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Family of Slain Mobster Whitey Bulger Sues Federal Prison Officials

James “Whitey” Bulger

The family of infamous Massachusetts-based mobster James “Whitey” Bulger has sued officials with the United States Bureau of Prisons over Bulger’s brutal Oct. 2018 death in prison.

Officials have yet to charge anyone after the 89-year-old was beaten to death with a padlock put in a sock at Hazelton Penitentiary in West Virginia. He had been recently transferred to the facility while serving out a life sentence for the murders of 11 people. It’s well known that Bulger was not just in organized crime, but the Irish-American gangster also turned FBI informant to hurt Italian rivals.

Now the plaintiff lawsuit maintains that prison officials failed to protect Bulger by transferring him to the dangerous Hazelton prison.

“Predictably, within hours of his placement in general population at Hazelton, inmates believed to be from New England and who are alleged to have Mafia ties or loyalties, killed James Bulger Jr. utilizing methods that included the use of a lock in a sock-type weapon,” said the complaint obtained by The Associated Press.

Bulger’s family said that they have not gotten information about his death, nor about his transfer to the prison. He had been previously been incarcerated at Florida and Arizona prisons known for protecting at-risk inmates, the family said. The plaintiffs maintained the prison failed to protect him even those officials were aware both of Bulger’s history as an informant and of his high-profile status.

Records name the sole plaintiff as William M. Bulger, the administrator of the late mobster’s estate. He is a Bulger nephew, according to The Boston Globe. The complaint seeks damages. The family previously filed a wrongful death claim for $200 million, but their lawsuit states that they filed the new complaint before the statute of limitations ran out. A total of 30 unnamed BOP employees (John and Jane Does) were noted as defendants in federal records.

“We do not comment on pending litigation,” Bureau of Prisons spokesman Scott Taylor told Law&Crime in an email.

[Mugshot via US Marshals Services]

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