Massachusetts is an interesting state culturally and politically. Like any other state, there are places in Massachusetts that the average person just stays away from because those places have their own rules and their own customs. One of those places was South Boston during the 25-year reign of Whitey Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi. They led the Winter Hill Gang, which ran loansharking, gambling and drug rackets in the Boston area. U.S. Attorney Donald K. Stern said in 2000 that the two were “responsible for a reign of intimidation and murder that spanned 25 years.”
An article at Yahoo News tells some of the details of the saga of Whitey Bulger. Whitey’s brother, William, was one of the most powerful politicians in the state, leading the Massachusetts Senate for 17 years and later serving as president of the University of Massachusetts. He resigned the post in 2003 under political pressure.
The story also relates:
“At the same time he was boss of the Winter Hill Gang, South Boston’s murderous Irish mob, Bulger was an FBI informant, supplying information about the rival New England Mafia. But he fled in January 1995 when a retired agent tipped him off that he was about to be indicted.
“That set off a major scandal at the FBI, which was found to have an overly cozy relationship with its underworld informants in Boston, protecting mob figures for decades and allowing them to commit murders as long as they were supplying useful information.”
I am sure there will be speculation on how Whitey Bulger stayed hidden for so long. There is probably a made-for-tv movie in process as I write this. However, I would just like to add that even though Whitey is now 81, it is good to see him brought to justice.