BOSTON -- James "Whitey" Bulger's former partner in crime spent hours yesterday combatively sticking to his story that Bulger strangled two young women -- and even claimed Bulger was a pedophile.
Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi made the accusation as Bulger's lawyer aggressively questioned him about his admission that he had engaged in oral sex with his girlfriend's teenage daughter, Deborah Hussey, in the 1970s.
"You want to talk about pedophilia -- right over there at that table," Flemmi said, gesturing toward Bulger. Earlier in the day, Flemmi had said Bulger had a 16-year-old girlfriend he took on a vacation to Mexico.
Bulger, who exchanged obscenities with Flemmi shortly after he began testifying last week, glanced over at Flemmi when he made the remark, but did not have any other visible reaction.
Bulger's lawyer, Hank Brennan, pressed Flemmi on his assertion that Bulger strangled Hussey in 1985 because she was using drugs, getting arrested and dropping their names when in trouble.
Brennan suggested that Flemmi, not Bulger, killed Hussey after she told her mother he had molested her.
Brennan also pointed out inconsistencies in Flemmi's testimony about both Hussey's killing and the murder of Debra Davis, another Flemmi girlfriend. Both Hussey and Davis were 26 when they were killed. Bulger has strongly denied killing them.
Flemmi testified that Bulger strangled both women with his hands, but Brennan pointed out that he had testified during earlier civil and criminal trials that Bulger used a rope.
It was Flemmi's fourth day testifying at Bulger's racketeering trial. Bulger, 83, is accused of participating in 19 killings during the 1970s and '80s while leading the notorious Winter Hill Gang. He fled Boston in 1994 and was one of the nation's most-wanted fugitives until he was captured in California two years ago.
Flemmi, 79, has pleaded guilty to 10 murders and is serving a life sentence. He was due back on the witness stand today.