Deputy Chief Correspondent, West & Central Africa
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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.

Jul 24, 2013

Special Report: 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.

Jul 18, 2013

Extortion victim of mob boss ‘Whitey’ Bulger found dead

BOSTON (Reuters) – The dead body of a potential witness, who had hoped to testify about how mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger forced him at gunpoint to sell a liquor store, was found in a suburb of Boston, authorities said on Thursday.

Stephen Rakes, who once sued the FBI for failing to protect him from one of Bulger’s extortion schemes, was found on Wednesday afternoon in Lincoln, Massachusetts, about 16 miles (26 km) northwest of Boston, according to the Middlesex Country District Attorney’s office.

Jul 18, 2013

‘The Rifleman’ to testify at Boston mob boss Bulger’s trial

BOSTON (Reuters) – Boston mobster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger will cast his eyes on an old partner in crime for the first time in two decades on Thursday when admitted killer Stephen ‘The Rifleman’ Flemmi takes the stand in Bulger’s murder and racketeering trial.

The two former leaders of the Winter Hill Gang, which ruled Boston’s criminal underworld and left a trail of bodies in its wake during the 1970s and ’80s, have not seen each other since 1994 when Bulger fled Boston to evade arrest.

    • 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."
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