Notorious mobster James “Whitey” Bulger was found dead in a federal prison in West Virginia on Tuesday, according the Associated Press.
Sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Boston Globe that Bulger was killed at United States Penitentiary Hazelton, where he was serving a life sentence. The FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia will conduct an investigation into his death.
Bulger’s life and crimes were amplified for the big screen, most famously in 2006’s “The Departed,” with Jack Nicholson portraying a mobster loosely based on Bulger, and “Black Mass.” The 2015 film, starring Johnny Depp as Bulger, followed the mob boss’ Winter Hill Gang, one of the most powerful crime confederations in South Boston.
The 89-year-old had just been transported to the high-security penitentiary in West Virginia. He had previously been relocated from a Florida jail to a facility in Oklahoma. In 2013, the notorious Boston mob boss was convicted of participating in 11 murders that spanned Florida, Oklahoma, and Massachusetts. Three former associates testified in his racketeering trial that convicted him in the killings, as well as for extortion and money laundering.
Bulger was one of the country’s most wanted fugitives for 16 years, before being captured in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2011. Known as “Whitey” for his platinum hair, Bulger was a divisive figure in Boston, with some locals celebrating his generous actions in the community, like giving neighbors turkey dinners during Thanksgiving. However, he was also known as a cold-blooded killer who wouldn’t blink at harming anyone who stood in his way.
“You could go back in the annals of criminal history and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone as diabolical as Bulger,” Tom Duffy, a retired state police major who investigated the gangster, once said, according to AP.