A look at James 'Whitey' Bulger, one of the most infamous criminals in American history.A look at James 'Whitey' Bulger, one of the most infamous criminals in American history.A look at James 'Whitey' Bulger, one of the most infamous criminals in American history.
Bulger's trial is highly unusual, in that the defense is making no effort to say their client is innocent, and they know he'll spend his last days in prison (he's 83 at the time of the trial). The issue is really; instead of being an informant as claimed by the FBI and others, did Whitey really have them all on his payroll? Is the government more worried about cleaning their own dirty laundry without blame than in getting Whitey behind bars? And the larger moral question, even IF Bulger was an informant, was that really worth letting him run free, killing 19 people and raining fear on the residents of South Boston?
There's no conclusive smoking gun of a conspiracy, but there sure is a ton of circumstantial evidence, and Berlinger gives a good job of presenting it in a building, cinematic fashion – starting with the simple fact that everyone knew Whitey ran the neighborhood for years and years, yet he was never once charged with anything. And then somehow he knew to run just before the authorities rounded up all the leadership of his gang, surviving as a fugitive for 16 years.
Not as emotionally powerful as Berlinger's great "Brothers Keeper" and very strong "Paradise Lost", but always engaging on an intellectual and moral level.
- Nov 1, 2014