Janet Uhlar | Is the CIA responsible for the murders committed by Whitey Bulger?

Is the CIA responsible for the murders committed by Whitey Bulger?

Jim Bulger was a criminal, there’s no denying that. But would he have become a killer if not for the CIA’s LSD experiment known as the Mkultra Project? This is not conspiracy theory nonsense — this is a historically documented fact. At the age of 26, Jim Bulger was sent to prison in Atlanta, GA for 20 years for bank robbery. The year was 1956. Prisoners were offered time off their sentence if they participated in medical studies. (Jim had already volunteered previously for a study on a cure for whooping cough [pertussis] a deadly threat to infants and young children.)

This particular experiment was presented by a supposed medical doctor as a possible cure for schizophrenia. Jim volunteered. He was given high doses of LSD three times a week for 18 months. A transfer to Alcatraz saved him from continued experimentation. Jim was grateful for that transfer, and viewed Alcatraz as a place of safety. Jim Bulger never used the high doses of LSD over an extended period of time as a defense for his criminality. His mention of it to me was brief.

Jim almost always put the date and time of day he wrote on his letters. I noted that his letters were written in the wee hours of the morning. Early on in our correspondence, I asked him why. He replied that “ever since Mkultra I hallucinate at night.” He went on to explain that he would sleep for a couple of hours and then violently awaken seeing wild animals around him. His sleep was always disturbed, That was all he said. I was ignorant of Mkultra. Not knowing what to make of his response, I sought out information.

As I did my research, I asked Jim questions. He told me how he volunteered thinking it was for a cure, and how many of the prisoners liked to volunteer for such experiments, yes, to get time off their sentence, but also to feel they were somehow helping society. This experiment was presented as a lie. None of those who volunteered knew the real intent. My research included the 1977 US Senate Hearing on Mkultra. Throughout, it was stated by representatives of the CIA that the experimentation was to determine if human behavior could be modified.

An aspect of that experimentation was to induce homicidal behavior. I shared what I discovered with Jim. He had no idea of the depth of the experiment. He began to share things he remembered, like the names of two other young volunteers, Benoit and Jennings, who were carried out of the experimentation area — “one foaming at mouth, the other stiff as a board.” They never were seen again by him, and he wondered if they survived. He told me of the big machine he was hooked up to and the questions of the “doctor” as the LSD entered his body. Questions which included, “Have you ever killed anyone? Would you ever kill anyone?” Jim Bulger never used Mkultra as a defense, because he had no idea of what it truly was… When sitting opposite Jim at the prison, I asked him if Mkultra changed him.

He quickly responded, “Yes, Janet, you know about the hallucinations.” I leaned forward, staring in his eyes and said, “I know. But did it change you?” He hesitated and looked away for a brief moment. Then, locking his eyes on mine with noted grief in his expression, he stated quietly, “Yes. Yes, Mkultra changed me…” Some will argue it didn’t. Yet, we know that Jim Bulger left prison at the age of 37, returned home, started a job, met a girl, had a son… He never murdered anyone until he met up with John Martorano and Steve Flemmi (two who already had taken the lives of many). How many others were damaged by Mkultra?

The CIA admitted that military personnel, hospital patients, college and university students, and prisoners were — some without any knowledge, others without true knowledge of the experiment. All, therefore, without consent. (Young Ted Kaczynski, the “Unabomber” was experimented on as an undergrad at Harvard.) Is James “Whitey” Bulger or the CIA responsible for the murders of Jim’s victims? The truth is, no one really can say. Is this part of the reason the FBI and Boston DOJ were determined to lock him up and throw away the key? If so, it didn’t work….

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