Book review: ‘Hunting Whitey’

“Hunting Whitey, The Inside Story of the Capture & Killing of America’s Most Wanted Crime Boss” delivers the final page of the saga of James “Whitey” Bulger, the South Boston crime boss who died in a federal prison in West Virginia in 2018.

Milton resident Dave Wedge teamed up with Casey Sherman to write this true crime story that reads like a novel.

The team of writers have produced a series of other nonfiction books on topics ranging from the Boston Marathon bombings to the Ice Bucket Challenge. “Boston Strong,” the marathon bombing book, was the basis for the movie “Patriots Day.”

But there isn’t space enough to properly explain the credits of Wedge.

There were so many pieces of interesting trivia in Whitey’s book. So without giving away any secrets, it amazed me that Whitey was worried about getting his white trousers soiled when the FBI finally caught him in the parking garage of his apartment building in Santa Monica, California. Wouldn’t you think he’d realize he wasn’t going to wear those good pants for very long?

He didn’t want to kneel on the floor because there were oil stains.

The take down is graphically depicted in the book along with so much more.

Anyone who has read the earlier books about the Boston mob will enjoy the story’s retelling.

The details are clear. Whitey Bulger began his life of crime while still a teen. He was charged with rape twice early in his career.

The authors interview former Senate President William Bulger during the course of their research. Not much detail comes out of that interview in his South Boston kitchen. Whitey’s younger brother went on about the hardships of early life but wouldn’t talk about what he knew or didn’t know during the time after Whitey went underground with his girlfriend.

The book begins with a list of names and dates of the 19 murders Whitey was involved in. The chronological listing is a sobering start to a book that delivers a number of secrets.

It moves the years of violence and FBI involvement and then documents the travels of Whitey and Catherine as they drive through most of America using aliases that were refined long before they fled Boston.

The authors let the government off the hook for the final end of the 89-year-old convict, saying that while Whitey never should have been sent into the general population of Misery Mountain, they could find no evidence of a government conspiracy to harm the mob boss who was a former FBI informant.

Whitey was killed by a convict from Springfield within 24 hours of being transferred to the federal prison in West Virginia.

The book is available in hardback through Amazon, as well as on Kindle and Audible. A paperback version is another option but oddly the paperback is the most expensive choice.

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