Wanted fugitive James "Whitey" Bulger
James "Whitey" Bulger, one of the most notorious fugitives on the FBI Most Wanted List, has been apprehended. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has crossed a name off the Most Wanted List after arresting one of its most notorious fugitives. James “Whitey” Bulger, an organized crime boss from South Boston, has been apprehended after more than a decade on the run.

Dangerous mob boss off Most Wanted List

After 16 years on the lam from federal and state authorities, James “Whitey” Bulger has been arrested by the FBI at a posh Santa Monica apartment complex, where he was living under a pseudonym with his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, according to CNN. Bulger, 81, has been running from law enforcement since 1995, when he received a tip from an FBI agent that he was about to be under indictment. The FBI agent who tipped him off, John Connolly Jr., has been in prison since 2002 for racketeering and other charges, according to the Christian Science Monitor. Bulger was living under an assumed identity within three blocks of the Pacific Ocean.

Wanted ad for girlfriend pays off

After years of fruitless searching for Bulger, the FBI thought it best to concentrate on finding Greig instead, and it paid off. A series of 30-second spots were shown on television stations in 14 cities recently, according to Bloomberg, featuring pictures of Greig, saying that was wanted by law enforcement. She is facing charges for harboring a wanted fugitive. An FBI special task force has been working to bring down Bulger since 1999 and has been offering a $2 million reward for information leading to his arrest. Because the arrest happened so soon after the ads concerning Greig, it is likely that the tip to federal authorities was due to someone recognizing her, rather than James Bulger. Bulger was himself an FBI informant while he committed crimes as the head of Boston’s notorious Winter Hill gang.

Inspiration behind Oscar-winning film

Bulger is said to be the inspiration behind Martin Scorcese’s Oscar-winning film “The Departed,” specifically Jack Nicholson’s character. The film is a remake of a Hong Kong film series called “Infernal Affairs,” but the plot was re-worked into a story about the Irish mafia in Boston. Bulger was active in the Winter Hill gang for decades, eventually becoming its leader, leaving a trail of bodies from Oklahoma to Massachusetts. Among crimes such as conspiracy to commit murder, extortion, drug trafficking and money laundering, Bulger is also charged with 19 counts of murder. Bulger’s crimes also cost his younger brother an academic career, according to the New York Times. William Bulger was hired as president of the University of Massachusetts, but newly elected governor Mitt Romney took him to task for being related to James. He admitted to speaking with James once, just after he went on the lam, but never knew James’ location and hasn’t heard from him since. Romney forced him to resign in 2003. William Bulger has not commented on James’ arrest.


CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/06/23/california.crime.boss/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Christian Science Monitor: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Latest-News-Wires/2011/0623/Whitey-Bulger-ruthless-Boston-mob-boss-caught-by-FBI-in-California

Bloomberg: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-23/fugitive-james-bulger-arrested-in-california.html

New York Times: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/23/romney-waged-political-battle-against-bulgers-brother/

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