The infamous US gangster James “Whitey” Bulger has been handed down two consecutive life sentences plus five years in jail, after he was convicted for a string of organised criminal activity.
Running the Winter Hill gang in Boston in the 1970s and 80s, Bulger oversaw crimes from racketeering, extortion and money-laundering to murder, with a court finding him guilty in August of 31 counts in all.
Now 84 years old, the mob boss heard over the course of a two-day sentencing hearing how his victims’ families though he was an “irrelevant old man” for whom the electric chair would be “too good”.
Sentencing him today, US district judge Denise Casper said: “The scope, the callousness, the depravity of your crimes are almost unfathomable.
“Your crimes are made all the more heinous because they are all about money,” Judge Casper said.
Bulger remained defiant throughout, having told his defence lawyers not to speak on his behalf because he would not take part in proceedings he regarded as a “sham”.
His life story has fascinated Boston residents for years, and inspired Martin Scorsese’s 2006 Academy Award-winning film “The Departed”.
He grew up on a South Boston housing project to become the most feared person in the city, while at the same time his brother William rose to become president of the state’s senate.
Judge Casper told Bulger today: “The testimony of human suffering that you and your associates inflicted on others was at times agonizing to hear and painful to watch.”
“At times during the trial I wished that we were watching a movie, that what we were hearing was not real.”Reuse content