Day 1: Defense Says Whitey Bulger Was Never Informant, Attacks Witnesses' Character

In the opening arguments in the trial of James “Whitey” Bulger, the prosecution and the defense squared off in an attempt to define the 83-year-old mobster accused of murdering 19 people.

Was Bulger a "hands-on killer" as described in opening arguments by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian T. Kelly? Or, as the defense conceded, a gangster who had "an unbelievably lucrative enterprise in Boston," but was not an informant; an argument that was meant to challenge the government’s contention that Bulger committed murders while under the aegis of the FBI.

Day 2: 6/13/13

Day 3: 6/14/13

Day 4: The Key Witness: Who Is Hitman John Martorano?

Former hitman John Martorano, who admitted to killing 20 people during his organized crime career, took the stand. By calling him to the witness stand now, the government seems to be making an effort to create distance between an unsavory star witness and the jury’s conclusion to this high stakes legal drama.

Day 5: Bulger Defense Wins Style Points On Martorano Cross-Examination

John Martorano fancies himself a "vigilante" who only killed to protect friends and family. But the truth, as it emerged while he was being cross-examined on the stand today, was far more unpleasant.

Day 6: Martorano testimony helps bolster case against Bulger

By the time John Martorano was dismissed from the witness stand, the jury had heard three days of testimony about machines gunnings, stabbings and precision hits on mob foes and unlucky by-standers. They looked at black and white photos of victims, and they heard a former killer describe his profession in clinical, dispassionate tones.

Day 7: Victim testimony packs emotional punch

The day opened with testimony from Diane Sussman, who was in a car mistakenly riddled with bullets by Bulger associate John Martorano during his long, bloody search for a hood names Al Notarangeli, whom he eventually killed.

Sussman's voice broke repeatedly as she discussed that night and its aftermath, and at least one juror wept.

Day 8: 6/21/13

Day 9: Letdown in the Bulger trial

With James Marra, an employee of the Department of Justice's Inspector General, on the stand, jurors heard about Bulger's voluminous informant file.

Day 10:

Day 11: Defense pokes holes in Bulger's Informant file

Bulger's defense attorney Hank Brennan repeatedly forced Marra to acknowledfe the limits of his knowledge of Bulger's informant file. The gist was twofold: Marra (the defense suggested) doesn't know as much about Bulger's file as the government wants the jury to think, and the file itself is far from authoritative.

Day 12: Bulger admonished after profane outburst in court

John Morris, the former head of the Boston FBI's organized crime unit, took the stand to talk about about how he and John Connolly came to work closely with Bulger and his criminal associate Steven Flemmi.

At one point in Morris's testimony, Bulger apparently snapped at him, "You're a f----ing liar." Judge Casper told Bulger he should let his two lawyers speak for him in court, and Bulger said he would; we'll see if his restraint hold as Morris's testimony resumes.

Day 13: Bulger defense skewers ex-FBI agent John Morris during cross-examination

Disgraced former FBI agent John Morris spent a second day in the witness stand Friday, facing withering cross examination by Hank Brennan, a defense lawyer for James "Whitey" Bulger.

Much of the testimony focused on whether Morris had approved reports submitted by former FBI agent John Connolly that falsely identified Bulger as the source of information used against other crime figures.

Day 14: Disgraced ex-FBI agent John Morris apologizes to victim's family

John Morris, the disgraced former FBI agent who helped cause Brian Halloran and Michael Donahue's deaths by revealing that Halloran was a government informant, offered an emotional apology to Halloran's family as they sat in court.

Day 15: Defense presents Bulger's recorded phone conversations

The striking recordings of Bulger's jailhouse phone calls were the only time we heard from Bulger during trial proceedings. In the recordings, Bulger laughed as he recounted details of criminal acts including the murder of Eddie Connors, and the payment of hitman John Martorano

But the most fascinating stuff today came from William Shea, a former criminal associate of Bulger's who specialized in dispensing drugs to smaller-time dealers around South Boston --first marijuana, then cocaine.

Day 16: Bulger crony Kevin Weeks takes the stand

One of the most anticipated witnesses in the Bulger trial, Bulger's former partner Kevin Weeks, took the stand. Weeks, it's worth remembering, copped to a host of bad stuff in a plea deal he reached with the government. He spent a great deal of time recounting moving guns from place to place on Bulger's behalf--storing them in "hides" where they would be invisible to prying eyes. Weeks has a knack for making criminality sound kind of boring.

Day 17: Bulger, Weeks exchange profanities in court

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 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.

Bulger and Weeks exchanged heated words as trial day 17 drew to a close. The anger was sparked by fierce questioning of Weeks by Bulger's defense attorney, J.W. Carney. Weeks became visibily incenses. Watch a reenactment here.

Day 18: 7/10/13

Day 19: Forensic expert, "crooked" FBI agent testify

Forensic anthropologist Ann Marie Mire described in non-clinical terms the content of one of the graves dug up along the Neponset River.  Also called to the stand was retired FBI agent Tom Daly, formerly with the organized crime unit, or C3.  Under heavy cross examination from Bulger's attorney, J.W. Carney, Jr., Daly admitted that the informants program he ran was porous.

Day 20: 

Day 21: Gory testimony from medical examiner doesn't necessarily help Bulger prosecution

Testimony from the medical examiner was highly technical, but at times quite gory. We heard minute descriptions of the paths traveled by bullets as they entered victims' bodies, and there were several references to ammunition entering the brain and disrupting the brain's "breathing center."

Day 22: Prosecution emphasizes Bulger gang's brazen crime

Real estate developer Mike Salimondo told the courtroom about the guns pointed to his face and groin as James 'Whitey' Bulger and his right hand man Steve Flemmi demanded payment of more than $400,000 that his friend John Callahan had owed them—before they killed him. The government is showing the jury the brazen acts of Bulger and his gang.

Day 23: Three highlights

1. Bulger's defense may not be that limited after all.

2. Whitey Bulger still scares people. 

3. Back in the '80s, some crazy stuff went down around Boston Harbor.

Day 24: Flemmi says he and Bulger were FBI informants

Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi and James "Whitey" Bulger hadn’t seen each other in years – and their reunion Thursday wasn’t a happy one. Flemmi took the stand for the first time on Thursday in Bulger's racketeering trial. He said they gave information to the FBI for about 15 years beginning in 1975.

Day 25: Flemmi: Bulger made me kill Debra Davis

Flemmi's recounting of the murder of Debra Davis itself was chillingly detached. Flemmi lured Davis to a house in South Boston and brought her inside. At that point, he recalled, “I couldn’t do it. So [Bulger] says, ‘I’ll take care of that.’ He grabbed her around the throat and strangled her.” 

Day 26: Raw emotion, sordid detail mark Flemmi's third day on the stand

The proceedings started with outburst from Steven Davis, the brother of Debra Davis, who Flemmi dated and admits he helped kill. It ended with a stomach-churning account of Flemmi’s sexual relationship with his stepdaughter, Deborah Hussey, whom he also helped murder.

Day 27: Bulger defense paints Flemmi as liar, murderer, pedophile during intense cross

Hank Brennan, defense lawyer for James "Whitey" Bulger, continued his virtuoso cross-examination of Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi Tuesday, maneuvering Flemmi into fits of anger, confusion, and self-inflicted embarrassment.
Day 28: Chipping away at Flemmi's credibility
Bulger's lawyer, Hank Brennan, stretched his assault on the credibility of star prosecution witness Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi into a fourth day, covering somewhat less morbid territory than in previous days, and focusing on what Brennan argued where Flemmi's incentives to lie on the stand, including avoiding the death penalty and improving his prison conditions.


Day 29: 7/25/13

Day 30: 7/26/13

Day 31: Time For The Defense: 14 Witnesses

Today the defense in the trial of James 'Whitey' Bulger begins, and they have begun with a request to sequester the jury during their deliberation, claiming unfair media coverage of the trial.  Fourteen witnesses will appear for the defense, including Marion Hussey, the wife of Bulger's partner Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi. Her testimony is expected to raise questions about Bulger's relationship with the FBI.  

Day 32: Witnesses aren't helping Bulger defense

For the second day, we heard from the first witness called by Bulger's team: Robert Fitzpatrick, a former FBI supervisor in Boston. Fitzpatrick said he was a heroic whistleblower who urged the FBI to cut ties with Bulger, only to be rebuffed by his superiors. But, government's cross-examination, conducted yesterday and today by assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly, suggested a far different picture. Fitzpatrick seemed less likes a hero than a serial liar, a fabricator and embellisher whose grasp on truth is shaky at best.

Day 33: Nee's non-testimony, Bulger's potential testimony outshine actual witnesses

If Nee had taken the stand, Bulger's team might have attempted to pin some of Bulger's alleged crimes on him — while arguing that the government seems more interested in pursing Bulger than Nee. But today, after a sidebar conference in which Nee's lawyer apparently said he would take the Fifth, Nee exited court without taking the stand.

Day 34: 8/1/13

Day 35: Bulger: I didn't get a fair trial'

James "Whitey" Bulger will not testify in his defense in his own trial, but he still made himself heard Friday as he angrily denounced the trial in court.