By Lauren Leamanczyk, WBZ-TV

South Boston (CBS)–John “Red” Shea once ran drugs from Florida to the South Boston streets as part of Whitey Bulger’s mob and says Bulger controlled his turf through sheer terror.

“This guy, when he got irate, was psychopathic,” Shea said.

He was also a father figure to Shea, grooming him to become a top mobster, then selling him out.

Shea served 12 years in prison, but refused to give up Whitey for a shorter sentence.

In the code of South Boston, he said, nothing was worse than being “a rat.”  Shea was enraged when he learned Bulger had been an FBI informant the whole time.

“I would’ve died for that guy,” he said.

Shea knows many did die at Whitey Bulger’s hands or by his orders.  He says some were innocent, others were mobsters.  Bulger’s brutality was legendary.

“He killed a lot of good guys, a lot of standup guys. Good standup guys, while he was a rat.”

WBZ-TV’s Lauren Leamanczyk reports

Shea didn’t think he would ever see Bulger back in Boston alive.  He thinks another form of punishment would have been more fitting for the former mob boss.

“I didn’t want to see Whitey captured by the government,” he said. “I’d rather see him face his own peers that he did wrong. Yep. And give him the same medicine he gave his peers.”

In his booking photo, Bulger is an old man.  But Shea still sees the killer who inspired terror in every corner of this neighborhood.

Shea told WBZ-TV’s Lauren Leamanczyk he still saw a feared mob boss when looking at Bulger.  “It’s in his eyes,” he said.

Shea has since written two books about life in South Boston and is making a movie out of his memoir “Rat Bastards.”

He says no matter what, he will not break the Southie code of silence.  As angry as he is, Shea will not testify against Whitey Bulger.


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