Convicted mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger will learn his fate on Thursday when a federal judge rules on a sentence for the man convicted in August of 11 murders in a sweeping racketeering trial.
Federal prosecutors have asked U.S. District Judge Denise Casper to impose two consecutive life sentences plus five years on Bulger, now 84, for his role running Boston's Winter Hill crime gang in the 1970s and '80s.
Attorneys for Bulger, who declined to speak on his own behalf in court on Wednesday, did not make their own sentencing recommendation, saying their client had instructed them not to participate in a proceeding he viewed as "a sham."
After a two-month trial, Bulger in August was convicted of 31 or 32 criminal counts, including racketeering, extortion and drug dealing in addition to murder. A jury found him guilty of 11 of the 19 murders prosecutors had accused him of committing.
Bulger's trial was raw, broken by outbursts in which former gangmates-turned-prosecution witnesses swore at the man who lived on the lam for 16 years.
Bulger's story has captivated the city's residents for years. He rose from a South Boston housing project to become the most feared person in the city at the same time as his brother, William, became the powerful president of the state senate.
His life inspired Martin Scorsese's 2006 Academy Award-winning film "The Departed."
Helped by a relationship with a corrupt FBI agent who shared Bulger's Irish ancestry and was willing to turn a blind eye to his crimes in exchange for information on the Italian-American Mafia, Bulger ruled violently over Boston's criminal world.
In 1994, on a tip that arrest was imminent, he fled the city. Agents finally caught up with him in June 2011, living in a Santa Monica, California, apartment with his girlfriend, a cache of weapons and $800,000 in cash.
Bulger denied ever serving as an FBI informant and had wanted to argue at trial that he could not be prosecuted because he had been promised immunity by federal prosecutors.