Gangster and mass murderer James "Whitey" Bulger could stand to make millions selling his life story to a top paying publishing house or Hollywood studio as Boston lawmakers have failed to ban convicted felons from cashing in on their crimes.
Experts are also saying that collectors would pay top dollar for the Southie mobster's hair, nail clippings, autograph and artwork.
Andy Kahan, a leading murderabilia expert spoke to the Boston Herald. He said "Essentially, you’re looking at a sequel to ‘Goodfellas.’ Anything that has his name attached to it can and will be sold.”
On the website GhoulsLikeUs.com the autograph of late New York Mafia boss John Gotti Jr is priced at $450.
Bulger's attorney, J.W. Carney Jr, declined to comment on whether Whitey has been approached with offers.
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Kahan explained that in Texas, California, Florida, Montana, Alabama, New Jersey, Utah and Michigan notoriety for profit laws had been adopted but not in Boston.
Stephen M. Brewer (D-Barre), Senate Ways and Means Chairman, is the latest legislator to file a bill attempting to prohibit criminals from profiting off their personal belongings. However he even doubts that it will keep Bulger's story from being told. Although he added "We ought to keep trying. No one should make money off the pain and suffering of others.”
For the victims of the 19 people who Bulger murdered the idea that he could profit from their deaths is too much.
Steve Davis, whose 26-year-old sister Debra Davis was choked to death in 1981, allegedly by Bulger said "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.”
Kahan has suggested that the families of the murder victims could band together to get Bulger. Eight families of John Giotti's victims did this when Gotti's hitman-turned-rat Sammy "The Bull" Gravano wrote a book in 1999. The families received $420,000 from Gravano's earnings.
Unfortunately Bob Gleason, from Tor/Forge, the publisher of "Hitman" a tale about one of Bulger's hired guns, said a number of books could spin off Bulger's life. He explained "Whitey is an archetypal figure of American organized crime — another Al Capone or Lucky Luciano…We’re an outlaw nation. We revel in outlaws.”