This 1995 FBI file photo shows James “Whitey” Bulger shortly before he disappeared. (AP)

Bulger walked into the courtroom in handcuffs Wednesday, nodding to his brothers, William and John, who were seated in the front row. He said “not guilty” in a clear voice several times during his arraignment at the U.S. District Court in Boston.

Prosecutors allege that the 81-year-old former head of Boston’s notorious Winter Hill Gang participated in killings to silence potential witnesses, eliminate his rivals, and distract investigators’ attention from other slayings.

Bulger was caught on June 22 in Santa Monica, Calif.