The 19 specific individuals he is accused of killing are just some of his victims, who may number 80 or more. We’re talking shootings, strangling, cutting off fingertips and gouging out teeth to hide the victim’s identity, terrorizing, extortion, drug-running and heaven knows what else.
Whitey Bulger is a study in contradictions. His physical fitness and grandfatherly demeanor; the steely eyes of a killer. His much touted love of animals; his total disregard for the two-legged kind. His reported touch of senile dementia; his decades-long socio-pathology. The $800,000 stashed in the walls of his Santa Monica apartment; the fact that his apartment was rent-controlled. The millions he supposedly has hidden away, possibly in vaults in foreign countries; his request for a public defender. His status as the FBI’s most wanted killer; his unassuming posture as an unremarkable elderly citizen. His long history of unremitting evil; the utter banality of his capture.
Brother Bill went to the arraignment. What would the life of this super intelligent, powerful leader have been without the big brother he had? Will we ever know what he knew and when he knew it?
The Boston FBI has still not recovered its reputation from the deals some of its members made when Whitey was an informant for them. But now it has brought him in.
Southie has moved beyond Whitey according to every conceivable measure, tribal hatred, street crime, violence, terror, racism. One of the most thoughtful pieces reflecting on this was Jim Carroll’s in today’s Boston Globe.
Perhaps the trial will disgorge long-hidden secrets and, in the process, be a catharsis.
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