chair, asked: “Mr Bulger, will you please look at me?”
He looked up from his notepad to glance briefly in her direction. Bond said she forgave him.“I was going to ask could I go in front of him,” Bond told The Irish Times afterwards. “I got his attention; I know I got his ears.”
Describing Bulger as a “gutless rat” for not looking at the relatives, Mr Davis told this newspaper: “I know I got under his skin. I bother him . . . I like that.”
Describing the hearing as “one of the most powerful presentations I have ever seen in a courtroom,” Bulger’s attorney JW Carney said his client reacted “to the power of their words” by almost turning to face them a couple of times “when it was clear that he had not intended to.”Asked by Judge Casper whether he had anything to say, Bulger – whose lawyers said he saw the trial as a “sham” – said: “No.”