Whitey and brother, William Bulger, a study in contrasts
BOSTON -- There is perhaps no greater study in contrasts than Whitey Bulger and his brother, former president of the Massachusetts Senate, William Bulger.
Two brothers. Two very different stories.
Whitey Bulger, the reputed crime boss has been accused in at least 19 killings and was a fugitive from the law for more than 16 years.
His brother Billy Bulger, however, was one of the most popular and powerful politicians in the history of Boston.
Bulger was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1961, then elected to the state Senate in 1970.
He served as Senate President from 1978 to 1996, the longest tenure for a senate president in the state's history. Bulger left the state senate in 1996, when he was appointed president of UMass.
For years Billy remained silent when it came to his more infamous sibling. Back in 2002 Billy invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination after being subpoenaed by a congressional committee. Months later Congress offered him immunity in exchange for his testimony.
Bulger then admitted to taking a phone call from his brother James in 1995 shortly after he fled the state.
“I think he asked me to tell everybody he’s okay and then I told him, ‘Well you know we care very much for you.’ I think I said, ‘I hope this will have a happy ending.’” said Billy Bulger.
He said he knew his brother led a life of crime, but was unaware of the ties to murder until reading about it in the paper.
Under presser from then Governor Mitt Romney, Billy Bulger resigned from President of UMass in 2003.
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