I read the book.
I read the papers when it was happening.
I live in the city that was terrorized.
I remember the pain it caused the families of the victims; mine included.
Whitey Bulger is urban legend around here.
I'm fascinated by this moment in history that was captured on film and looking forward to seeing-and almost being there-while the story unfolds. Evil like that has a way of mesmerizing the psyche, which is how Whitey intimidated his victims. Make no mistake, I'm not endorsing a Hollywood glorified Whitey Bulger character, but what I am doing is immersing myself in the story of this crime lord who was enabled by a corrupt FBI agent. I am extremely mindful of the damage that this story has caused, yet I am unable to look the other way.
Johnny Depp's performance as the cold blooded killer is being hailed as "scary good" which lends itself to the legend of this evil man. Boston Herald scribe Peter Gelzinis explained the truth of Whitey's core evil quite eloquently this morning. He was relaying a story about the murder of a bookmaker 30 years ago who had pissed Whitey off. Gelzinis and his colleague Paul Corsetti were working the story.
"In the course of asking questions, Corsetti got a call to meet a tipster in a bar near Quincy Market. Paul waited until almost one in the morning and was about to leave when a rather ordinary-looking guy approached and asked, "You're Paul Corsetti, aren't you?"
Paul shook his head, and the stranger told him: "I'm Whitey Bulger, mother (expletive)." Though Whitey announced that he killed people, what he told Corsetti was far more terrifying. He described the make, model, color and license plate of the car Paul's wife used and the name of the daycare center where she dropped their daughter off."
That's Whitey and who he is. History can be rewritten, but evil is evil, regardless of who is telling the story.