Deputy Chief Correspondent, West & Central Africa
Richard's Feed
Aug 8, 2013

‘Whitey’ Bulger jury asks to see Boston mob’s machine gun

BOSTON (Reuters) – Jurors weighing the fate of Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger on Thursday asked to see a German-made World War Two era submachine gun that prosecutors said was one of many used by Bulger’s Winter Hill crime gang.

Jurors went home without reaching a verdict, but the request to see the gun could indicate they are making progress deciding on the raft of murder, extortion and other charges against Bulger. The last of the 32 criminal counts he faces alleges the former crime boss was in possession of guns with obliterated serial numbers.

Aug 8, 2013

Bulger trial judge reminds jury to seek unanimity on all charges

BOSTON (Reuters) – The judge in the trial of former Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger, faced with a series of questions from jurors deliberating his fate, on Thursday told them they had a duty to try to reach a unanimous verdict on each of the dozens of murder and racketeering charges.

The jury in Boston federal court is weighing charges that could send the 83-year-old gangster to prison for the rest of his life. Bulger, nicknamed “Whitey” because of the shock of blonde hair he once had, pleaded not guilty to all charges, although his lawyers acknowledged he was a drug dealer, extortionist, loan shark and “organized criminal.”

Aug 7, 2013

Judge tells ‘Whitey’ Bulger jury to focus on mob charges

BOSTON (Reuters) – The statute of limitations cannot erase any of the racketeering and murder charges faced by former Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger, the U.S. judge overseeing his trial told the jury on Wednesday.

“The issue of statute of limitation should not concern you,” U.S. District Judge Denise Casper told the 12-member jury on its second day of deliberations over whether the 83-year-old defendant is guilty of 32 criminal counts that could send him to prison for the rest of his life.

Aug 5, 2013

Lawyers to sum up testimony in Bulger murder trial finale

BOSTON (Reuters) – Lawyers in the trial of former mobster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger on Monday will sum up eight weeks of testimony from former hitmen, FBI agents, smugglers and extortion victims about a string of murders blighting Boston’s past.

The closing arguments come after Bulger denounced his murder and racketeering trial as a sham on Friday and refused to testify in a case that captured national attention, recalling a bygone era when mobsters toting machineguns left a trail of unsolved killings as they fought for control of the criminal underworld.

Jul 31, 2013

Ex-agent recalls ‘paranoia’ about ‘Whitey’ Bulger’s FBI connections

BOSTON (Reuters) – FBI files about mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger were locked into a fireproof safe in the bureau’s Boston office to keep them from the prying eyes of corrupt agents who would leak them to criminals, a retired agent testified on Wednesday.

“I had (files) placed in a safe, I think it was even fireproof, in my office, and I could then lock the door of my office,” ex-agent Fred Davis told the jury. Lawyers defending Bulger in his murder and racketeering trial had called him to the stand to buttress its case that Boston’s FBI office was corrupt and mismanaged when it was investigating their client in the 1970s and 80s.

Jul 30, 2013

New EPA chief takes on critics of U.S. agency’s policies

/WASHINGTON, July 30 (Reuters) – Delivering
her first speech as the top U.S. environmental steward, Gina
McCarthy on Tuesday pre-empted a frequent mantra of the agency’s
critics – that the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations
disrupt the economy and cost jobs.

The benefits derived from rules to address climate change
and protect the environment far outweigh their costs, McCarthy
said. She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 18 as EPA
administrator.

Jul 25, 2013

Henchman tells ‘Whitey’ Bulger’s lawyer: prison is no Club Med

BOSTON (Reuters) – Confessed killer Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi told the lawyer defending mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger on Thursday that spending life in prison in return for testifying against his former partner in crime is no picnic, at least not a very good picnic.

Flemmi, who is serving a life sentence for 10 murders he confessed to a decade ago, disputed Bulger’s attorneys’ assertion that he was housed in “The Club Med of Prisons.”

Jul 24, 2013

Patriots coach says Hernandez shows flaws of player screening

, July 24 (Reuters) – New England Patriots
Coach Bill Belichick said on Wednesday he was “shocked” when he
learned last month that player Aaron Hernandez was being
investigated for murder and noted the case revealed flaws with
the team’s screening system.

Hernandez was cut from the National Football League team on
June 26, shortly after police arrested him on charges that he
orchestrated the execution-style murder of a friend,
semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd.

Jul 24, 2013

Ex-NFL star Hernandez due in court on murder charge

ATTLEBORO, Massachusetts (Reuters) – Former New England Patriots football star Aaron Hernandez was due in court on Wednesday afternoon for a preliminary hearing on murder charges that could reveal new details in the latest National Football League scandal.

Hernandez was arrested on June 26, nine days after police found the bullet-riddled corpse of a friend, Odin Lloyd, in an industrial park near Hernandez’s house in North Attleborough, Massachusetts. He was cut from the Patriots on the same day as his arrest.

Jul 24, 2013

How U.S. drug sting targeted West African military chiefs

DAKAR (Reuters) – It was late afternoon as the speedboat cut across the waters off West Africa for its rendezvous with guns and drugs.

Behind lay the steamy shore of Guinea-Bissau, one of the poorest countries on the planet. Ahead lay the Al Saheli, a luxurious 115-foot white motor yacht with tinted black windows.

    • About Richard

      "Richard is based in Reuters' Dakar bureau where he has helped lead coverage of two dozen countries in West and Central Africa since September 2009. He previously ran Reuters' energy coverage in the Americas as a senior editor based in New York."
    • Contact Richard

    • Follow Richard