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Whitey Bulger arrest: 'He’s a very evil man,' victim’s family says

June 23, 2011 | 12:16 pm

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While Angelenos may only know notorious mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger through the Jack Nicholson character he inspired in "The Departed," in Boston, everybody knows his name.

Bulger, now 81, has been on the run since 1994, when he fled Boston as federal agents were preparing to arrest him in connection with at least 19 killings, racketeering offenses and other crimes from the early 1970s to mid-1980s.

Photos: The hunt for James "Whitey" Bulger

Many relatives of Bulger's alleged victims began speaking to Boston media as news of the arrest broke.

"I thanked Jesus -- he's finally caught. This is one day I'll never forget. Never," Eileen Davis, whose 26-year-old sister Debra allegedly was strangled to death by Bulger in 1981, told the Boston Herald. "He has to pay for what he did. He's a very evil man."

Davis told the Herald she was watching the local news in her Mansfield, Mass., home when she heard of the arrest. After seeing the news, Davis said she "looked up and said, 'Debbie, you and Ma and everyone have a celebration today because we finally got justice. They finally got him.'"

Patricia Donahue, whose husband Michael was allegedly killed by Bulger in May 1982 while he was giving a ride to one of Bulger's intended targets, told the Herald she didn't believe the news at first.

Donahue described her initial reaction to the paper as: "No way — that's not possible."

Sandra Patient, of Manchester, N.H., told the WMUR Channel 9 New Hampshire that her uncle, Arthur "Bucky" Barrett, was killed by Bulger after he robbed a bank and didn't hand over enough money to Bulger's satisfaction.

"I was overwhelmed," Patient said of the news. "I immediately started to cry. I never thought this day would come."

Tom Hussey, who said his daughter Deborah was killed by Bulger and his "number one man," Stephen Flemmi, told New England Cable News that he had a feeling Bulger would someday be caught.

Video: Mobster was target of new FBI campaign

"I thought it was eventually going to happen, and pretty soon, because they got Bin Laden, so I figured they were going to intensify the search more for Whitey. You know, he was on the top of the list," Hussey said.

Bulger was on the FBI's list of 10 most wanted fugitives, and a $2-million reward had been issued for his arrest.


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Photo: U.S. Atty. Carmen Ortiz speaks at a news conference in Boston on Wednesday regarding the arrest of fugitive James "Whitey" Bulger and his longtime girlfriend Catherine Greig. Credit: Brian Snyder / Reuters