On this date in 2011, Whitey Bulger, the former head of Boston’s Winter Hill gang, was captured after sixteen years as a fugitive. For twelve of Bulger’s years on the run, he was featured on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. Bulger had been indicted on multiple counts of racketeering. The racketeering charges included complicity in nineteen murders.
Bulger, who had worked as an FBI informant since the 1970s, was tipped off to the indictments by his FBI handler, Special Agent John Connolly. Bulger and longtime girlfriend Catherine Greig skipped town and disappeared. The last credible sighting of the couple was in London in 2002.
In 2011, the FBI decided to change its tactics in locating the fugitive mobster. Instead of focusing their efforts on Bulger, they would focus on Greig, in hopes that they might hear from someone who had spotted her. A public service announcement was recorded and aired during daytime television programs. The strategy paid off rather quickly. A woman who had lived in Santa Monica recognized Greig and Bulger as former neighbors. According to the Boston Globe, the tipster was Anna Bjorn, an Icelandic model and actress who was Miss Iceland 1974. Bjorn was reportedly paid a $2 million reward for the tip.
Agents found Bulger at home when they arrived. They used a ruse to lure him from his apartment and placed him under arrest. They then entered the apartment and placed Greig under arrest for harboring a fugitive.
Bulger and Greig were returned to Boston for trial in federal court. Bulger was convicted on multiple counts of racketeering, including complicity in eleven murders. He received two life sentences plus five years. He is cirrently incarcerated at USP Tucson. Greig pleaded guilty to harboring a fugitive and identity fraud and was sentenced to eight years. She is currently serving her sentence at the Federal Correctional Institute in Waseca, MN.
National Post – Accused Boston crime Boss Whitey Bulger Arrested
Daily Mail – Whitey Bulger tipster revealed
Crime Library – James “Whitey” Bulger
Wikipedia – Whitey Bulger