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“Bulger is a vicious, brutal killer who deserves to be behind bars,” Berlinger said. “But we need to understand why he was allowed to operate… and why he was tipped off and allowed to be on the lam for 16 years.”

Bulger was indicted in 1994. He was finally arrested in June, 2011, near the apartment he shared with his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, in Santa Monica, Calif.

“My whole life changed when I was with her,” Bulger tells his attorney. “When I was captured, I told them: If you people, I says, will let Catherine go, I’ll plead guilty to all crimes. Any crime, I says, innocent or guilty. You can execute me, you can give me life sentences, you can do whatever youse want, but I want her to be free. And I meant it. And I mean it today.”

Greig was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for harboring a fugitive.

Bulger shares his disbelief in learning that his longtime associate, Stephen Flemmi, was an FBI informant.

“I think he’s insane myself, Stevie,” Bulger says. “In court, he’s glaring at me. I’m looking at him and thinking… I never said a word against you. I’m the injured party.”

Bulger was also frustrated that a deal he made for immunity with then-federal prosecutor Jeremiah O’Sullivan wasn’t allowed as part of his defense.

“I says this is a sham trial,” Bulger remarks. “I think the Feds have the green light. Nobody ever checks on them.”

After 4 ½ days of deliberations, a jury found Bulger guilty of 11 of the 19 murders he was accused of, along with nearly all the other crimes, as well as a laundry list of other counts, including possession of machine guns.

Berlinger said his film takes no position, but presents various viewpoints and treats the audience like a jury allowed to draw its own conclusions.

“But the truth that rises to the top,” the director said, “is that allegations of government corruption - whether they’re true or not - need to be explored if we are to ever have faith in our institutions (and) the whole criminal justice system.”

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Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy.