'Black Mass' & The Real Whitey Bulger

Bianna Golodryga
·Yahoo News and Finance Anchor

By Summer Delaney

“Killing in the criminal world is accepted. Being a rat is not accepted.”

Kevin Weeks knows a thing or two about the criminal world, and rats. He was a longtime associate of Boston gang leader James “Whitey” Bulger, whose long and violent criminal career is the subject of the new film “Black Mass.” Weeks spoke with Yahoo News and Finance Anchor Bianna Golodryga about his decades as a partner in crime to Bulger, who’s now serving life in prison after spending years evading the FBI while on America’s most wanted list.

The film, which stars Johnny Depp as Bulger, tells the story of Whitey’s rise to power as a crime lord, all while hiding the fact from his associates, including Weeks, that he was an FBI informant. But Weeks, played in the film by actor Jesse Plemons, does not think the movie will accurately represent what really happened on the Southie streets because the FBI was a consultant on the movie.

“From what I’ve heard, people that have seen it and scripts I have received, there is a lot of inaccuracies,” said Weeks. “[The FBI] are the people that were protecting [Bulger] all these years, so they want to have their slant on the movie.”

After Bulger went into hiding in 1995, Weeks took over as “operational chief” of Bulger’s organization. They were in contact during Bulger’s first two years on the run, but Weeks began cooperating with authorities after pleading guilty to racketeering charges and for his role in assisting on five murders. He served a little over five years in prison.

In 2011, after 16 years in hiding, Bulger was found and arrested outside an apartment in California. Weeks was a key prosecution witness in a U.S. District Court case against Bulger in 2013, helping secure his two life sentences plus five years for being involved in 11 murders.

“I considered him my closest friend — there’s nothing I wouldn’t have done for him, and everything he asked me I did,” said Weeks. “I was betrayed all these years.”

This year, Weeks and Phyllis Karas co-authored the book “Hunted Down: The FBI’s Pursuit and Capture of Whitey Bulger,” a fictionalized account of events that took place during Weeks’s mob years. Families of his victims will receive a certain percentage of the book’s proceeds.

“That’s why it was written, otherwise I would have never wrote the book,” said Weeks.

As for his portrayal by Plemons, Weeks says he just doesn’t see the resemblance. And despite going in with a somewhat negative perception of it, he does plan on seeing the film this weekend.