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Aug. 15, 2011
James “Whitey” Bulger
Accused in the mid-1990s of nearly a score of gangland murders, James “Whitey” Bulger, the reputed boss of Boston’s Irish Mafia, fled town and evaded the FBI for an astonishing 16 years.
by Don Fulsom
Nick-named for the color of his hair, Bulger had gained a reputation as a guy who would kill anyone he thought might betray him. Indeed, he was the inspiration for Jack Nicholson’s murder-happy mobster in Martin Scorsese’s 2006 big screen crime thriller The Departed.
One of the grisliest murders attributed to Bulger was the strangling of his top lieutenant’s girlfriend, apparently to keep her from snitching about the gang’s operations. Bulger is accused of chopping off all of the dead woman’s fingers and pulling out all of her teeth so she couldn’t be identified.
Were it not for his own girlfriend, it turns out, Whitey might still be a Top Ten fugitive with a $2 million bounty (the most ever for a domestic fugitive) on his head.
When arrested in June 2011, the 81-year-old Bulger and his 60-year-old companion, Catherine Greig, were living in Santa Monica, Calif. They had been hiding in plain sight—about four miles from an FBI office—for fifteen years.