Whitey Bulger smiled, chuckled, or even laughed during Friday’s testimony in the Boston, Massachusetts trial of the 83-year-old organized crime figure who spent 16 years on the run. Different observers had different descriptions of James “Whitey” Bulger’s reaction to 84-year-old Richard “Dickie” O’Brien’s testimony.
But they all agreed that Whitey Bulger seemed to take a sinister pleasure out of the walk down memory lane.
O’Brien was a second-generation bookie forced to work for the Bulger crime organization who ultimately went to prison for his crimes. On Friday, he testified about how Bulger handled an agent for the bookmaking business who wanted to start his own business.
According to O’Brien’s testimony, Bulger said, “Well, we have another business too…Our other business is killing [expletive deleted] like you.”
That raised the chuckle out of Whitey Bulger.
A second witness on Friday, 72-year old James “The Sniff” Katz, also testified that bookies had to pay Bulger to stay in business.
Katz said that he paid $1,000 a month to book bets during the lucrative football season and $500 a month the rest of the year.
If bookies didn’t pay, “you could wind up in the hospital,” Katz said. “In order to stay in business, you had to pay tribute.”
Bulger is currently on trial for racketeering and multiple other charges related to 19 murders and other crimes.
In the notorious case, Bulger allegedly worked with FBI agents to finger his business rivals in organized crime. In return, he received protection for years from law enforcement and was reportedly even tipped off by his former FBI handler prior to a planned arrest in 1994.
Along with girlfriend Catherine Greig, Whitey Bulger became the subject of a 16-years long manhunt which didn’t end until their June 2011 arrest in Santa Monica, California.
[White Bulger mugshot courtesy US. Marshals Service via Wikimedia Commons]
[semiautomatic handgun photo by Guy J. Sagi via Shutterstock]