The Boston gang boss was sentenced for racketeering, including participating in 11 murders.

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Notorious mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger was sentenced Thursday to two consecutive life sentences plus five years for his conviction in a string of murders, as well as racketeering, extortion, money laundering, obstruction of justice and narcotics distribution, during a reign of terror in the 1970s and '80s in South Boston.

"Your conduct merits the most severe penalty," U.S. federal Judge Denise Casper said in handing down the sentence.

"The scope, the callousness, the depravity of your crimes, are almost unfathomable," she said in a public tongue-lashing of the former boss of the Winter Hill Gang.

"Your crimes were all the more heinous because they were all about money," Casper said. "Make no mistake, it takes no business acumen to take money from folks on the other end of the gun."

The judge also ordered $19.5 million restitution for Bulger's victims. U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said later that prosecutors would be "expansive" in going after what assets they can.

Bulger, who refused to look at the victims during a sentencing hearing Wednesday, stared at the judge as she blasted his brutal life of crime, including killings at close range.

His only comment was to answer, softly, "yes," when asked if he was aware he had the right to appeal.

It was a short but dramatic end to the long-running saga of the 84-year-old mobster, who was arrested by the FBI in Santa Monica, Calif., along with his girlfriend, after 16 years on the run.

"The testimony of human suffering that you and your associates inflicted on others was at times agonizing to hear and painful to watch," Casper said.

Prosecutors had asked her for the stiff sentence that was imposed in accordance with sentencing guidelines. Bulger's lawyers had declined to recommend a sentence, saying Bulger believes his trial was a ''sham.''

Dan Doherty, a member of the prosecution team, disagreed. "Today is the end result of (a) 20-year odyssey," Doherty said after the hearing. "I think for the families' sake as well as everyone involved, it was a just end."

Bulger was convicted in August for 11 of the 19 killings he was charged with participating in. The jury acquitted him in seven killings and issued a ''no finding'' in the murder of 26-year-old Debra Davis, the girlfriend of his former partner, Stephen ''The Rifleman'' Flemmi.

Tommy Donahue, whose father, Michael Donahue, was killed by Bulger 31 years ago, told reporters after the sentencing that he thought it was fitting that a man "afforded so much freedom had those basic freedoms taken away."

"That old bastard is finally going to prison and is going to die in prison," he said. "It's a bittersweet feeling, but it's a damn good feeling."

Casper handed down the sentence one day after a wrenching hearing that included statements by 12 family members who lost fathers, husbands and siblings to gang violence decades ago.

They called Bulger a ''terrorist,'' a ''punk'' and ''Satan'' as he sat stone-faced and refused to look at them.

The family members "are the ones who have had to live their lives without their fathers, their husbands, their brothers and their sisters," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly. "It's all thanks to this defendant, James Bulger. … To him, human life meant nothing."

Bulger's trial laid bare a life of crime, corruption and unsavory deals between the federal government and the mobster.

Corrupt FBI agents took bribes from Bulger, tipped him off to threats and turned a blind eye to his violent crimes. Under FBI pressure, the Justice Department removed Bulger — a key informant on the crime underworld in Boston — from an indictment in the late 1970s, leaving him free to participate in murders.

Former Boston FBI agent John Connolly Jr. — Bulger's handler when he was an informant — tipped the gangster ahead of an indictment, prompting Bulger to flee Boston. Connolly was later sentenced to 10 years in prison.

During his trial, Bulger claimed that a now-deceased federal prosecutor had given him immunity to commit crimes in exchange for Bulger's offer to protect him from the Mafia. The judge rejected that claim as a defense.

Defense attorney J.W. Carney said Bulger would appeal the judge's ruling at the outset of the trial that he could not testify about his arrangement with law enforcement authorities that he viewed as an immunity deal.

Hank Brennan, Bulger's other defense attorney, said he had a "continuing feeling of discontent" over how the prosecution was carried out, especially the use of killers as prosecution witnesses. He also called for accountability for those in law enforcement who were also culpable.

"Why in the world do we now have a handful of murderers walking the street to get one man?" he asked. Brennan suggested that law enforcement narrowly went after his client "to cover up the complicity" of others.

Prosecutors addressed the FBI's malfeasance head-on, saying it should not have a bearing on Bulger's sentencing.

"The stupidity and dishonesty of FBI agents like John Connolly and John Morris don't excuse Bulger's savagery," Kelly told Casper. "They don't give him a basis for any leniency."

MacDonald reported from Boston.

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