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Family of prisoner accused of killing James ‘Whitey’ Bulger plead for his release from solitary

The family of one of the four prisoners accused of killing Boston mob boss James ‘Whitey’ Bulger has appealed for his release from solitary confinement.

Fotios ‘Freddy’ Geas has spent the majority of more than two years in solitary confinement ever since Bulger was killed in a West Virginia prison.

Attorney Daniel Kelly said Geas was moved into the special housing unit at United States Penitentiary, Hazelton since ‘almost immediately after’ Bulger was fatally beaten and attacked with a makeshift knife on October 30, 2018. 

Since then, Geas and Kelly have regularly filed requests for him to be transferred from the special housing unit, or for an explanation as to why he is still being held in solitary confinement.

So far, their requests have been denied, Kelly told Fox News, saying the latest transfer request was rejected in the last few months.

Fotios ‘Freddy’ Geas (pictured) has spent the majority of more than two years in solitary confinement ever since Bulger was killed in a West Virgnia federal prison in 2018

He was told that Geas was still not eligible for release from the unit, Kelly said, adding that he had since reapplied.

Kelly told Fox News that his client should be considered for a transfer, and ‘not just a blanket denial.

‘He’s been housed in the SHU now since almost immediately after the incident. Again, using their own internal guidelines, they have to do periodic reviews. They’ve done none that we can tell,’ Kelly said.

‘We’ve requested them, they denied our requests. They’ve told us to file Freedom of Information Acts. We’ve done that. So they’ve kind of stonewalled us on essentially everything regarding his status.’

Alex Gaes, one of the inmate’s two adult children, told the network that he believes prison employees have been messing with his father by redacting large sections of letters the 26-year-old sends to his father.

In some cases, he said, they covered one-half of the page at a time, withheld books from him, and changes his inmate postbox information with notifying anyone.

He also said he did not hear from his father for a month after he was put into solitary confinement.

‘He had absolutely no idea what was going on out here,’ Alex Geas recalled. ‘So, I basically had to fill him like, “This is an international news story.” He sounded fine. All he said was, “How are you doing? How’s your sister doing?” That’s it.’

Bulger (pictured in 2011) hadn't even been processed at Hazelton when he was killed by a gang of inmates, sources said

Bulger (pictured in 2011) hadn’t even been processed at Hazelton when he was killed by a gang of inmates, sources said

Bulger, 89, was transferred to USP Hazelton (pictured in an aerial shot) on a Monday. By Tuesday morning, he was dead

Bulger, 89, was transferred to USP Hazelton (pictured in an aerial shot) on a Monday. By Tuesday morning, he was dead

Twice a month, Gaes is permitted to make a phone call – on the first and the 15th. He will typically call his son Alex, his 27-year-old sister, his attorney, or anyone else who is on his approved list of contacts.

His son says that the only thing that appears to have changed since he was moved into solitary confinement is that he has been given a cellmate.

‘Enough is enough,’ Alex Geas said. ‘I challenge the prison to either formally indict him or to transfer him, because this cannot keep going on like this.’ 

The use of solitary confinement in US prisons has come under scrutiny in recent years and attracted criticism from civil rights campaigners. 

David Fathi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union National Prison Project, said: ‘Under international human rights law, solitary confinement lasting longer than 15 days is categorically prohibited.’

Bulger was a leading figure in Boston’s underworld before he was finally captured in Santa Monica with girlfriend Catherine Greig in June 2011 after being on the run for 16 years.    

Pictured: Fotios 'Freddy' Geas appears in court in January 2008 along with his brother Ty C. Geas, (center) who also had connections to the mafia

Pictured: Fotios ‘Freddy’ Geas appears in court in January 2008 along with his brother Ty C. Geas, (center) who also had connections to the mafia

Bulger, who at the time of his arrest in 2011, was one of the FBI’s most-wanted criminals, was sentenced to life in prison for his role in 11 gangland killings.

More than $822,000 and 30 guns were found hidden in the walls of the couple’s rent-controlled apartment. 

Greig, 69, was freed in 2020 after serving a nine-year federal prison sentence for helping him evade capture for 16 years. 

Greig had joined Bulger on the run back in 1995 shortly after he fled Boston to evade a federal racketeering indictment after he was tipped to his pending arrest.

Prior to going on the run, Bulger had terrorized Boston from the 1970s into the 1990s with a campaign of murder, extortion and drug trafficking.

He had lived a double life as the notorious head of the Irish mob and as a secret FBI informant. 

The couple was captured in an apartment where they had been living in Santa Monica, California in 2011 after 16 years on the run. 

Girlfriend Catherine Greig had joined Bulger on the run back in 1995 shortly after he fled Boston to evade a federal racketeering indictment after he was tipped to his pending arrest. They are pictured in 1998

Girlfriend Catherine Greig had joined Bulger on the run back in 1995 shortly after he fled Boston to evade a federal racketeering indictment after he was tipped to his pending arrest. They are pictured in 1998

The couple were found hiding out at Princess Eugenia Apartments in Santa Monica in June 2011

The couple were found hiding out at Princess Eugenia Apartments in Santa Monica in June 2011

The Boston underworld kingpin and his girlfriend had managed to go undetected for years by posing as an elderly couple under the names of Charles and Carol Gasko prior to their arrest. 

Following their capture, Greig was sentenced to eight years in prison for helping her mobster boyfriend evade capture and an additional 21 months for refusing to testify before grand juries. 

Bulger, meanwhile, was convicted in 2013 of a slew of crimes, including at least 11 murders, and was sentenced to life behind bars. 

In 2018, he was transferred from the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City to United States Penitentiary, Hazelton on October 29. The following day, he was found unresponsive in prison.

Other inmates brutally attacked the wheelchair-bound Bulger, beat him with a pad lock in a sock, tried to gouge out the mobster’s eyes with a shiv and attempted to cut out his tongue – a punishment often reserved for ‘snitches’.

His body was found wrapped in a sheet 12 hours later by prison officers, who said the gangster was hardly recognizable. 

Geas was in the same prison having been sentenced to live for his role as an enforcer for the New England Mafia in Boston. 

In 2009, he was sentenced for the murder of Gary Westerman and Adolfo Bruno, and was also indicted as the getaway driver in the failed assassination attempt of Bronx cement union boss, Frank Dabado.

In his trial, he was shocked to see one of his former associates testifying against him. He had a reputation for despising snitches. 

He was the primary suspect in orchestrating the killing of Bulger, but has never been charged over his murder.   

Whitey Bulger: Life and crimes of a mob kingpin 

Sept. 3, 1929: James Bulger is born to Irish immigrant parents living in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. He is the second of six children. His shock of platinum blonde hair earns him the nickname ‘Whitey.’

1956: Whitey Bulger is sentenced to federal prison for bank robbery. After he’s suspected of plotting an escape from one prison, he’s transferred to Alcatraz.

1960: Bulger’s younger brother, William, is elected to the state House of Representatives. John Connolly, a childhood friend from South Boston, works on the campaign.

1965: Bulger is released from prison and returns to Boston. He becomes a top underling to local mobster Howie Winter, boss of the Winter Hill Gang.

1970: William Bulger is elected to the state Senate.

1975: Bulger cuts a deal with Connolly – now a Boston-based FBI agent – to provide information on the Italian Mafia in exchange for protection.

1978: William Bulger becomes president of the state Senate.

1981: Roger Wheeler, owner of World Jai Alai, a gambling enterprise from which Bulger was skimming money, is shot between the eyes in the parking lot of his country club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Bulger, pictured in 1994, disappeared on the eve of his indictment on racketeering charges in 1995

Bulger, pictured in 1994, disappeared on the eve of his indictment on racketeering charges in 1995

1982: Bulger and Stephen ‘The Rifleman’ Flemmi gun down a former henchman in broad daylight on a South Boston street to silence him over the Wheeler murder. Connolly files a report with the FBI saying rival gangsters made the hit.

July 1982: Flemmi and Bulger order a hit on John Callahan, the former president of World Jai Alai.

January 1995: Bulger disappears on the eve of his indictment on racketeering charges.

1997: The FBI, under court order, admits that Bulger was a ‘top echelon’ informant launching a federal probe into the agency’s corrupt ties to its mob informants.

June 22, 2011: Bulger is arrested in Santa Monica, CA, with girlfriend Catherine Grieg.

Aug 12, 2013: Bulger is found guilty of a raft of racketeering charges, including his role in 11 murders.

Nov 13 2013: Bulger, aged 84 , is sentenced to two consecutive life sentences plus five years. Before announcing her sentence, the judge tells Bulger that the ‘scope, callousness and depravity of your crimes are almost unfathomable.’ She says they are made ‘all the more heinous because they were all about money.’

Oct. 30, 2018: Bulger is found dead inside USP Hazelton at 8.20am, the day after he was transferred to the federal prison in West Virginia.


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