TULSA - It took 16 years for federal agents to hunt down and capture notorious mobster James "Whitey" Bulger, and another two years to convict of conspiracy and racketeering.
Now, the question becomes: What next?
Tulsa DA Tim Harris made it clear shortly after Bulger's capture that he'd like a shot at putting him away for the murder of Tulsa businessman Roger Wheeler, gunned down while sitting in his car in the parking lot of Southern Hills Country Club in 1981.
Wheeler owned World Jai Alai, based in Florida, and the mob was skimming from the business.
When Wheeler went to sell it, the gang got nervous about getting caught, so they had Wheeler assassinated.
So in 2011, when the FBI caught Bulger in California, Harris told KRMG "We want to bring him to justice for the murder of Roger Wheeler."
He said Tulsa would cooperate with several other jurisdictions, including the federal government, to determine the best way to proceed.
"We'll be working closely to achieve justice for not only Roger Wheeler's family but also for the citizens of Tulsa."
Indications now, however, are that Harris' office has no immediate plans to put on a case.
In response to inquiries from KRMG last August, Harris sent this statement:
“Due to ethical responsibilities, I am not at liberty to discuss the facts, evidence and circumstances surrounding the criminal charges against Mr. Bulger in Tulsa, OK. The jurors found him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt based upon the evidence presented in his Federal prosecution. We applaud the jury’s commitment to justice and their willingness to serve through such an extensive search for the truth.
“After Federal sentencing, we will assess his punishment, review his appeal rights and determine what is practical and feasible under our analysis of the facts and circumstance, including our valuable resources.”
Our reporter requested an interview based on his 2011 statements, and he responded: "That was my intention at that time. Facts and circumstances change. We have to re-evaluate based on the facts and circumstances today."
That does not mean the door's completely closed on the possibility, however the Wheeler family has made it fairly clear they'd prefer not to have to endure a trial.