Slain Boston Irish mob boss James (Whitey) Bulger was supposed to share a cell with one of his alleged killers, another Massachusetts wiseguy named Paul (Little Paulie) DeCologero in the West Virginia federal correctional facility where he was snuffed out mere hours after arriving via a suspicious transfer order, according to newly published reports on the investigation into Bulger’s murder. Despite the initial assignment for Bulger and DeCologero to be “cellies,” Felix Wilson, a felon from Buffalo with no apparent organized crime ties, was a last-minute replacement for DeCologero. The sleeping arrangement only lasted a single night.

The 89-year old gangland icon exposed following his reign as a confidential informant for the FBI was beaten to death inside his cell in the early hours of October 30. He had just arrived at the facility the night before from a Florida prison.

Multiple law enforcement agencies are probing the details of the transfer and a possible high-reaching conspiracy that might have played a role in the vicious mob figure’s grisly demise. Bulger’s last-minute change in medical-status classification, which sent him to Hazelton, West Virginia penitentiary instead of a prison medical center and the decision to place him in general population instead of a protection unit raised a lot of eyebrows in the wake of his fatal beat down that grabbed news headlines across the world.

Wilson, DeCologero, Springfield, Massachusetts mobster Freddy Geas, a convicted murderer, and Geas’ cellmate Sean McKinnion from Vermont, are the prime suspects in the Bulger hit. Geas and DeCologero were seen on security cameras entering and exiting Bulger’s cell around the time he was heinously slaughtered with a metal lock in a sock.

In 2003, Geas helped execute the Genovese crime family’s Massachusetts capo, Adolfo (Big Al) Bruno. Geas reportedly doesn’t deny his role in killing Bulger to prison authorities. All four suspects were whisked away to solitary confinement the same day Bulger was found unresponsive in his cell, his bloodied and battered body wrapped in blankets on his bed.

Little Paulie DeCologero

DeCologero, 44, is serving a 25-year prison term for racketeering related to being part of a mafia-affiliated drug-dealing and robbery crew led by his uncle Paul (Big Paulie) DeCologero out of Boston’s North Shore suburbs in the 1990s. Bulger is one of the most infamous mob figures of all-time and lorded over the South Boston underworld from the 1970s until he went on the run from the law in 1995. Revealed to be an longtime FBI informant during his years as a fugitive, Bulger was apprehended in 2011 and found guilty at a 2013 trial of personally committing or ordering 11 gangland slayings.

Big Paulie DeCologero, 56, will most likely die behind bars. He was found guilty in the 2000s of ordering the murder and dismemberment of the teenage girlfriend of one of his crew members who the crew believed was on the verge of cooperating with police. Little Paulie DeCologero is currently scheduled for release in 2026.

According to the DeCologero family, Bulger put a murder contract on Big Paulie’s head in the early 1990s for refusing to pay Bulger’s Winter Hill Gang a percentage of his rackets as tribute. At that time, the DeCologero crew was aligned against Bulger’s ally in New England’s Italian mafia, Francis (Cadillac Frank) Salemme, in a power struggle for control of the Patriarca crime family. The half-Irish Salemme turned witness for the government in 1999, but was convicted back in the summer for his role in the 1993 murder of his partner in a nightclub, a killing he neglected to tell the FBI about when he flipped.

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