I woke up this morning to the news that Boston’s most notorious mobster, James “Whitey” Bulger had been captured in Santa Monica, California last night along with his girlfriend, Catherine Greig.
Shortly before moving to Boston in 2000, I remember Dateline NBC doing a story about Bulger and the complicity of FBI agents in its Boston office in his disappearance in 1995. Bulger had been an FBI informant but was given free reign to continue his life of crime. I remember thinking to myself, “Is this a city where I want to move?” But, in the end, it didn’t deter me. Crime, corruption and human folly are like the weather. It is everywhere.
Earlier this week, the FBI launched an advertising blitz on daytime TV which focussed on Greig, rather than Bulger. I must admit that I didn’t think they would be anymore successful than in the past. But Bulger and Greig were arrested as a result of a tip from that ad.
Bulger was wanted for 19 murders. Not all the murders were a result of mob activity. In 1985, Bulger allegedly strangled Debra Hussey, the stepdaughter of his partner Stephen Flemmi, after Hussey had accused Flemmi of molesting her when she was a child.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Bulger’s younger brother, William, was the President of the Massachusetts State Senate and would later become the President of the University of Massachusetts. However, Bulger would resign under pressure from then Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney after testifying before Congress concerning his brother’s criminal activities. Bulger admitted that he had spoken with his brother on a pay phone shortly after he went on the lam. He declined to comment on his brother’s arrest.
Frankly, I would be surprised if Bulger faces justice. Given his poor health, he will probably die in jail before he ever goes to trial. For shame.