Belongings of crime boss 'Whitey' sold to aid victims
Families of victims of notorious Irish-American crime boss James 'Whitey' Bulger - the Boston gangster who supplied arms to the IRA - are to benefit from £80,000 raised by an auction of his belongings.
Bulger (86), who is serving a life sentence, was one of the most vicious criminals in the US, and at one time ranked just below Osama bin Laden on the FBI's Most Wanted list.
He was convicted in 2013 for gangland crimes, including 11 murders.
Hundreds of items belonging to Bulger and his girlfriend Catherine Greig were auctioned on Saturday to raise money for the families of his victims.
John Kelley (54) paid £3,142 for a boxing dummy wearing a safari hat that Bulger kept in his window and £3,800 for Bulger's 'psycho killer' skull ring.
"These people (victims' families) got hurt, and the money will help them out", the New York Times reported. It also quoted Colm Dunphy (52), a Boston real estate developer, whose £17,000 bid won him Bulger's Claddagh ring, the most expensive item at the auction. "I thought he was a good guy," said Mr Dunphy, who still has the lilt of his native Northern Ireland, the paper said. "I'm sure a lot of people will disagree with me, but he helped a lot of people."
The proceeds of the auction, along with the dollar equivalent of £600,000 in cash that Bulger had stuffed into his apartment walls, will be divided among the families and estates of 20 victims whose murders were tied to him and his associates, and three whom they extorted.