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|08-12-2013, 03:35 PM||#1|
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'Whitey' Bulger found guilty
James "Whitey" Bulger, one of America's most notorious underworld bosses, has been convicted of nearly a dozen murders, racketeering and conspiracy.
The 83-year-old terrorised an Irish-Catholic neighbourhood of Boston in the 1970s and '80s as leader of the Winter Hill Gang.
He betrayed no emotion upon hearing the verdict after a two-month trial.
Bulger went on the run in 1994 and was finally captured in Santa Monica, California, in 2011.
He was said to have been an inspiration for the gangster played by Jack Nicholson in Oscar-winning 2006 film The Departed.
The trial in Boston heard gruesome evidence that Bulger had participated in 19 murders, but he was found guilty on Monday of a role in only 11 of them.
He faces a potential life prison sentence.
Bulger refused to testify at the trial, calling the proceedings "a sham" because he said he had been promised immunity by a now-deceased prosecutor.
During the trial, the federal jury of 12 heard testimony from 72 witnesses and saw 840 exhibits
Prosecutors said Bulger had been a longtime FBI informant protected by corrupt agents, who turned a blind eye to the Winter Hill gang's activities in return for information on the Italian Mafia.
But his lawyers denied he was an informant, arguing that he paid the FBI for information about investigations.
Over the course of the trial, Bulger's former associates had testified he strangled women, gunned down those threatening to expose his crime syndicate, and threatened others with pistols and machine guns to force them to hand over cash.
Bulger was featured on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list for 16 years until he was found living on the West Coast with his girlfriend Catherine Greig.
She was sentenced in 2012 to eight years in prison for helping Bulger evade the law.
All generalizations are dangerous.
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