Whitey Bulger’s Alleged Killers Indicted, Famed Crime Boss Was Linked to Vegas

Posted on: August 18, 2022, 08:20h. 

Last updated on: August 19, 2022, 08:35h.

Three were indicted Wednesday in connection with the 2018 prison death of notorious organized crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger.

James "Whitey" Bulger, in a mug shot
James “Whitey” Bulger, in a 2011 mug shot. Three men were indicted this week in connection with his 2018 murder in a federal prison. (Image: WBUR via Associated Press)

The gangster, who also acted as an FBI informant, was frail and wheelchair-bound when he was fatally beaten by a padlock stuffed inside a sock inside his prison cell.

The defendants linked to his death were identified Thursday as Fotios “Freddy” Geas, 55, Paul “Pauly” J. DeCologero, 48, and Sean McKinnon, 36, according to a statement from federal prosecutors.

The suspects, like Bulger, were incarcerated at Hazleton, a federal penitentiary in Bruceton Mills, W.V., when the homicide occurred. Geas and DeCologero allegedly attacked Bulger.

Each of the trio was charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Geas and DeCologero were also charged with aiding and abetting first-degree murder and assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

Charges and Sentences

Geas also was charged with murder by a federal inmate serving a life sentence. McKinnon was charged with making false statements to a federal agent. Geas remains in custody in Hazleton. DeCologero is incarcerated at another federal correctional facility. McKinnon was placed on supervised release but was arrested this week in Florida.

Geas was described by Las Vegas’ Mob Museum as a mob hitman from the Springfield, Mass. area. He is serving a life sentence for the 2003 murder of a member of the Genovese crime family, the museum said.

DeCologero was a Boston mobster who was serving a 25-year sentence for racketeering and conspiracy, the museum added. He was linked to the 1996 murder and dismemberment of Aislin Silva, 19.

Winter Hill Gang

In his earlier days, Bulger ran the Winter Hill Gang in South Boston. He was sentenced to life in prison in connection with 11 murders. But Bulger fled and was on the lam for 16 years. During that time, the FBI listed him as the second most wanted criminal.

Bulger was apprehended in 2011 in Santa Monica, Calif and incarcerated in several federal prisons.

Bulger was held in Oklahoma, then was transferred to Hazelton. On Oct. 30, 2018, just hours after his arrival, he was killed. Guards found his lifeless body, wrapped in blankets.

The FBI and the Bureau of Prisons Special Investigative Services investigated Bulger’s murder.

Whitey Bulger in younger days
A younger Whitey Bulger, pictured in a mug shot above. He was shown in a Boston police booking photo in 1953. (Image: Boston Police)

Vegas Ties

While living in California, Bulger reportedly sometimes would visit Las Vegas. It also was alleged that two of Bulger’s reputed associates, Steve “the Rifleman” Flemmi and “Cadillac” Frank Salemme, were investigated for a Nevada crime.

Pete Poulos was killed in the desert in 1969, KLAS, a local TV station, reported. The inquiry was eventually dropped.

After his capture, some of Bulger’s firearms were displayed at Las Vegas gun shows. He was so notorious that the Las Vegas’ Mob Museum had exhibits on Bulger.

Death Aftermath

When Bulger was killed, those who were his victims, or linked to his victims, had a sense of relief. One example is Patricia Donahue.

Her husband, Michael Donahue, was killed in a 1982 fatal shooting linked to Bulger, the Mob Museum reported.

“All I really wanted to do was get that champagne bottle and pop that cork,” Patricia Donahue told the New York Times after his death. “It’s been a long time waiting. Now my family can relax a little bit, now that we don’t have to worry about hearing his name all the time.”