One of the prosecutions’ star witnesses took the stand Monday in the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger. 

Kevin Weeks, Bulger’s young protégée in crime, implicated Bulger in a double murder in 1982.  There were two killers in the car that night, but Weeks told the court that he did not know the identity of the second assassin. 
Weeks is critical to the prosecution’s case against Bulger. He’s the guy that led police to the graves of several victims. In his first day of testimony, he made a direct connection between Bulger and two murders.

On the witness stand, Weeks said that Bulger, in May 1982, disguised himself with a fake mustache to look like another well-known South Boston gangster and then shot up a car in which Brian “Balloon Head” Halloran had hitched a ride.  The driver of the Blue Datsun was Michael Donahue, an innocent man who had stopped by a South Boston watering hole for a drink when Halloran asked him for a ride home.
Weeks said he went into the bar and radioed Bulger that the “balloon was rising” as Halloran was leaving.  

Once outside, Weeks radioed, “The balloon is in the air”.  Bulger then yelled “Brian” and opened fire, according to Weeks.  The car crashed.  Halloran got out and started walking toward Bulger, according to Weeks, "his body was bouncing off the ground." 

Weeks said that Halloran was targeted because Bulger thought he was talking to the feds about his operation. But, Donahue died because he offered a friend a ride home.  At the close of Monday’s court session, Donahue’s son, Tommy, commented on Weeks' testimony
"Tears you apart, hearing the horrific story," Donahue said. "It's horrible listening to that, you know, it shakes my whole entire family. They just murdered two people like it was nothin'... I think Weeks is a fat liar if you ask me."
Weeks testified that the killing of Brian Halloran was connected to the murders of Roger Wheeler in Oklahoma and John Callahan in Florida. Weeks learned from a corrupt FBI agent that Callahan was going to go before a grand jury to implicate Bulger and company in Wheeler’s death. 

In exchange for his testimony, Weeks served only five years for being an accessory to five murders. Weeks also testified Monday about Bulger’s extortion racket: in exchange for their lives, Bulger and Flemmi- with Weeks as the go between- squeezed money out of drug dealers and loan sharks and property from business owners. 

Weeks had previously testified that he the Winter Hill gang took the South Boston Liquor Mart from its owner, Stephen Rakes.  In testimony Monday, Weeks said that Rakes came to them asking for help in finding the person who was calling in bomb threats. Weeks said Rakes settled on $100,000 to sell the store, but then tried to back out of the sale. 

They were sitting in Rakes' kitchen at his house on 4th Street while Bulger allegedly played with Rakes' 2-year-old daughter at his home,  when Flemmi reportedly  put a gun on the table to show that they meant business.  The kid started to play with the gun. Rakes disputed some of Weeks' recollection but told WGBH that moment in jan 1984 was the worst in his life:

"You know, it's something I'll never forget. It's etched in my mind every night. They shamed me in front of my children. I couldn't even protect my own children," Rakes said.
Weeks was working as a lowly bouncer at various Boston nightclubs when he came to the attention of Bulger. He was the third man that formed an infamous trio of gangsters in South Boston led by Bulger.   

Flemmi, known as "the Rifleman", was the second man. For years, Weeks operated in Bulger and Flemmi’s  shadows, sharing -though not equally-  the proceeds from illegal gambling, extortion, and drug dealing, and never quite getting full billing or marquis mobster status like the men who took him under their wings. 

Even the book Weeks co-authored got second billing to other books about Bulger, reaping multiple bad reviews and questions about veracity.  Now Weeks is testifying against his former mentor—looking down over the next few days from the witness stand—on Whitey Bulger.

On Greater Boston, Adam Reilly reflected on Weeks' dramatic testimony.