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Whitey Bulger was, following the death of Osama bin Laden, the number-one fugitive on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list; he remained at large for 16 years. One of the most prominent mobsters in Boston's criminal underworld from the 1970s until his disappearance in 1995, Bulger was sometimes romanticized as a Robin Hood-esque thief and protector who looked out for his South Boston neighborhood.
But the truth was much more complicated - and infinitely more sordid - as his trial on racketeering charges revealed in alarming detail. Throughout the era in which Bulger was a crime boss, he was also a top echelon informant (TE) for the FBI, supposedly helping prosecutors make organized crime cases against the mafia by feeding them information that could win them convictions in court. His relationship with the criminal justice system - an arrangement he inherited from a previous generation of gangsters and corrupt lawmen - represents the hidden horror of the Bulger story and the battleground on which prosecutors and defense lawyers clashed at his trial.
There have been other books on Bulger, but none like this. T. J. English - author of Paddy Whacked, the definitive history of the Irish mob - was present every day of the proceedings, and in Where the Bodies Were Buried gives us not just an account of the trial but also a deeply sourced, disturbing portrait of the decades-long culture of collusion between the Feds and the Irish and Italian mob factions that ruled Boston and much of New England from the 1970s forward.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Hugh F on 09-28-15
The post-trial story of the Bulger legacy
This was an interesting take on the story of the notorious South Boston crime lord, James "Whitey" Bulger. The author documents the trial of Bulger and his crimes using actual court transcripts and first hand interviews with key Bulger associates, former federal agents and members of the victims families. The book takes a hard look at the people in positions of power in the FBI who allowed Bulger to operate and commit horrific crimes, even to the extent of aiding and abetting murder. While Bulger was found guilty of 31 counts, the individuals who protected him in the FBI, save for one agent, John Connelly, were able to wash their hands of him in the end with no consequences. Worth a listen!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By L. B. Rouse on 11-09-15
Informative-- Bolger and the FBI's participation!
I enjoy books about true crime/historical & famous trials-- trial lawyers would enjoy reading the account of this trial, witness-by-witness. The FBI's participation and outright complacency is shocking as they could have saves many lives. I wonder how much of such activities go on today... reminds me of the dreadful Iran-Contra affair by the Reagan admnistration.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful