Death of an Old Gangster

By Jay Goodman

As I sit here in the United States penitentiary in Hazelton, West Virginia, I couldn’t help but see and feel the evilness of this place. For the people reading this, I don’t know if you have ever been around someone or a certain place where you could feel how evil it was. But this prison seemed to be full of Satan’s followers. I remember when the bus pulled down this road late at night when the US marshals brought me here. I mean, we were driving out in the woods; there was absolutely nothing was around. Then all of a sudden, we can see all kinds of lights. As we started getting closer, we could see there were several prisons that were built together. The bus route to the very top of this mountain, I have never seen guard towers so big. This tower looked like a small house; I laughed because the guards in Texas would’ve loved working in these. Texas guard towers look like a treehouse. But as we got inside the feeling of evil was everywhere. Not just from the inmates, but from the staff as well. As I had written in past chapters I was hoping that the federal prison system would be a step up from the madness of the Texas prison, but it wouldn’t take me long to see that wasn’t going to happen. As I said, “there was a lot of us on the bus that night. But only 12 or so actually went to the cell block, the others had to go to isolation because something in their paperwork wasn’t right.” Which means they were sex offenders, or they had to testify to get someone. There are many other reasons, but that’s just a few examples of why they went to isolation. Federal prison is so much different than state prison in many ways. Like in Texas, most places wanted to see why you were sent to prison. But in federal prison, the prisoners want to investigate all of your criminal past. They not only want to know why you were sent to prison, but they want to know everything you have ever been charged with? Did you ever testify against someone? Where you a confidential informant? As usual when you arrive at a United States penitentiary across our country, the prisoners are already aware of who you are. The United States penitentiary, also known as U.S.P., inside here., or the pen, is the most dangerous out of the federal prison system. The high-profile criminals end up in here, or the criminals who are in gangs, or have life sentences. The gangs pretty much control the prison system as a whole. Every aspect of prison life is dictated by the different gangs. Where the blacks, whites, or Mexicans, sit. What group has each table in the day room. Even in the chow hall, each person has a specific table to sit at. Each group has their own T.V. The list goes on and on. Do the guards and staff know what’s going on? Of course they do! It’s as obvious as when the sun comes up in the morning. Meaning it would be impossible for them to not know. But I learned quick, they not only know but they are also involved with how the different gangs run the system. It’s like I wrote in one of my chapters, when I arrived at the prison and was getting my jumpsuit, the prisoners giving me clothes told me, “I was an old bank robber.” I just got to this prison; how could this guy have known I was in prison for bank robbery? Because the staff at allow these men to either view our paperwork, or they just told them. You see, the administration are the only ones who have the information on who’s coming that day. The only way this guy knows who I am on that day that I got there, was through them. Now, why would the employees want to give that information to the prisoners? For several reasons. One, because they are being paid by someone inside the prison. The different gangs need to know who each prisoner is in prison for. They are conducting criminal activity inside here, like selling drugs. So, the people who are in charge of the gangs don’t want someone to slip in here that could someday become an informant, and end up testifying on them in open court.

Secondly, the guards, or the ones who work in the administration are involved in criminal activity themselves. So, it’s imperative that anyone who arrives that they feel may somehow be a problem to their criminal organization, the guards will just pass the information to the prisoners who will just have the murdered as soon as they hit the prison compound. I am sure a lot of people who read this may be thinking, how could something like this be allowed to happen in the 21st-century? I am also sure the people who work at the U.S.P. across our country will say I’m crazy. Well, let me give a good example of something that happened right here at this prison I’m at. This made world news and no one can deny it happen. For more than 20 years the FBI was chasing an old Irish gangster named Whitey Bulger. This old gangster was profiled on America’s Most Wanted countless of times. For more than 10 years he was on the FBI’s most wanted list as number two, right under the worlds most hated terrorist, Osama Bin Laden. Once Osama was killed, Whitey Bulgar move to number one on the FBI’s most wanted list. There has been countless of movies and books done on this man’s life. And when he was finally captured, it made world news. Not just one day, but for years, we watched everything this man did play out on TV.

We also learned, that Whitey, had been playing a double life. On the streets of Boston, he was a ruthless killing machine who murdered dozens of people, or the killings. But on the side, he worked as a confidential informant for the FBI. Now, after the trial he was sent to federal prison and eventually ended up at the United States penitentiary right here in Hazleton, West Virginia. So, my first question is this. How could such a high-profile prisoner, end up at such a dangerous place? Before someone says, well this guy was a big-time gangster, who murdered many people. Which is true. But, because everyone knew who Whitey Bulger was, his trial played out every day on national TV. The Federal Bureau of Prisons knew he should of went straight to the supermax prison in Colorado, and put in a cell by himself. They knew this man had worked as a confidential informant for the FBI, so once again, how on earth did he end up at this prison? There is no way they can say he accidentally slipped through the cracks; it was just an oversight. But, let me say this for a moment. Let’s just say that this was true. Which believe me, it’s not. But let’s just say it is. You mean to tell me, that once this notorious gangster arrives at this prison no one recognize who he was? He had to be interviewed by the gang intelligence officer when he got here. So, whoever that was, had to be looking not only who he was, but more importantly what he was. He had to see that Whitey Bulger was a confidential informant. But, not only the gang intelligence officer new, but the major and warden had to know. Also, every prisoner has to sign a form asking if he can walk the yard. If a prisoner signs the paper he goes to population. If he refuses to sign it, he is taken into isolation. And normally if a prisoner signs it, and they say there’s nothing in his file that will get him killed, they will allow him to go. But, in Whitey’s case, they already knew without a doubt, what was going to happen. Let’s say he did sign the form, It still shouldn’t have mattered in his case. Because the people who run the prison here are responsible for the safety of all prisoners. So, even if Whitey Bulger did sign those papers, the staff should’ve never allowed this man to go in the population. Now here is the outcome of their decision. Whitey Bulger, at the age of 90 years old, was given a metal shank, and sent into a cell block. The minute he arrived in cellblock E-1, two men were already waiting for him. They helped him carry his things inside his cell, then shut the cell door and beat him to death. Not just beat this man, but cut a hole underneath his chin, and pull his tongue through it. Then they gouged out both of his eyes. He was not yet dead believe it or not. He laid in his cell until the next morning until they found him. Now did the guards know he was going to be killed? Yes. Did the warden and the major, captain, and gang intelligence officer know he was going to be killed? Absolutely! Then, there’s also standing count at 9:00 at night. Why wasn’t he found then? Was it because they were part of it? My thinking is how could they not have been? Everyone knew without a doubt he was a confidential informant. It was on the program America’s Most Wanted, it came out in the books and movies on his life, and it came out during trial on all of the national news networks. They sent this man to his death. I am sure there will be many, he will say he got what he had coming. Well, for those who believe that I must ask this question? How are the ones who allow this to happen, who allowed this brutal murder to take place, any better than Whitey Bulger?

The Attorneys
  • Francisco Hernandez
  • Daniel Hernandez
  • Phillip Hall
  • Rocio Martinez