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Monday, July 4, 2011

Experts say Whitey Bulger could cash in on his brutal bio


CRIME PAYS? The signature of accused...
CRIME PAYS? The signature of accused mass killer Whitey Bulger could be worth good money on the murderabilia market, experts say.

If convicted, accused mass murderer James “Whitey” Bulger could make a killing selling his blood-soaked biography to a publishing house or Hollywood studio, experts say, thanks in part to state lawmakers, who for years have refused to bar cons from cashing in on their crimes.
With no notoriety for profit law on the books, it’s not just Bulger’s secrets from 16 years on the lam that are potentially worth big bucks. If he’s willing to part with them, collectors will pay top dollar for the 81-year-old South Boston mob boss’ hair, nail clippings, autograph and artwork.
Asked what Bulger’s potential worth is, Houston-based Andy Kahan, the nation’s leading anti-murderabilia crusader, told the Herald, “Essentially, you’re looking at a sequel to ‘Goodfellas.’ Anything that has his name attached to it can and will be sold.”
The signature of late New York Mafia godfather John Gotti Jr. is currently priced at $450 on GhoulsLikeUs.com. Bulger’s attorney J.W. Carney Jr. declined to say yesterday whether his infamous client is being approached with offers.
Notoriety for profit laws have been adopted by Texas, California, Florida, Montana, Alabama, New Jersey, Utah and Michigan, Kahan said.
Senate Ways and Means Chairman Stephen M. Brewer (D-Barre) is the latest legislator to file a bill attempting to prohibit criminals from profiting off their personal belongings, but he doubts even Bulger’s horrific history can override Beacon Hill’s fear of free speech. Still, he said, “We ought to keep trying. No one should make money off the pain and suffering of others.”
Victims’ families say the idea of Bulger making money off allegedly murdering 19 people is too much to bear.
“Free speech? He’s an animal. To me, he isn’t worth the air he breathes. (Bulger’s Winter Hill Gang) took a good girl from us. They took good men, good families,” said Steve Davis, whose 26-year-old sister Debra Davis was choked to death in 1981, allegedly by Bulger.
One option the families have, Kahan suggested, is to ban together and sue Bulger. Eight families of murder victims did just that after Gotti’s hitman-turned-rat Sammy “The Bull” Gravano penned his 1999 best-seller “Underboss.” They won a $420,000 cut of Gravano’s payday.
Bob Gleason, executive editor of Tor/Forge, publisher of “Hitman” by Herald columnist Howie Carr, the untold story of Bulger’s hired gun John Martorano, said any number of high-demand tomes could spin off Bulger’s life story.
“Whitey is an archetypal figure of American organized crime — another Al Capone or Lucky Luciano,” Gleason said. “We’re an outlaw nation. We revel in oulaws.”

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/2011_0704murder_inc_experts_say_notorious_whitey_could_cash_in_on_his_brutal_bio/srvc=home&position=1



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