Three men charged with killing notorious Boston mobster 'Whitey' Bulger

Gangster and FBI's former most wanted man was killed in prison in 2018

A mugshot shows James 'Whitey' Bulger. AFP
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Three men, including a Mafia hitman, have been indicted in connection with the 2018 killing of Boston gangster and convicted murderer James “Whitey” Bulger.

Fotios “Freddy” Geas, Paul “Pauly” DeCologero and Sean McKinnon were charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia said in a statement on Wednesday.

“In addition to the conspiracy charge, Geas and DeCologero have been charged with aiding and abetting first-degree murder, along with assault resulting in serious bodily injury,” the statement said.

FILE - These 1953 file Boston police booking photos provided by The Boston Globe shows James "Whitey" Bulger after an arrest. Officials with the Federal Bureau of Prisons said Bulger died Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in a West Virginia prison after being sentenced in 2013 in Boston to spend the rest of his life in prison. (Boston Police/The Boston Globe via AP)

The three men were incarcerated at Hazelton prison in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia, where Bulger was serving two life sentences for the murders of 11 people, among numerous other convictions.

DeCologero and Geas have been accused of striking Bulger in the head several times, which caused his death in October 2018 at the Bruceton Mills prison.

Geas faces a separate charge for murder by a federal inmate serving a life sentence. He and DeCologero were still imprisoned at the time of the indictment.

McKinnon, who was on federal supervised released, was arrested on Thursday in Florida and charged with making false statements to an FBI agent.

Before his arrest, Bulger ruled Boston's Winter Hill Gang in the 1970s and 1980s and, as an FBI informant, snitched on fellow Mafia members. He went into hiding in 1995 after landing on the FBI's Most Wanted List and was found 16 years after he was indicted.

Bulger received two life sentences for his role in the murders of 11 people and 31 counts of racketeering. He was initially incarcerated in Florida, but was transferred to Hazelton in 2018, where he was killed less than 24 hours after arrival.

In an attack that occurred out of sight of the prison's security camera, Bulger was reportedly beaten with a padlock that was stuffed inside a sock. A senior law enforcement official at the time said the severe beating left Bulger “unrecognisable”.

In a statement, US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Rachael Rollins expressed solidarity with Bulger's victims.

“Today our hearts are with the 19 known murder victims and their loved ones, as well as anyone ever harmed by this man. He was a serial murderer, and each mention of his name is a trigger to the families he devastated, reopening wounds that we can only hope had finally started to heal,” Ms Rollins said.

“In the truest of ironies, Bulger’s family has experienced the excruciating pain and trauma their relative inflicted on far too many, and the justice system is now coming to their aid.”

Bulger's life has been the subjects of films including Black Mass, a biopic starring Johnny Depp. The mobster also was the inspiration for Jack Nicholson's character in Martin Scorsese's 2006 gangster film The Departed.

Updated: August 19, 2022, 4:04 PM