EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

July 9, 2013

Ex-friend takes stand to testify against Bulger

BOSTON (AP) — The former right-hand man of James “Whitey” Bulger testified yesterday that he saw the alleged mobster open fire on a car and kill two men in 1982.

Kevin Weeks, a prosecution witness at Bulger’s racketeering trial, said he saw Bulger extort multiple businessmen and drug dealers for a cut of their profits.

Weeks said he first developed a friendship with Bulger in the 1970s while he was working as a bouncer at Triple O’s, a South Boston bar where Bulger did business as the leader of the Winter Hill Gang. Soon, he said, he was working as an enforcer, driving around South Boston and picking up cash from local bookmakers Bulger and his gang were extorting.

“Sometimes I’d beat somebody up,” he said.

In May 1982, Weeks said, he went from being muscle to helping Bulger in a murder.

The target was Edward “Brian” Halloran, a man who Bulger had heard was cooperating with authorities.

“Brian Halloran was talking to the FBI about Jim Bulger and some murders,” Weeks said.

Bulger, 83, is accused of playing a role in 19 killings while allegedly leading the Winter Hill Gang. He has pleaded not guilty.

Bulger fled Boston in 1994 and was one of the nation’s most wanted fugitives until he was captured in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2011.

Weeks said that after another Winter Hill member told Bulger he had spotted Halloran on a pay phone, Bulger drove to one of the gang’s hangouts in a “hit car.”

Bulger was wearing a wig and fake moustache, he said.

Bulger told him to drive to the waterfront and wait there, Weeks said.

A short while later, Bulger drove up, with a man wearing a ski mask lying in the back seat. Weeks said the man waved to him, but he said he did not know for sure who it was.

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