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South Boston Reacts To Whitey Bulger’s Sentencing

By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Beth Germano Beth Germano
Emmy award-winning Beth Germano is a general assignment reporter fo...
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BOSTON (CBS) – With trendy coffee shops and businesses, South Boston looks different from the neighborhood where Whitey Bulger rose from the projects to a feared mob boss.

But his sentencing drew plenty of emotion from those who remember. “He had a hand in murdering one of my friends a long time ago,” said Donald Petullo. “I have no use for him.” He believes Bulger got what he deserved and then some.

Related: Bulger Gets Two Life Sentences

Gone is the Triple O’s bar where Bulger once collected unpaid loans, it’s now under construction for a new establishment and across the street from a Starbucks. But his legacy of killing and extortion isn’t forgotten. “I still can’t wrap my head around somebody doing that to another human being,” said resident Linda Connors.

A woman who identified herself only as Joanne said it was a relief to see Bulger led away after the sentencing. “Good, get him out of sight, get him out of mind.”

For some, Bulger has been an urban legend who, rather than helping his neighborhood, left it devastated by his criminal enterprise. “He thought he was helping people but he was hurting families, distributing drugs,” said Petullo.

Retired State Police Colonel Thomas Foley who spent years pursuing Bulger still worries that law enforcement hasn’t learned the lessons of the case, in particular about handling informants. “I was happy to see him go, to finally have him off the street where no one else can be hurt by Bulger again. I’m questioning if the next Whitey Bulger is around the corner,” said Foley.

And now Bulger is gone without a word. “I wanted to hear him apologize to the families. There’s a lot more he did that wasn’t told there,” said Petullo.

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