At first I thought a verdict in the trial of Boston gangster Whitey Bulger would spur profound withdrawal symptoms. I’d be missing the daily, nay, hourly updates on the grizzly testimony given about the murderous career of the Hub’s most notorious and despicable psychopath. Despite having followed Whitey as a journalist, despite having covered his ever-loyal brother, the president of the state Senate and later the president of the University of Massachusetts, despite having read the books and seen the movies about this hated and feared criminal, I was still mesmerized as the trial details continued to unfold.
Enough already. In the end, the outcome was a plus for civilized society. This evil man will spend the rest of his life in a cage. Those who smugly ennobled him as “the Robin Hood of South Boston” or who shrugged him off as just another colorful character, albeit one who operated outside the law, have possibly met their come-uppance. Regrettably, the families of those whose murders were “not proven” are without the satisfaction of knowing that the wrongs done to their loved ones have specifically been punished. But the punishment is there nonetheless. And we can feel good that the jurors worked hard and took their responsibilities seriously.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the outcome is the failure to expose fully the criminality of key individuals in the FBI. True, John Connolly is in jail. John Morris was exposed. Jeremiah O’Sullivan was accused, though he can’t reach from the grave to give his side of the story. But I’ll bet that they are the tip of the proverbial iceberg. And perhaps we’ll never fully know the truth about what brother Bill knew and what he may or may not have done to protect his gangster brother.
It has been a compelling saga and would have passed for summer entertainment were the underlying events not so real, grisly and evil. This was, after all, not Dexter. I’m glad the trial is over and we can move on to more happy news stories, like the hundreds being slaughtered in Egypt, the civil war sinkhole in Syria, deteriorating relations with Vladimir Putin, the looming return of Congressional gridlock on the debt ceiling, and……..
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