Emotions ran high when the families of two of James J. “Whitey” Bulger’s victims appeared in court Thursday.
The family of Michael Donahue, allegedly killed by Bulger in 1982, sat with Steven Davis, brother of the deceased girlfriend of hit man Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, on the far right side of the courtroom throughout both of Bulger’s hearings.
Feelings erupted before the hearings even started, when court officers escorted William and John Bulger, Whitey’s brothers, into the courtroom before anyone else.
“Why is he aloud to go in there before anyone else?” yelled Davis.
An unidentified person standing next to Davis retorted, “Because he’s paying.”
Court officers told Davis to calm down, and that the Bulgers were allowed in first because they were the family of the defendant.
“I don’t give a shit if he’s the president of the United States,” Davis yelled back.
Davis remained quiet through the hearings, but started clapping at the conclusion of the second hearing as Bulger was escorted away in handcuffs.
Tommy Donahue, son Michael Donahue, voiced his disgust with Bulger and the government in a press conference after the hearings.
“I knew it was coming anyway,” Donahue said about the state paying for Bulger’s attorney. “The tax payers were going to get screwed anyway.”
Donahue also felt it unfair to the taxpayers that Bulger has arrived through expensive transportation for his hearings. He arrived today via Coast Guard helicopter.
The pain of losing his father to the mobster has not faded despite all the years.
“The feeling in my stomach hasn’t changed one bit,” Donahue said.
“I can’t believe it. I can’t wait to see everything come out,” said his wife, Michelle. “I think it’s on our side.”
Reporting from the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in South Boston.