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Judge sentences 'Whitey' Bulger to two life terms for racketeering, murder charges

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Nov. 13, 2013: James 'Whitey' Bulger appeared in court in Boston. (Jane Collins)

A judge in Boston has sentenced crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger to two life terms plus five years of imprisonment for 11 killings and other racketeering charges.

Judge Denise Casper also ordered Bulger to pay $19 million in restitution for victims.

Before the sentencing, she said that depravity of his crimes is "almost unfathomable". 

"You have over time become a face of this city," Casper said, according to a Fox News producer inside the courtroom. "That is regrettable.  You do not represent this city."

Bulger, 84, looked directly at her and listened intently as she made the remarks.

Bulger was defiant in the trial to the end, calling it a sham and refusing to testify or provide information to probation officials preparing a sentencing report for the judge.

The sentencing hearing ended a sordid chapter in Boston history featuring FBI and government corruption that helped Bulger continue a reign of terror for decades and flee the city just ahead of an indictment.

A jury convicted Bulger in August in a broad racketeering indictment that included murder, extortion, money-laundering and weapons charges. The jury convicted Bulger in 11 of the 19 killings he was charged with participating in but acquitted him of seven and could not reach a conclusion on an eighth.

Casper heard testimony Wednesday from a dozen relatives among the 19 slaying victims. They called him a terrorist, a punk and even Satan. Prosecutors called him a sociopath.

Bulger, the inspiration for Jack Nicholson's sinister character in the 2006 movie "The Departed," was seen for years as a Robin Hood figure who bought Thanksgiving turkeys for working-class South Boston residents and kept hard drugs out of the neighborhood. But that image was shattered when authorities started digging up bodies more than a decade ago.

Prosecutors at his two-month trial portrayed him as a cold-blooded, hands-on boss who killed anyone he saw as a threat, along with innocent people who happened to get in the way.

Corrupt Boston FBI agents protected Bulger for years while he worked simultaneously as a crime boss and an FBI informant who ratted out the rival New England Mafia and other crime groups.

Former Boston FBI agent John Connolly Jr. -- Bulger's handler when he was an informant -- was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of tipping him off ahead of an indictment. After receiving the tip in 1994, Bulger fled Boston and remained a fugitive for more than 16 years until he was captured in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2011.

Connolly was later convicted of second-degree murder in Florida for leaking information to Bulger that led to the slaying of a gambling executive.

Fox News' Andrew Fone and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

 

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