Notable quotes from the ‘Whitey’ Bulger trial
Some notable quotes from testimony and spectators at the two-month trial of James “Whitey” Bulger:
“After I heard that they were informants, it sort of broke my heart.”
— Ex-gangster and former Bulger partner John Martorano, who has admitted killing 20 people but served just 12 years in prison. He described his relationship with Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi and said he was stunned to learn that they had been providing information to the FBI while also committing crimes for the Winter Hill Gang. He later said he “always tried to be a nice guy” and only killed people while working with Bulger and his gang to help family and friends.
“I came home from school and my mom was sitting on the sofa watching a news story and crying.”
— Joseph Angeli, who learned on his 14th birthday that his father, Joseph “Indian Joe” Notarangeli, had been killed, allegedly by Bulger’s gang. He and his mother and siblings were suddenly moved from Massachusetts to California in 1973.
“It was my brother, and he had been shot many times. ... His teeth were covered with his own blood.”
— Joseph Leonard, testifying about receiving a call in the middle of the night to come to the morgue to identify the body of his brother, Francis “Buddy” Leonard. Prosecutors say the Bulger gang killed Leonard to divert attention from the slaying of his childhood friend, Tommy King, a former rival who had joined forces with Bulger. Leonard was found dead in King’s car; King’s body was found 25 years later, buried in a shallow grave along the Neponset River in Quincy.
“It tears you apart hearing the horrific story.”
— Tom Donohue, the son of Michael Donahue, describing listening to former Bulger right-hand man Kevin Weeks testifying about his father’s death in 1982. Weeks said he had never met Donahue, who was not a target of the shooting that killed him and Edward “Brian” Halloran. Bulger had heard Halloran was cooperating with authorities, according to Weeks. Weeks testified that he was keeping watch for Halloran to come out of a restaurant. He got into a car driven by Donahue and Bulger opened fire, killing both, Weeks said.
Bulger: “You suck.”
Weeks: “F--- you, OK!”
Bulger: “F--- you, too.”
Weeks: “What do you want to do?”
— Tense exchange between Bulger and ex-right hand man Kevin Weeks after Weeks testified about learning Bulger and Flemmi were FBI informants. He said it went against the South Boston culture to rat on friends or enemies.
“Jim says to him, ‘Do you want one in the head?’ and he said, ‘Yes, please.’”
— Weeks testifying about the death of John McIntyre, who was killed after Bulger heard he may have spoken with authorities about a failed bid to send guns to the Irish Republican Army. Weeks said McIntyre was chained to a chair and interrogated by Bulger, who held a machine gun, and that when McIntyre admitted he was cooperating, Bulger wrapped a rope around his neck and tried to strangle him. The rope was too thick, so Bulger shot McIntyre instead, Weeks said.
“She didn’t deserve it, you know.”
— Steve Davis, talking to reporters outside court the day a forensic anthropologist showed jurors photographs of his sister’s skull. The remains of 26-year-old Debra Davis were found in a shallow grave in Quincy 19 years after she disappeared. Davis was the girlfriend of Bulger’s partner, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, who testified that he saw Bulger strangle her. Bulger denies that.
“It was either that or get killed.”
— Construction contractor Michael Solimando, explaining why he and his brother-in-law sold jewelry, cars stocks and other items to pay Bulger a total of $400,000 and never reported the alleged extortion to authorities.
“It’s affected me and it’s going to affect me until the day I die.”
— Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, testifying that he stood by and did nothing while Bulger strangled his girlfriend, Debra Davis, in front of him because he had told her he and Bulger were FBI informants. Bulger denies this.
“On two occasions, and I regret it, in a moment of weakness.”
— Flemmi testifying that he twice had sexual contact with his stepdaughter, Deborah Hussey, whom he also said he watched Bulger strangle. He says Bulger strangled her because she was using drugs, getting arrested and dropping their names when she got in trouble. Bulger has also denied killing Hussey and Bulger’s attorney suggested that Flemmi might have killed her. Flemmi acknowledged pulling her teeth out teeth out to make identification of her body more difficult.
“And my thing is, as far as I’m concerned, I didn’t get a fair trial, and this is a sham, and do what youse want with me. That’s it. That’s my final word.”
— Bulger, telling Judge Denise Casper why he decided not to testify in his own defense. He said he disagreed with Casper’s decision not to let him claim he had been given immunity from prosecution in exchange for protecting a now-dead federal prosecutor.
“They hunted their targets. These men didn’t hunt animals, ladies and gentlemen, they hunted people.”
— Prosecutor Fred Wyshak, recounting during closing arguments the grisly details of the killings Bulger is accused of committing or orchestrating.
“The witnesses are selling their testimony to the government. The currency that’s used here: How much freedom is the person going to get? The currency is the power of the government to keep someone locked up in a cell, surrounded by four concrete walls topped by barbed wires.”
— Bulger defense attorney J.W. Carney Jr., telling jurors during closing arguments that they shouldn’t trust the testimony of Bulger associates who cooperated to get time shaved off their sentences.