An 80-year-old man who once testified that he was shot eight times by Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger has been charged in the 25-year-old murder of an armored truck guard.
Ralph DeMasi of Amesbury, Massachusetts, was arrested on Tuesday afternoon and charged with armed robbery and the murder of Edward P. Morlock Sr. of Athol on May 18, 1991, in the foyer of a Shaw's Supermarket in Worcester, according to the Worcester County District Attorney's Office.
DeMasi allegedly escaped the robbery and shooting in a waiting car, which was abandoned around the corner. The suspects then switched to a second vehicle.
Three other men believed to have participated in the robbery and murder have died in the intervening years.
DeMasi testified in Bulger's 2013 trial that he was riding in a car with another man in 1973 when a car pulled up alongside and Bulger began firing at them. The other man was hit 17 times and died instantly. DeMasi sustained eight bullet wounds.
"Car pulled up alongside, opened up," he said afterward. "When it was over there were over 100 bullets in the car."
DeMasi was compelled to testify against Bulger, fresh off a 21-1/2-year prison sentence for an armored car robbery in Newburyport.
The 87-year-old Bulger was a fugitive for 17 years until his arrest in 2011. A jury convicted him in 2013 for playing a role in 11 murders and many other crimes.
DeMasi's arrest on Tuesday was the result of new information uncovered during an investigation by Worcester Police, the FBI and the district attorney's office.
"I have seen first-hand the hard work and dedication that has gone into this case," Worcester Police Chief Steven Sargent said. "Hopefully, this arrest brings some measure of closure to the family of Edward Murlock."
Morlock's widow, Jeannette, said Tuesday she has mixed emotions over the arrest.
"I'm happy yet sad because it's Christmas and I'm going back on memories and those were very painful times for me. My husband got killed 25 years ago and he was not ordered to work. He filled in for someone else so they could get married and he did it for extra money because he was the saver," Morlock said.
Morlock said if convicted, she wants DeMasi to be put away for good or executed for the pain he has caused her for the last 25 years.
"Put him away again so he can never hurt anybody. Because he has ruined my life," Morlock said.
DeMasi is expected to be arraigned around 11 a.m. Wednesday in Worcester Superior Court.