The verdict is in. As anticlimactic as the announcement that the Bulger jury had reached a verdict yesterday; it is, in fact, big local history in the making and bears mention here.
Is it the bombshell that we expected? No. It wasn't.
But nineteen people who will no longer have a voice were finally given the chance to tell their story. Maybe their families will find peace in the verdict, maybe they won't.
Was justice served?
I think there will always differing opinions when it comes to justice being served. If we look at it academically, the split verdict breaks down this way:
Bulger was found guilty of 11 of the 19 murders
2 counts of racketeering,
3 counts of conspiracy to commit murder
7 extortion counts
1 drug count
6 money laundering counts
Of the eight murders he was not found guilty of , the jury was hung on only the murder of Debra Davis his ex partner's beautiful, young girlfriend. Her brother, a fixture on the trial daily, vowed to avenge his his sister's death urging prosecutors to persue state murder charges. "It's not over for me until I am in the ground, " he said.
Bulger will be sentenced on Nov 13 in a process that is expected to take several days. His attorney's say they will appeal on the immunity claim. It's a long shot, but Bulger's got nothing else to do. He faces a life sentence plus. Somewhere, through all the BS there has to be some justice in that, right? The 84 year old gangster will never be a free man and most likely will die while incarcerated. Some of the victims family members, when asked by the press what they thought of the verdict outside the courthouse yesterday said he already "got away with it", walking around a free man for all of his life, only to spend his last days in prison.
For those of us who spent our lives in Boston, living the legend of Whitey and his thugs, some of our lives being affected dramatically by Whitey and his thugs, it's somewhat of a rip off. Had we been able to see the trial; actually see the man that is Whitey Bulger with our own eyes, and seen the courtroom expletive laced exchanges between Bulger and his former partners, Kevin Weeks and Steven Flemmi, we might have had a different feeling about all of this. I guess we will have to wait until 60 Minutes, 48 Hours or Barbara Walters gets the interview. Only then will we get a bit of closure and a small sense of knowing exactly who this monster is.
Or should I say RAT.
Like when it was all over yesterday and Bulger was being led out of the courtroom, a woman yelled out, "Rat a tat tat, Whitey!"
You can bet that captured on tape, it would have been a sound bite that would have stuck like glue to the rat.