At this rate, the FBI isn’t going to need a Most Wanted list much longer.
2011 is turning into a good year to be in law enforcement. Hot on the heels of Osama bin Laden being taken out, alleged Boston gang boss James “Whitey” Bulger, and fellow member of the FBI’s Most Wanted list, was arrested near Los Angeles following 16 years on the run, according to FBI officials, and first reported by the Los Angeles Times.
The long-term international manhunt came to an end in leafy Santa Monica on Wednesday with the 81-year-old Bulger detained along with his long-time girlfriend Catherine Greig, who is 60. Both are expected to appear in court later on Thursday.
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And talk about timing: their arrest came only days after the FBI started airing 30-second public service announcements, focusing on Greig. The plan of attack was to specifically target TV shows watched by women of her age (such as Dr. Oz), urging them to keep an eye out for her.
As for Bulger, he’s accused of running the Winter Hill gang in the 1970s and 1980s in Boston, which was allegedly a mainly Irish-American firm that dealt in loan-sharking, gambling and drug rackets . The case understandably captivated Bean Town, while proving a constant source of frustration to the FBI.
Indeed, Bulger’s stock (certainly from a pop culture perspective) shot up in 2006, as he’s thought to be the inspiration for Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, which finally won the director that elusive Best Director Oscar (Jack Nicholson’s character was based in Boston, but it should be noted that the film is actually a remake of a Hong Kong movie called Infernal Affairs). And according to the Boston Globe, one tipster actually reported spotting Bulger watching The Departed at a theater in San Diego in 2006, which is about as meta an anecdote as you can get.
Bulger disappeared soon before he was going to be arrested in connection with 19 killings and racketeering. It then transpired that he’d been a long-time FBI informant who turned in rival gangsters, which, in turn, meant that the FBI have been accused of neglecting Bulger and his gang’s alleged crimes.
And while it may be nothing more than a coincidence, TIME recently ran a profile on Bulger. Perhaps there was something contained within the article that sparked the chain of events that led to his capture? (via New York Times)
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