If mobster decides to talk, FBI may have more worries

Model for 'The Departed' nabbed after 16 years

Posted: June 24, 2011

SANTA MONICA, Calif. - As the FBI chased leads on two continents, Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger spent nearly all of his 16 years on the lam in this quiet seaside city, passing himself off as just another elderly retiree, albeit one who kept a .357 Magnum and more than 100 rounds of ammunition in his modest apartment.

Bulger - the FBI's most-wanted man and a feared underworld figure linked to 19 murders - was captured Wednesday.

Earlier this week, after years of frustration, the FBI put out a series of daytime TV announcements with photos of Bulger's blond live-in companion, Catherine Greig. The announcements pointed out that Greig was known to frequent beauty salons and have her teeth cleaned once a month.

Two days later, the campaign produced a tip that led agents to the two-bedroom apartment where Bulger and Greig lived, authorities said. The FBI would not give any details about the tip.

The 81-year-old boss of South Boston's vicious Winter Hill Gang was lured outside the building and captured without resistance. Greig, 60, was also arrested.

Bulger, said to be the model for Jack Nicholson's ruthless crime boss in the 2006 movie "The Departed," fled in 1995. A retired FBI agent who had recruited him as a government informant tipped him off that he was about to be indicted. Soon it was discovered that the Boston FBI had been protecting mob figures for decades. While Bulger's capture is the end of a long, frustrating search for the FBI, it could expose the bureau to even more scandal.

One of Bulger's lieutenants testified in 2002 that Bulger boasted that he had corrupted six FBI agents and more than 20 Boston police officers, keeping them loyal by stuffing envelopes with cash at Christmastime.

"If he starts to talk, there will be some unwelcome accountability on the part of a lot of people inside law enforcement," said retired Massachusetts State Police Maj. Tom Duffy. "Let me put it this way: I wouldn't want my pension contingent on what he will say at this point."

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