For reputed mobster Whitey Bulger, trial "is his show"

(CBS News) Jury selection for the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger begins Tuesday and the leader of Boston's notorious Winter Hill gang faces 32 charges, including 19 murder charges. Bulger is accused of extortion, money laundering, racketeering, murder, and corrupting law enforcement.

Bulger -- a supposed FBI informant between 1975 and 1990 -- lived as a fugitive for over 16 years. He began living life on the run after his FBI handler John Connelly tipped him off that authorities were preparing to arrest him and was caught in 2011 along with his longtime girlfriend Catherine Greig.

As the trial unfolds, CBS News' John Miller, a former deputy director at the FBI, said, "You are going to hear the legends of the Boston mob" -- including infamous hit man John Martorano -- describe "a continuing criminal enterprise. They're going to prove that this was the machine that Whitey ran."

"He is one of those rare characters who is as much like the gangsters we know from the movies, but he operated that way in real life," Miller said Monday on "CBS This Morning." The trial, "is his show," he added.

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Rikki Klieman, a CBS News legal analyst, said Bulger has two main goals when he takes the stand: "to tell his story and show he was not a government informant ... and he wants to show he did not murder two innocent women. Those are very important to him and that may be his vindication."

While he has not expressly denied charges about other murders, Bulger has remained insistent that killing women is against his own code of ethics.

The conundrum for Bulger will be proving he was not an FBI informant while at the same time arguing, "'I had immunity for everything I did from the government,'" Miller said.

"In Whitey's mind, he did not inform on his friends. He only told the government things about his enemies," Klieman said, clarifying Bulger's claim that he was not an informant despite his ongoing relationship with the FBI's Connelly.

"It's a twist in what the definition" of informant is," Klieman said.

In a sense, the FBI is also on trial, Miller, explaining that Bulger's defense team's tactic will likely be to argue that he "'had permission to operate this racketeering enterprise during that time because he was providing the information to the FBI and that's going to be where the sparks fly."

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