What We Learned About Whitey Bulger Today

This post is part of a larger series of posts on the Boston mob boss 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 Whitey news is something I brought you yesterday: Whitey’s about to ditch his court-appointed lawyer for two of the city’s best criminal defenders: Max Stern and Howard Cooper. Stern most recently represented former state Senator Dianne Wilkerson in her public corruption case. Cooper got $2.1 million out of the Herald in a libel suit. Going back a bit further, Stern represented the company that made the tunnel ceiling for the Big Dig that collapsed and killed that woman from JP in 2006; Stern got the manslaughter charges dropped in the case. He’s also called famed A Civil Action attorney Jan Schlictmann “fraudulent and dishonest” in a case that I wrote about in 2009. Point is, both of these guys are tough, and good.

But will Whitey pay for them? That’s the big question. Yesterday, I noted how Whitey says he doesn’t have any money, but one of his associates is sure he skipped town in 1995 with $50 million. Word just came from the U.S. Attorney’s office that Whitey will have another hearing tomorrow to officially name Cooper and Stern as his lawyers. At that time, Judge Wolf will likely decide if the taxpayers or Whitey will foot his bill.

If Whitey does pay his way, he won’t have access to the $800,000 found in his Santa Monica apartment. Noted mob lawyer Anthony Cardinale, representing an alleged Bulger victim, convinced a judge to place a lien on the cash. That money will either be Cardinale’s client’s, or the government’s, or both.

It’s probably a good thing the feds used a ruse to get Whitey out of his Santa Monica pad to arrest him. That’s what Kevin Weeks says, Whitey’s old lieutenant in the Winter Hill gang. Weeks notes how Whitey had lots of weapons in his Santa Monica place and says that Whitey always found killing a man “a stress reliever.

He had a saying, ‘Let’s all go to hell together,’ and I think if he had an opportunity to get those weapons there’d be a few people going to hell including himself.