After dodging bullets throughout his criminal career, Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger ultimately met his demise by being hit with a lock wrapped in a sock. The blows were too much for the 89-year-old as he died behind bars just a few years into a life sentence for racketeering and several murders. The FBI is investigating Springfield Mafia associate Fotios “Freddy” Geas and several other inmates for the murder.
51-year-old Freddy Geas (photo above, left) is serving a life sentence as well, for the gangland killings of Springfield La Cosa Nostra boss – and Genovese crime family capo - Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno and mob associate Gary D. Westerman in 2003. He already spent several years at Hazelton federal prison in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia when a new inmate by the name of James Bulger was transferred there.
Despite having been a longtime FBI informant, Bulger felt safe enough to request he be housed in general population at the prison facility. Perhaps he thought his fame would earn him protection among the violent criminals locked up there.
Within a few hours of arriving, Bulger realized his mistake yesterday. According to multiple reports, multiple inmates confronted the infamous Boston mob boss in his wheelchair and began beating him to death with a lock in a sock, a preferred weapon behind bars.
First responders were called to the scene for an inmate that was in cardiac arrest. No further details were released by authorities.
People familiar with the investigation told The Boston Globe “that Bulger was murdered by more than one of his fellow inmates, and that Geas didn’t dispute his role in the killing.”
Feared Mafia enforcers
Fotios Geas and his younger brother Ty were feared enforcers for the Genovese crime family’s Springfield crew. Both men had a propensity for violence. As a 17-year-old, Ty spent a year behind bars for firing an assault rifle into the air during a high school hockey game. While Fotios, as a 22-year-old, wrecked a car outside a Springfield bar after a fight erupted inside. He also went to prison in 2006 for beating two men with a baseball bat at a strip club.
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Because of their Greek roots they could never become inducted members of the Mafia. But as associates they enjoyed the mob’s protection and status on the streets. They were close with Anthony Arillotta, who became a made guy in 2003 after he and the Geas brothers had been involved in the shooting of Frank Dabado, a cement union boss in the Bronx, on orders from Genovese family capo Arthur Nigro.
Their capabilities for mayhem and murder well established, the trio was involved in two underworld slayings in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 2003, Fotios Geas hired a hitman for the execution of Adolfo Bruno, the Springfield crew’s leader. That same year, Geas also got his own hands dirty when he shot Gary Westerman twice in the head under the pretense the pair was burglarizing a home together.
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While the Geas brothers were dragging the presumed dead body of Westerman to a freshly dug grave, however, the wounded mob associate turned out to be very much alive and tried to break free. Arillotta and Emilio Fusco, another made member of the crew, then finished him off by beating him with a shovel.
Surrounded by rats
We know all these intricate details because several of the men involved in these crimes cooperated with the government. They flipped and testified about the crimes that were committed.
Geas suddenly found himself in court facing both the man who ordered him to commit a murder – Arillotta - and the assassin he had paid to execute the murder contract. “Freddy had called me earlier in the day and told me that Al was definitely going to be there,” the hitman told police. “I killed Al Bruno because I was paid to do it. Freddy Geas is the person who paid me to do it.”
Arillotta’s betrayal hit Geas the hardest. Here was the made man he looked up to. Who schooled him in the ways of La Cosa Nostra. That man had broken and chosen to give him and his brother up to authorities. He was surrounded by rats.
- READ: Genovese family turncoat returns to Springfield despite threats on his life
“Freddy hated rats”
But he was not one of them. “Freddy is a man's man,” Springfield attorney Daniel D. Kelly, who represented the Geas brother, told newspaper The Republican. “[He] is a dying breed. After Anthony Arillotta flipped, there was a back channel for Freddy to try to persuade him to cooperate too. He didn't even blink an eye. He didn't flinch. He just said no.”
In 2011, the Geas brothers were sentenced to life in prison for murder and racketeering. They took their punishment on the chin without flinching. Inside, though, they were reaching a boiling point.
Was his anger enough to murder mob boss-turned-celebrity “Whitey” Bulger? “He has great disdain for informants,” Kelly added. “I'm not saying Freddy did this just because the media says so, I'm just telling you what I know about him.”
“Freddy hated rats,” private investigator Ted McDonough told The Boston Globe. “Freddy hated guys who abused women. Whitey was a rat who killed women. It’s probably that simple.”
Whether Fotios “Freddy” Geas actually was the man who killed Bulger remains to be seen. The investigation is ongoing and new details will no doubt be revealed in the coming weeks and months.
UPDATE - August 20, 2022: On August 18, Geas was officially charged with the murder of James "Whitey" Bulger. Revenge is a dish best served cold - The men charged with killing mob boss Whitey Bulger know this all too well
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