Three men have been indicted in connection with the brutal killing of James “Whitey” Bulger in prison.
The 89-year-old Boston gangster was bludgeoned to death with a padlock stuffed in a sock Oct. 30, 2018, hours after being transferred to United States Penitentiary Hazelton in Bruceton Mills, W.Va. — a maximum-security prison.
Fotios Geas, 55, Paul DeCologero, 48, and Sean McKinnon, 36, each were charged Wednesday with conspiracy to commit first degree murder, federal prosecutors announced.
Geas and DeCologero, both of whom are accused of hitting Bulger in the head, have also been charged with aiding and abetting first degree murder, along with assault resulting in serious bodily injury. Geas additionally faces a separate charge for murder by a federal inmate serving a life sentence and McKinnon faces a separate charge of lying to a federal agent.
Geas remains incarcerated at USP Hazelton. DeCologero, while no longer at Hazelton, remains housed in a federal prison. McKinnon, who was out on federal supervised release at the time of the indictment, was arrested on Thursday in Florida.
Geas, a former Mafia hitman, may have been seeking revenge on behalf of Frederick Weichel, a man he befriended during their stint behind bars in Shirley, Massachusetts and who claimed Bulger framed him for a slaying 38 years ago, the Boston Globe reported.
Bulger ran lucrative criminal rackets for Boston’s vicious Winter Hill Gang from the 1970s through ’90s under the protection of crooked FBI agents.
Bulger, the inspiration behind Jack Nicholson’s character in Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning movie “The Departed,” went on the run in 1995 after getting tipped that he was about to be arrested.
He spent 16 years on the lam with his girlfriends before he was arrested in California in 2011.
In 2013, he was convicted of dozens of felonies, including taking part in 11 murders, and was sentenced to two life sentences plus five years.
In Sept. 2019, the Bulger family sued the Department of Justice for $200 million, claiming it deliberately put the gangster in harm’s way.
“There is simply no other explanation for the transfer of someone in his condition and inmate status to be placed in the general population of one of the country’s most violent federal penitentiaries,” family attorney Hank Brennan told ABC News. The suit was dismissed by a judge earlier this year.
In Nov. 2020, Bulger’s family sued the Federal Bureau of Prisons over his murder. The lawsuit claimed the criminal was “perhaps the most infamous and well-known inmate” since Al Capone, according to the Boston Globe, and sued the bureau for transferring a well-known “snitch” to a West Virginia prison known for inmate violence. That suit was also dismissed this January.