Connect with us

News

Plot thickens in Whitey Bulger murder case with transfer of 2 prisoners

In the hours after Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger was found beaten to death in his prison cell, three inmates were hauled away to solitary confinement. There they remained for two years, eight months and more than 20 days, as the investigation into Bulger’s murder dragged on.

But earlier this week, two of the prisoners, Paul DeCologero and Sean McKinnon, were transferred out of the federal prison in West Virginia, according to online records and family members. The man left behind, a former Mafia hitman named Fotios “Freddy” Geas, remains in solitary.

Fotios “Freddy” Geas appears for a court proceeding in his defense in the Al Bruno murder case, in Springfield, Mass., on April 14, 2009.Don Treeger / The Republican via AP file

The transfer of DeCologero and McKinnon marks a fresh twist in the federal prison system’s most high-profile investigation. It also sparked renewed outrage from Geas’ family over what they consider to be his inhumane treatment behind bars.

“Enough is enough,” said Geas’ son, Alex, 26. “It’s 23 hours a day in a cement cell with no connection to the outside world.”

Alex Geas said he last spoke to his father, who gets two phone calls a month, three weeks ago. He said his father doesn’t complain to him about his captivity, but he has made clear that he doesn’t want to be kept in limbo any longer.

“Two and a half years is insane,” Alex Geas said. “It really is inhumane. If they had the evidence, go ahead and indict him. If not, transfer him and release him out of solitary.”

The 89-year-old Bulger’s battered body was discovered by prison guards about 8:20 a.m. on Oct. 30, 2018.

Nearly three years later, no one has been charged with the crime and questions remain over how the notorious mobster and longtime FBI informant ended up in a prison unit with at least two other gangsters from Massachusetts, Geas and DeCologero.

McKinnon, who hails from Vermont and was locked up for stealing guns from a firearms store, was Geas’ roommate at the time of Bulger’s killing. He was moved into a cell in a special housing unit, commonly known as solitary confinement, where inmates are segregated from the general population and denied privileges such as access to TV, regular phone calls and time in the yard.

Sean McKinnon.Courtesy McKinnon family

Inmates placed in special housing units sometimes share a cell; McKinnon spent much of his time in solitary in the same cell as DeCologero.

McKinnon’s mother, Cheryl Prevost, told NBC News that he called her on Wednesday from a facility in Atlanta and said prison guards had rousted him and DeCologero out of bed about 2:30 a.m. the day before.

“They said, ‘Get your stuff. You’re going out of here,’” Prevost said. “He had no idea he was leaving.”

As of Friday afternoon, McKinnon, 35, who has severe ADHD, was being held at a federal facility in Oklahoma that acts as a transfer point for inmates.

His mother said he was struggling to adjust to a loud and chaotic detention facility after spending so long in solitary.

“I’m surprised he’s even functioning,” Prevost said.

During their call on Wednesday, Prevost said she suggested to her son that the prison transfer could mean he won’t be charged in Bulger’s killing.

“He said, ‘Mom, I don’t want to talk about it,’” Prevost said. “He was just glad to get out.”

McKinnon, who is serving a seven-year sentence, is set to be released from prison in July 2022. He previously told NBC News that he knows nothing about the killing of Bulger.

DeCologero, 47, has five years left on his 25-year sentence on racketeering and witness-tampering charges. As of Friday afternoon, he was being held at the federal prison in Atlanta.

Efforts to reach DeCologero’s family were not successful.

The Bureau of Prisons did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia said she had no new information to provide.

Geas, 54, is serving a life sentence for his role in several violent crimes, including two gangland murders.

A fourth inmate, an upstate New York man who shared a cell with Bulger the night before the killing, was held in solitary for more than five months before he was released to state custody in 2019.

Former mob boss and fugitive James “Whitey” Bulger in 1953 and 2011 booking photos.Boston Police; U.S. Marshals Service

Bulger, the leader of Boston’s Irish mob, spent 16 years on the run before he was captured in 2011 in Santa Monica, California. He was sentenced to life in prison in 2013.

The older, wheelchair-using gangster was killed less than 12 hours after he arrived at the West Virginia prison in a transfer from a federal penitentiary in Florida. The decision to transfer Bulger to a notoriously violent prison and place him with the general population has drawn criticism from former wardens and other ex-prison officials.

The slow pace of the Bulger murder investigation has also raised questions.

Bob Hood, a former federal Bureau of Prisons chief of internal affairs and former warden at the ADX Florence “supermax” prison in Colorado, said it’s difficult to draw any firm conclusions about the decision to move McKinnon and DeCologero. Hood said there are several aspects of the case that he still doesn’t understand.

Why were they kept in a segregated housing unit for so long? Why has no one been charged in such a high-profile case after nearly three years?

“I’m dumbfounded by all of this,” Hood said.

For Hood, the most critical question is not who killed Bulger but how did the Bureau of Prisons allow it to happen.

“We might not ever know who physically killed him, but what we do know is the system killed him,” Hood said.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

News

Pop mogul Simon Cowell was a racing flop with ‘awful’ £35,000 horse he owned with Ant and Dec – that didn’t win a penny

SIMON COWELL conquered the music world – but his foray into racing ended in disaster with an ‘awful’ £35,000 horse he owned with Ant and Dec.

The music mogul, 62, has done it all with bands like One Direction, Little Mix and solo acts Olly Murs and James Arthur, to name but a few.

Cowell owned an 'awful' £35,000 horse with Ant and Dec - but the runner didn't win a single penny in six races

5

Cowell owned an ‘awful’ £35,000 horse with Ant and Dec – but the runner didn’t win a single penny in six racesCredit: PA:Press Association
Cowell remains a massive racing fan and loves Royal Ascot and the Epsom Derby

5

Cowell remains a massive racing fan and loves Royal Ascot and the Epsom Derby

His Syco label – plus shows such as Britain’s Got Talent – have dominated the entertainment industry and brought him an estimated net worth of £385m.

A lover of Royal Ascot and the Epsom Derby, he looked perfectly poised to strike a knockout blow in the world of thoroughbreds.

But it turns out his runner was far from No1 in the charts – and never even finished better than fifth during a doomed six-race career.

Things looked promising at the start.

Named It’s A Yes From Me, the runner was trained with the respected James Fanshawe and sent off at 8-1 for his first race in June 2014.

But coming last of five by 13-and-a-half lengths was unfortunately about as good as it got for the gelding.

A month’s rest followed before he was sent off at 40-1 in a six-furlong sprint at Doncaster.

But there he could only manage fifth again, and it was same at Redcar the next month.

‘Dreadfully slow’

By October that year – with further finishes of sixth and tenth – It’s A Yes From Me came second-last in a one-mile race at Kempton.

One analysis of the race warned punters the horse was ‘one to tread carefully’ with.

Well, Cowell and Ant and Dec took that advice to heart as they never raced him again.

The horse was penniless from six races, never finishing high enough to recoup some of that £35,000 investment.

It’s doubtful Cowell, with hundreds of millions in the bank, lost any sleep over that.

But Ant and Dec revealed just how bad things has got with the horse during an interview last year.

Dec said of It’s A Yes From Me: “It was awful, it was a dreadfully slow horse.

“It wasn’t a racehorse it was just a horse, because it didn’t race.

“Every time we got to the BGT studio Simon would say, ‘I keep paying stable fees on this horse, but I’ve never seen it run’.”

Cowell originally wanted to name the nag after himself, but they settled on It’s A Yes From Me when they bought it in 2013.

‘It was awful’

Dec revealed its eventual fate: “I think it got rehomed.”

Of course it’s not all been bad for Cowell at the races.

He was one of the exclusive few at the Epsom Derby in June, having a great time with partner Lauren Silverman and Piers Morgan.

And two weeks later he was at Royal Ascot – where he first discovered his love of racing.

Cowell told SunSport’s Matt Chapman during a chat at Epsom: “I’ve got my son Eric with me today.

“My mum and dad years ago used to take me to Ascot and I was probably about his age – seven or eight.

Cowell with partner Lauren at Epsom earlier this year

5

Cowell with partner Lauren at Epsom earlier this yearCredit: Getty
It's A Yes From Me trails behind in last during one of his six races

5

It’s A Yes From Me trails behind in last during one of his six races
The music supremo tweeted about his horse's bad start... which never got much better

5

The music supremo tweeted about his horse’s bad start… which never got much better

Most read in Horse Racing

“So the fact I can now bring him to the races as well is brilliant. It brings back a lot of good memories.

“Making TV shows is my passion. But racing is actually my second passion.”

He hasn’t made that passion the money-maker his music label is, but don’t rule out Cowell staging his own comeback at the track in the near future.

FREE BETS GET OVER £2,000 IN SIGN UP OFFERS HERE

Commercial content notice: Taking one of the bookmaker offers featured in this article may result in a payment to The Sun. 18+. T&Cs apply. Begambleaware.org


Remember to gamble responsibly

A responsible gambler is someone who:

  • Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
  • Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
  • Never chases their losses
  • Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
  • Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
  • Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org

Commercial content notice: Taking one of the bookmaker offers featured in this article may result in a payment to The Sun. 18+. T&Cs apply. Begambleaware.org


Remember to gamble responsibly

A responsible gambler is someone who:

  • Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
  • Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
  • Never chases their losses
  • Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
  • Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
  • Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org
Continue Reading

News

Minnesota wildfire doubles in size, creates its own weather

A wildfire in northeastern Minnesota more than doubled in size Tuesday, growing to more than 19,000 acres, after it produced pyrocumulous clouds that generated lightning and even raindrops, fire officials said.

The Greenwood Fire’s growth, most of which happened Monday afternoon, prompted firefighters to leave McDougal Lake, about 80 miles south-southwest of Duluth, officials said. Authorities fear that structures might have been destroyed or damaged.

“We had crews embedded, and as this fire took off, it was quite an effort to communicate with forces on the ground so they could get out,” said federal fire incident spokesman Clark McCreedy.

The pullout was a success, and no injuries were reported. However, downed trees and necessary cleanup mean crews have been unable to assess damage around the lake, McCreedy said.

In addition to the firefighter pullout, 159 dwellings were evacuated Monday, according to an update from the National Wildfire Coordinating Group. Cabins, homes and recreational sites remain under threat, the group said.

Patrick Prochaska, a Minneapolis resident who built a cabin near McDougal Lake in 2012, told NBC affiliate KARE that he watched via security camera as flames mostly bypassed his property Monday, causing minor damage.

“I was feeling very scared,” he said. “At the same time, I could see that it was not doing anything to the house, and it was kind of reassuring.”

The fire in and north of Superior National Forest has mostly performed according to the weather, fire officials said. On Monday, with dry fuel on the ground and temperatures in the high 80s, it was an expanding inferno punctuated by strobes of lightning.

“The winds were drawn into the fire from all directions,” the incident’s fire behavior analyst, Michael Locke, said in a video update Tuesday. “It created what we call pyrocumulous clouds. And really high in the atmosphere … you’d see a thunderstorm, and in fact they went high enough to produce a few sprinkles of rain and even some lightning.”

Temperatures dipped into the mid-70s Tuesday, and the blaze mellowed. “The real story was cloud cover and cooler temperatures,” McCreedy said.

More of the same, and possibly rain, was in the forecast, giving officials hope that they might be able to close the book on an unusually active and dry fire season in Minnesota.

Experts have said climate change has set the stage for extreme weather, including an increase in the frequency and intensity of wildfires in the Northern Hemisphere.

Firefighters — 426 were assigned to the Greenwood event — have been confronted with “prolonged, severe drought,” making parts of Minnesota look like the fire-prone West this summer, McCreedy said.

The Greenwood Fire, which was detected Aug. 15, is believed to have been sparked by lightning.

So far, firefighters have scored no containment, and areas including McDougal Lake, Sand Lake and the Highway 2 corridor have been under mandatory evacuation orders. The federal Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness was closed Saturday “due to active and increasing fire activity, extreme drought, limited resources,” the National Forest Service said in a notice.

Officials set a goal of Sept. 1 for full containment.

“We’re probably going to get more of that moderating weather for the rest of the week,” McCreedy said. “That opens the door for fire crews to make progress on the ground.”

Continue Reading

News

Hiker survives grizzly bear attack at Denali National Park

A tourist from Indiana was attacked and injured by a grizzly bear at Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska on Monday night, park officials said.

The 55-year-old tourist, whose name was not released, was hiking alone in dense fog in the Thoroughfare Pass area when a mother bear and multiple cubs charged him from nearby bushes, the National Park Service said in a statement Tuesday.

He had puncture wounds to a calf, his left ribs and his left shoulder, the agency said.

The victim used bear spray that might have cut the attack short, the park service indicated. He walked 1.5 miles to a visitor’s center where “medical personnel” vacationing at Denali treated him as a park bus driver called 911, it said.

The hiker was taken to a medical center near the park before he was transferred to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, about 120 miles away, park officials said. He was stabilized at the Fairbanks hospital, they said.

“Due to the apparent defensive nature of this attack, there are no plans to locate the bear involved,” the park service said. “Female bears with cubs are naturally defensive of their young, especially when surprised. There is no indication that this bear is unusually dangerous.”

Grizzly bears are federally protected as a threatened species in the lower 48 states. According to the National Wildlife Federation, fewer than 1,500 grizzlies are left in the lower 48, but they thrive, comparatively, in Alaska, where they have a population of about 31,000.

The backcountry area of the attack is closed for one week as a precaution, the park service said.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Insight Global.