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The feds botched Whitey Bulger's prison transfer so badly that the infamous Boston gangster had 'lost the will to live,' a watchdog found

Insider
Insider
 2022-12-07
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James "Whitey" Bulger walk around Boston on July 22, 1994.
  • Whitey Bulger's prison transfer from Florida to West Virginia dragged on for months, a new report found.
  • Bulger had numerous medical complications and "lost the will to live," a scathing DOJ report said.
  • The infamous gangster was beaten to death less than a day after he finally was moved.

James "Whitey" Bulger's prison transfer in 2018 was botched so badly that the notorious Boston gang boss had "lost the will to live," a new watchdog report found.

A new report made public on Wednesday by the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General revealed incompetence at the Federal Bureau of Prisons surrounding Bulger's 2018 transfer from Coleman prison in Florida to Hazelton prison in West Virginia.

Within hours of finally being transferred, Bulger would be beaten to death by inmates at the prison. The report found no evidence that prison staff intentionally caused Bulger's death.

For years, Bulger was a violent organized crime leader in New England and ended up on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list while he was on the run before his arrest in 2011. Two years later, he was convicted of multiple crimes.

According to the report, Bulger was placed in a special housing unit (SHU) in the Florida prison in February 2018.

That was the start of an arduous eight-month-long process to transfer him to West Virginia. As he waited, the aging gangster had numerous health complications — including multiple heart attacks — and requested to be transferred to a medical center.

In a September 2018 Psychology Services Suicide Risk Assessment, Bulger said he had "no quality of life," his chest hurts when he eats and tries to lay down, he has memory issues, he constantly feels lethargic, his health is "gone," and he's "deteriorating," the report said.

"We found it deeply troubling that [prison] personnel placed an 89-year-old inmate with serious heart conditions for which medical doctors frequently recommended hospitalization and surgery, and who used a wheelchair, in a single cell in the SHU for 8 months while it was bureaucratically struggling with deciding how to transfer him to a new facility," the watchdog report found.

The report continued: "This lengthy SHU placement of Bulger in a single cell before his transfer from Coleman caused him to state that he had lost the will to live, and may have affected his persistence upon arriving at Hazelton that he wanted to be assigned to general population."

Bulger eventually arrived at Hazelton — where inmates knew that he was coming prior to his arrival and even placed bets on how long he would survive — at 6 p.m. on October 29.

Shortly after 9 a.m. the next morning, Bulger was found dead "with visible injuries to his head and face, consistent with having been involved in a physical altercation," the report said.

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Comments / 207

Bryan Miller
12-07

this was a setup purely and simple. They were told he shouldn't be moved but they moved him anyway to a place he never should've should've sent. Yup,people got paid and he got killed.

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Brandon Jamail
12-07

Ok, he was a gangster. He was not an altar boy. But, he didn’t get to the head of a family with out someone disappearing. Karma.

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Joe Micalizzi
12-07

Prisons are BIG BUSINESS and corruption and incompetence run rampant. However this is true for law enforcement in general. Just look at how many Southern California Sherrif's have been convicted of crimes themselves. Remember Orange County Sherrif Corona who was the cover boy for being "American's Sherrif did prison time time!!!I'm not fir defunding law enforcement but a "Come to God" reckoning has to happen and weed out the bad apples.

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