BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- A picture is emerging of just how James 'Whitey' Bulger's life came to an end in a West Virginia federal prison Tuesday, but many questions remain.
Bulger had only been at USP Hazelton for one day when he was attacked--reportedly beaten to death--and there are apparently suspects spotted on video surveillance entering Whitey's cell. Those men have not yet been identified--but Freddy Geeas, a former West Springfield mafia hitman currently serving a life sentence of a murder conviction, is a potential suspect.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker spoke to Dan Kelley, who represented Geeas. Kelley said he's aware Geeas is a potential suspect, and said he talks to Geeas from time to time by email. What he doesn't know, he said, is why Bulger was in general population in the prison.
"He clearly should probably not have been there, I think that's fairly obvious now to everyone," he said. "But at the same time, the federal system, the bureau of prisons, they're very careless. They don't care. You're in prison, you're being housed, you're in a room, they don't care. Sometimes they take particular care with certain inmates; apparently, with Mr. Bulger, they decided not to."
Bulger's murder is the third inmate killing this year at USP Hazelton. Just five days ago, members of congress sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions concerning "dangerous understaffing" at prisons in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Correction officials agree the facility is understaffed, short by about 40 officers. Hazelton houses over 1,200 inmates.
Parker also spoke with Lindsey Cyr, the mother of Bulger's son who died at a young age. She did not want to go on tape, but called Bulger's death behind bars "unbelievably shocking," and said she wants to know how it all happened.
Bulger was convicted in 2013, some two years after being found in Santa Monica, California after more than 16 years on the lam. He was serving a life sentence for a litany of crimes, including his participation in eleven murders.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker (@radiobenparker) reports