First, a confession: I haven’t been following the Whitey Bulger trial. In fact, the entire story gives me a headache.
When Howie starts recounting the stories of Martorano and Angiulo and Moradello and on and on…I just get lost. I know that if I’d grown up in Boston with these stories, I’d have a different viewpoint. But for someone who moved to Boston in 2005, following the Whitey Bulger story is like watching a stranger’s home movies.
So I concede that there is an entire story line I don’t get, there are ways this tale resonates with some Bostonians in ways I’ll never understand.
Having said that…
What was the point?
The trial, the expense, the shouting “F” bombs in court…what was the point of it all?
I assumed that Bulger, whose guilt is beyond question, wanted the trial so he could tell his story, burnish his reputation, or settle some scores.
Instead, he looks even more pathetic than before. The trial confirmed that he’s a rat, a thug, that he was only tough around people who weren’t (in particular women), and in my mind the worst of all: incompetent. Sending your goons to drive down the street shooting at the wrong people? Not knowing what the hell you’re doing?
And now, by choosing not to testify, Bulger has outed himself as a coward.
I understand why the victim’s families wanted this trial. They got to expose how cowardly and cruel Whitey is. But why did WHITEY want it?
Why not just plead guilty and use the media to try and burnish the legend of Whitey? He’s going to spend the rest of his life in jail anyway. Now he’s spending his life in jail as a murderous, oafish rat.
Whitey won’t get the chair, but the legend of Whitey is already dead. Whitey killed it.