Death of One of the Last Alcatraz Prisoners

by silvert_2cdt8wf2

James “Whitey” Bulger, AZ#1428, who arrived on Alcatraz in November of 1959, was killed October 31st 2018 in a federal prison in West Virginia. An infamous crime boss, FBI informant and long term loan shark, his long crime career in Boston after Alcatraz and his years as a fugitive came to an end in 2011 when he was captured by the FBI in Santa Monica, California, tried and sentenced to prison. There had been a $2 million reward for his capture.

Although Bulger was relatively unknown while on Alcatraz, he became stuff of legend after release. He was said to be the model for Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of a vicious crime boss in the 2006 Martin Scorsese film, The Departed. He was also played by Johnny Depp in the 2015 movie, Black Mass, which depicted his criminal life while being an FBI informant. His FBI handler, John Connelly, is still in prison.

Bulger was a brother of the former president of the University of Massachusetts and a powerful Massachusetts state senator named Billy Bulger.

While Bulger was on Alcatraz, from 1959 until 1962 for bank robbery, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, John McCormack, called the director of the Bureau of Prisons to inquire as to when Bulger might be transferred back to the East Coast so his family could visit more often. The Speaker was not a man to be trifled with; he is third in line to the President of the United States. Despite the request, which was forwarded to Alcatraz Warden Olin G. Blackwell, Bulger was not transferred for another seven months.

He was most likely killed because he had been an FBI informant. He was 89.

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