Boston mob boss James ‘Whitey’ Bulger headed back to Boston after capture by FBI

Boston mob boss James ‘Whitey’ Bulger headed back to Boston after capture by FBI

Friday, June 24, 9:25 AM

Famed Boston Mob boss James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, wanted for 19 murders by the FBI and top of its Most Wanted list was captured by the FBI on Wednesday, and was headed back to Boston for trial on Friday. As AP reported:

Notorious gangster James “Whitey” Bulger was expected to be returned home to Boston on Friday, a law enforcement official said.
Bulger, the former leader of the violent Winter Hill Gang, was captured in Santa Monica, Calif., Wednesday, along with his longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig, after 16 years as a fugitive.
Christina DiIorio-Sterling, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, said Bulger and Greig are expected to be returned to Boston Friday and could have an initial appearance in federal court as early as Friday afternoon. Sterling said logistics are still being worked out.

The mob boss was captured in Santa Monica after the FBI received a tip from a new publicity campaign targeted at Bulger and his longtime girlfriend Catherine Greig. As APreported:

Mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger was captured near Los Angeles after 16 years on the run that embarrassed the FBI and exposed the bureau’s corrupt relationship with its underworld informants.
After an international manhunt, the FBI finally caught the 81-year-old Bulger at an apartment in Santa Monica along with longtime girlfriend Catherine Greig on Wednesday, just days after the government launched a publicity campaign to locate the fugitive crime boss by circulating pictures of Greig on daytime TV and on billboards, the FBI said.
The arrest was based on a tip from the campaign, the FBI said.
The FBI deemed the tip promising and began surveillance on the apartment complex just after 4 p.m. on Wednesday, federal officials said. They said agents soon spotted Bulger and Greig, and using a ruse they wouldn’t explain, lured Bulger out of his apartment. They then arrested him without incident, and then arrested Greig, officials said.
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said the pair were using the aliases Charles and Carol Gasko.
Bulger had a $2 million reward on his head and rose to No. 1 on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list after Osama bin Laden was killed.

The ruthless career of Bulger was the inspiration for the gangland boss played by Jack Nicholson in the 2006 film, ‘The Departed’. As Jen Chaney explained:

The capture of the alleged Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger — a man who was wanted in connection with 19 murders, on the lam for 16 years, and No. 1 on the FBI’s Most Wanted List following the death of Osama bin Laden — sounds like a moment ripped right from a Martin Scorsese picture.
In a way, it’s the other way around. “The Departed” — the film that won the 2006 Academy Award for Best Picture and finally earned Scorsese what many felt was his overdue Oscar as best director — featured a character based, in part, on Bulger.
That, of course, was the role played by Jack Nicholson, the ruthless, arrogant mob captain named Frank Costello, which happens to be the name of a completely different Mafia leader who was once based in New York, not Boston. (The movie, as cinema experts will recall, is also based on another film, the Hong Kong thriller “Infernal Affairs.”)
This is hardly the first time a high-profile participant in organized crime has inspired a film character. Al Capone did it countless times, perhaps most notably when Robert De Niro played him in “The Untouchables.” Henry Hill did it in another Scorsese film, “Goodfellas,” where Ray Liotta brought him to life.And the drug smuggling Frank Lucas was portrayed by Denzel Washington in “American Gangster.” That’s just to name a few. But it’s rare for someone to be captured after a film that he partially inspired has already been released.
Perhaps that’s why ”The Departed” has suddenly become the No. 5 movie in the Netflix top 100 and a trending topic on Google.

The FBI got the tip which led to Bulger’s capture from a social media campaign launched just days earlier in an attempt to get a breakthrough in the case. As Jerry Markon reported:

The FBI has long been known for its straightforward “Just the facts, ma’am” approach, an image reinforced by Director Robert S. Mueller III’s stoic presence and reluctance to court the media.
But in a sign that the online revolution is infiltrating that most traditional of agencies, the bureau unveiled Monday a publicity campaign featuring public service announcements in 14 cities and billboards in New York’s Times Square, along with a heavy dose of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
The purpose: to help agents catch James “Whitey” Bulger, the notorious Boston mobster and government informant who vanished 16 years ago.The 81-year-old is charged in 19 killings and has been on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list since 1999. Bul­ger, an inspiration for the movie “The Departed,’’ has been called “Boston’s boogeyman” and has supposedly been “seen” in nearly every state and on at least five continents.
To get a better fix on Bulger, the FBI is focusing on his longtime girlfriend, Catherine Elizabeth Greig, a fugitive charged with harboring Bulger. Agents devised a media campaign focusing on the couple’s relationship and pointing out Greig’s “physical characteristics,’’ the FBI said in a news release.
Although agents have used publicity to target fugitives before, Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston division, said in an interview that the breadth of the new campaign is “relatively unique.’’
“We’re looking for that friend, co-worker, neighbor, hairstylist, manicurist who might recognize her,’’ said DesLauriers, who declined to provide specifics about the investigation.
The level of detail is classic FBI. Greig, 60, likes beauty salons, loves animals and “is likely to have well-kept teeth because she previously worked as a dental hygienist,’’ the release said.

More from The Washington Post
BlogPost: James Bulger capture means on FBI’s Most Wanted List, two down, eight to go
AP: History of notorious Boston mobster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger
Gallery: ‘Most Wanted’ mob boss caught

Copyright. 2011. Washington Post Company. All Rights Reserved.


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