Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger's newly-released prison letters reportedly speak of his will to live despite his declining health.
The Boston Globe reported that in letters released to them, Bulger wrote to a friend in February 2018 that he was "too mean to die." The 89-year-old gangster was killed eight months later by two other inmates.
According to the Globe, the letters also indicated that Bulger was not faring well in solitary confinement in the Florida prison where he was being kept before his eventual transfer to the West Virginia prison where he died.
Bulger's account is counter to authorities' claims that his health had improved and was ready for transfer to the West Virginia prison.
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When he died, Bulger was serving a life sentence for 11 murders he had committed during his days as the leader of the Winter Hill Gang in Boston.
Bulger was killed just days after arriving at the high-security Hazelton prison. Federal Bureau of Prisons officials have declined to comment on why he was moved.
Bulger's attorney, J.W. Carney Jr., blamed his death on prison officials, saying Bulger "was sentenced to life in prison, but as a result of decisions by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, that sentence has been changed to the death penalty."
Six months after his murder, no one has been charged in connection with Bulger's killing.
Federal law enforcement officials believe Bulger was killed with a "lock-in-the-sock" inside his cell, multiple law enforcement officials told NBC News. The "lock-in-the-sock" involves placing a prison lock inside an inmate's sock and hitting the victim repeatedly. In this case, two sources said that Bulger was hit repeatedly.
Fotios "Freddy" Geas, a reputed New England mafia hitman, has been named as a potential suspect. But two sources told NBC News that Geas is one of several potential suspects they are looking at for the killing.
Bulger led the Irish mob in South Boston for decades and became an FBI informant who supplied information on the New England Mafia, his gang's main rival, in an era when bringing down the Italian mob was a top national priority for the bureau.
Tipped off that he was about to be indicted, Bulger became a fugitive and eluded authorities for 16 years before being captured in 2011. He was convicted in 2013 in 11 underworld slayings and a long list of other crimes and was sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars.