What to Know
- A funeral mass for James "Whitey" Bulger was held Thursday morning at a church in South Boston.
- Seen leaving the funeral were Bulger's brother William, and Margaret McCusker, the twin sister of his longtime girlfriend.
- Bulger was killed last week soon after being transferred to a federal prison in West Virginia.
A funeral mass for James "Whitey" Bulger was held Thursday morning at St. Monica-St. Augustine Catholic Church in South Boston, the Archdiocese of Boston confirms.
Among those spotted at the notorious Boston gangster's funeral were Bulger's brother William Bulger, a former senate president, and Margaret McCusker, the twin sister of Whitey Bulger's longtime girlfriend Catherine Greig, with whom he was on the run for 16 years.
“The Church is certainly aware of the deep pain that innocent victims of crime and violence live with every day," Father James Flavin, who performed the Mass, said in a statement. "As Catholic priests, we are called to bury the dead and pray for God’s justice and mercy. We entrust our final judgement to God.”
The funeral was held with minimal fanfare, with about a dozen in attendance dressed in black. Sources tell NBC10 Boston that Bulger's body was present for the half hour-long service, and that the burial was private. It's unclear where he was buried.
"Everyone knows what the man has done," said another man, who did not want to be identified. "Now, he's going to – 'I'm in the church, hey, God, take me to Heaven.' You don’t bury 100 bodies and think you're going to Heaven."
Bulger was killed last week soon after being transferred to a federal prison in West Virginia.
His body was found wrapped in a blanket and put in a bed to make it appear he was sleeping after he was choked and brutally beaten with a "lock-in-the-sock," multiple law enforcement sources have told NBC News.
He was transferred to USP Hazelton in West Virginia for disciplinary reasons after his medical classification was suddenly changed.
Thursday's funeral marked the end of a dark chapter in South Boston's history, right in the heart of where Bulger ran the mob for decades.
"This is the means to the end right here," said Travis Tuplin, a family friend of a Bulger victim. "He did a lot of rotten stuff, a lot of rotten stuff to people around here. It's ironic that the liquor store he took over, he's getting funeralized right here."
The 89-year-old crime boss was captured in Santa Monica, California, in June of 2011 alongside Greig after his FBI handler tipped him off that he was about to be indicted.
Bulger was sentenced to life after he was convicted of multiple charges, including killing 11 people, during his trial in the summer of 2013. Greig pleaded guilty to numerous charges, including harboring a fugitive, and is expected to be released from federal prison in 2020.
Federal officials have said they are investigating Bulger's death as a homicide, but have declined to comment further.