Friday, March 23, 2007

Finally finished: The Brothers Bulger by Howie Carr

Finally Finished: The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century by Howie Carr, 2006, 0446576514.

Very good and scary story. I ordered this after seeing Howie Carr speak on C-SPANs BookTV. Carr works for the Boston Herald and has followed the story of the Bulgers for several years.

Billy and Whitey Bulger grew up in South Boston. Whitey started out as a nutjob crook and was one of the last convicts to serve time in Alcatraz. Billy went to college and law school and then got elected to the state legislature. After doing a few years time for bank robbery, Whitey murdered his way up the Boston crime world to be the boss of his own crime ring. Billy worked his way up to be President of the Massachusetts Senate and was the most powerful politician in MA, even more powerful than the governor.

Billy Bulger's corruption was astonishing; the fact that he was in charge of the Senate for so many years and got away with so much is difficult to believe. Whitey co-opted several FBI agents and used his status as an informer to destroy the Italian Mafia in Boston and other crime rivals. Whitey killed the crooks he could not use the corrupt FBI agents against.

The sad part is that Billy weaseled his way into a $200,000 year pension and his murderous piece of shit brother is still on the run. Carr's suspicions, voiced on BookTV, are that Whitey is in Europe and stuck there. Carr's theory is that Whitey was stuck overseas after 9/11 when the newer, stricter customs rules were to much to chance his false passports against.

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