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"Whitey" Bulger Trial: Ex-partner, Stephen Flemmi, testifies reputed mob boss was involved in several killings

Former mob boss "Whitey" Bulger, found in Santa Monica after being on the run for 16 years, appeared in a Boston court and pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and racketeering. AP Photo

James "Whitey" Bulger, center, and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi, second from right, in court Friday, July 19, 2013.
Jane Collins
(CBS/AP) BOSTON - Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi, the once-loyal partner of reputed Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger, on Friday recounted multiple killings he said Bulger was involved in, either by planning them, approving them or committing them himself.

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Flemmi returned to the witness stand a day after giving 15 minutes of testimony in Bulger's racketeering trial before court recessed for the day.

In rapid-fire succession, Flemmi described Bulger's alleged role in a string of killings during the 1970s and '80s when both men were leaders of the Winter Hill Gang.

Flemmi said he and Bulger sprayed a phone booth with bullets in 1975, killing Edward Connors, a bar owner, who was targeted because he was "telling people Winter Hill business," including details about an earlier killing committed by the gang.

Flemmi said another member of the gang lured Connors to the phone booth, telling him he would receive a call there at a certain time. When Connors showed up, Bulger and Flemmi were waiting for him, Flemmi said.

"We just stepped out from the side of the building -- the garage -- and shot him," Flemmi said, matter-of-factly. "We just fired on him."

Flemmi said Bulger emptied the bullets in a double-barreled shotgun and a pistol, while Flemmi fired seven or eight shots at Connors.

According to Boston.com, Flemmi also testified Bulger told him he killed Donald McGonagle in 1969 after mistaking him for his brother Paul, a member of a rival gang.

Bulger, 83, is accused of playing a role in 19 killings.

Flemmi, 79, pleaded guilty in 10 killings and was sentenced to life in prison in a plea deal with prosecutors that spared him the death penalty for murders in Oklahoma and Florida.

According to Boston.com, Flemmi testified that corrupt FBI agents provided he and Bulger with information that led to killings. For example, Flemmi said late FBI agent H. Paul Rico provided him with information so that he and others could kill George McLauglin, a member of a rival gang.

In another instance, Flemmi said John Connolly, a corrupt FBI agent whom he and Bulger had formed a partnership with, told the reputed mobsters that nightclub owner Richard Castucci was providing information on them.

"Collectively, we made a decision ... kill Richard Castucci," Flemmi reportedly testified. He said that the deed was carried out by hit man John Martorano at the request of the leaders of Bulger's Winter Hill Gang.

After Flemmi began his testimony on Thursday, the two men exchanged obscenities as court adjourned for the day. On his first day of testimony, Flemmi detailed how he and Bulger were allegedly FBI informants who squealed on the rival mafia as well as assorted criminals in South Boston. Bulger has repeatedly denied that he was ever an FBI informant. Flemmi insisted Bulger gave information to law enforcement "hundreds of times."

On Friday, Bulger looked straight ahead and took notes on a legal pad during Flemmi's testimony and did not appear to look at him.

Bulger was one of the nation's most-wanted fugitives for more than 16 years after he fled Boston in 1994. He was finally captured in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2011.

Complete coverage of the Whitey Bulger case on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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