Ex-Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger was sentenced Thursday to spend the rest of his life in jail for crimes he committed during his murderous reign of the city during the 1970s and 1980s.
US District Judge Denise Casper handed Bulger, 84, two life terms plus an additional five years in prison after he was convicted in August on charges that included a string of murders, racketeering, extortion and drug dealing.
Bulger was also ordered to pay $19.5 million in compensation to his victims’ families, ensuring the man who has been described as a terrorist, sociopath and even Satan would not profit from his crimes through future book deals.
“The scope, the callousness, the depravity of your crimes are almost unfathomable," Casper told Bulger before handing down the sentence.
"Your crimes were all the more heinous because they were all about money.
“Make no mistake, it takes no business acumen to take money from folks on the other end of the gun.”
Bulger, who was the inspiration for Jack Nicholson’s character in Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award-winning film “The Departed,” stood silently as Casper blasted his life of crime.
"The testimony of human suffering that you and your associates inflicted on others was at times agonizing to hear and painful to watch,” she said.
"At times during the trial I wished that we were watching a movie, that what we were hearing was not real."
His attorney Hank Brennan has promised to appeal the conviction.
During the two-month trial, jurors heard evidence from some of Bulger's former associates in the criminal world. They also heard how Boston Federal Bureau of Investigation agents had turned a blind eye to the mobster's violent activities while he was an FBI informant.
Former FBI agent John Connolly Jr., who was Bulger’s handler, is serving a 10-year jail sentence for tipping off Bulger in 1994 that agents were on their way to arrest him.
Bulger was on the run until 2011 when police apprehended him in Santa Monica, California.
Relatives of some of Bulger's victims expressed satisfaction at the sentence.
“That old bastard is finally going to prison. He’s going to die in prison,” said Tommy Donahue, whose father had been killed by Bulger.