Bulger's ex-partner recounts string of killings

AP News
Posted: Jul 19, 2013 2:28 PM
Bulger's ex-partner recounts string of killings

BOSTON (AP) — Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi, the once-loyal partner of reputed Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger, on Friday recounted multiple killings he said Bulger was involved in, either by planning them, approving them or committing them himself.

Flemmi returned to the witness stand a day after giving 15 minutes of testimony in Bulger's racketeering trial before court recessed for the day.

In rapid-fire succession, Flemmi described Bulger's alleged role in a string of killings during the 1970s and '80s when both men were leaders of the Winter Hill Gang.

Flemmi said he and Bulger sprayed a phone booth with bullets in 1975, killing Edward Connors, a bar owner, who was targeted because he was "telling people Winter Hill business," including details about an earlier killing committed by the gang.

Flemmi said another member of the gang lured Connors to the phone booth, telling him he would receive a call there at a certain time. When Connors showed up, Bulger and Flemmi were waiting for him, Flemmi said.

"We just stepped out from the side of the building — the garage — and shot him," Flemmi said, matter-of-factly. "We just fired on him."

Flemmi said Bulger emptied the bullets in a double-barreled shotgun and a pistol, while Flemmi fired seven or eight shots at Connors.

Bulger, 83, is accused of playing a role in 19 killings.

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Flemmi, 79, pleaded guilty in 10 killings and was sentenced to life in prison in a plea deal with prosecutors that spared him the death penalty for murders in Oklahoma and Florida.

After Flemmi began his testimony on Thursday, the two men exchanged obscenities as court adjourned for the day.

On Friday, Bulger looked straight ahead and took notes on a legal pad during Flemmi's testimony and did not appear to look at him.

Bulger was one of the nation's most-wanted fugitives for more than 16 years after he fled Boston in 1994. He was finally captured in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2011.