‘Whitey’ Bul­ger buried in pri­vate ser­vice

Pawtucket Times - - REGION/OBITUARIES -

BOS­TON (AP) — A fu­neral Mass was held in Bos­ton Thurs­day for no­to­ri­ous gang­ster James “Whitey” Bul­ger, who was killed last week hours af­ter he ar­rived at a trou­bled West Vir­ginia prison.

The arch­dio­cese of Bos­ton said a pri­vate ser­vice for im­me­di­ate fam­ily was held at St. Mon­ica Church in South Bos­ton, the once-Ir­ish Catholic strong­hold where Bul­ger grew up and ran his ruth­less gang. Bul­ger’s body was present at the ser­vice and the burial is pri­vate, the arch­dio­cese said.

Bul­ger was found beaten to death shortly af­ter he was trans­ferred to USP Hazel­ton, a fed­eral pen­i­ten­tiary that has come un­der fire for its dan­ger­ous con­di­tions. Of­fi­cials briefed on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion have said two Mas­sachusetts mob­sters are un­der sus­pi­cion in the 89-year-old’s killing, but no charges have been brought.

Bul­ger, who ran a largely Ir­ish mob in Bos­ton in the 1970s and ‘80s and rat­ted on mem­bers of the New Eng­land Mob to the FBI, was serv­ing a life sen­tence for 11 un­der­world slay­ings and a long list of other crimes.

He spent 16 years as one of Amer­ica’s most wanted fugi­tives un­til he was found in 2011, liv­ing with his girl­friend, Cather­ine Greig, in a rent-con­trolled apart­ment in Santa Mon­ica, Cal­i­for­nia.

Bul­ger’s brother, for­mer Mas­sachusetts Se­nate Pres­i­dent William Bul­ger, and Mar­garet McCusker, Greig’s twin sis­ter, were among those who at­tended Thurs­day’s ser­vice, NBC Bos­ton re­ported. Greig is still serv­ing her sen­tence at a fed­eral prison in Min­nesota.

The priest who of­fered the Mass said the church is “cer­tainly aware of the deep pain that in­no­cent vic­tims of crime and vi­o­lence live with ev­ery day.”

“As Catholic priests we are called to bury the dead and pray for God’s jus­tice and mercy,” the Rev. James Flavin, pas­tor of St. Mon­ica-St. Au­gus­tine Church said in a state­ment. “We en­trust our fi­nal judg­ment to God.”

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