You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Metro

Relatives of alleged Bulger victim disappointed he won’t testify

Tommy and Patricia Donahue addressed the media outside Moakley Federal Courthouse on Friday after learning “Whitey” Bulger would not testify.

Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

Tommy and Patricia Donahue addressed the media outside Moakley Federal Courthouse on Friday after learning “Whitey” Bulger would not testify.

The wife of an alleged victim of notorious Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger said today she was disappointed that he decided not to testify because she wanted to know more about corruption at the FBI.

“I think he might have told the truth about some things because he had nothing to lose,” said Patricia Donahue, wife of Michael Donahue, who was allegedly killed by Bulger in 1982. Donahue was an innocent bystander who was giving Bulger’s intended target, Brian Halloran, a ride home from a bar.

Continue reading below

“I wanted to hear about all the government corruption,” she said.

Tom Donahue, her son, who joined her in talking to the media outside the courthouse, said Bulger is “going to take a lot of secrets to the grave.”

He said Bulger is the “only one who really knows how high up the corruption goes” and Bulger’s decision not to testify “aggravates the hell out of me.”

When Bulger said in court that he wouldn’t be testifying, Patricia Donahue shouted, “You’re a coward!”

Michael Donahue and Halloran were allegedly killed by Bulger and another man in 1982. Witnesses testified that Bulger had been tipped off by a corrupt FBI agent that Halloran was cooperating with the FBI against Bulger.

Continue reading below

Both families sued the FBI for its corrupt relationship with Bulger, but the federal courts threw out the cases on grounds they were filed beyond the statute of limitations, an argument aggressively pushed by the Justice Department.

Bulger’s lawyers made an unexpected offer today to drop their opposition to the government’s seizure of $822,000 in cash found inside the walls of the California apartment where Bulger was arrested in 2011. The lawyers said Bulger would cede the money, if it goes to the Donahue and Halloran families.

If Bulger is really repentant, “I think he should go to his safety deposit box and give us the rest of his money,” Patricia Donahue said, referring to rumors that Bulger may have stashed away other money. She said the gesture could have stemmed from Bulger’s image of himself as a modern-day Robin Hood.

Her son said he thought the gesture actually came from Bulger’s lawyer, Jay W. Carney Jr.

Retired State Police Colonel Tom Foley, who doggedly investigated Bulger over the years, said, “I think the prosecution team would have tuned him up, if he did take the stand. There’s just too much he did over the years for him to answer to.”

“There would have been no way to explain 30 years of his crimes,” he said.

“I think we’ve given him too much attention already. Let’s let the jury make the decision,” Foley said.

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week