James “Whitey” Bulger, the notorious and much-feared former Boston mob boss, was killed Tuesday morning at the United States Penitentiary Hazelton in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia, multiple officials told CNN.
Bulger, 89, who had eluded federal authorities for more than 16 years before his arrest in June 2011, was serving the rest of his life in prison for a litany of crimes, including his role in 11 murders.
He was sentenced in November 2013 to two life terms plus five years for his role as architect of a criminal enterprise that, in the words of a federal judge, committed “unfathomable” acts that terrorized a city.
A federal jury had convicted Bulger that year of 31 counts, including racketeering, extortion, money laundering, drug dealing and weapons possession. The jury found him culpable in 11 killings from 1973 through 1985.
His death marks a final chapter in the life of one of the country’s most infamous criminals and fugitives.
A man who lived by violence, vengeance and intimidation, Bulger would not make eye contact at his sentencing with the relatives of the people he’d killed, nor those who were slain by his accomplices in the treacherous Winter Hill Gang.
As they called him a coward, a rat, a punk and Satan, Bulger kept his head down and show no emotion as he scribbled on a pad. The statements of victims chronicled some of the darkest years of Boston history.
“The testimony of human suffering that you and your associates inflicted on others was at times agonizing to hear and painful to watch,” US District Court Judge Denise Casper said at the hearing. “At times, I wish we were watching a movie, that what we were hearing was not real. But as the families of victims know all too well, it’s not a movie.”
In 2016, auctioned items seized from Bulger’s Santa Monica, California, apartment raised almost $110,000 to compensate victims’ families.
Bulger was born September 3, 1929, in Dorchester, Massachusetts.