BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Patricia Donahue, wife of alleged Whitey Bulger victim Michael Donahue, said she could not believe it when she heard the news that Bulger had been arrested in California.
“I actually never thought I would see this day. I thought the man was dead,” she said.
Her husband, a construction worker and truck driver, was killed in May 1982 in a hit on an underworld figure who was cooperating with investigators.
Donahue had given the target of the hit a ride home that day.
WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano spoke with Donahue’s family
“I am very satisfied to know that the person pulled the trigger to end my husband’s life is going to go to jail,” said Donahue, 66.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Laurie Kirby talked a victim’s family
Word of Bulger’s arrest brought anger and pain to the surface for Chris McIntyre, the family member of another victim.
Bulger and his hitmen allegedly kidnapped his younger brother John back in 1984, brutally tortured him and killed him.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones talked to McIntyre
“What little time he has left on this planet I would hope everyday would be as painful as those 8 hours he put my brother through,” McIntyre said. “After they clipped off enough fingers and enough teeth came out they just shot him in the back of the head and it was over.” McIntyre says the mobster deserves no respect, absolutely nothing.
The McIntyres say John became the mob boss’s target when disgraced FBI agent John Connolly told Bulger that the 32-year-old McIntyre tipped off police that he was part of a gun smuggling operation to the IRA aboard the boat Valhalla.
WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson talks to Chris McIntyre
It was an operation tied to Whitey and the Winter Hill Gang.
John McIntyre’s body was pulled from a mob grave in Dorchester years later.
Now Chris McIntyre ‘s only hope is that the mobster spends the rest of his life behind bars.
“Now his greatest possession is a bar of soap which thrills me,” said McIntyre.
He never thought his family would see justice and never thought Whitey Bulger would be caught alive.
“I really did not think he’d ever get caught, I thought it would end like the movie casino, he’d be buried in a cornfield with the help of a baseball bat.”
Chris McIntyre and his 83-year-old mother, Emily, say there’s no way they’ll miss Bulger’s Boston arraignment. They want to see the accused killer face to face.
And when Revere City Solicitor Paul Capizzi heard the news this morning, he called his uncle Frank in Arizona. “I figured he’d want to know the man who shot him had been captured,” Paul explained.
He says Frank, who was in the Boston Mob, was targeted by Whitey three times.
WBZ-TV’s Kathy Curran talks to Paul Capizzi
“The third time he was shot, from what I understand of the story, my uncle literally saw Whitey pull out the gun and shoot at the vehicle they were sitting in,” said Capizzi.
After that, life changed for Paul. He was 11 years old and had been close with his uncle, aunt and cousins in the North End.
“After my uncle was shot, my familiy lost contact with him, my aunt and my cousins, who we were close with and I hadn’t seen for 12, 14 years.”
He is now back in touch with his uncle. According to Paul, Frank says he is thrilled to hear Whitey was caught; he was also surprised to see that he wasn’t living a more lavish lifestyle.
Paul wonders what Whitey will disclose about his past.
“I’m not surprised he got caught, I’m just surprised it took so long,” he said
In all, Bulger was wanted for 19 murders between 1973 and 1985.
One victim was shot between the eyes in a parking lot at his country club in Oklahoma.
Another was gunned down in broad daylight on a South Boston street to prevent him from talking about the killing in Oklahoma.
Others were taken out for running afoul of Bulger’s gambling enterprises.
“He left a trail of bodies,” said retired State police Maj. Tom Duffy. “You did not double-cross him. If you did, you were dead.”
Here is a list of Bulger’s 18 other alleged victims named in the federal indictment against him:
Michael Milano (1973)
Al Plummer (1973)
William O’Brien (1973)
James Leary (1973)
Joseph Notorangeli (1973)
James O’Toole (1973)
Al Notorangeli (1974)
James Sousa (1974)
Paul McGonagle (1974)
Edward Connors (1975)
Thomas King (1975)
Francis “Buddy” Leonard (1975)
Roger Wheeler (1981 – Oklahoma)
Debra Davis (1981)
John Callahan (1982 – Florida)
Arthur “Bucky” Barrett (1983)
John McIntyre (1984)
Deborah Hussey (1985)
WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson and Kathy Curran contributed to this report
(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)