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Trial begins for James “Whitey” Bulger this week

Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi testified that he watched as James “Whitey” Bulger strangled his girlfriend, Debra Davis, shown here with Flemmi in the late 1970s.
Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi testified that he watched as James “Whitey” Bulger strangled his girlfriend, Debra Davis, shown here with Flemmi in the late 1970s.File

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James “Whitey” Bulger calls it “The Big Show,” his chance to vindicate himself after years of being portrayed in court proceedings, hearings and books as a depraved gangster who strangled women, corrupted FBI agents and informed on his friends.

“Want to refute lies + try to get my name cleared,’’ Bulger wrote to a friend from jail last year in a letter that was shared with the Globe.

But refuting the evidence laid before the jury in his long-anticipated trial, expected to begin with jury selection in US District Court in Boston on Tuesday and to run through the summer, will be an enormous task even for a man as cunning and as resourceful as Bulger, according to legal experts.

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