An Absolute Must See: The Documentary Of James “Whitey” Bulger

Entertainment — July 1, 2014 at 1:18 pm by

by Babes

I just finished the captivating documentary entitled, Whitey: The United States of America v James J. Bulger.  Whitey Bulger was the Irish-Catholic gangster that ran the Winter Hill Gang in South Boston for over thirty years.

The story is fascinating because it’s believed that Bulger was actually an FBI informant for the majority of his South Boston reign.  In his thirty years as the head of a major organized crime ring, Bulger was never indicted on anything as much as a misdemeanor, until he was finally indicted in 1995 for racketeering and murder.  Bulger fled, as he was tipped off, until he was finally captured in Southern California in 2011; a long 16 years after he was indicted.
The documentary follows the 2013 trial of Bulger, all the while chronicling Whitey’s rise to prominence.  The documentary is chock full of interviews from Bulger’s defense team, the prosecution team, former FBI agents, former Massachusetts State Police, Bulger’s victim’s families, former associates, and former enforcer and star witness Kevin Meeks.  The voice of Whitey himself also appears in the film.  These interviews lay down a complete time line of Bulger’s criminal career. But the story is even more enticing than just any old gangster tale because it’s still relatively unclear whether Bulger actually was a paid informant, or whether he was simply paying FBI agents for information.  Former FBI special agent John Connolly is doing forty years in the can for his alleged involvement with Bulger, but he is the only former government agent to ever do jail time for his interaction with the Winter Hill Gang leader.  Connolly was Bulger’s main handler at the FBI, but Bulger maintains that he was never an informant for the FBI.  Bulger simply maintains that he paid off multiple sources throughout every level of law enforcement for information.

Hollywood is definitely just as interested as I am in this topic.  Johnny Depp is set to portray Bulger in a yet unnamed biopic film set for release in September of 2015.  Also, in the all time great Scorsese flick, The Departed, Jack Nicholson’s character, Frank Costello, is based on James “Whitey” Bulger.  It’s always a great way to spend two hours: seeing Hollywood evidence of how corrupt our government really is.

But check out the real life documentary of Bulger, too.  It’s a great watch about a manipulative and infamous man.

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