SEVERE WX : Frost Advisory View Alerts

Whitey Bulger was brutally beaten during fatal prison attack

Notorious mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger was brutally beaten in the fatal attack Tuesday at the Hazelton pri...

Posted: Nov 2, 2018 9:20 AM
Updated: Nov 2, 2018 9:20 AM

Notorious mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger was brutally beaten in the fatal attack Tuesday at the Hazelton prison in Bruceton Mills, according to law enforcement officials.

The South Boston mobster, 89, died a day after he was transferred there from another facility -- the victim of the kind of brutality he once handed out.

Boston

Continents and regions

Corrections system

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal law

Criminal offenses

Deaths and fatalities

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Government organizations - US

Homicide

Jail sentencing

Law and legal system

Massachusetts

Misc people

Murder

North America

Northeastern United States

Organized crime

Prisons and jails

Sentencing

Society

The Americas

United States

US Department of Justice

US federal departments and agencies

Whitey Bulger

Law enforcement

Investigations

Southeastern United States

West Virginia

Accidents, disasters and safety

Prison safety

Safety issues and practices

At the time of the killing, Bulger was in the general prison population, which gave inmates easy access to him, according to a federal law enforcement official, who has knowledge of the investigation.

Bulger was found unresponsive at 8:20 a.m., and was pronounced dead after failed lifesaving measures, prison officials said.

Investigators believe he was attacked by more than one person. At least one of the inmates involved has ties to organized crime in Massachusetts, the official said.

The prison on Thursday suspended inmate visitation until further notice, according to a post on its website.

One suspect is a Mafia hit man

One of the two suspects in the brutal beating was identified as Fotios "Freddy" Geas, a Mafia hit man from Massachusetts, The New York Times reported, citing unnamed sources. It said Geas was moved to solitary confinement after the killing.

Geas, 51, is serving a life sentence at the same prison for the 2003 murder of a crime boss and another man he believed was an FBI informant.

The US Penitentiary Hazelton is a high-security facility that houses 1,270 male offenders.

No staff or inmates were injured in the attack, the prisons bureau said. Federal officials are investigating Bulger's death as a homicide.

'It marks the full circle'

A man who wrote a book about the much-feared crime boss said he died the way he once lived.

"He lived violently and he apparently died violently," said Dick Lehr, author of "Whitey: The Life of America's Most Notorious Mob Boss."

"It marks the full circle of a terrible life."

Bulger was arrested in June 2011 after he eluded federal authorities for more than 16 years. He was serving the rest of his life in prison for a series of crimes that included his role in 11 murders. Before he went on the run, he had been a longtime FBI informant.

A federal jury convicted him of 31 counts, including racketeering, extortion, money laundering, drug dealing and weapons possession. The jury found him culpable in 11 killings from 1973 through 1985.

He was sentenced in November 2013 to two life terms plus five years as architect of a criminal enterprise that a federal judge said committed "unfathomable" acts that terrorized a city.

The circumstances of this week's transfer remain unclear. Bulger had also been housed at federal penitentiaries in Oklahoma and Tucson, Arizona.

Captured nearly 2 decades later

Bulger skipped town ahead of a pending indictment and was captured in California a decade and a half later.

In 2012, his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for identity fraud and helping the mob boss avoid capture. Before their arrest, they lived under false names in Santa Monica, in what Bulger described as a "16-year honeymoon."

After fleeing Massachusetts, investigators learned that the longtime mobster had been an FBI informant and his FBI handler had tipped him off to the charges.

His story has been the inspiration for several movies, including the 2006 Oscar-winning film "The Departed," which starred Jack Nicholson as a character modeled after him.

In 2015, actor Johnny Depp played him in the film "Black Mass."

Update: This article and headline have been updated to remove references to reporting that Bulger's attackers attempted to remove his tongue during the attack. CNN has not been able to independently confirm this information.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2075539

Reported Deaths: 52770
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings27622810275
Queens2732379808
Suffolk1989063374
Nassau1818043159
Bronx1806976514
New York1363994432
Westchester1285842264
Erie878771773
Richmond737331800
Monroe659361063
Orange47706810
Rockland46564955
Onondaga37769670
Dutchess29064442
Albany24349350
Oneida22143505
Niagara19556356
Broome18258356
Saratoga15014166
Ulster13705251
Schenectady12924197
Rensselaer11049140
Putnam1052191
Chautauqua8749140
Chemung7486135
Oswego738190
Ontario726792
Steuben6710143
Sullivan651772
St. Lawrence645396
Cayuga615592
Jefferson584766
Wayne560267
Cattaraugus552687
Genesee5319123
Herkimer5077107
Clinton476933
Madison444088
Fulton431191
Livingston430758
Tompkins421451
Montgomery4178122
Columbia3974101
Cortland371060
Tioga365161
Warren356357
Wyoming347052
Allegany338684
Chenango337676
Otsego337647
Greene333475
Washington305555
Orleans303183
Lewis265534
Franklin251012
Delaware230137
Seneca197156
Schoharie164816
Essex157026
Yates116426
Schuyler102614
Hamilton3052
Unassigned13258
Out of NY0234
Utica
Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 39°
Oneonta
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 34°
Herkimer
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 38°
Old Forge
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 38°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve