According to Whitey Bulger’s attorney, Mr. Bulger, now convicted of 11 murders, had no illusions that he would escape–at minimum–life in prison and knew full well that his legal odyssey might, ultimately, end in his execution.
He had only one goal for the court proceedings against him: He wanted it made clear that he had never been a government informant.
He had never flipped.
He had been a stand-up guy, to the end.
If you want to understand Whitey Bulger understand this: Early life experiences–of which we know too little, but which had to be harrowing and disempowering–created in him a need for absolute power over, and absolute devotion from, those around him. Either you were with him 100 percent or you were against him, and better off dead.
It may seem like a stretch to think that Whitey Bulger could have been forged from having no control over alcoholism in his home of origin, or relentless bullying or sexual abuse from a relative or member of the clergy, or capricious and brutal discipline by a parent, but it is true. And while not every bullied or abused or powerless child grows up to be Whitey Bulger, one did.
And others grew up to be his henchmen.