A prisoner who has spent greater than two years in solitary confinement since being accused of murdering mob boss James ‘Whitey’ Bulger has insisted he’s harmless and begged to be allowed again into the overall inhabitants.
Sean McKinnon, 35, talking for the primary time, insisted he ‘is aware of nothing’ about who killed the notorious Boston mob boss turned FBI informant lower than 12 hours after being transferred to Hazelton federal jail in West Virginia.
Bugler, 89, who was convicted of the murders of a minimum of 11 folks, was brutally overwhelmed to demise in October 2018 with a padlock hidden inside a sock.
McKinnon, one of 4 inmates put in ‘the opening’ following the killing and who stays there regardless of no fees being filed within the case, told NBC News: ‘I instructed the feds, ”If I had one thing to inform them, I’d. I do know nothing. I’m an harmless man.”
He is now sharing a cell with Boston gangster Paul DeCologero, 46, who was additionally accused of the killing, however they’re separated from the overall inhabitants and denied privileges, which means they’re nonetheless thought-about to be in solitary.
A 3rd suspect, infamous mob hitman Fotios ‘Freddy’ Geas, 54, is being remoted in a separate unit, whereas a fourth, Felix Wilson, was released after six months when his sentence got here to an finish. All males deny involvement with Bulger’s demise.
Sean McKinnon, 35, talking for the primary time, insisted he ‘is aware of nothing’ about who killed James ‘Whitey’ Bulger
Bugler, 89, was brutally overwhelmed to demise in his cell at Hazelton federal jail, West Virginia, with a padlock hidden inside a sock.
McKinnon, who has no recognized mob ties however is serving an eight-year jail sentence for stealing weapons, had been sharing a cell with Geas on the time of Bulger’s demise. Meanwhile, Wilson had spent the earlier night time in Bulger’s cell.
Speaking over the cellphone, McKinnon claimed corrections officers by no means defined why they have been taking him to ‘the opening’ – a jail time period for solitary.
‘Ever since then, it has been the identical factor,’ he mentioned.
McKinnon filed an official grievance with warden Rich Hudgins in January, demanding proof for why he was being punished. However, the warden, Hudgins refused his request, citing an ‘ongoing investigation’.
Staffers talking to NBC News on situation of anonymity questioned why no fees had been introduced after greater than two years, and mentioned safety cameras ought to have captured video of Bulger’s assailants.
McKinnon, who’s due to be released subsequent July, mentioned he was interviewed by FBI brokers a day after the killing however has not heard from the bureau since then.
He was saved in solitary by himself for a yr however is now sharing a cell along with his pal DeCologero, who is ready to be released in June 2026 after a 25-year sentence for racketeering and witness tampering.
The use of solitary confinement in US prisons has come beneath scrutiny in recent times and attracted criticism from civil rights campaigners.
David Fathi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union National Prison Project, mentioned: ‘Under worldwide human rights regulation, solitary confinement lasting longer than 15 days is categorically prohibited, so 2 1/2 years is basically past the pale.’
McKinnon is now sharing a cell with Boston gangster Paul DeCologero, 46, (left) who was additionally accused of the killing. A 3rd suspect, infamous mob hitman Fotios ‘Freddy’ Geas, 54, (proper) is being remoted in a separate unit
Bulger (pictured in 2011) hadn’t even been processed at Hazelton when he was killed, sources mentioned
Bulger was a number one determine in Boston’s underworld earlier than he was lastly captured in Santa Monica with girlfriend Catherine Greig in June 2011 after being on the run for 16 years.
Details of his seize and subsequent demise in jail are laid naked in a latest e-book, Hunting Whitey: The Inside Story of the Capture & Killing of America’s Most Wanted Crime Boss, by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge.
It revealed how Bulger remained defiant at the same time as feds armed with a number of automated weapons closed in on the then 81-year-old within the storage of his house advanced.
FBI brokers have been lastly in a position to nook Bulger with the assistance of Josh Bond, the supervisor of Princess Eugenia Apartments, the place the fugitive had been hiding.
Bulger and Greig had managed to go undetected for years by posing as an aged couple beneath the names of Charles and Carol Gasko.
When authorities descended on the house constructing on June 21, Special Agent Scott Garriola had positioned the couple’s storage locker within the storage earlier than hatching a plan to stage a break-in in hopes of luring him downstairs.
Using a set of bolt cutters, Garriola reduce the lock off the storage unit, earlier than instructing Bond to name Bulger and notify him of the supposed theft.
Bugler’s longtime girlfriend Catherine Grieg, 69, was freed in 2020 after serving a nine-year federal jail sentence for serving to him evade seize for 16 years. She spent the final yr of her sentence residing in residence confinement (pictured)
Initially, Bond did not get a response, however Greig rang moments later returning his name.
‘Do you need me to name police or meet me down within the storage?’ Bond requested.
‘Then Whitey Bulger himself stepped out of the house in his white hat and took the elevator down to the storage,’ the e-book states.
As he arrived, Bulger was instantly greeted by a swarm of closely armed males aiming machine weapons at him.
In a letter describing the scene included within the e-book, Bulger admits he seen one thing ‘wasn’t proper’ after seeing coloured items of tape on the bottom, ‘as if to mark positions like on a stage’.
FBI brokers instantly ordered him to get on his knees, however Bulger refused after seeing a small pool of oil on the bottom.
‘They have been screaming, “We will shoot,” and I responded, “Go ahead . . . I’m not kneeling down in the oil,” Bulger recalled,’ the e-book states.
‘I instructed them that there was a clear place to my proper and for him to take two steps to the best to that space after which I’d comply’.
Bulger, 89, was transferred to USP Hazelton (pictured in an aerial shot) on a Monday. By Tuesday morning, he was lifeless
Bulger (pictured in an undated FBI handout picture) had been convicted in 2013 of killing a minimum of 11 folks and was serving a life sentence
According to the e-book, Garriola at that second feared the arrest would escalate right into a lethal standoff or a police chase, if Bulger didn’t obey.
But Bulger finally ‘moved two steps to the facet’, earlier than lastly surrendering.
Bulger, who on the time was one of the FBI’s most-wanted criminals, was sentenced to life in jail for his position in 11 gangland killings.
More than $822,000 and 30 weapons have been discovered hidden within the partitions of the couple’s rent-controlled house.
Greig, 69, was freed in 2020 after serving a nine-year federal jail sentence for serving to him evade seize for 16 years.
Greig had joined Bulger on the run again in 1995 shortly after he fled Boston to evade a federal racketeering indictment after he was tipped to his pending arrest.
Prior to occurring the run, Bulger had terrorized Boston from the Seventies into the Nineties with a marketing campaign of murder, extortion and drug trafficking.
He had lived a double life as the infamous head of the Irish mob and as a secret FBI informant.
The couple was captured in an house the place that they had been residing in Santa Monica, California in 2011 after 16 years on the run.
Greig had joined Bulger on the run again in 1995 shortly after he fled Boston to evade a federal racketeering indictment after he was tipped to his pending arrest. They are pictured in 1998
The couple have been discovered hiding out at Princess Eugenia Apartments in Santa Monica in June 2011
The Boston underworld kingpin and his girlfriend had managed to go undetected for years by posing as an aged couple beneath the names of Charles and Carol Gasko prior to their arrest.
Following their seize, Greig was sentenced to eight years in jail for serving to her mobster boyfriend evade seize and an extra 21 months for refusing to testify earlier than grand juries.
Bulger, in the meantime, was convicted in 2013 of a slew of crimes, together with a minimum of 11 murders, and was sentenced to life behind bars.
They brutally attacked the wheelchair-bound Bulger, beat him with a lock in a sock, tried to gouge out the mobster’s eyes with a shiv and tried to reduce out his tongue.
His physique was discovered wrapped in a sheet 12 hours later by jail officers, who mentioned the gangster was hardly recognizable.
The FBI, the Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Attorney’s Office within the Northern District of West Virginia declined NBC’s request to remark.
Whitey Bulger: Life and crimes of a mob kingpin
Sept. 3, 1929: James Bulger is born to Irish immigrant dad and mom residing in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. He is the second of six youngsters. His shock of platinum blonde hair earns him the nickname ‘Whitey.’
1956: Whitey Bulger is sentenced to federal jail for financial institution theft. After he is suspected of plotting an escape from one jail, he is transferred to Alcatraz.
1960: Bulger’s youthful brother, William, is elected to the state House of Representatives. John Connolly, a childhood pal from South Boston, works on the marketing campaign.
1965: Bulger is released from jail and returns to Boston. He turns into a high underling to native mobster Howie Winter, boss of the Winter Hill Gang.
1970: William Bulger is elected to the state Senate.
1975: Bulger cuts a cope with Connolly – now a Boston-based FBI agent – to present information on the Italian Mafia in change for cover.
1978: William Bulger turns into president of the state Senate.
1981: Roger Wheeler, proprietor of World Jai Alai, a playing enterprise from which Bulger was skimming cash, is shot between the eyes within the car parking zone of his nation membership in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Bulger, pictured in 1994, disappeared on the eve of his indictment on racketeering fees in 1995
1982: Bulger and Stephen ‘The Rifleman’ Flemmi gun down a former henchman in broad daylight on a South Boston avenue to silence him over the Wheeler murder. Connolly information a report with the FBI saying rival gangsters made the hit.
July 1982: Flemmi and Bulger order a success on John Callahan, the previous president of World Jai Alai.
January 1995: Bulger disappears on the eve of his indictment on racketeering fees.
1997: The FBI, beneath courtroom order, admits that Bulger was a ‘high echelon’ informant launching a federal probe into the company’s corrupt ties to its mob informants.
June 22, 2011: Bulger is arrested in Santa Monica, CA, with girlfriend Catherine Grieg.
Aug 12, 2013: Bulger is discovered responsible of a raft of racketeering fees, together with his position in 11 murders.
Nov 13 2013: Bulger, aged 84 , is sentenced to two consecutive life sentences plus 5 years. Before asserting her sentence, the choose tells Bulger that the ‘scope, callousness and depravity of your crimes are nearly unfathomable.’ She says they’re made ‘all of the extra heinous as a result of they have been all about cash.’
Oct. 30, 2018: Bulger is discovered lifeless inside USP Hazelton at 8.20am, the day after he was transferred to the federal jail in West Virginia.