Thursday, January 15, 2015

Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger

Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger
by Travis Simpkins

     Produced and directed by Joe Berlinger, Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger (2014) has been deservedly met with positive reviews on the documentary circuit. Using the 2013 murder and racketeering trial of Whitey Bulger as a backdrop, the film interposes aspects of Bulger's decades-long criminal career as an FBI informant and ruthless organized crime leader of the Winter Hill Gang in South Boston. Interviews with relatives of Bulger's victims, the prosecution and defense teams, former FBI officials and past criminal associates provided a balanced commentary. From Whitey Bulger's petty crimes as a youth, to his incarceration at Alcatraz in 1959, to his rise to power in the Boston Irish Mob, to his 16 years spent as an elusive fugitive, to his 2011 capture and trial, the events play out in a well-edited and stylish form. Much attention is given to Bulger's alleged status as an informant, under disgraced FBI Special Agent John Connolly… with questions arising from both sides of the argument. Associates Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi, Kevin Weeks and others make their contributions to the equation known as well. Over a span of nearly two hours, great coverage provides a thoroughly intriguing look at this mysterious and intimidating figure. (After his 2011 arrest, Art Crime researchers had hoped that Bulger might provide some information regarding the 1990 heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, but he has been ruled out as having had any involvement and has not shared any periphery knowledge).

Whitey Bulger mugshot, 1947

Whitey Bulger mugshot, 1953

Whitey Bulger Alcatraz mugshot, 1959

Whitey Bulger mugshot, 1980's

Whitey Bulger mugshot, 2011

Whitey Bulger captured by FBI

Whitey Bulger in custody, 2011

Whitey Bulger's FBI informant file

Whitey Bulger and Kevin Weeks

Brian Kelly

Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi

Hank Brennan

former FBI Special Agent John Connolly

Kevin Weeks

Whitey Bulger Documentary

"Whitey"- movie trailer