The home that James “Whitey” Bulger called “The Haunty” is for sale.
With an asking price of $3.5 million, 799 East Third St. in South Boston is being marketed as a “development opportunity” in one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city. But what the real estate listing doesn’t say is that it once served as a secret burial ground for Whitey Bulger’s gang.
Back in the early 1980s, the cozy-looking two-story Cape belonged to the brother of Bulger associate Pat Nee, and it had an unfinished dirt-floor basement where three of Bulger’s victims were buried.
In his testimony during Bulger’s racketeering trial, Kevin J. Weeks recounted that he saw Bulger kill Arthur “Bucky” Barrett, John McIntyre, and Deborah Hussey in the house. Their bodies remained buried in the basement until 1985, when the house was about to be sold. At that point, Weeks said, the bodies were exhumed and buried across the street from Florian Hall in Dorchester.
Bulger was later sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison for participating in those murders and eight others while operating his criminal enterprise. The 89-year-old died in prison last October after he was beaten to death. Two other inmates are being investigated in connection with the slaying, the Globe has reported.
The house is in the City Point neighborhood, a few blocks off the water and within walking distance of Castle Island, but carries history that is part of Bulger’s grisly lore.
In 1983, Barrett, a bar owner and safecracker who was suspected of a Medford bank burglary, was lured to the South Boston home, chained to a chair, and interrogated for hours by Bulger. Bulger shot Barrett in the head and then took a nap while his associates buried him in the basement, according to testimony.
McIntyre was killed after telling law enforcement about a IRA gun-running trip organized by Bulger’s gang. Hussey, the 26-year-old daughter of Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi’s girlfriend, was strangled by Bulger in early 1985.
Sara Walker, the listing broker, acknowledged the property’s history, but also noted that current owners are a “wholesome, hard-working” couple who have owned the property for a long time and raised their children there.
The property at 799 East Third St. has been owned since 1985 by Russell F. and Mary Radcliffe, records say. Kathleen A. and Michael C. Nee sold the property to the Radcliffes in December 1985 for $120,000, according to the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds
According to the real estate listing for “The Haunty,” the property now consists of two attached houses with parking for six cars and a large backyard. The front house has two and a half bedrooms, one and a half bathrooms, a large open kitchen/dining room, and living room.
The rear unit, which was built as an addition in 2014, features a kitchen/dining room and living room on the first floor with two master suites upstairs, two full baths, and a side-by-side washer and dryer.
The listing notes that there are “2 separate basements” and “the 2 units have separate entrances and separate utilities and are separately tenanted.” The front house is rented as a 60-day tenant-at-will, and “both units can be delivered EITHER vacant OR tenanted,” the listing states.
The city currently believes the house is more valuable than the land. Overall, the property is assessed at a total of $899,000 with the building value of $607,800 and the property valued at $291,800, according to city records.
The original house was first built in 1885 and now encompasses 1,975 square feet on the 5,000-square-foot lot. City records say the property has a 1,200-square-foot deck/patio, a second deck of 64 square feet, and an 80-square-foot shed.
Walker, said she hopes that a new development will clear the “dark memory” that is associated with the address. “It’s one of the largest lots owned by one owner” in the City Point neighborhood, she said.
“I think it’s a tremendously positive opportunity” to build something new, “and a wonderful opportunity for the neighborhood to heal,” she said.