Bulger Day 16: Weeks and Bulger Let the F-Bombs Fly
So Whitey Bulger’s on trial and you’re interested in hearing about it, but you’ve got this darn day job and you can’t manage to keep up with all the live tweets. We feel you. Here’s what you missed. (Past coverage here.)
The Cussing: Well, once again, the court got some unsolicited, obscene testimony from defendant Whitey Bulger. Former Bulger confidante Kevin Weeks testified that he feels bad about assisting in five murders because, “We killed people who were rats when I had the two biggest rats next to me,” referring to Bulger and Stephen Flemmi. Bulger then hissed “Fuck you” at the witness from his seat. That, in turn, prompted the hot-headed Weeks to shout “Fuck you!” right back, which, obviously resulted in some courtroom pandaemonium. These guys really know how to sell themselves to a jury … (Update: Some reporters heard Bulger say “You suck,” after which Weeks responded with the first “Fuck you,” and Bulger returned the compliment. The Globe actually has a large front page graphic to this effect.)
The Murders: Aside from the fact that Bulger hates being called a rat, you can understand why he was on edge today. Weeks pinned a lot of very disgusting murders on Bulger in his testimony. He began with Bucky Barrett, a bank robber whom Bulger wanted to shake down. As Weeks tells it, Bulger lured Barrett to a home in South Boston, “The Haunty,” where he chained him up and interrogated him to discover where he was stashing a lot of his money. Bulger then had him go down the stairs to the basement. Bulger attempted to shoot him in the back of the head, realized the gun safety was on, fixed the problem, and finally successfully shot him in the head. He then went upstairs to take a nap while Weeks and Stephen Flemmi poured lime over the body and pulled the teeth out before burying the guy in the basement.
Next up John McIntyre, who they suspected had informed authorities about a foiled attempt to ship guns to the Irish Republican Army. According to Weeks, Bulger lured McIntyre to the same South Boston house, again chained him up and interrogated him, then led him down to the basement, where he tried to strangle him, failed, then asked if McIntyre wanted it in the back of the head, to which McIntyre said, “Yes, please.”
And finally, Weeks pinned the murder of Flemmi’s step-daughter Deborah Hussey on Bulger, who wanted her dead because she was dropping his name with cops who arrested her for prostitution. Hussey, too, was lured to the South Boston house. Weeks said he thought she was safe because she was a woman but when he entered the room, Bulger was on the floor, strangling her with his legs wrapped around her body. As we’ve learned from his prison letters, if there’s anything Bulger hates more than being called a rat, it’s having the murder of two women pinned on him, so again, you see why he was quick with the F-bombs.
We’ve recommended it before, but WBUR’s comprehensive account of all 19 murders for which Bulger’s been charged is a great resource for those who want to know more about these victims and the circumstances surrounding their deaths.
Biggest Facepalm for the Prosecution: Weeks’s temper flared several times while under cross-examination. Weeks probably isn’t the government’s favorite witness given how easily he admitted to the defense that he lies all the time, particularly when its to his benefit. As expected, the defense pushed Weeks on having offered a different account of a particular extortion attempt in the past from the one he gives now. He responded, “I’ve been lying my whole life. I’m a criminal,” to an audible gasp. The defense has never had it so good.
Weeks also basically threatened defense lawyer J.W. Carney Jr. who asked what would happen if he called Weeks a “rat.” “Why don’t you call me one outside when it’s just me and you and see what happens,” Weeks replied, to which Carney quipped that prison had apparently reformed him. (For a sense of just how unable Weeks is to contain his desires to murder people, watch him try not to blow up as a 60 Minutes reporter asks what he’d like to do to Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr. This is a guy who literally cannot stop himself from threatening murder while on national television.)
Best Alleged Whiteyism: “Christmas is for kids and cops,” Bulger allegedly told Weeks while he handed out bribes to the many cooperative law enforcement officers he knew over the years. Charming.