Hark! The Herald! (Battle of the Bulger Edition)

May 31, 2013

From our Walt Whitman desk

The Boston Herald is still pounding away at Gov. Deval Patrick (D-Elsewhere) over the Massachusetts welfare rumpus, but the feisty local tabloid has its eye on bigger game next week when the trial of James “Whitey” Bulger begins in earnest.

Here’s the preview the Herald ran in today’s edition:


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And here are some of the details:


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It’s all fabulously overdone:

Look for Howie Carr, who vowed to watch Whitey every step of the way through judgment day, on the video reports.

No deadly detail is too small, so Herald reporters will be tweeting live . . .

[Reporter Laurel Sweet will] be close enough to look into Whitey’s eyes as loved ones of his 19 alleged murder victims take the stand. She’ll also be able to read jurors’ reactions to the gruesome evidence and chilling testimony.



Crosstown, there’s no word yet from the Boston Globe on who’ll be close enough to look into Whitey’s eyes, but today’s edition does feature this:

Globe’s Cullen, Murphy may testify in Bulger trial

Lawyers for James “Whitey” Bulger, who has bragged about strafing The Boston Globe offices with gunfire during the busing crisis of the 1970s, may call two of the newspaper’s journalists as defense witnesses at his upcoming trial.

His legal team filed a list of 78 potential witnesses Thursday, including Globe columnist Kevin Cullen and reporter ­Shelley Murphy.

Both have covered Bulger for decades and earlier this year published a book detailing his rise to power in Boston’s underworld and his capture in 2011 in Santa Monica, Calif., ­after 16 years on the run as one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives . . .

Other journalists on the ­potential witness list include former Globe reporters Gerard O’Neill and Dick Lehr, as well as Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr.


Damn – the Herald forgot to mention that part in its full-page promo, although it did have this online (tip o’the pixel to Mike Deehan at Massterlist).

Then again, there’s always tomorrow.


Throwing the Book(s) at Whitey Bulger

February 11, 2013

Dueling book plugs in the local dailies the past two days, starting with this Boston Sunday Globe Page One pompom:

Picture 3A window into Whitey’s brutal life and mind

New biography traces Bulger’s rise, reign, and the reckoning ahead

As he sits brooding in his drab cell awaiting trial, South Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger is telling friends that while he feels tortured by his cramped captivity, with its isolation, strip searches, and dismal food, he is ready and eager for “the big show” — the trial where he will defend his sense of honor if not exactly his innocence.

But however defiant he remains, Bulger was prepared to give prosecutors an easy way out, saying he offered himself up for execution if the government would let the woman he loves walk free.

“I never loved anyone like I do her and offered my life [execution] if they would free her — but no they want me to suffer — they know this is the worst punishment for me by hurting her!” Bulger wrote to a friend last year as his longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig, faced the prospect of years in prison for her devotion to him . . .

“Whitey Bulger: America’s Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice,” written by the authors of this article (Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy), with editorial support from The Globe, reveals a host of new information about Bulger, from his pursuit of domestic tranquillity in a tangled romantic triangle, to his seeking out a psychiatrist a la Tony Soprano, to his heretofore little-known role as an agent of mayhem during the city’s school desegregation crisis.


Lots of juicy stuff in the “new and comprehensive biography” that just hit bookstores.  Meanwhile, columnist Howie Carr blurbs a different Bulger book in today’s Boston Herald .

021013whitey001Book: Whitey’s rage at black prez led to his capture

Can Whitey Bulger blame his own raging case of Obama Derangement Syndrome rather than a tabby cat for his 2011 capture?

That’s the suggestion in a bombshell new biography, “Whitey: The Life of America’s Most Notorious Mob Boss,” by veteran Boston reporters Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill.

When Whitey and moll Catherine Greig had been living in Santa Monica, Calif., as “Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Gasko,” Greig became close to Icelandic model Anna Bjornsdottir, bonding over the care of a stray cat. Whitey often joined them outside their apartment building.

But, Lehr and O’Neill write, Bjornsdottir and Whitey never spoke again after she “unabashedly” expressed admiration for the first black president.

“He practically exploded … disgusted that she could admire a black man as president … Nothing was the same after . . . “


Carr conveniently fails to mention 1) that Lehr and O’Neill are former Boston Globe reporters, and 2) that Cullen and Murphy have a new Whitey bio as well.

The Globe piece is more magnanimous:

[Bulger’s] first known cooperation with law enforcement was in 1956, when he agreed to identify his bank robbery accomplices so that his then-girlfriend would not face criminal charges for accompanying him on a trip that culminated with a bank robbery in Indiana. That early turn as a snitch was first reported by WBUR, citing documents obtained by two former Globe reporters, Gerard O’Neill and Dick Lehr, who also have a biography of Bulger coming out soon: “Whitey: The Life of America’s Most Notorious Crime Boss.”


And getting even more so by the day.