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New photos offer peek into Whitey Bulger's private life

By Patrick Garrity, Staff Writer, NBC News

He is said to have ruled South Boston for decades with brutal, deadly efficiency, the alleged leader of the notorious Winter Hill Gang.

But Whitey Bulger was just a regular guy with girlfriends, poodles and a soft spot for baby goats. 

That would seem to be what the defense is saying in a series of photos taken at various points in Bulger’s life that were entered into evidence at his federal racketeering trial.

The images show Bulger grinning as a handsome youngster; posing with his brother, Billy; and mugging with hockey’s Stanley Cup with former Montreal Canadiens player Chris Nilan.

The effort by the defense to humanize their client may backfire, however. One of the images shows Bulger on a couch with a Roman Catholic priest. That priest is Frederick J. Ryan, the former chancellor of the Boston archdiocese who was accused of abusing two teens in the 1980s, according to an attorney who represented the teens.

James 'Whitey' Bulger, right, poses with Montreal Canadiens player Chris Nilan and hockey's Stanley Cup.
Bulger on a couch with a man who appears to be a Roman Catholic priest.
James "Whitey" Bulger (right) and Catherine Greig walk Greig's dogs. John Thlumacki / Boston Globe

Bulger, who once held a lofty seat on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted,” was captured in 2011 in Santa Monica, Calif., after 16 years on the run.

Now, 83, he is on trial on a 32-count racketeering indictment that includes a laundry list of crimes, most notably that he was involved with 19 killings.

Eds. note: No information was provided with the photos but we've included identifications when possible.

Bulger as a young man.

More news about the Bulger trial

More about the defrocked priest seen posing with Bulger