James
PHOTO: Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
James 'Whitey' Bulger mugshot in 2011. (Photo courtesy Bureau of Prisons/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:24
Boston gangster Whitey Bulger killed in prison
covid-19 relief package house biden sot malveaux nr vpx _00000000.png
PHOTO: CNN
covid-19 relief package house biden sot malveaux nr vpx _00000000.png
Now playing
02:28
CNN's Joe Johns explains Biden's short speech as relief bill heads to Senate
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
PHOTO: House TV
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Now playing
02:52
House passes Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package
PHOTO: CNN Weather
Now playing
02:03
Weekend weather: Flash flooding, severe storms, and record warmth
Misinformation Trump Capitol March rn orig_00004630.png
Misinformation Trump Capitol March rn orig_00004630.png
Now playing
04:08
These Trump supporters are convinced he will be president again on March 4
AURORA, CO - DECEMBER 15: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center investigational pharmacy technician Sara Berech holds a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine before it is administered in a clinical trial on December 15, 2020 in Aurora, Colorado. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine could be submitted for emergency use by late January and is the only vaccine among leading candidates given as a single dose. (Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images
AURORA, CO - DECEMBER 15: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center investigational pharmacy technician Sara Berech holds a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine before it is administered in a clinical trial on December 15, 2020 in Aurora, Colorado. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine could be submitted for emergency use by late January and is the only vaccine among leading candidates given as a single dose. (Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:19
Doctor who voted to approve Johnson and Johhnson vaccine speaks out
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh on October 2018.
PHOTO: FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh on October 2018.
Now playing
02:10
US intel report: Saudi Crown Prince responsible for approving Khashoggi operation
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:24
Acosta corrects CPAC organizer: Trump did lose the election
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: The U.S. Capitol dome is seen beyond a security fence on January 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. After last week
PHOTO: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: The U.S. Capitol dome is seen beyond a security fence on January 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. After last week's riots at the U.S. Capitol Building, the FBI has warned of additional threats in the nation's capital and in all 50 states. According to reports, as many as 25,000 National Guard soldiers will be guarding the city as preparations are made for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. President. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:33
This is what's in the $1.9 trillion coronavirus package
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
09:36
I lost everything: Texas mom's devastating story from winter storm
Now playing
01:23
See what happened when CPAC organizers asked crowd to wear masks
The Pentagon, the headquarters of the US Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, across the Potomac River from Washington, DC is seen from the air January 24, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / Daniel SLIM        (Photo credit should read DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Daniel Slim/Getty Images
The Pentagon, the headquarters of the US Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, across the Potomac River from Washington, DC is seen from the air January 24, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel SLIM (Photo credit should read DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
05:24
US carries out airstrikes on Iran-backed militia groups
A woman walks past mailboxes  seen outside of a US Post Office in Washington, DC on August 17, 2020. - The United States Postal Service is popularly known for delivering mail despite snow, rain or heat, but it faces a new foe in President Donald Trump. Ahead of the November 3 elections in which millions of voters are expected to cast ballots by mail due to the coronavirus, Trump has leveled an unprecedented attack at the USPS, opposing efforts to give the cash-strapped agency more money as part of a big new virus-related stimulus package, even as changes there have caused delays in mail delivery. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
A woman walks past mailboxes seen outside of a US Post Office in Washington, DC on August 17, 2020. - The United States Postal Service is popularly known for delivering mail despite snow, rain or heat, but it faces a new foe in President Donald Trump. Ahead of the November 3 elections in which millions of voters are expected to cast ballots by mail due to the coronavirus, Trump has leveled an unprecedented attack at the USPS, opposing efforts to give the cash-strapped agency more money as part of a big new virus-related stimulus package, even as changes there have caused delays in mail delivery. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
02:49
Biden announces 3 nominees to USPS board
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:00
Weekend hindered by rain in the East and snow in the Northwest
The exterior of the U.S. Capitol building is seen at sunrise on February 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate is scheduled to begin the second impeachment trial of former U.S. President Donald J. Trump on February 9.
PHOTO: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images
The exterior of the U.S. Capitol building is seen at sunrise on February 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate is scheduled to begin the second impeachment trial of former U.S. President Donald J. Trump on February 9.
Now playing
01:57
Senate parliamentarian rules against minimum wage increase in relief bill
Now playing
03:56
Marjorie Taylor Greene's challenger explains decision to run
Everyone wears masks and desks are spaced at the high school, where full in-person teaching has been offered since the school year began.
PHOTO: CNN
Everyone wears masks and desks are spaced at the high school, where full in-person teaching has been offered since the school year began.
Now playing
03:20
Ohio school is staying open with these safety measures
(CNN) —  

Notorious mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger was brutally beaten in the fatal attack Tuesday at the Hazelton prison in Bruceton Mills, according to law enforcement officials.

The South Boston mobster, 89, died a day after he was transferred there from another facility – the victim of the kind of brutality he once handed out.

At the time of the killing, Bulger was in the general prison population, which gave inmates easy access to him, according to a federal law enforcement official, who has knowledge of the investigation.

Bulger was found unresponsive at 8:20 a.m., and was pronounced dead after failed lifesaving measures, prison officials said.

Investigators believe he was attacked by more than one person. At least one of the inmates involved has ties to organized crime in Massachusetts, the official said.

The prison on Thursday suspended inmate visitation until further notice, according to a post on its website.

One suspect is a Mafia hit man

One of the two suspects in the brutal beating was identified as Fotios “Freddy” Geas, a Mafia hit man from Massachusetts, The New York Times reported, citing unnamed sources. It said Geas was moved to solitary confinement after the killing.

Geas, 51, is serving a life sentence at the same prison for the 2003 murder of a crime boss and another man he believed was an FBI informant.

The US Penitentiary Hazelton is a high-security facility that houses 1,270 male offenders.

No staff or inmates were injured in the attack, the prisons bureau said. Federal officials are investigating Bulger’s death as a homicide.

’It marks the full circle’

A man who wrote a book about the much-feared crime boss said he died the way he once lived.

“He lived violently and he apparently died violently,” said Dick Lehr, author of “Whitey: The Life of America’s Most Notorious Mob Boss.”

“It marks the full circle of a terrible life.”

Bulger was arrested in June 2011 after he eluded federal authorities for more than 16 years. He was serving the rest of his life in prison for a series of crimes that included his role in 11 murders. Before he went on the run, he had been a longtime FBI informant.

A federal jury convicted him of 31 counts, including racketeering, extortion, money laundering, drug dealing and weapons possession. The jury found him culpable in 11 killings from 1973 through 1985.

He was sentenced in November 2013 to two life terms plus five years as architect of a criminal enterprise that a federal judge said committed “unfathomable” acts that terrorized a city.

The circumstances of this week’s transfer remain unclear. Bulger had also been housed at federal penitentiaries in Oklahoma and Tucson, Arizona.

Captured nearly 2 decades later

Bulger skipped town ahead of a pending indictment and was captured in California a decade and a half later.

In 2012, his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for identity fraud and helping the mob boss avoid capture. Before their arrest, they lived under false names in Santa Monica, in what Bulger described as a “16-year honeymoon.”

After fleeing Massachusetts, investigators learned that the longtime mobster had been an FBI informant and his FBI handler had tipped him off to the charges.

His story has been the inspiration for several movies, including the 2006 Oscar-winning film “The Departed,” which starred Jack Nicholson as a character modeled after him.

In 2015, actor Johnny Depp played him in the film “Black Mass.”

Update: This article and headline have been updated to remove references to reporting that Bulger’s attackers attempted to remove his tongue during the attack. CNN has not been able to independently confirm this information.

CNN’s Ray Sanchez, Steve Almasy and Julia Jones contributed to this report