Incompetence helped set stage for Whitey Bulger’s jail homicide, watchdog report says By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Former mob boss and fugitive James “Whitey” Bulger, who was arrested in Santa Monica, California on June 22, 2011 alongside along with his longtime girlfriend Catherine Greig, is seen in a mix of reserving mug photographs launched to Reuters on August

By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Justice Division assessment discovered that jail officers incompetently dealt with the 2018 switch of Boston mobster and former FBI informant James “Whitey” Bulger to the West Virginia jail the place he was crushed to loss of life inside a day of his arrival.

The division’s Inspector Normal, Michael Horowitz, mentioned in an inner report launched on Wednesday that “bureaucratic incompetence” and “severe job efficiency” failures led the federal Bureau of Prisons to improperly switch Bulger, a wheelchair-bound 89-year-old inmate with a life-threatening coronary heart situation to the U.S. Penitentiary in Hazelton, West Virginia.

Bulger, who lived a double life as a mobster and a secret FBI informant earlier than he fled Boston and lived on the run for 16 years, was discovered bludgeoned to loss of life inside his cell on Oct. 30, 2018, lower than 24 hours after his arrival.

Bulger was convicted in August 2013 of 11 murders, amongst different costs, and sentenced to 2 consecutive life phrases plus 5 years.

Three inmates had been indicted on felony costs for his homicide earlier this 12 months.

Jail inmates took bets on how lengthy Bulger would survive after being transferred from a Florida jail, the report mentioned, citing an interview with an inmate.

It famous that BOP staffers spoke overtly about Bulger’s switch within the presence of inmates as in the event that they had been “speaking a few soccer recreation” and greater than 100 BOP staffers had been suggested of his switch prematurely.

The BOP didn’t conduct an intelligence evaluation about safety dangers Bulger may face, and inappropriately really useful downgrading his medical situation to facilitate his switch to Hazelton regardless of his severe cardiac situation.

“The truth that the intense deficiencies we recognized occurred in reference to a high-profile inmate like Bulger was particularly regarding provided that the BOP would presumably take explicit care in dealing with such a high-profile inmate’s case,” the report mentioned.

The report didn’t uncover any proof of federal legal violations by jail employees, and at the very least six folks have been referred to the BOP for attainable disciplinary motion.

Bulger’s accused killer, Fotios “Freddy” Geas, 55, was already serving a life sentence for the 2003 murders of Genovese crime household boss Adolfo “Massive Al” Bruno and affiliate Gary Westerman.

Bulger evaded legislation enforcement whereas residing as a fugitive for 16 years. He was finally caught in Santa Monica, California, because of a tip from a former Icelandic magnificence queen.

Bulger and his Irish-American Winter Hill gang operated for greater than 20 years in Boston, the place he was concerned with mortgage sharking, playing, extortion, drug dealing and homicide.

He operated with the tacit approval of FBI agent John J. Connolly, who seemed the opposite means in order that Bulger may provide info on Italian-American gangsters.

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