Bookies describe threats by Bulger and his gang

Whitey Bulger

BOSTON (AP) — A bookmaker testifying in the racketeering trial of James “Whitey” Bulger has told jurors he once saw Bulger threaten to kill a bookie who tried to stop paying Bulger’s gang and go into business for himself.

Richard O’Brien says an agent who worked for him was summoned to a meeting with Bulger. O’Brien says Bulger told the man that he, too, had another business: killing people like him.

Bulger chuckled in court as O’Brien told the story.

O’Brien was one of two bookies who testified Friday in Boston. Both described how Bulger forced them to pay a monthly fee to stay in business.

Bookie James Katz says if anyone tried to get away with not paying Bulger’s gang, they could “wind up in the hospital.”

The 83-year-old Bulger is charged with participating in 19 murders.

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