More underworld figures are stepping up to accuse the federal government of arranging the jailhouse murder of James 'Whitey' Bulger, the notorious boss of Boston's Irish mob boss who was killed by a group of inmates at a West Virginia prison earlier this week mere hours after being transferred to the facility.
While the Federal Bureau of Prisons has refused to share any additional details regarding Bulger's slaying, anonymous sources from inside the prison have already shared the brutal details with the press. A suspect in the murder has also been identified, a New England mafia hitman who may have killed Bulger due to Bulger's notorious cooperation with the FBI.
And late Thursday, the New York Post reported that the suspected killer, Fotios "Freddy" Geas, who was convicted in 2003 for participating in the murder of Springfield mafia leader "Big Al" Bruno, may have whacked Bulger as a gesture of revenge for Bulger framing a friend of Geas's for a 1980 murder. Frederick Weichel, whom Geas befriended in prison, was released last year after spending 36 years in prison for the murder after a judge ordered a retrial and prosecutors declined to prosecute. The retrial order was precipitated by Bulger's decision to turn over evidence that exonerated Weichel, though the Irish gangster refused to sign a sworn affidavit alleging Weichel's innocence.
But as Weichel pointed out in an interview, a lot of factors had to fall into place for Bulger's murder to have unfolded the way it did. And it would be naive to believe these were a string of coincidences.
"I think everybody in the world knew that Whitey screwed me," Weichel told the Globe Wednesday.
Weichel couldn’t recall if he spoke about his theory with Geas. He added that he was shocked that Bulger, 89, was transferred to the same Hazelton penitentiary as Geas.
"I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a setup," Weichel said about Bulger’s murder. "That’s a lot of coincidences there. I don’t believe in coincidences."
Mob experts have also pointed out that two other New England gangland rivals of Bulger were also locked up in the Hazelton prison: "Cadillac Frank" Salemme and Paul Weadick, who were recently convicted for the killing in 1993 of a Boston nightclub owner.
But even if Bulger's death was facilitated by federal law enforcement officials who were worried that Bulger might try to embarrass the bureau for a second time, it's unlikely the world will ever know for sure.