James "Whitey" Bulger, the notorious Boston gangster, was found dead in a federal prison in West Virginia on Tuesday. He was 89 years old.
Bulger was the head of the violent Winter Hill Gang in Boston in the 1970s and 80s. He lived a double life as a criminal and FBI informant — and used the arrangement to his advantage. In 1995, after an FBI agent warned Bulger of a planned indictment against him, Bulger fled and became a fugitive.
He was captured in 2011 in Santa Monica, CA and later convicted of 11 murders.
Bulger was sentenced to a life sentence and had until recently been serving his time in a Florida federal prison. He was recently transferred to Hazelton Penitentiary where his body was discovered on Tuesday. Emergency dispatchers reportedly response to a call of an inmate in cardiac arrest.
Initial reports of Bulger's death speculated that he had been murdered in prison by a person with mafia ties.
Bulger’s life and criminal exploits served as the inspiration for many books and films including The Departed and Black Mass — the latter starred Johnny Depp as the crime boss.
Relatives of the people shot, strangled, and tortured by Bulger who spoke at his 2013 post trial hearing called him "Satan," a "domestic terrorist" and a "sad, lonely, and irrelevant old man."
*This article has been updated to include the most recent information regarding the cause of Bulger's death. It is a developing story.