After nearly 16 years on the run, the FBI arrested legendary Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger in California yesterday. Bulger, 81, was indicted in connection with 19 murders from when he ran the Winter Hill Gang in Boston, and had been on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" list for years. Bulger was arrested at a Santa Monica home where he was living with his long-time girlfriend Catherine Greig, who had fled with him in 1995.
After they had failed to get any new info on Bulger for years, despite a $2 million reward for his capture, the FBI turned their focus toward 60-year-old Greig. They began releasing a series of public service television advertisements offering rewards of $100,000 for information about her; the ads started being broadcast last Tuesday, on shows geared to women viewers such as Dr. Oz. Watch one below:
Bulger's escape into the unknown had long been an embarrassing mark for the FBI, especially since it had been proceeded by an even uglier bombshell: while Bulger was running his gangs, he was secretly an FBI informant on the Italian Mafia in Boston for 30 years. His FBI handler, John Connolly, is said to have turned a blind eye to Bulger’s criminal activities, and even tipped him off in 1994 about his impending arrest, giving him the opportunity to go on the lam. Bulger was known to make frequent trips to NYC in the following year, meeting one of his associates at the lion statues at the front of the New York Public Library.
In recent years, Bulger jumped back into the public imagination thanks to Martin Scorsese's hit film The Departed—he was the inspiration for Jack Nicholson’s mob boss character, Frank Costello. (One tipster claimed that Bulger went to see the film at a San Diego theater!) Below, you can see a clip from the film, which touches upon Bulger's notoriously fiery temper: