The brother of one of James “Whitey” Bulger’s alleged victims criticized “Black Mass,” the forthcoming movie about the gangster, saying Friday the big-budget Hollywood film is an insult to those still grieving for loved ones slain by the once-feared crime boss.
“A lot of the families are very, very upset about this,” said Steven Davis, 57, of Milton, whose sister, Debra, was allegedly strangled by Bulger in 1981. “I don’t like it one bit. . . . Everybody seems to be profiting off it. It’s sad for the movie industry, it’s sad for the actors.”
Jurors in Bulger’s federal trial in 2013 issued a verdict of “no finding” in Debra Davis’s death but found that Bulger participated in 11 other murders, as well as drug trafficking and extortion during a decades-long reign of terror in Boston.
Bulger, 85, was convicted in the sweeping racketeering indictment in August 2013 and is serving a life sentence.
A former Bulger associate, Stephen Flemmi, testified that he lured the 26-year-old Davis to a vacant house in South Boston on Sept. 17, 1981, and watched as Bulger choked her to death.
Steven Davis spoke to the Globe one day after the release of the trailer for “Black Mass,” which stars Johnny Depp as the notorious gangster. In the preview, a menacing Depp holds court during a meal, his eyes piercing as he tells another man that speaking flippantly “could get you buried real quick.”
The movie is slated for release in September.
Davis blasted the filmmakers for what he said was an attempt to cash in on Bulger’s murderous actions, which victims’ relatives had to relive during his trial.
“It’s too much hurt still going on,” Davis said. “It’s still too new to the heart for people.”
Warner Bros., the film’s distributor, declined to comment.
“Black Mass” is based on a 2000 book of the same title by former Boston Globe staffers Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill. It details Bulger’s time as an FBI informant and his corrupt relationship with the agency.
Bulger has insisted that he never served as an informant, despite a hefty file that indicates he provided information to the FBI from 1975 to 1990. Federal prosecutors said a disgraced former FBI agent also leaked intelligence to Bulger, which resulted in several murders.
On Friday, Steven Davis, reflecting on the upcoming film, said Hollywood should not glamorize Bulger.
“He was a piece of [expletive] anyway,” Davis said. “The only reason he had the power to do what he did was because the FBI was protecting him. . . . The movie industry and the actors, they’re the ones making the money. It’s another [expletive] slap in the face, that’s what we’re getting paid. Another slap in the face.”
Alexandra Valoras showed every outward sign of success and promise, a star at school, beloved at home. She revealed nothing of her inner anguish, except in her diary — a chronicle of scathing self-criticism and growing desperation that her parents chose to share so that other families might learn from their loss.Continue reading »
Along with his tenure as US poet laureate, Donald Hall was the winner of numerous honors and prizes in poetry, and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.Continue reading »
For 11 hours on Wednesday, drivers who wanted to travel through a remote stretch of northern Maine were asked a simple question: Where were you born?Continue reading »
Since her fellow passenger was both deaf and blind, Daly — who had been studying American Sign Language for the past year — would have to sign into his hand.Continue reading »
These Emergency Response posts, tucked in trailers or nondescript government buildings, are staffed purely on an overtime basis.Continue reading »
The practice of arresting undocumented immigrants in government offices was halted by the region’s former acting director.Continue reading »
More than a century after it opened as a museum, it remains an impressive glimpse into life during Colonial times, and the 1851 Nathaniel Hawthorne novel that the house inspired.Continue reading »
For Superintendent Tommy Chang, a failure at community-building stymied efforts to improve Boston’s public schools, education experts and city officials said.Continue reading »
Tommy Chang confirmed he will resign, and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said the public school system needs a leader “who can gain the confidence of the community.”Continue reading »