A defiant Whitey Bulger refused to look at the families of his victims as they spoke Wednesday at the Boston mob boss' sentencing hearing.
They called him a coward, a domestic terrorist, a psycho, Satan — and a rat, a label the former FBI informant despises.
They demanded he pay attention as they vented grief and rage they have carried for decades.
WBUR 90.9 via AP
A booking photo of James "Whitey" Bulger.
"Look at me," pleaded Theresa Barrett Bond, daughter of Arthur "Bucky" Barrett, who was killed in 1983.
Bulger, who will likely be sent to prison for the rest of his life when the judge sentences him Thursday, instead studied the papers in front of him.
The once-feared Winter Hill Gang leader, who spent 16 years on the lam before being nabbed in California, was convicted in August of 31 out of 32 counts.
Although the jury found prosecutors proved Bulger was involved in 11 out of 19 murders in the indictment, Judge Denise Casper ruled the families of the eight that were unproven could also deliver victim impact statements.
That included Steve Davis, whose sister Debra — the girlfriend of one of Bulger's associates — who was strangled and buried by a river in 1981, allegedly because she knew too much about his corrupt relationship with the FBI.
Davis, who attended every day of the trial, also asked Bulger to meet his eyes and swore at him when he wouldn't.
"I'd like to strangle him myself," he said.
One by one, victims relatives stood up and told stories of fathers and husbands who went out one day and never came home. Some of them blamed the FBI, in addition to Bulger, for turning a blind eye to his bloody reign over South Boston in the 1970s and 1980s.
"The evil he did cannot be undone," said Meredith Rakes, daughter of extortion victim Stephen Rakes, who was killed in an unrelated poisoning in the middle of the two-month trial.
They said there was some solace in the knowledge that Bulger would die in a prison cell.
Sean McGonagle, who was 11 years old when his father Paul was gunned down, called Bulger a "sad, lonely and irrelevant old man."
U.S. Attorney's Office via Reuters
Bulger was convicted in the murder of bar owner Eddie Connors, found dead in a phone booth.
David Wheeler, whose businessman father was executed on Bulger's orders, pointed out how far the crime kingpin — the brother of one of a powerful Massachusetts political figure — had fallen.
"You don't even matter anymore," he said. "You're a bag of jailhouse rags on cold steel."
The prosecutor opened the sentencing by calling Bulger a "little sociopath."
"The defendant has committed one heinous crime after another," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly, who wants a federal judge to give Bulger two consecutive life sentences with an extra five years to boot.
"The carnage he has caused is grotesque."
Bulger, who is appealing the conviction, chose not to speak.
Related:Whitey Bulger convicted of racketeeringBulger was vicious and calculating, prosecutor tells juryWhitey won't testify but calls his trial a sham
First published November 13 2013, 11:37 AM