crimesider

Whitey Bulger Update: Reputed mob boss heard at trial in taped jailhouse conversations

James "Whitey" Bulger AP Photo

(CBS) BOSTON - The voice of James "Whitey" Bulger was heard Tuesday in a Boston courtroom, when prosecutors played recordings of conversations the alleged mob boss had with family visitors at Massachusetts' Plymouth County correctional facility, CBS Boston reported.

PICTURES: James "Whitey" Bulger through the years

The conversations were played during Bulger's racketeering trial at which he's accused of taking part in 19 murders.

CBS Boston reported that people who visit Bulger speak to him from the opposite side of a transparent wall via a telephone receiver, and that jail officials say both parties are always aware they are being recorded.

The station said that in one such recording from last December, Bulger told his brother John the story of an attempted robbery at his liquor store.

  James: I remember there was the guys, we were in the liquor store and three black guys come, they had a RI car. They come in and they're lookin' around, they don't see me, I'm up above.

  John: Yeah.

  James: So I picked up a shotgun and I'm aimin' it at them and the guy looked up and oh -- (Laughs)

  John: See ya later.

 James: And I put one in the chamber, like, ptwww -- and he looked up and I'm aimin' and he says to the other     guy, he says, Hey (Laughs). A bag of peanuts, please.

  Jack Bulger sat in court today, just feet behind his infamous brother listening to their conversation played back.

  Most ominous, prosecutors said, was this next clip in which Whitey says that if partner Stevie Flemmi had had    to shoot the potential robbers, Whitey would have blamed their young employees.

  James: One went this way, one went that way. When they first came in the store, they're lookin' around, they don't look up and Stevie is -- he's got a .45 behind him -- his back waitin' for them to make a move. We would've had to tell the kids that work there, say -- you've gotta say you shot these bastards!

  John: Mmmm

In another of the three recordings played in court Tuesday, Bulger mimics the "rat-tat-tat" sound of a machine gun when speaking about a local bar owner, Edward Connors. Prosecutors say Bulger and his partner, Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi, gunned down Connors in a phone booth because they were afraid he'd tie them to the killing of a Bulger rival.

"The guy in the phone booth. Rat-tat-tat!," Bulger says during the conversation with a relative. He also remarks that someone threw his name "into the mix" about that murder, before making the "rat-tat-tat" sound again.

Earlier Tuesday, Connors' daughter, Karen Smith, who was 7 when her father was killed, gave emotional testimony during which she recalled learning her father was dead by seeing the picture of his sprawled body on TV.

Complete coverage of James "Whitey" Bulger on Crimesider

  • Barry Leibowitz

Comments

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.