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After Whitey Bulger, a look at notorious criminals killed behind bars

Notorious Boston gangster Whitey Bulger joins these other notable criminals who met violent deaths in prison.
Arrest mugshots of James "Whitey" Bulger from 1953. Bulger, the mobster who terrorized South Boston in the 1970s and '80s while he led the notorious Winter Hill Gang, was found dead in prison, according to police, on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. He was 89.  [Boston Police]
Arrest mugshots of James "Whitey" Bulger from 1953. Bulger, the mobster who terrorized South Boston in the 1970s and '80s while he led the notorious Winter Hill Gang, was found dead in prison, according to police, on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. He was 89. [Boston Police]
Published Oct. 31, 2018|Updated Oct. 31, 2018

BOSTON — James "Whitey" Bulger, the notorious Boston gangster who eluded authorities for nearly two decades before being caught in 2011, was found dead in prison Tuesday, officials said.

His death is being investigated as a homicide, said Justin Tarovisky, executive vice president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 420, which represents corrections officers at the West Virginia prison where Bulger had recently been moved.

Bulger, 89, was serving a life sentence after being convicted in 2013 of participating in 11 murders. He served as an FBI informant who ratted on his gang's main rival before becoming the agency's most wanted fugitives for 16 years until his arrest in Santa Monica, California.

A look at other notorious criminals who met a violent death behind bars:

Times files Jeffrey Dahmer has another docuseries exploring his gruesome killings in Oxygen's Dahmer on Dahmer: A Serial Killer Speaks.
[Times files]

Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was serving life prison sentences when a fellow inmate beat him with a metal bar while he was cleaning a prison locker room in 1994. The chocolate factory worker was arrested in 1991 and admitted killing 17 young men, most in Milwaukee, some of whom he mutilated and cannibalized. Dahmer's killer, Christopher Scarver, was already serving a life sentence for a 1990 murder when he bludgeoned to death Dahmer and another inmate of the Columbia Correctional Institution in Wisconsin.

** FILE ** Former priest John Geoghan watches as his alledged victim, who cannot be identified by court order, enters the court room to testify, in this Jan. 16, 2002 file photo, at Middlesex Superior Court in Cambridge, Mass. Geoghan, a convicted child molester who became a central figure in the Catholic church's sex abuse scandal, died Saturday, Aug. 23, 2003 after another inmate attacked him in prison, a state corrections spokeswoman said. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
[Times files]

John Geoghan was beaten and strangled to death at Massachusetts' maximum-security Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in 2003 by a fellow inmate. Geoghan, who had accused of molesting as many as 150 boys over three decades, was serving a 9- to 10-year sentence for groping a boy and was at the center of the Boston clergy abuse scandal. His killer, 37-year-old Joseph Druce, planned the killing for a month, stretching out the socks used to choke Geoghan and doctoring a book to jam the cell door shut, authorities said.

FILE--Self-confessed Boston Strangler Albert DeSalvo is seen minutes after his capture in this Feb. 25, 1967 file photo. New evidence gathered from DeSalvo's remains and from the killer's last victim might bring investigators closer to determining if the man was really the strangler. (AP Photo)
[Times files]

Albert DeSalvo, who confessed — then recanted — to being the "Boston Strangler", was stabbed to death in 1973 at a maximum-security prison in Walpole, Massachusetts. DeSalvo was never indicted in the killings that terrorized the region and grabbed national headlines in the early 1960s, but was convicted in January 1967 of armed robbery, assault and sex offenses, and sentenced to life in prison. In 2013, DNA tests confirmed that DeSalvo did kill the woman believed to be the serial killer's last victim and then-Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said it was "most likely" that he was the Boston Strangler.

A hospital orderly who reportedly confessed he killed as many as 34 people was placed under a suicide watch Wednesday, authorities said. Donald Harvey,35, was charged with the cyanide death of one patient and has been in police custody since April. WCPO-TV reported Tuesday that he confessed in police interviews to killing 33 other people, most of them at hospitals where he worked. HARVEY DONALD, MURDER, 8.12.1987
[Times files]

Donald Harvey, a former nurse's aide and serial killer known as the "Angel of Death", was fatally beaten last year by a fellow inmate in a protective custody unit at the state prison in Toledo. Harvey was serving multiple life sentences after pleading guilty in 1987 to killing more than three dozen hospital patients in Ohio and Kentucky during the 1970s and '80s. He later said he was responsible for killing 18 others while working at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Cincinnati.

Editors: In absence of spot copy on Nathan Leopold story, these pictures are transmitted in response to requests; pictures at left shows Richard Loeb, left, and Nathan Leopold, at right, at their trial in 1924. picture at right shows Nathan Leopold in July of 1957, When he was attempting to get a parole. 1958 Leopold Nathan Thrill Slaying 1924 - 1957, OCT 18 1968
[Times files]

Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold created a nationwide sensation in 1924 when they were convicted of kidnapping and slaying a young neighbor in Chicago just for the thrill of it. Loeb and Leopold, then 18 and 19 respectively, were sentenced to life terms for the murder plus 99 years for the kidnapping. Loeb was killed in a prison fight in 1936.


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