Published June 24, 2011
When James “Whitey” Bulger is arraigned in Boston federal court Friday afternoon, the Donahue family will be there. “After all these years of waiting,” Patricia Donahue said, “We need to see this man brought to justice. We need to be there.”
Donahue’s husband, Michael, was murdered in 1982. His son Tommy had just made his first Communion. To celebrate, Donahue was going to take his son fishing. He’d been on the South Boston waterfront that day getting supplies for the trip. He’d stepped into a bar for a drink, and when he left, he was with Brian Halloran.
Halloran was a criminal who had tried to turn in Whitey Bulger. He’d asked Donahue for a ride. When they got into the car, men who’d been waiting, allegedly including Bulger, fired a hail of bullets into the car.
“There was more than one trigger man,” Tommy Donahue said. “So hopefully now, with Whitey Bulger getting arrested, he can rat out the other people who were there.”
The Donahues have seen Bulger’s recent mugshot. It hardened their resolve to see Bulger face-to-face in court.
“Don’t be thrown off by that old frail man smiling there,” Tommy said, “My family always said that if anyone ever lives to get charged, we will represent my father to the fullest.”
Hear more of the interview with the Donahue family, Friday on Radio Boston.