Whitey: The Life of America's Most Notorious Mob Boss
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From the bestselling authors of Black Mass comes the definitive biography of Whitey Bulger, the most brutal and sadistic crime boss since Al Capone.
Drawing on a trove of sealed files and previously classified material, Whitey digs deep into the mind of James J. “Whitey” Bulger, the crime boss and killer who brought the FBI to its knees. He is an American original --a psychopath who fostered a following with a frightening mix of terror, deadly intimidation and the deft touch of a politician who often helped a family in need meet their monthly rent. But the history shows that despite the early false myths portraying him as a Robin Hood figure, Whitey was a supreme narcissist, and everything--every interaction with family and his politician brother Bill Bulger, with underworld cohorts, with law enforcement, with his South Boston neighbors, and with his victims--was always about him. In an Irish-American neighborhood where loyalty has always been rule one, the Bulger brand was loyalty to oneself.
Whitey deconstructs Bulger's insatiable hunger for power and control. Building on their years of reporting and uncovering new Bulger family records, letters and prison files, Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill examine and reveal the factors and forces that created the monster. It's a deeply rendered portrait of evil that spans nearly a century, taking Whitey from the streets of his boyhood Southie in the 1940s to his cell in Alcatraz in the 1950s to his cunning, corrupt pact with the FBI in the 1970s and, finally, to Santa Monica, California where for fifteen years he was hiding in plain sight as one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted. In a lifetime of crime and murder that ended with his arrest in June 2011, Whitey Bulger became one of the most powerful and deadly crime bosses of the twentieth century. This is his story.
department, and the Massachusetts State Police. Making matters worse, around the time of Boeri’s reports, word surfaced that FBI agents had begun a leak investigation to learn who in law enforcement was talking to Boeri and other reporters. “The agents even have a formal name: The Media Leak Task Force,” columnist Brian McGrory wrote in the Boston Globe on October 17, 2000. “The bet here is that the FBI has more agents assigned to plug the leaks than to find Bulger.” McGrory voiced the
federal court for his arraignment. The news of his capture spread quickly, with Boston’s newspapers running photographs of him in police custody, his hair the color of black shoe polish. The FBI put out a story that agents had been hot on Whitey’s trail for days and had the “Revere spot under surveillance for several nights and when two agents sighted the suspect there they called for reinforcements.” The account of the arrest was not accurate, but one that accomplished two goals: it made the
one of Dr. Pfeiffer’s associates and signed on the dotted line. It was a document of disclosure, explaining the benefits and risks, that Dr. Pfeiffer had created specifically for the LSD Project, and the one-page form bearing the signature of “James J. Bulger” carried a heading in capital letters: “CONTRACT BETWEEN DEPARTMENT OF PHARMACOLOGY, EMORY UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AND HUMAN VOLUNTEERS AT U.S. PENITENTIARY, ATLANTA, GEORGIA.” One morning two months later, after eating a light
banks. Now inmate informants had buried him in prison, sending him farther from home and family and across a continent to the country’s most notorious prison, where he would continue to grow more guarded and more hateful toward betrayers. Whitey was certainly on the move—done now with Atlanta and done with the prison’s LSD Project, during which he had tripped on acid more than fifty times. But Whitey wasn’t the only one moving on. The project’s guru, Dr. Carl C. Pfeiffer, left Emory University
brother Bill got right to work adding to his lobbying list the federal agency deciding Whitey’s fate: the U.S. Board of Parole. The day after Christmas 1962, Bill Bulger wrote parole board executives in Washington, D.C., about Whitey’s application, and he followed that with a telephone call. While the Bulgers remained hopeful Whitey might win release in his first crack at parole, the reality was otherwise. Whitey was still in debt—owing one hundred days in forfeited good time from the strike in