The Whitey Bulger auction, scheduled for today, June 24, 2016, at the Boston Convention Center, is an unseemly event where the Department of Justice, under the guise of raising money for the families of Bulger’s victims, auctions off his dirty underwear. Okay, maybe not his dirty underwear; that’s an exaggeration. But they will be auctioning off his dirty sneakers, among other items.
Among those items will be Bulger’s copy of Paddy Whacked, which was among his collection of books when he was arrested in Santa Monica, CA in 2011. Bulger was a reader, mostly of war history books and books about organized crime. Teresa Stanley, Bulger’s longtime common-law wife of thirty years, once told me that Bulger was especially fond of reading The Westies. He used to stay up late at night reading that book, said Teresa, even though she was pretty sure he’d already read it once or twice before. Bulger associates Kevin Weeks and Red Shea confirmed what Teresa said, telling me that Bulger recommended the book to his associates. Bulger had a habit of doing that, as he saw himself as a mentor schooling his underlings on the lore and history of the underworld. Hank Brennan, Bulger’s lawyer, told me that his client insisted that he read The Westies if he was to take on his case.
So, who am I to speak badly of a fan?
A reporter sent me some photos of Bulger’s copy of Paddy Whacked on display for auction at the convention center. You will note that Whitey highlighted many passages in the book with a yellow highlighter. Not surprisingly, it appears that the passages he has highlighted are sections of the book that specifically refer to him.