After 30 days of testimony, federal prosecutors rested their racketeering case against James “Whitey” Bulger on Friday, portraying him as a menacing crime boss and manipulative FBI informant who got away with murder for decades and raked in millions from drug dealing and extortion.
The government’s 63 witnesses offered jurors a startling view into a world where Bulger seemed omnipotent as he allegedly paid bribes to FBI agents, killed informants cooperating against him, shoved machine guns into the faces of drug dealers and businessmen, chained and interrogated men before shooting them in the head, and strangled women.
In some cases, according to his former associates, Bulger took naps after his killings, while they were left to bury the bodies and clean up his mess.
“They showed what a vicious type of murderous animal he was,” said Tom Donahue, whose father, Michael, was allegedly gunned down by Bulger in 1982 while giving a ride home to the intended target, an FBI informant who was cooperating against him.
On Monday, Bulger’s lawyers will begin calling defense witnesses as they try to build upon a theme they have been pressing for the past six weeks: that Bulger was not an informant, that he did not kill the two young women who are among his 19 alleged victims, that even though he raked in millions from cocaine and marijuana dealing, he refused to sell heroin or angel dust. He was, they suggest, a gangster with principles.
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