Whitey Bulger, the notorious Boston mobster, was killed in a West Virginia prison at the age of 89, confirms NBC News. Boston-based investigative journalist Michele McPhee had been the first to report that Bulger was killed on the morning of October 30 at the Hazelton federal prison in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia.
WHDH’s Steve Cooper reports that Bulger was killed while in general population at around 8 a.m. A statement from the Department of Justice said that Bulger was “found unresponsive” and that “life-saving measures were initiated immediately by responding staff.” The Preston County Medical Examiner pronounced Bulger dead. No other inmates or prison officers were injured during the incident. TMZ reports that Bulger, who was wheelchair-bound, was wheeled into an area not covered by surveillance cameras and was beaten. The site said that an inmate beat Bulger with a lock in a sock and then a group attempted to gouge out one of his eyes but failed. A suspect or suspects have not been identified in the murder. Investigators are reportedly looking into the possibility that the killing was mob related.
Bulger Had Just Been Moved to the Prison Where He Was Killed
The Boston Globe reported earlier in the day that Bulger had been moved to West Virginia’s USP Hazelton in Bruceton Mills. Bulger was previously being held in Sumterville, Florida until he was moved to Oklahoma briefly before being transferred to West Virginia. The Globe report quotes a source saying that Bulger’s health was severely declining and that he was suffering from a heart condition. Speaking to Newsweek, one of Bulger’s victim’s sons, “I’m surprised and pleased. I didn’t think anyone was going to get to kill him. I thought he would die an old man in jail. This is happy news for our family.”
Hazelton Has Been Referred to as ‘One of the Federal System’s Roughest Prisons’
West Virginia News had confirmed through the president of Local 420 of the American Federation of Government Employees, Richard Heldreth, that a murder had taken place at the prison on the morning of October 30. That article referred to Hazelton as “one of the federal system’s roughest prisons with more than 1,200.”
The Boston Globe reports that another infamous Boston-mobster in Hazelton is convicted killer Paul Weadick. Weadick was convicted in June 2018 of the 1993 murder of Steven DiSarro, a South Boston business owner. Bulger’s one-time henchman, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, testified during Weadick’s trial that he had walked in on Weadick killing DiSarro, but hastily left. That murder trial also involved New England mobster, Frank Salemme, 85. Salemme and Weadick were both sentenced to life in the case.
Bulger Was Convicted in 2013 of Committing 11 Murders in the Boston-Area
In 2013, Bulger was convicted of 11 murders that occurred in the Boston-area in the 1970s and 80s. Bulger absconded from New England in 1995 and was not captured until 2011. When Bulger was captured, he was with his long-term partner Catherine Grieg. Grieg was sentenced to over eight years in prison for her role.
Bulger never married. He had one child, a son, Douglas Glenn Cyr, with his then-common law wife Lindsey Cyr. Douglas Cyr passed away at the age of six after suffering from Reye syndrome.