BC Law, CNN Team Up For Early Screening Of Bulger Documentary

In June of 2013, former Boston mob boss and convicted murderer James “Whitey” Bulger was sent to trial facing charges for 32 counts of racketeering and money laundering. Two months later, a jury convicted Bulger on 31 of the 32 counts, and for the murder of 11 victims. Bulger, 85, was subsequently sentenced to more than two consecutive life terms in prison and is currently being held in a high-security federal penitentiary in central Florida.

Next week at Robsham Theater, Boston College Law School will partner with CNN as part of an exclusive University panel event and early screening of the documentary Whitey: United States of America V. James J. Bulger—a nonfiction feature film that chronicles the trial and criminal life of the widely notorious former fugitive and participant in 19 murders.

Following the screening next Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 4 p.m., a panel discussion will take place between the film’s director, Joe Berlinger; the prosecution and defense teams during Bulger’s trial; reporters that provided coverage of the case; and BC Law professor Robert Bloom, BC ’71. Chief National Correspondent for CNN and award-winning journalist John King will moderate the discussion.

Among the featured panelists is J.W. Carney, BC Law ’78 and one of Bulger’s defense lawyers during the trial. One of Massachusetts’ most well-known criminal defense attorneys, Carney is slated to discuss his experiences regarding the trial of Bulger, who for 12 years was listed at No. 2 on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.

“We’re very pleased to be able to bring this important event to Boston College,” said BC Law Dean Vincent Rougeau in a statement to the Office of News and Public Affairs. “This was a landmark case—important both to the state of Massachusetts and to the country. The screening and panel discussion will be an excellent opportunity for our law students to hear directly from both sides and gain a better understanding of how a case like this was handled.”

Described by CNN Films on its website as a “revelatory nonfiction feature film that follows the sensational 2013 trial of the notorious mob boss,” Whitey has a runtime of two hours and was produced by Caroline Suh. The film uses courtroom documentation and footage surrounding the case to analyze evidence that may support claims that Bulger was aided and abetted, and that his crimes may have been covered up, by top U.S. law enforcement agencies.

The event will be free and open to the public, and the U.S. premier of the documentary will air on CNN two days after the BC screening on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 9 p.m. Eastern.

The screening will mark the second panel discussion moderated by King since last spring’s Clough Colloquium event on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, which featured former Mayor of Boston Thomas M. Menino, Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick, and former Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis.

Featured Image courtesy of the Office of News and Public Affairs

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Connor Farley was a copy editor and news editor for The Heights. You can probably find him at a Phish show.