A Concord, NH lawyer who represented the families of two of James "Whitey" Bulger's alleged victims says the fugitive mobster's came as "a great relief" to him and others involved in the case.
Attorney William Christie represented the families of Edward Brian Halloran and John McIntyre, both of whom were believed to have been killed by Bulger and his associates after federal agents told Bulger the two men were working as federal informants. Halloran was killed in 1982, and McIntyre in 1984.
McIntyre's family won a $3.1 million judgment against the federal government, while Halloran's family won $1.9 million. The Halloran ruling is still under appeal.
"It's a great surprise," Christie said of Bulger's capture. "He had been a fugitive for over 15 years, and as time goes on, typically the longer someone remains a fugitive, the colder the trail gets. I think the families involved and those of us who went through the litigation process were not optimistic he would ever be caught."
Christie said he has spoken with McIntyre's brother, Chris, who was shocked to hear that Bulger had been apprehended.
"It's still a state of shock and in some ways a feeling of relief in both the Halloran and McIntyre case," he said. "For some who participated in both cases, it's a great relief that he's been apprehended."
In addition to his brother, McIntyre is survived by his mother and his sister. Halloran is survived by his widow and his two children, who were just babies when their father was killed.
Christie said he was first contacted by the families of McIntyre and Halloran in early 2000. Both men were from the Boston area, but Christie said the families reached out to him after Boston attorneys were reluctant to take the case because of the publicity it was receiving there.
Christie, a lawyer with Shaheen and Gordon and a Concord resident, said Bulger's capture probably doesn't change much as far as the pending appeal of the Halloran family's lawsuit against the government goes. But he's interested to see if Bulger might be able to shed any light on the two killings.
"It's long been believed that Bulger may have additional information that others, such as Steve Flemmi and Kevin Weeks, did not have," he said. "It will be interesting on the legal side to see if any of that information comes to light now that Bulger has been captured."
But after 10 years of involvement with the Halloran and McIntyre cases, Christie said he's mostly just glad that Bulger has finally been captured.
"I think there's an old saying that justice delayed is justice denied," he said. "For a long time the families felt that way. But I think law enforcement in many ways is a results oriented business. Today, they got the results, and I think people look forward to him being brought back to Boston and having justice delivered to him."