The first defense witness called in the racketeering trial of James “Whitey” Bulger testified Monday that he repeatedly urged the FBI to drop the gangster as an informant in the early 1980s but was overruled by higher-ups who believed he was providing valuable information against the Mafia.
Robert Fitzpatrick, who was second in command of the FBI’s Boston office, said he knew from his first meeting with Bulger in 1981 that his value was overrated. In testimony that kicked off the defense’s bid to undermine the contention Bulger was an informant,Fitzpatrick described an unsettling visit at the gangster’s Quincy condominium.
“I put my hand out to shake his hand, and he didn’t take it,” said Fitzpatrick. Wearing a Boston baseball cap, tight-fitting shirt, and sunglasses, Bulger ushered him and FBI supervisor John Morris into his darkened kitchen and stood with his arms folded across his chest.
Fitzpatrick, now 73, testified in US District Court in Boston that he asked Bulger, “What are you doing for us?”
He said Bulger, who was wearing an Alcatraz belt buckle, talked about the years he spent in the notorious San Francisco prison for bank robbery and bragged he was the head of the Winter Hill Gang.
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