A Mafia hit man who is said to hate "rats" is under suspicion in the slaying of former Boston crime boss and longtime FBI informant James "Whitey" Bulger.
The former mob boss was found dead just hours after he was transferred to a West Virginia prison, a former investigator briefed on the matter said Wednesday.
The official said that Fotios "Freddy" Geas and at least one other inmate are believed to have been involved in Bulger's killing. The longtime investigator was not authorized to discuss the case and spoke on condition of anonymity. People familiar with the investigation also told The Boston Globe that Geas was a suspect in Bulger's killing.
Authorities have not disclosed the cause of death for the 89-year-old Bulger. He was found dead Tuesday.
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Geas, 51, and his brother were sentenced to life in prison in 2011 for their roles in several violent crimes, including the 2003 killing of Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno, a Genovese crime family boss who was gunned down in a Springfield, Massachusetts, parking lot.
Private investigator Ted McDonough, who knew Geas, told The Boston Globe: "Freddy hated rats."
"Freddy hated guys who abused women. Whitey was a rat who killed women. It's probably that simple," McDonough told the newspaper, which first reported that Geas was under suspicion.
Geas, his brother, Ty Geas, and New York mob boss Artie Nigro were convicted in a case hung largely on the testimony of several gangsters turned government informants, reports MassLive. The brothers reportedly refused to cooperate as co-conspirators who did received lighter sentences. A one-time lawyer for Geas, Daniel D. Kelly, told MassLive Geas staunchly refused to testify against others: "He didn't even blink an eye. He didn't flinch. He just said no."
Law enforcement sources tell CBS News Bulger was apparently severely beaten by one or more inmates. According to the Boston Globe, Bulger's eyes were nearly gouged out.
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Bulger had just arrived Monday at USP Hazelton, a high-security prison in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia. He had previously been in a prison in Florida, with a stopover at a transfer facility in Oklahoma City.