STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Whitey Bulger was brutally beaten during fatal prison attack

Notorious mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger was brutally beaten in the fatal attack Tuesday at the Hazelton pri...

Posted: Nov 2, 2018 8:20 AM
Updated: Nov 2, 2018 8:20 AM

Notorious mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger was brutally beaten in the fatal attack Tuesday at the Hazelton prison in Bruceton Mills, according to law enforcement officials.

The South Boston mobster, 89, died a day after he was transferred there from another facility -- the victim of the kind of brutality he once handed out.

Boston

Continents and regions

Corrections system

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal law

Criminal offenses

Deaths and fatalities

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Government organizations - US

Homicide

Jail sentencing

Law and legal system

Massachusetts

Misc people

Murder

North America

Northeastern United States

Organized crime

Prisons and jails

Sentencing

Society

The Americas

United States

US Department of Justice

US federal departments and agencies

Whitey Bulger

Law enforcement

Investigations

Southeastern United States

West Virginia

Accidents, disasters and safety

Prison safety

Safety issues and practices

At the time of the killing, Bulger was in the general prison population, which gave inmates easy access to him, according to a federal law enforcement official, who has knowledge of the investigation.

Bulger was found unresponsive at 8:20 a.m., and was pronounced dead after failed lifesaving measures, prison officials said.

Investigators believe he was attacked by more than one person. At least one of the inmates involved has ties to organized crime in Massachusetts, the official said.

The prison on Thursday suspended inmate visitation until further notice, according to a post on its website.

One suspect is a Mafia hit man

One of the two suspects in the brutal beating was identified as Fotios "Freddy" Geas, a Mafia hit man from Massachusetts, The New York Times reported, citing unnamed sources. It said Geas was moved to solitary confinement after the killing.

Geas, 51, is serving a life sentence at the same prison for the 2003 murder of a crime boss and another man he believed was an FBI informant.

The US Penitentiary Hazelton is a high-security facility that houses 1,270 male offenders.

No staff or inmates were injured in the attack, the prisons bureau said. Federal officials are investigating Bulger's death as a homicide.

'It marks the full circle'

A man who wrote a book about the much-feared crime boss said he died the way he once lived.

"He lived violently and he apparently died violently," said Dick Lehr, author of "Whitey: The Life of America's Most Notorious Mob Boss."

"It marks the full circle of a terrible life."

Bulger was arrested in June 2011 after he eluded federal authorities for more than 16 years. He was serving the rest of his life in prison for a series of crimes that included his role in 11 murders. Before he went on the run, he had been a longtime FBI informant.

A federal jury convicted him of 31 counts, including racketeering, extortion, money laundering, drug dealing and weapons possession. The jury found him culpable in 11 killings from 1973 through 1985.

He was sentenced in November 2013 to two life terms plus five years as architect of a criminal enterprise that a federal judge said committed "unfathomable" acts that terrorized a city.

The circumstances of this week's transfer remain unclear. Bulger had also been housed at federal penitentiaries in Oklahoma and Tucson, Arizona.

Captured nearly 2 decades later

Bulger skipped town ahead of a pending indictment and was captured in California a decade and a half later.

In 2012, his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for identity fraud and helping the mob boss avoid capture. Before their arrest, they lived under false names in Santa Monica, in what Bulger described as a "16-year honeymoon."

After fleeing Massachusetts, investigators learned that the longtime mobster had been an FBI informant and his FBI handler had tipped him off to the charges.

His story has been the inspiration for several movies, including the 2006 Oscar-winning film "The Departed," which starred Jack Nicholson as a character modeled after him.

In 2015, actor Johnny Depp played him in the film "Black Mass."

Update: This article and headline have been updated to remove references to reporting that Bulger's attackers attempted to remove his tongue during the attack. CNN has not been able to independently confirm this information.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307519

Reported Deaths: 7096
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20784248
Hinds19894408
Harrison17493302
Rankin13316275
Jackson13099243
Madison9896210
Lee9859169
Jones8293160
Forrest7523146
Lauderdale7189237
Lowndes6265144
Lamar610784
Lafayette6028117
Washington5280132
Bolivar4770129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4442103
Pearl River4420139
Warren4281118
Marshall4273100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4057132
Union403775
Neshoba3988176
Lincoln3871108
Hancock372185
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322781
Pike3181104
Scott310572
Yazoo304368
Alcorn297764
Itawamba296876
Copiah293065
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284868
Prentiss275659
Marion265979
Wayne261341
Leake261173
Grenada254982
Covington254580
Adams245982
Newton244859
George237847
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213373
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182454
Stone179131
Clarke176876
Tallahatchie175540
Calhoun163230
Yalobusha158836
Smith158634
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126323
Noxubee125933
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite120141
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95226
Humphreys94332
Franklin81923
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 519071

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754131487
Mobile37774798
Madison33868494
Tuscaloosa25283443
Montgomery23969565
Shelby23112238
Baldwin20638300
Lee15524165
Calhoun14286311
Morgan14140268
Etowah13664345
Marshall11957219
Houston10383278
Elmore9994200
Limestone9814147
Cullman9475188
St. Clair9429234
Lauderdale9218227
DeKalb8747181
Talladega8060171
Walker7092275
Jackson6755110
Autauga6727103
Blount6488135
Colbert6205130
Coffee5401112
Dale4768110
Russell428938
Franklin419982
Chilton4083109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3893146
Escambia388074
Dallas3527149
Chambers3500122
Clarke346360
Marion3066100
Pike305875
Lawrence295395
Winston272372
Bibb256458
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224955
Hale218775
Butler212366
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176941
Monroe171540
Washington164038
Macon154848
Clay149454
Crenshaw149357
Cleburne146041
Lamar139334
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99328
Greene90734
Choctaw58724
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 55°
Columbus
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 53°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 52°
Starkville
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 50°
Clouds increase a bit more on Tuesday, though there will still be plenty of sunshine at times. Temperatures will remain very warm. An isolated sprinkle or shower is possible later in the day, though rain chances are much more likely into Wednesday as a cold front passes.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather