Friends and relatives bade a quiet farewell Thursday to notorious mobster James “Whitey” Bulger at a funeral Mass held in the same South Boston neighborhood he once terrorized as the Winter Hill Gang boss.
Among those who attended the private send-off at St. Monica’s Catholic Church were Margaret McCusker, the twin sister of Bulger’s girlfriend Catherine Greig, and his brother, former state Senate President William Bulger, the Boston Globe reported.
The bloodthirsty 89-year-old was killed by fellow inmates last week shortly after he was transferred to a federal lockup in West Virginia. Two Massachusetts mobsters are under suspicion in his death but no charges have been filed.
Bulger was sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars after being convicted in 2013 in 11 underworld killings and a long list of other crimes.
The Rev. James Flavin, the parochial vicar in charge of the local parishes, said the Mass as mourners sat together in the front rows of the church. Most of the other seats were empty.
“At the request of and out of pastoral care for the Bulger family, the pastor offered a Mass today at St. Monica Church in Boston for James Bulger,” Flavin said in a statement.
“Out of respect for the family and those who were hurt, it was a private service just for the immediate family. The Church is a spiritual home for any person or family seeking God’s Wisdom and peace in a time of crisis and grief,” he continued.
“The Church is certainly aware of the deep pain that innocent victims of crime and violence live with every day,” Flavin added. “Whenever we celebrate Mass we remember in prayer all victims of violence.”
Travis Tuplin, a family friend of a Bulger victim, told NBC10 Boston that “this is the means to the end right here.”
“He did a lot of rotten stuff, a lot of rotten stuff to people around here. It’s ironic that the liquor store he took over, he’s getting funeralized right here,” Tuplin told the station.
The crime boss was collared in Santa Monica, California, in June 2011 along with Greig after 16 years on the lam after his FBI handler tipped him off that he was about to be indicted.
Greig pleaded guilty to several charges, including harboring a fugitive, and is expected to be released from prison in 2020.
Law enforcement sources have told NBC News that Bulger — who was transferred from Florida to the crime-ridden Hazelton federal penitentiary — was pummeled with a padlock stuffed inside a sock.
The killer or killers then placed him in his bed to make it look like he was sleeping.
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