What Happened To BOP Probe Into Whitey Bulger Murder?

The family of James Whitley Bulger, the notorious gangster/snitch murdered almost one year ago allegedly by two men with organized crime ties, will file a $200 million wrongful death claim against the government over the brutal prison house murder in West Virginia last October.

Questions remain about Bulger's death.

The family said the legal filing was to learn the reasons why the 89-year-old was beaten to death within 24 hours after his arrival in general population at U.S. Penitentiary Hazelton. One of the suspected killers allegedly confessed to murdering Bulger.

Bulger was killed in his cell at the notorious Hazelton lockup on Oct. 30, 2018. He died minutes after he suffered “blunt force injuries of the head," according to his death certificate. He was buried in St. Joseph Cemetery in West Roxbury.

Hank Brennan, an attorney for Bulger, this week sent a statement to the Wall Street Journal, noting: “We believe that James Bulger was deliberately placed in harm’s way. There is simply no other explanation for the transfer of someone in his condition and inmate status to be placed in the general population of one of the country’s most violent federal penitentiaries.”

Bulger’s siblings seized control of their dead brother’s estate. The claim could be subject to demands for restitution to Bulger’s many victims.

In the summer 2011, after FBI agents arrested James Whitey Bulger and his companion, Catherine Greig. at their hideout in Santa Monica, Calif., they located $822,198 stuffed inside the wall, which was  reportedly split up among loved ones of his victims.

Steve Davis, whose sister, Debra, was killed by the Bulger gang, said he’s ready to fight battle Whitey's family every last dime.

“The guy was evil, what do they have to gain? All this corruption has to stop,” Davis told the Boston Herald. “The feds had to move him to shut him up. You don’t put a guy in prison with a bunch of enemies.

“I’m glad he got it the way he did. That’s the way he gave it,” Davis added. “There are lawsuits against him, so those will continue on if the Bulgers see any money. My mother had a $20 million lawsuit against him. She’s dead now and I’m living my life. If they knock on my door with anything, I’ll take it. But other families do deserve that money.”

After his arrival at Hazelton, Bulger had less than 11 hours before his head would be bashed in with a padlock stuffed in a sock in an attack so brutal, his eyes allegedly appeared to be gouged out and his tongue sliced off. The alleged killers were inmates in his housing unit and had gone to the dining hall for breakfast after morning lockdown following the evening Bulger arrived.

Bulger had been placed in his cell at 9:53 p.m., after arriving from the Coleman penitentiary in Sumterville, Florida.

At 8:21 a.m the next morning, he was pronounced dead, according to the recently released death certificate.

As per the death certificate, the cause of death was homicide. The death certificate also noted that Bulger had been assaulted by others in his prison cell.

Law enforcement officials “with knowledge of the matter” named Paul J. DeCologero and Fotios (Freddy) Geas as participants in the attack. Both were put in solitary confinement with two other suspects, Sean McKinnon and Felix Wilson.

Wilson, who suffers from mental illness and has no known connection to organized crime, had shared a cell with Bulger at the United States Penitentiary in Hazelton, West Virginia, hours before the infamous criminal's death. Wilson was set to be released from prison this year. He had been serving a 30-month sentence after he was stopped for riding a bicycle on the wrong side of the road and police found a gun, according to the New York Times.

McKinnon, meanwhile, shared a cell with Geas. McKinnon was convicted of stealing firearms and is serving an eight-year sentence; he has not been linked to a specific crime family, as per reports. This past May it was confirmed by his family that McKinnon remained in solitary confinement. (Presumably so are Geas and DeCologero.)

Fotios Freddy Geas.

NBC News reported  that McKinnon, who is from Vermont and  has no known mob ties, has been locked up at Hazelton since 2016— and he remained confined to a cell for roughly 23 hours a day since last October. His mother told NBC News that “she’s worried sick over the toll on his mental health."

Geas, a convicted associate of the Genovese crime family’s Springfield crew, is serving a life sentence for the 2003 gangland killing of Adolfo (Big Al) Bruno, who had been the boss of the Genovese crime family’s Springfield crew. Geas, his brother Ty, and former Bronx-based Genovese acting boss Arthur (Artie) Nigro were all tried and convicted for the murder, amongt other crimes . (Nigro died earlier this year while serving that sentence.)

Daniel D Kelly, a lawyer who has represented Geas for years, told the Times that the convicted New England hitman "has a particular distaste for co-operators".

He added that Geas' feelings were so strong that during his trial for the 2003 murder of the leader of the Genovese crime family in Springfield, Massachusetts, he rejected a plea deal that would have allowed him to avoid a life sentence.

His father told NBC News that he does not believe his son committed the attack.

"That's not his type of thing to do," said Fotios Geas Sr.

DeCologero was a member of a violent New England Mafia-affiliated crew run by his uncle. Paul is serving a 25-year sentence for racketeering and conspiracy, and his family was eagerly anticipating his slated release date.

Bulger threatened Paul's uncle and other members of the DeCologero family.

Last November, the Boston Globe noted that while DeCologero had never crossed paths with Bulger before the latter's arrival at the West Virginia prison, "there was bad blood between their families," DeCologero’s brother confirmed. In a telephone interview, Paul's brother, Derek Munro, said that his uncle, Paul A. DeCologero, had called him from the Kentucky prison where he is serving a life sentence for murder and "claimed that Bulger had once put contracts on members of the DeCologero family."

“Whitey and my brother never personally interacted, but my uncle said there’s an issue, that at one point Bulger had a contract” on the uncle and his family, Munro said. “It still doesn’t make me think he had a motive to kill him.”

The DeCologero Crew robbed and kidnapped drug dealers and sold drugs, and operated extensively in Boston.

In 1989, the crew reportedly threw in with Boston mobster Robert F. Carrozza, aka "Bobby Russo," who led an internal rebellion against the leadership of the Providence-based Patriarca crime family. Carrozza, his stepbrother (and consiglieri) Joseph (JR) Russo, and Vincent Ferrarra challenged boss Raymond Patriarca and Francis (Cadillac Frank) Salemme. The civil war lasted until 1996 and claimed more than a dozen lives.

Some news stories about the DeCologero crew describe it as an independent group. That's because Paul A. (Big Paul) DeCologero, boss of the crew, was acquitted in a big 1997 indictment for war crimes and continued running his crew.

Paul J. DeCologero 

The DeCologero crew was nailed years later for the grizzly 1996 murder of Aislin Silva, 19, the girlfriend of a crew member. She was strangled and dismembered because of concern that she knew enough to provide devastating testimony about the crew's criminal activities.

The FBI and the The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of West Virginia reportedly conducted an investigation into Bulger’s killing.

When the joint FBI probe is finished, the Justice Department inspector general’s office was to investigate the federal Bureau of Prison staffers involved in the transfer. Presumably that probe remains ongoing.

The federal Bureau of Prisons didn't respond to media seeking comment on Bulger.

The FBI reportedly is investigating the death by suicide of millionaire financier and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, and the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General is expected to follow suit in that case too....