Relatives of Whitey Bulger's victims denounce him in court hearing

Nov. 13, 2013 at 2:06 PM
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BOSTON, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger refused to look at relatives of his victims Wednesday as they testified at a sentencing hearing in federal court.

Bulger, who was convicted of participating in at least 11 murders and a long list of other crimes during the years he dominated the Boston Irish underworld, is to be sentenced Thursday. When U.S. District Judge Denise Casper asked him if he plans to speak Thursday, Bulger answered, "No," the only word he said Wednesday, the Boston Herald reported.

While Bulger was acquitted of seven killings and jurors were unable to decide on a 19th, Casper said the families of all 19 alleged victims could address the court, the Boston Globe reported. Those who did had harsh words for Bulger.

"You're a bag of jailhouse rags waiting to be stored on cold steel. My family and I have nothing but contempt for you," said David Wheeler of Texas, whose father, Roger, the owner of World Jai Alai, was killed in 1981.

Sean McGonagle, 11 when his father Paul vanished in 1974, said Bulger called his house and said his father would not be home for Christmas, the Herald said. He said Bulger identified himself as "Santa Claus."

"My father was no Boy Scout, but he was a better man than you'll ever be," McGonagle told Bulger, after calling him a series of names, including expletives.

Prosecutors asked Casper to impose a double life sentence on the 84-year-old Bulger.

Bulger doodled or listened impassively during the hearing. His lawyer, J.W. Carney, said the mobster did not want to "validate" the proceedings.

After 16 years as a fugitive, Bulger was arrested in Santa Monica, Calif., where he had been living under an assumed name for more than a decade. His girlfriend, Catherine Greig, has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Bulger could still be tried on murder charges in Florida and Oklahoma, both death penalty states.

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