Whitey Bulger's Lawyer Sues Federal Government For Wrongful Death, Negligence In Gangster's Killing

Since the former Boston mafia kingpin was brutally murdered inside his cell less than 48 hours after arriving at a new maximum security prison in West Virginia, Whitey Bulger and the circumstances that left him vulnerable to such a brutal assault have led to suspicions that his murder might have been unofficially sanctioned by the bureau of prisons and - maybe - the FBI itself.

Bulger

Bulger, as we noted at the time, was rumored to be cooperating with a new task force created by a Massachusetts Congressman to investigate corruption in the FBI's witness protection program. While the BOP and FBI have so far released few details about the circumstances that led to Bulger's transfer, more information could soon be forthcoming. Because Bulger's former attorney, Hank Brennan, is suing the federal government for wrongful death and negligence to try and learn more about why the frail gangster in failing health was sent to a new prison and mixed in with the general population.

Mr. Brennan says he is preparing to sue the government on behalf of Bulger’s estate for wrongful death and negligence to find out why authorities sent the frail, notorious gangster to the U.S. Penitentiary Hazelton in West Virginia, and put him in with the general population.

"It’s important for the family and the public to know why the prisons decided to wheel an 89-year-old man with a history of heart attacks into one of the most dangerous prisons in the country," said Mr. Brennan, who hasn’t publicly disclosed his final conversations with Bulger previously.

Mr. Brennan represented Bulger starting in 2011, when he was captured after evading arrest for 16 years. He helped defend the gangster at the 2013 trial in which Bulger was found guilty of presiding over a sprawling and lucrative web of murder, extortion, money-laundering and drug-dealing from the 1970s to the mid-1990s.

Brennan said it's important for the public to learn the truth about Bulger's death. Brennan pointed out several suspicious developments in the days before Bulger's death. For example, during his last conversation with Bulger, the aging gangster said he was being transferred for medical reasons. But the BOP told WSJ that Bulger was being transferred for making threats against prison staff.

"It’s important for the family and the public to know why the prisons decided to wheel an 89-year-old man with a history of heart attacks into one of the most dangerous prisons in the country," said Mr. Brennan, who hasn’t publicly disclosed his final conversations with Bulger previously.

[...]

A Bureau of Prisons spokesperson said that Bulger was transferred from the Florida prison because of a threat he made against a staff member, an allegation Mr. Brennan disputes, and that the transfer to Hazelton was made in accordance with the bureau’s policy. The spokesperson declined to comment on any medical issues or the threat of a lawsuit. The Bureau previously said that it had sent a team of experts to the Hazelton complex “to assess operational activities and correctional security practices and measures to determine any relevant facts that may have contributed to the incident."

And what's even more suspicious, Bulger's medical classification was changed to indicate that he needed less care - not more - before he was moved to Hazelton Prison in West Virginia, a facility with several violent murders in its recent history.

Prison records obtained by several media outlets show that Bulger’s medical classification was lowered to indicate that he needed less medical care before he was sent to the prison in West Virginia.

Whatever the truth behind Bulger's death is, Brennan might soon find out.