Authorities investigating the sudden death of convicted mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger have reportedly named convicted mob hitman Fotios "Freddy" Geas as a suspect in the murder.
Bulger, who was the boss of South Boston's White Hill Gang from the 1970s into the '90s, was found unresponsive in his cell at a high-security federal prison in West Virginia Tuesday morning around 8 a.m.
Geas, 51, has been serving a life sentence at the Hazleton penitentiary, where 89-year-old Bulger was recently transferred to, since at least 2015, according to MassLive.com. He was among those convicted of the 2003 murders of Springfield mafia boss Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno and low-level associate Gary Westerman.
Geas' lawyer, Daniel D. Kelly, told MassLive.com that Geas has an open hatred for informants for the government, which Bulger was.
"Freddy is a dying breed," said Kelly, who maintains a friendship with the former hitman. "He has a great disdain for informants. I'm not saying Freddy did this just because the media says so, I'm just telling you what I know about him."
Geas and his brother, Ty Geas, and Genovese crime boss Arthur "Artie" Nigro, were convicted in 2011 for murder and other crimes after a trusted friend turned government informant double-crossed them. The brothers refused to cooperate, instead falling on their swords to take their life bids, while co-conspirators in the murders received lighter sentences.
Meanwhile, Bulger was a mob informant for the FBI. He went on the lam from 1995 to 2011, when he was captured by federal agents in California with his longtime girlfriend. He was convicted of a slew of crimes, including 11 murders he committed while working for the FBI, and was serving a life sentence at the time of his death.
Private investigator Ted McDonough told the Boston Globe that he immediately suspected Geats of Bulger's death. "Freddy hated rats," McDonough said. "Freddy hated guys who abused women. Whitey was a rat who killed women. It's probably that simple."
His transfer to the West Virginia prison made national headlines on Monday. His murder took place the next morning hours after his arrival. The Globe reports that people with knowledge of the investigation said Bulger requested to be housed in general population at the West Virginia prison.
Geas reportedly has not disputed his role in the killing.
The U.S. Bureau of Prison officials confirmed that Bulger was found in his cell just after 8 a.m. Tuesday morning. No other details have been released in the death, although multiple news outlets are reporting that a group of inmates beat him to death.
TMZ reports that four inmates walked into Bulger's cell, where he was sitting in his wheelchair, and beat him with a lock in a sock. The news outlet also reports that sources at the prison said the killers allegedly used a shiv to try and gouge out his tongue and eyes.0comments
Surveillance cameras reportedly captured the inmates walking into his cell and walking out with their clothes bloodied. The alleged attack was not caught on video. The killers reportedly went back into their cells, changed out of their bloody clothes and walked back to Bulger's cell with a mop and bucket to clean up the mess.
The prison sources told TMZ that the motive may have been mob retaliation against Bulger, who helped out away several members of the mob.