In a violent end to a long and murderous career, notorious Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger was killed Tuesday in a West Virginia jail.
Three people were informed about the situation under the aspect of anonymity. They said a fellow inmate with mafia gangs, Fotio's "Freddy" Geas, is being investigated for the murder of 89-year-old Bulger in Hazelton.
The US Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia and the FBI will investigate the death of James Bulger. No further information will be released at this time, "said Stacy Bishop, a spokeswoman for William J. Powell, the US Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia, in a statement.
The US Bureau of Prisons said in a statement that Bulger, who arrived at USP Hazelton on Monday, was not found in prison at 8:20 am on Tuesday.
"The rescue operations were initiated immediately by the responding staff. Mr. Bulger was subsequently pronounced dead by the Preston County Medical Examiner, "the agency said, noting that" an investigation had been initiated "and that no employees or other inmates were injured.
Bulgers brother John said in a brief telephone interview on Tuesday that the family had not been informed of his death.
Richard Heldreth, president of Local 420 of the American Federation of Government Employees, who represents union workers in jail, said a man was found unresponsive in the residential compound of the general population prison on Tuesday morning. He did not know the exact location. He also did not know the nature and extent of the man's injuries.
Relatives of Bulger's victims did not feel sorry for him.
"His death means nothing to me. There is one fool less on this earth, "said Patricia Donahue, whose husband brought home Michael Bulger's target, Brian Halloran, when Donahue was shot down in 1982.
"You say you die the way you live, you know? He killed many people and in the end killed them, "Donahue said. "I'm glad he's dead, and I'm glad he died like him."
"Unless he needs to hear his name again, that's a good thing for us," Donahue said. "We do not have to worry about what's going on with him. We do not have to worry about it anymore, and that's a good thing for me and my family. "
It was not the first death reported to USP Hazelton this year. According to The Associated Press, a prisoner was killed in prison in September in a fight and in April another inmate was killed in a fight.
Heldreth said the prison usually accounts for one murder per year, but the problems worsened due to staff shortages.
"This facility is severely understaffed," he said. "This is the third murder in prison in the last seven months."
Bulger, who had been sentenced to life imprisonment for eleven murders, was taken to the West Virginia facility at a transfer location in Oklahoma City after a brief stopover. Previously, he had been detained in a Florida prison.
USP Hazelton, located in Bruceton Mills, Virginia, is a high-security facility with an adjacent minimum security camp, according to the Bureau of Prisons website.
J.W. Carney Jr., Bulgers defense attorney in his federal trial, said in a statement that he was proud to have been appointed as an attorney by Bulger.
"He was sentenced to life imprisonment, but based on federal penitentiary decisions, this sentence was converted into capital punishment. I will not have another comment, "he said.
US attorney in Boston, Andrew Lelling, said in a statement, "We received a message this morning about the death of James" Whitey "Bulger. Our thoughts are with his victims and their families. "
The former South Boston criminal detective and longtime FBI informant was one of America's most wanted criminals until his arrest in Santa Monica, California in 2011, after fleeing for more than 16 years.
In 2013, a federal jury in Boston condemned him to have participated in eleven murders in the 1970s and 1980s while leading a large-scale criminal enterprise dealing with gambling, blackmail and drug trafficking.
In 2014, Bulger was transferred from another high-security prison in Arizona to the Coleman II US prison in Sumterville, Florida, after investigating his relationship with a psychologist who advised him.
The mayor of New Bedford, Jon Mitchell, a former federal prosecutor who was in a task force in search of Bulger while the gangster was on the run, said on Tuesday that the public should pay attention to Bulger's casualties.
"I hope that on the death of # Whiteybulger, we first think of his victims and their families and the immense suffering he has caused," Mitchell tweeted.
Tim Connors of Weymouth, whose father Edward was shot down in 1975 in a phone booth on Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester: "I can only hope that it is slow and painful. Of course I am glad that it is not due to natural causes. "
Connors said Bulger's death would not affect his life. "Nothing has changed," he said. "In such a situation, there is no closure. It's still about the person you lost. "
Mary Callahan of Burlington, whose husband John was killed in 1982 by a Martian inmate, Bulger, repeated Connor's statement.
"There is no closure. If you have lost a loved one, it will be forever. Love never dies, "said Callahan. "But I think that's a Halloween present. It's a pleasure. "
The conditions at USP Hazelton have recently been critically reviewed.
Earlier in the month, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton called on the US Department of Justice Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, to initiate a formal investigation into "alleged horrific conditions" in which the inmates are in Hazelton. during violent clashes, "said a press release from the Norton office on October 18th.
"There have been serious allegations regarding the brutal treatment of inmates in the Special Housing Unit," Norton wrote in a letter to Horowitz. "Based on the evidence presented in my office, I believe that federal employees who work in this institution have probably received insufficient training, are under-served and forced to perform duties outside of their positions and training to fulfill these terrible and completely unacceptable results. "
Brian Macquarrie, John R. Ellement, Travis Andersen, Emily Sweeney, Matt Rocheleau and Martin Finucane of Globe contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe, Shelley Murphy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @ shelleymurph,