Ex-mob boss ‘Whitey’ Bulger found guilty of racketeering

Jury reaches verdict on Irish-American criminal on fifth day of deliberations

An undated photograph of former mob boss James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, who has been found guilty of a racketeering conspiracy by a federal court jury in the US. Photograph: Reuters

An undated photograph of former mob boss James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, who has been found guilty of a racketeering conspiracy by a federal court jury in the US. Photograph: Reuters

 

James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, the Irish-American who was once the most feared mobster in Boston, was found guilty by a jury today of murder and racketeering in 31 out of 32 criminal charges against him at a trial that lasted more than two months.

Jurors found that federal prosecutors had proven their case against Bulger in only 11 of the 19 murders he was accused of carrying out or ordering in his days as head of the Winter Hill gang in the 1970s and 1980s.

At 83 years old, Bulger likely faces the rest of his life in prison. He was arrested in 2011 after being on the run since 1994. The jury reached its verdict on the fifth day of deliberations in US District Court in Boston.

The most complicated count the jury ruled on was the second racketeering offence, which encompassed 38 criminal acts including all 19 murders Bulger was charged with.

The jury found the government had proved its case on 11 of those murders, that it had not proven its case on seven, and reached no finding on one.

The jury only needed to find Bulger guilty of committing two of those 38 crimes, which also included extortion, drug dealing and money laundering, for him to be guilty of racketeering.

Bulger had pleaded not guilty to all charges, although his lawyers acknowledged their client was a drug dealer, extortionist and loan shark, in short an “organized criminal”.

Family members of Bulger’s victims have long waited for verdicts on the killings, and about a half-dozen survivors have been a regular presence in the courtroom.

Bulger had declined to testify on his own behalf at the trial and called the proceedings a “sham”.

Reuters