The third week of the racketeering trial of James “Whitey” Bulger kicked off Monday morning, with a retired state medical examiner detailing the cause of death in the 19 killings of which the 83-year-old is accused.
Former Chief Medical Examiner Richard Evans, who still works part-time for the state, detailed the 19 deaths, most who died from gunshots, including that of fisherman John McIntyre, who worked aboard the Gloucester-based vessel Valhalla. Two of the victims — one the daughter of Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, the other his girlfriend — died of homicidal violence; Bulger’s cohorts have testified in other trials that Bulger strangled them.
Evans would detail the cause in 17 of the 19 killings Bulger is accused of before getting to McIntrye. He said the fisherman was shot in the back of the head, the bullet damaging his mastoid bone and jaw on the left, and his teeth removed after death. The 19th victim Evans talked about was Flemmi’s “stepdaughter,” Deborah Hussey.
In earlier testimony, Kevin Weeks, often called Bulger’s right-hand man, said McIntyre was murdered because Bulger believed he was informant on a failed gun and drug run. McIntyre was the mechanic on the Valhalla when it left Gloucester in September 1984 with 7 1/2 tons of weapons destined for Irish Republican Army; the weapons were offloaded to another ship off the Irish coast and seized then. Thirty-six tons of marijuana were seized in Boston when an another ship made port; many of the men involved in the gun run were accused in the pot deal.
McIntyre was last seen on Nov. 29, 1984, when he visited his mother. There would be no sign of him until Jan. 14, 2000, when state police, acting on tip from Weeks, would find three bodies — McIntyre, Hussey and Arthur Barrett — buried near a social club in Dorchester.
Weeks testified that McIntyre had been lured to an East Boston house, where Bulger would kill him. He said Flemmi pulled his teeth after he was shot in the belief it would make identification of the body more difficult. Weeks and Flemmi would bury McIntyre in the basement next to Barrett, and later bury Hussey there, too. When the house was sold, Weeks, McIntyre and a third man would dig up the bodies and rebury them in Dorchester.
Flemmi is expected to take the stand Wednesday. He and Bulger have not seen each other since Bulger fled Boston in 1994. Bulger was one of the nation’s most wanted fugitives until he was captured in 2011 in Santa Monica, Calif.
Flemmi pleaded guilty to 10 murders and is serving a life sentence. He is expected to testify about Bulger’s alleged involvement in in 19 killings during the 1970s and ‘80s while he allegedly led the Winter Hill Gang. Bulger has pleaded not guilty.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.