On This Day — Whitey Bulger Sentenced to Two Terms of Life Imprisonment. (November 14, 2013) So, why the death sentence? [UPDATE: “Indiana Jones of art” Strikes Again]

“Prison officials dropped the ball by transferring him to the notoriously violent Hazelton facility and mixing him with the general population. It’s like sending somebody to death row. (…)We all know that you can’t put somebody high-profile like Whitey Bulger there. It’s like throwing meat to a bunch of sharks.”

Joe Rojas — President of American Federation of Government Employees at the Fed Correctional Complex in Coleman, Florida

“[Special counsel Robert Mueller] is the guy who kept four innocent people in prison for many years in order to protect the cover of Whitey Bulger as an FBI informer.”

Alan Dershowitz  — Harvard Law Professor emeritus

“Long before he became FBI Director, serious questions existed about Mueller’s role as Acting U.S. Attorney in Boston in effectively enabling decades of corruption and covering up of the FBI’s illicit deals with mobster Whitey Bulger and other top echelon informants who committed numerous murders and crimes.”

Coleen Rowley — Retired FBI special agent and Division legal counsel

“I have spoken to former IRA members who say it was common knowledge these paintings [Gardner Museum] were probably in hands of the organization.”

Arthur Brand — Dutch investigator and art adviser based in Amsterdam

“On the new morning of 18 March 1990, even the dogs in the streets of south Boston must have known that Whitey was involved in some way before, during, or after the robbery [of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum].”

Charles Hill — Former Scotland Yard detective turned private investigator

On November 14 2013, Whitey Bulger was sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment, plus five years.  Obviously, two lifetimes will go by quickly if a FBI informant is dropped in a prison filled with dangerous criminals working for the mafia. Whoever decided to transfer Bulger to the notoriously violent Hazelton facility knew that he would not survive very long. So, why was he sentenced to death? Allow me to suggest two possibilities. The first is related to the past of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The second involves the Isabella Stewart Gardner Heist. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

RELATED POST: The Dark Past of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller — The Bulger Gang, Lockerbie, Anthrax… An Exceptional Failure All Round. (UPDATE II)

RELATED POST: On This Day — The Great Gardner Museum Heist (March 18 1990)

UPDATE (November 19 2018) — Arthur Brand — a Dutch investigator and art adviser based in Amsterdam — also believes that the paintings stolen from the Gardner Museum are probably in hands of the IRA organization.

Nicknamed “the Indiana Jones of the art world“, Brand should be taken very seriously. Just this week, he has tracked down a precious sixth-Century mosaic stolen from Cyprus.

Finding the 1,600-year-old piece in a flat in Monaco had felt very special, Dutchman Arthur Brand said.

He handed the work over to the Cypriot embassy in The Hague on Friday.

Mr Brand has achieved fame recovering stolen artwork since 2015 when he found Hitler’s Horses – two Nazi statues that stood outside Hitler’s office. [BBC]

Mr Brand spent nearly two years chasing the work across Europe, finally tracking it down in the possession of a British family.

They had “bought the mosaic in good faith more than four decades ago”, the investigator told AFP news agency.

“They were horrified when they found out that it was in fact a priceless art treasure, looted from the Kanakaria church after the Turkish invasion,” Mr Brand said.

And BTW… The newest instalment of the Indiana Jones franchise, which stars Harrison Ford in the title role, is scheduled for release in 2020.

END of UPDATE

Whitey Bulger was transferred from the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City to United States Penitentiary, Hazelton, in West Virginia on October 29, 2018. At 8:20 a.m. on October 30, the 89-year-old Bulger was found unresponsive in the prison.

Bulger was in a wheelchair and had been beaten to death by multiple inmates armed with a sock-wrapped padlock and a prison-made knife. His eyes had nearly been gouged out and his tongue almost cut out.

This was the third homicide at the prison in a 40-day span. Correctional officers had warned Congress just days before the most recent Hazelton death that facilities were being dangerously understaffed.

Suspicious Transfer

The records show Bulger’s “medical/physical treatment” was completed and that he was to be transferred to the general population at Hazelton under Care Level 2, a lower medical classification for inmates who are stable outpatients that require at least quarterly clinician evaluation.

Joe Rojas — President of American Federation of Government Employees at the Fed Correctional Complex in Coleman, Florida — does not understand why  Bulger was dropped to Care Level 2.

“I don’t care who you are, you can’t justify dropping him … to a 2. … He’s always going to be (at least) a Care Level 3 because of his age and he’s in a wheelchair” with heart problems, Rojas said.

“The only way you drop him to a Care Level 2 is to get rid of him,” Rojas said. “Their intent was to get rid of him, probably because he was a crusty old man and a pain in the ass.”

Richard Heldreth — President of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 420, which represents staff at Hazelton — agrees with Rojas.

“It was really odd that he was general population (at Hazelton) given his notoriety and who he was. I was pretty surprised.”

“I don’t think that any nefarious plot was afoot. That would be terribly inconsistent with what I know about the Bureau of Prisons. I think it’s more — I’m going to guess it’s an issue of complacency. Somebody was asleep at the switch.”

INTEL TODAY would like to suggest that whoever decided to transfer Whitey Bulger to the notoriously violent Hazelton facility knew full well that he would not survive very long. So, why was he sentenced to death? Allow me to suggest two possibilities.

Hypothesis I

Earlier this year, Harvard law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz made the following statements.

“Special Counsel Robert Mueller s the guy who kept four innocent people in prison for many years in order to protect the cover of Whitey Bulger as an FBI informer.

Those of us in Boston don’t have such a high regard for Mueller because we remember this story.

The government had to pay out tens of millions of dollars because Whitey Bulger, a notorious mass murderer, became a government informer against the mafia . . .

And that’s regarded in Boston of one of the great scandals of modern judicial history.

And Mueller was right at the center of it. So, he is not without criticism by people who know him in Boston.”

I find it quite plausible that the horrific murder of Whitey Bulger may have been intended to remind people of Mueller’s dark past.

Hypothesis II

On March 18  1990, two men posing as police officers entered the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and stole 13 famous artworks by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Degas, walking away with art today valued at $500m. The case was never solved.

Charles Hill — a former Scotland Yard detective turned private investigator –believes the paintings were shipped to Ireland as part of a deal with an IRA-affiliated gang.

“After a shipment of weapons and ammunition was intercepted by the Irish navy off the coast of County Kerry in 1984, Whitey felt he owed one to his friends in the Republic. I believe he offered them the paintings.”

After his arrest, Bulger did not volunteer information about the Gardner heist that might have brought a more lenient sentence or a more comfortable cell.

Perhaps, someone decided to apply a bit of pressure on Bulger to make him finally reveal what he knew about the paintings.

By the way…

The 2013 television drama The Blacklist starring James Spader about a career criminal who turns himself in to work with the FBI on his own terms was inspired by Bulger’s story.

Why was Whitey Bulger killed? 

REFERENCES

Whitey Bulger — Wikipedia

Questions raised about decision to transfer ‘Whitey’ Bulger to prison where he died — CNN

Murdered mob boss gave stolen Boston art to IRA, says former Met detective — Guardian

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On This Day — Whitey Bulger Sentenced to Two Terms of Life Imprisonment. So, why the death sentence? (November 14, 2013) [UPDATE:  “Indiana Jones of art” Strikes Again]

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