Notorious Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger is dead, sources tell our sister station WPRI.
The 89-year-old was an inmate at the Hazelton federal prison in Bruceton Mills, WV after being transferred there on Monday.
A spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of prisons said Bulger was found “unresponsive” at 8:20 a.m.
“Life-saving measures were initiated immediately by responding staff,” said spokesperson Chris Pulice in a news release. “Mr. Bulger was subsequently pronounced dead by the Preston County Medical Examiner.”
He had been held temporarily at a prison in Oklahoma after being moved from a federal prison in Florida.
Two sources tell WPRI officials are investigating the incident as a homicide.
Details are thin on how Bulger died. The union president for the correctional officers union in Hazelton would not confirm Bulger’s death, but said, “I can confirm there was a homicide this morning.”
“This is the third homicide in seven months at our facility,” Richard Heldreth said in a phone interview. “We are very understaffed, we are short about 40 officers.”
Citing sources, the Boston Globe is reporting a fellow inmate with Mafia ties is being investigated for the slaying at the US Penitentiary Hazelton.
The 89-year-old was given a double life sentence after he was convicted in 2013 of taking part in 11 murders, conspiracy, and racketeering.
He was arrested in 2011 after being on the run for 16 years. He was found hiding out under an assumed name in Santa Monica California with his longtime girlfriend Catherine Greig.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston said in an email, “We received word this morning about the death of James ‘Whitey’ Bulger. Our thoughts are with his victims and their families.”
Hazelton federal prison is a high security facility that