Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rotting Behind Bars Would Have Been Better Justice

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rotting Behind Bars Would Have Been Better Justice

Article excerpt

Byline: StatesideWith US Editor Christopher Bucktin

DESPITE standing in sub-zero temperatures on Boston's notorious south side, listening to Kevin Weeks talk about his past sent the real shivers through my bones.

Three years ago I met the former mob enforcer to discuss his life as notorious US gangster's James 'Whitey' Bulger's key lieutenant.

To this day I remember Kevin recalling how his boss revelled in extreme unbridled violence and that it was his own form of therapy.

"Once Jimmy had killed, he'd be calm for months after. It was he said what kept him sane," he told me.

Kevin spoke as Bulger was serving out two life sentences for the 11 murders he was convicted of five years ago.

But last week, the notorious mobster died the way he lived - the apparent victim of a gruesome prison murder.

By the code of the streets, he got what he deserved. Relatives of the dozens of men and even some women who died at the hand of Bulger would agree.

It was for them a fitting end to an extraordinarily violent life.

For decades, the families of Bulger's victims waited for the justice that had long eluded them.

That pain and suffering for some was now satisfied by his death, sending away their tormentor for life.

But although his imprisonment was for his victims in the US, he also helped kill in the UK too.

It was no secret that Irishthen American Bulger was an IRA sympathiser, but his actions went much further than simply agreeing with 'the cause'.

For years he was involved in the shipment of arms, ammunition and explosives that were used to kill and maim hundreds of people during the conflict.

killers who live to serve full sentence: Shipman, and Fred West One, in September 1984, saw a seven-tonne arsenal comprising 163 assault rifles, 71,000 rounds of ammunition, a ton of military explosives, and a dozen bulletproof vests. …

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