What We Learned About Whitey Bulger Today

This post is part of a larger series of posts on Whitey Bulger, offering the latest details from numerous sources on Whitey’s arrest, his prosecution, and his life. Check back at bostonmagazine.com/whitey for continuous coverage.

Today’s big news: Whitey bragged about coming back to Boston while he was on the lam, “armed to the teeth,” he said, and hoping to “take care of some unfinished business.What business he had and when he hoped to carry it out, he wouldn’t tell the feds.

Some experts, like one State Police detective who helped all those years ago expose Whitey’s crime, said this is braggadocio, an old mobster ridiculing the cops who spent years trying to capture him. Some believe that Whitey never came back while on the lam.

For him to be out there now bragging about all the guns he had and all the scores he was going to settle is once again him playing to his own ego.

Whitey apparently loves himself so much that he waived his Miranda rights to tell the feds all this while on the six-hour plane ride from Santa Monica to Boston.

Now that he’s here, apparently no lawyer wants to defend him. Some say the case is too vast: 17,000 pages of transcripts, 19 murders spanning three decades. Others — and this is rich for criminal defenders — say it is morally reprehensible to represent such a man. Mostly, though, the lack of interest is due to Whitey saying in court filings that he doesn’t have any money outside of $800,000 the Feds confiscated in Santa Monica.

For what it’s worth, Whitey’s likely lying about that. Kevin Weeks, Whitey’s mob deputy and surrogate son, said a few years back that Whitey fled town with $50 million. Given how Whitey lived in a rent-controlled apartment in Santa Monica, it’s hard to believe that all that money is gone.

Sonny McLean’s Irish Pub is not too far from Whitey’s old pad in Santa Monica. Boston ex-pats who frequented the place over the years wonder how often the old man showed up. A chalkboard in the men’s bathroom reads “Whitey Wuz Here.” Some patrons are convinced he stopped by to watch Game 4 of last year’s NBA Finals, between the Celtics and Lakers.

In the past few days the pub has been the place for Boston types to commiserate — in particular, author types. All Souls author Michael Patrick MacDonald was in the bar this weekend and said he went to Bulger’s first hearing, in L.A.

I don’t know why I came. I just had to. I was remembering all the mothers who lost their kids in that neighborhood.

Then Dennis Lehane dropped by for a beer. “I’m glad they got him,” Lehane said.

Browse our previous coverage for more on Whitey Bulger.