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Murdered gangster Whitey Bulger hoped for ‘peaceful death’

The 89-year-old described his declining health and his hopes for his demise in several letters to a friend


Auctioneer Bob Sheehan reaches for a letter addressed to the Mass. Senate President William Bulger, among items belonging to James “Whitey” Bulger and Catherine Greig, which will be auctioned off this weekend at the Boston Convention Center, Friday, June 24, 2016, in Boston.

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Associated Press

BOSTON — Months before he was bludgeoned to death by other inmates, notorious Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger expressed hope for a “peaceful death,” newly disclosed letters show.

The 89-year-old described his declining health and his hopes for his demise in several letters to a friend, The Boston Globe reports .

“I prefer to stay here and hope to get a peaceful death,” Bulger wrote last summer, according to the newspaper. “One of those he Died in his Sleep kind.”

Florida resident Charlie Hopkins said he shared the letters with the Globe to show his friend wasn’t healthy enough to be transferred from a Florida prison to a West Virginia one that offered fewer medical services.

The two had connected because they’d served time in Alcatraz penitentiary in San Francisco in the 1950s, though not at the same time.

Hopkins told the Globe he wanted to “get justice for Whitey” because he believes prison officials knew he’d be killed if placed among the general inmate population.

The prison houses other Massachusetts gangsters and two other inmates had been killed in the months prior to Bulger’s arrival.

“They knew what would happen if they put him in a place like that, and I think that was the sole purpose of transferring him,” Hopkins told the paper.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Bulger ran a largely Irish mob in Boston in the 1970s and ‘80s and ratted on members of the New England Mob to the FBI.

He spent 16 years as one of America’s most wanted fugitives until he was found in 2011, living with his girlfriend in a rent-controlled apartment in Santa Monica, California.

Bulger was sentenced to life in prison in 2013 for 11 murders and numerous other crimes. He’d been assigned to prisons in Arizona and Florida specializing in sick inmates before he arrived at Hazelton prison in Bruceton Mills last month.

He was found bloodied and wrapped in a blanket on Oct. 30 after apparently being beaten with a lock stuffed in a sock.

No one has been charged yet in the killing, but two Massachusetts mobsters are among the suspects, officials have said.