James Joseph "Whitey" Bulger Jr. (/ˈbʌldʒər/; born September 3,
1929) is an Irish-American former organized crime boss of the Winter
Gang in Boston, Massachusetts. Federal prosecutors indicted
Bulger for nineteen murders based on grand jury testimony from Kevin
Weeks and other former associates. Bulger is the brother of William M.
Bulger, former President of the
According to the FBI, Bulger served as a confidential informant for
the Bureau beginning in 1975, a claim Bulger denies. However, as a
FBI largely ignored his organization in exchange for
information about the inner workings of the rival Italian-American
Patriarca crime family. Beginning in 1997, the New England
media exposed criminal actions by federal, state, and local law
enforcement officials tied to Bulger. For the
FBI especially, this
caused great embarrassment. Bulger fled
Boston and went into
hiding on December 23, 1994, after being tipped off by his former FBI
handler, John Connolly, about a pending indictment under the Racketeer
Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). For sixteen years, he
remained at large. For twelve of those years, Bulger was second on the
FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives
FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, behind Osama bin Laden.
On June 22, 2011, Bulger was arrested outside an apartment in Santa
Monica, California. Arrested with him was his long-time girlfriend
Catherine Greig. Bulger was 81 years old at the time.
Soon after, Bulger and Greig were extradited to
taken under heavy guard to John Joseph Moakley United States
Boston Harbor, which had to be partially closed for
their arrival. Greig pleaded guilty to conspiracy to harbor a
fugitive, identity fraud, and conspiracy to commit identity fraud and
was sentenced to eight years in prison in June 2012. Bulger did not
seek bail and remained in custody at the Plymouth County House of
Correction in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
On June 12, 2013, Bulger went on trial for 32 counts of racketeering,
money laundering, extortion, and weapons charges, including complicity
in nineteen murders. On August 12, he was found guilty on 31
counts, including both racketeering charges, and was found to have
been involved in eleven murders. On November 14, he was sentenced
to two consecutive life sentences plus five years for his crimes by
U.S. District Judge Denise Casper. Bulger is now inmate number
02182-748, currently incarcerated for life at the United States
Penitentiary Coleman II in Sumterville, Florida.
1 Early life
2 Early criminal career
2.2 Killeen–Mullen War
2.3 Winter Hill Gang
4 Crime boss
4.1 Consolidating power
4.2 Litif murder
4.3 Halloran and Donahue murders
5 Peak years
5.1 Drug trafficking
5.2 IRA involvement
Massachusetts state lottery
6.3 Catherine Greig
Racketeering trial and conviction
9 Personal life
10 Press relations
10.1 Paul Corsetti
10.2 Howie Carr
11 Depictions in fiction and non-fiction
11.1 Characters based on
12 See also
15 Further reading
16 External links
Bulger's father, James Joseph Bulger Sr., was from Harbour Grace,
Newfoundland. After settling in Everett, Massachusetts, James Sr.
married Jane Veronica "Jean" McCarthy, a first-generation Irish
immigrant. Their first child, James Joseph Bulger, Jr.,
was born in 1929.
The elder Bulger worked as a union laborer and occasional
longshoreman; he lost his arm in an industrial accident:48 and the
family was reduced to poverty.:49 In May 1938, the Mary Ellen
McCormack Housing Project was opened in the neighborhood of South
Boston. The Bulger family moved in and the children grew up there.
The other Bulger children, William Michael and John P. Bulger,
excelled at school; James Bulger Jr. became drawn into street life.
Early in his criminal career, local police gave Bulger the nickname
"Whitey" because of his blond hair. Bulger hated the name; he
preferred to be called "Jim", "Jimmy", or even "Boots", given because
of his habit of wearing cowboy boots—and his fondness for pulling a
switchblade out of said boots. However, the nickname, "Whitey" stuck.
Early criminal career
Bulger developed a reputation as a thief and street fighter fiercely
loyal to South Boston. This led to his meeting more experienced
criminals and finding more lucrative opportunities. In 1943,
fourteen-year-old Bulger was arrested and charged with larceny. By
then he had joined a street gang known as the "Shamrocks" and would
eventually be arrested for assault, forgery and armed robbery. He was
sentenced to a juvenile reformatory for these crimes.
Shortly after his release in April 1948, Bulger joined the U.S. Air
Force, where his character continued to show. After his basic
training, he was stationed as an aircraft mechanic, first at the
Smoky Hill Air Force Base in Salina, Kansas, then in Idaho. He spent
time in the stockade for several assaults. He was later arrested by
Air Force police in 1950 for going absent without leave. Nevertheless,
he received an honorable discharge in 1952 and returned to
Bulger's mugshot at Alcatraz, 1959
In 1956, Bulger served his first term in federal prison when he was
sentenced to time in Atlanta Penitentiary for armed robbery and truck
hijacking. He later told mobster Kevin Weeks that while there, he
was involved in the
MK-ULTRA program, the goal of which was to
research mind control drugs for the CIA. For eighteen months, Bulger
and eighteen other inmates, all of whom had volunteered in return for
reduced sentences, were given
LSD and other drugs. Bulger later
complained that they had been "recruited by deception" and were told
they were helping to find "a cure for schizophrenia". He described
his experience as "nightmarish" and said it took him "to the depths of
Bulger was transferred from Atlanta to
Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary,
arriving on November 2, 1959, as prisoner #AZ1428. He became a close
friend of fellow inmate Clarence Carnes, a.k.a. "The Choctaw Kid". In
November 1962, he was transferred to Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary
and, in 1963, to Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary. Bulger's third
petition for parole, in 1965, was granted after he had served nine
years in prison. He would not be arrested again, let alone spend a day
in jail, for 46 years.
After his release, Bulger worked as a janitor and construction worker
before becoming a bookmaker and loan shark under Donald Killeen, the
leader of the dominant mob, The Killeens, for over 20 years in South
Boston. The Killeens were led by three brothers Donnie, Kenny and
Eddie along with Billy O'Sullivan and Jack Curran. Their base was the
Transit Cafe in Southie which would later become Whitey's Tripple O's.
In 1971, Killeen's younger brother Kenny allegedly shot Michael
(Mickey) Dwyer a member of the rival
Mullen Gang in the arm, and bit
off part of his nose during a brawl at the Transit cafe. A gang war
soon resulted, leading to a string of killings throughout
the surrounding suburbs. The Killeens quickly found themselves
outgunned and outmaneuvered by the younger Mullens. It was during the
Killeen–Mullen war that Bulger committed what
Kevin Weeks describes
as his first murder.
According to Weeks::171
Killing Paulie McGonagle, however, took Jimmy [Whitey] longer than he
originally expected. Paulie talked a big game, but he wasn't a
shooter. Although he never did anything, he kept on stirring
everything up with his mouth. So Jimmy decided to kill him. One day
while the gang war was still going on, Jimmy was driving down Seventh
Street in South
Boston when he saw Paulie driving toward him. Jimmy
pulled up beside him, window to window, nose to nose, and called his
name. As Paulie looked over, Jimmy shot him right between the eyes.
Only at that moment, just as he pulled the trigger, Jimmy realized it
wasn't Paulie. It was Donald, the most likable of the McGonagle
brothers, the only one who wasn't involved in anything. Jimmy drove
straight to his mentor Billy O'Sullivan's house on Savin Hill Avenue
and told O'Sullivan, who was at the stove cooking, 'I shot the wrong
one. I shot Donald.' Billy looked up from the stove and said, 'Don't
worry about it. He wasn't healthy anyway. He smoked. He would have
gotten lung cancer. How do you want your pork chops?'
According to former Mullen boss Patrick Nee, McGonagle was enraged by
the murder of his twin brother. Certain that O'Sullivan was
responsible, McGonagle ambushed and murdered Bulger's partner. The end
of the war is usually described as having come about in the following
manner: Bulger, realizing that he was on the losing side, secretly
approached Howie Winter, the leader of the Winter Hill Gang, and
allegedly claimed he could end the war by murdering the leaders of the
Killeen gang. Shortly thereafter, on May 13, 1972,
Donald Killeen was
gunned down outside his home in the suburb of Framingham. Nee
disputes this claim, claiming that Killeen was murdered by Mullen Gang
enforcers James Mantville and Tommy King, not Bulger.:123–125
Also according to Nee, Bulger and the Killeens fled the city in the
aftermath of their boss' murder, fearing that they would be next.
Instead of murdering them, however, Nee arranged for the dispute to be
mediated by Winter and
Patriarca crime family
Patriarca crime family caporegime Joseph Russo.
In a sit-down at Chandler's nightclub in the South End, the Mullens
were represented by Nee and King and the Killeens by Bulger. Following
the sit-down, the two gangs joined forces, with Winter as overall
Nee's claim to have requested the sit-down is contradicted, however,
by Winter. In an interview with Kevin Cullen, Winter recalled: "Whitey
walked into Chandler's. I never knew him before that. He knew I was
friendly with the Mullens gang. He asked if I would intercede. I said,
'Are you serious about this? I don't want to intercede if you're not
going to abide by it.' He said he would.":90
Nobody talked fault, although at first it was tense while we ran down
the 'who killed who' list.
Whitey was a defeated warrior looking to
keep as much honor as possible. He knew the Mullens had courageous,
fierce men willing to die for theirs, and he was perceptive. Deep
Whitey knew that he couldn't take over for the Killeens without
cutting the Mullens in on their bookmaking and loansharking. Tommy and
I felt victorious, but we didn't want to gloat. The meeting lasted for
six hours. We ate good steaks, chasing them down with nothing stronger
than ginger ale. It was business, and contrary to media stereotype, we
weren't a bunch of lowlifes who sat around drinking beer all day and
According to Nee::132
The balance of the meeting was spent forming an alliance, and by far
the hardest part was deciding whom to protect. After a war, each side
usually gets to protect so many people from harm. Those who aren't
protected are fair game for retribution and 'shake-downs.' Everything
was split down the middle. All the horses, dogs, bookmaking, and
loansharking were now going to be under our mutual control. This was
the beginning of our relationship.
Whitey and I were now officially
partners and nobody at that table could ever have possibly imagined
how this treacherous fuck would treat his partners.
Soon after, Donald Killeen's sole surviving brother, Kenneth Killeen,
was jogging in the City Point neighborhood of Boston.:30 Bulger's
voice called him over to a car and said, "It's over. You're out of
business. No more warnings." Kenneth would later testify at the trial
FBI agent John Connolly that Winter Hill enforcers
Stephen Flemmi and
John Martorano were in the car with Bulger.
Winter Hill Gang
Further information: Winter Hill Gang
After the 1972 truce, Bulger and the Mullens were in control of South
Boston's criminal underworld.
Special Agent Condon noted in his
log in September 1973 that Bulger and Nee had been heavily shaking
down the neighborhood's bookmakers and loan sharks. Over the years
that followed, Bulger began to remove opposition by persuading Winter
to sanction the killings of those who "stepped out of line." In a 2004
interview, Winter recalled that the highly intelligent Bulger "could
teach the devil tricks." During this era, Bulger's victims
Mullen Gang veterans McGonagle, King, and Spike O'Toole.
According to Kevin Weeks::90–91
As a criminal, he made a point of only preying upon criminals, as
opposed to legitimate people. And when things couldn't be worked out
to his satisfaction with these people, after all the other options had
been explored, he wouldn't hesitate to use violence. Certainly, if he
thought there was a chance of this person coming back to cause him
some harm, there was no sense in bothering to give him a beating. He
might as well fucking kill him. And he did. Tommy King, in 1975, was
one example. Although I was nineteen at the time and not yet working
for Jimmy, he told me the whole story. Tommy's problems began when he
and Jimmy had worked in Triple O's [a bar in south Boston]. Tommy, who
was a Mullins, made a fist. And Jimmy saw it. The next day, Tommy went
to the Old Colony projects where Jimmy was living with his mother and
tried to make amends. He said he had been drunk and hadn't meant what
he had said the night before. Jimmy told him, 'Don't worry about it.
Forget it.' A week later, Tommy was dead. Tommy's second and last
mistake had been getting into the car with Jimmy, Stevie, and Johnny
Martorano. That night, Jimmy put Tommy in the passenger seat with
Stevie and Johnny in the back seat, and told him they were looking for
someone to kill. That someone of course was Tommy. As they were
driving around, Tommy banged on his supposedly bulletproof flak jacket
and joked, 'If we don't find him we can try this out.' The minute he
finished the joke, Johnny shot him in the head from the back seat. The
bullet went right through his head, splattering blood and brains all
over the place, but Jimmy just reached over, propped Tommy up, and put
a baseball cap on his bloodied head. A minute later, Johnny said he
had to make a phone call and asked Jimmy to pull over by the Dunkin'
Donuts in Quincy. He was gone a few minutes, supposedly to make a bet,
then got back in the car and the four of them drove off. Jimmy drove
around for a few minutes and then found a spot on the Neponset River
where they buried Tommy. Later that same night, Jimmy killed Buddy
Leonard and left him in Tommy's car on Pilsudski Way in the Old Colony
projects to confuse the authorities.
Also according to Weeks::173
Before he was killed, Tommy King had threatened a
detective that he was going to kill him. Knowing Tommy's violent
reputation and that he was a capable guy, the detective was afraid of
him. Jimmy met with the detective, who was a tenacious investigator,
and promised to talk to Tommy and make him listen to reason. If Tommy
wouldn't listen to him, Jimmy said, he would put himself between Tommy
and the detective to defuse the situation and make sure no harm came
to the detective. About a week later, Jimmy informed the detective
that he no longer had a problem. He told him Tommy hadn't listened to
him, but he didn't have to worry about anything, that Tommy would no
longer bother him. The truth was that even though Tommy King had made
the threats, when Jimmy met with the detective, Tommy had already been
dead for two weeks. Jimmy had ended up using Tommy's death as leverage
with this detective. He had become friends with him by letting him
think Tommy was gone on his behalf. It was another case of Jimmy's
Machiavellian side, turning a potentially bad situation to his
In 1979, Winter was arrested, along with many members of his inner
circle, on charges of fixing horse races. Bulger and Flemmi were left
out of the indictments. They stepped into the vacuum and took over the
leadership of the gang. They transferred its headquarters to the
Lancaster Street Garage in
Boston near the
Boston Garden in the West
In 1971, the
FBI approached Bulger and attempted to recruit him as an
informant as part of their effort against the Patriarca family. FBI
Special Agent Dennis Condon was assigned to make the pitch. However,
Condon failed to win Bulger's trust.:5 Three years later, Bulger
partnered with Flemmi, an
Italian-American mobster who had been an FBI
informant since 1965. Although it is a documented fact that Bulger
soon followed Flemmi's example, exactly how and why continues to be
Special Agent John Connolly frequently boasted to his fellow
agents about how he had recruited Bulger at a late-night meeting at
Wollaston Beach inside an FBI-issue car. Connolly allegedly said that
the Bureau could help in Bulger's feud with Patriarca underboss
Gennaro Angiulo. After listening to the pitch, Bulger is said to have
responded, "Alright, if they want to play checkers, we'll play chess.
Weeks considers it more likely that Flemmi had betrayed him to the
FBI. He writes of his belief that Bulger was caught between a rock and
a hard place: supply information to the
FBI or return to
prison.:xvi–xvii In 1997, shortly after The
disclosed that Bulger and Flemmi had been informants, Weeks met with
Connolly, who showed him a photocopy of Bulger's
FBI informant file.
In order to explain Bulger and Flemmi's status as informants, Connolly
said, "The Mafia was going against Jimmy and Stevie, so Jimmy and
Stevie went against them.":247 In a 2011 interview, Flemmi
recalled, "Me and
Whitey gave [the Feds] shit, and they gave us
According to Weeks::248
As I read over the files at the Top of the Hub [restaurant] that
night, Connolly kept telling me that 90 percent of the information in
the files came from Stevie. Certainly Jimmy hadn't been around the
Mafia the way Stevie had. But, Connolly told me, he had to put Jimmy's
name on the files to keep his file active. As long as Jimmy was an
active informant, Connolly said, he could justify meeting with Jimmy
and giving him valuable information. Even after he retired, Connolly
still had friends in the FBI, and he and Jimmy kept meeting to let
each other know what was going on. I listened to all that, but now I
understood that even though he was retired, Connolly was still getting
information, as well as money, from Jimmy. As I continued to read, I
could see that a lot of the reports were not just against the
Italians. There were more and more names of Polish and Irish guys, of
people we had done business with, of friends of mine. Whenever I came
across the name of someone I knew, I would read exactly what it said
about that person. I would see, over and over again, that some of
these people had been arrested for crimes that were mentioned in these
reports. It didn't take long for me to realize that it had been
bullshit when Connolly told me that the files hadn't been
disseminated, that they had been for his own personal use. He had been
an employee of the FBI. He hadn't worked for himself. If there was
some investigation going on and his supervisor said, 'Let me take a
look at that,' what was Connolly going to do? He had to give it up.
And he obviously had. I thought about what Jimmy had always said, 'You
can lie to your wife and to your girlfriends, but not to your friends.
Not to anyone we're in business with.' Maybe Jimmy and Stevie hadn't
lied to me. But they sure hadn't been telling me everything.
FBI Agent John Morris was put in charge of the Organized Crime Squad
at the Bureau's
Boston field office in December 1977.:54 Morris
not only proved himself unable to rein in Connolly's protection of
Bulger, but even began assisting him. By 1982, Morris was "thoroughly
compromised", having had Bulger buy plane tickets for his
then-girlfriend Debbie Noseworthy to visit him in Georgia while he was
being trained for drug investigations. Even after 1983, when he was
transferred to head up the
Boston FBI's drug task force, Morris
remained an accomplice to Connolly and Bulger.:135–138
In 1995, Bulger and Flemmi were indicted on racketeering charges along
Frank Salemme and Bobby DeLuca. During the
discovery phase, Salemme and DeLuca were listening to a tape from a
roving bug, which is normally authorized when the
FBI has no advance
knowledge of where criminal activity will take place. They overheard
two of the agents who were listening in on the bug mention that they
should have told one of their informants to give "a list of questions"
to the other wiseguys. When their lawyer, Tony Cardinale, learned
about this, he realized that the
FBI had lied about the basis for the
bug in order to protect an informant. Suspecting that this was not the
first time this had happened, Cardinale sought to force prosecutors to
reveal the identities of any informants used in connection with the
Mark L. Wolf granted Cardinale's motion on May 22, 1997.
On June 3, Paul E. Coffey, the head of the Organized Crime and
Racketeering Section of the Justice Department, gave a sworn statement
admitting that Bulger had been an
FBI informant. Coffey stated that
since Bulger was accused of "leading a criminal enterprise" while
working as an informant and was also now a fugitive, he had "forfeited
any reasonable expectation" that his identity would be
On September 5, 2006, federal judge
Reginald C. Lindsay ruled that the
mishandling of Bulger and Flemmi caused the 1984 murder of informant
John McIntyre, awarding his family $3.1 million in damages. Lindsay
FBI failed to properly supervise Connolly (convicted and
jailed in 2002) and "stuck its head in the sand" regarding numerous
allegations that Bulger and Flemmi were involved in drug trafficking,
murder and other crimes for decades.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation surveillance photograph of Bulger
(right) with enforcer
Stephen Flemmi (left) c. 1980
In February 1979, federal prosecutors indicted numerous members of the
Winter Hill Gang, including boss Howie Winter, for fixing horse races.
Bulger and Flemmi were originally going to be part of this indictment,
but Connolly and Morris were able to persuade prosecutor Jeremiah T.
O'Sullivan to drop the charges against them at the last minute. Bulger
and Flemmi were instead named as unindicted
Bulger and Flemmi then took over the remnants of the Winter Hill Gang
and used their status as informants to eliminate competition. The
information they supplied to the
FBI in subsequent years was
responsible for the imprisonment of several of Bulger's associates
whom Bulger viewed as threats; however, the main victim of their
relationship with the federal government was the Patriarca family,
which was based in Boston's North End, and in Federal Hill,
Providence, Rhode Island. After the 1986 RICO indictment of Angiulo
and his associates, the Patriarca family's
Boston operations were in a
shambles. Bulger and Flemmi stepped into the ensuing vacuum to take
control of organized crime in the
In 1980, Bulger was approached in South Boston's Triple O's saloon by
Louis Litif, a neighborhood bookmaker. Weeks, who was then a bouncer
at Triple O's, witnessed the discussion that followed. He
He wasn't a big guy, maybe five seven and 185 pounds. Of Arab descent,
he had a mustache like Saddam Hussein. He had a wife and a couple of
kids, and a three decker townhouse on East Broadway and G. I was
friendly with his daughter Louanne, who was a few years younger than
me. That night, as always, he was talking in his obnoxious loud voice.
Even when there were 400 people in the bar, you always knew Louie was
According to Weeks, Litif had been stealing from his partners in the
bookmaking operation and using the money to traffic cocaine. What is
more, Litif had not only refused to pay a cut of his drug profits, but
had also committed two murders without Bulger's
As Weeks listened, Litif told an outraged Bulger that he was also
going to kill his partner, "Joe the Barber", whom he falsely accused
of stealing money from the bookmaking operation. Bulger refused to
sanction this, but Litif vowed to kill him anyway. Seething with
anger, Bulger informed Litif, "You've stepped over the line. You're no
longer just a bookmaker.":58 Litif responded that, as Bulger was
his friend, he had nothing to worry about. Bulger icily responded,
"We're not friends anymore, Louie.":53
At the time, Weeks was about to get married to his high school
sweetheart, Pamela Caveleri. Shortly before the wedding, Weeks
informed Bulger that he was having difficulty seating Litif. "Don't
worry about it", Bulger responded. "He probably won't show.":55
According to Weeks::59
Personally, I liked Louie. Every Sunday night, he had come down to
Triple O's and we'd play cards or pinball, twenty bucks a game. He was
loud but funny, and he had always been a major moneymaker for Jimmy.
He should have just stayed a bookie and not tried to jump from the
minor leagues to the majors. And now he wanted to kill a friend of
Jimmy. There was no way that would be allowed. Shortly after that, a
week or so before my wedding, Louie was found stuffed into a garbage
bag in the trunk of his car, which had been dumped in the South End.
He had been stabbed with an ice pick and shot. 'He was color
coordinated,' Jimmy told me. 'He was wearing green underwear and was
in a green garbage bag.' At the wedding, when I went around to greet
his table, Jimmy pointed to the empty chair beside him and said, 'Say
hi to Louie.' Stevie picked up a napkin and made a show of wiping his
face. 'He keeps on drinking and it keeps on leaking out of him,' he
said, reminding us that Louie had been shot in the head and any drink
he might have put in his mouth would pour right out of his face. And
they all broke out laughing.
Halloran and Donahue murders
In 1982, a South
Boston cocaine dealer named Edward Brian Halloran,
known on the streets as "Balloonhead", approached the
FBI and stated
that he had witnessed Bulger and Flemmi murdering Litif. Meanwhile,
Connolly kept Bulger and Flemmi closely briefed on what Halloran was
saying to the FBI, specifically his knowledge of their participation
in the murder of
Tulsa, Oklahoma businessman Roger Wheeler.:216
Connolly reported that Halloran was shopping this information to the
FBI for a chance for he and his family to be placed in the Witness
Protection Program.:221–223 Soon after, on May 11, 1982, Bulger,
Flemmi, and Weeks were tipped off that Halloran had returned to South
After arriving at the scene, Weeks staked out Anthony's Pier 4
Restaurant, where Halloran was dining. Michael Donahue, a friend of
Halloran's from Dorchester, incidentally ran into him at the
restaurant. In a decision that would prove costly to him, Donahue
offered Halloran a ride home.
As Donahue and Halloran drove out of the parking lot, Weeks signaled
Bulger by stating, "The balloon is in the air," over a walkie talkie.
Bulger drove up with a masked man armed with a silenced Mac 10; Bulger
himself carried a .30-cal. carbine. A disguised Bulger and the other
shooter opened fire and sprayed Halloran and Donahue's car with
bullets. Donahue was shot in the head and killed instantly. Halloran
lived long enough to identify his attacker as James Flynn, a Winter
Hill associate, who was later tried and acquitted. Flynn remained the
prime suspect until 1999, when Weeks agreed to cooperate with
investigators and identified Bulger as one of the shooters. Flemmi has
identified the second shooter as Patrick Nee, who has denied the
allegation and has yet to be charged.
Donahue was survived by his wife and three sons. His family, and
Halloran's, eventually filed a civil lawsuit against the U.S.
government after learning that Connolly had informed Bulger of
Halloran's informant status. Both families were awarded several
million dollars in damages. However, the verdict was overturned on
appeal, due to the late filing of the claims. Thomas Donahue,
who was eight years old when his father was murdered, has become a
spokesman for the families of those allegedly murdered by the Winter
Throughout the 1980s Bulger, Flemmi, and Weeks ran shakedowns
throughout eastern Massachusetts, e.g., extortion, loansharking,
bookmaking, truck hijackings and arms trafficking. State and federal
agencies were repeatedly stymied in their attempts to build cases
against Bulger and his inner circle. This was caused by several
factors. Among them was the trio's paranoid fear of wiretaps, South
Boston's code of silence and also corruption within the
Massachusetts State Police and the Federal Bureau of
Investigation. Although disgraced
FBI agent John Connolly had long
been Bulger's most infamous friend in law enforcement,
Kevin Weeks has
Massachusetts State Police Lt. Richard J. Schneiderhan
was valued far more highly. According to Weeks, this was because
Schneiderhan was the Winter Hill Gang's only source inside the
Massachusetts State Police.
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During the mid-1980s Bulger began to summon drug dealers from in and
Boston to his headquarters. Flanked by
Kevin Weeks and Stephen
Flemmi, Bulger would inform each dealer that he had been offered a
substantial sum in return for that dealer's assassination. He would
then demand a large cash payment not to do so. Eventually, however,
the massive profits of drugs proved irresistible. According to
Jimmy, Stevie and I weren't in the import business and weren't
bringing in the marijuana or the cocaine. We were in the shakedown
business. We didn't bring drugs in; we took money off the people who
did. We never dealt with the street dealers, but rather with a dozen
large-scale drug distributors all over the State who were bringing in
the coke and marijuana and paying hundreds of thousands to Jimmy. The
dealers on the street corner sold eight-balls, . . . grams, and
half grams to customers for their personal use. They were supplied by
the mid level drug dealer who was selling them multiple ounces. In
other words, the big importers gave it to the major distributors, who
sold it to the middlemen, who then sold it to the street dealers. In
order to get to Jimmy, Stevie, and me, someone would have had to go
through those four layers of insulation.
Boston most of the neighborhood's cocaine and marijuana trade
was managed by John Shea, known as "Red". According to Weeks, Bulger
briefly considered murdering Shea, but eventually decided to just
shake him down. Weeks also related how Bulger enforced strict rules
over the dealers who were paying him protection::156
The only people we ever put out of business were heroin dealers. Jimmy
didn't allow heroin in South Boston. It was a dirty drug that users
stuck in their arms, making problems with needles, and later on, AIDS.
While people can do cocaine socially and still function, once they do
heroin, they're zombies.
Weeks also alleges that Bulger strictly forbade PCP and selling to
children,:179 and that those dealers who refused to play by his
rules were violently driven out of the neighborhood.
In 1990 "Red" Shea and his associates were arrested as part of a joint
investigation involving the
Drug Enforcement Administration
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the
Boston Police Department and the
Massachusetts State Police. All
refused to testify against Bulger, Flemmi and Weeks. According to
Of course, Jimmy lost money once the drug dealers were removed from
the streets in the summer raid, but he always had other business going
on. Knowing I had to build something on the side, I had concentrated
on my shylocking and gambling businesses. The drug business had been
good while it lasted. But our major involvement in it was over.
It would not be until the 1999 cooperation of Weeks that Bulger, by
then a fugitive, was conclusively linked to the drug trade by
investigators. According to an interview conducted with
Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy,
Kevin Weeks "estimated that
Whitey made about thirty million dollars... most of it from shaking
down drug dealers to let them do business on his turf.":194
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From the start of his involvement with the FBI,
"insisted ... that he would never give up the IRA." Bulger had
previously donated to NORAID, and shipped weapons—"guns and a block
of C-4 plastic explosives"—in a van to the Provisional IRA in the
early 1980s. After meeting with the IRA Chief of Staff Joe Cahill,
Pat Nee raised $1 million "by shaking down drug dealers in
Boston and Charlestown." This money was used to buy weapons for
the IRA, which would be shipped across the
Atlantic in the trawler
Valhalla. Bulger also personally donated some of his own weapons.
Before the use of the Valhalla, Bulger shipped overseas a shipment of
guns and C-4 in a van at least once. Bulger was annoyed when he
learned that the IRA men he supplied had burned the van that contained
On September 13, 1984, Bulger, Weeks and Nee supervised the loading of
the Valhalla. The final cache included "91 rifles, 8 submachine guns,
13 shotguns, 51 handguns, 11 bulletproof vests, 70,000 rounds of
ammunition, plus an array of hand grenades and rocket heads." The
Valhalla rendezvoused 120 miles off the Irish west coast with the
Marita Ann, an IRA ship that had sailed from Tralee. During the return
Irish Navy stopped the Marita Ann and seized the hidden
arsenal, arresting IRA members Martin Ferris, Mike Browne and John
Crawley. The operation had been compromised by IRA informant Sean
When Valhalla crew member John McIntyre was arrested "for trying to
visit his estranged wife," he confessed his role in the weapons
Boston police. McIntyre implicated Bulger in the botched
FBI agent Roderick Kennedy, but Kennedy "insisted that
[Bulger's handler] John Connolly overheard him ... talking about
someone on the Valhalla cooperating." Connolly confirmed Bulger's
suspicions of McIntyre, leading Bulger—and cohort Steve Flemmi—to
murder McIntyre for his betrayal.":206–268
Massachusetts state lottery
In the summer of 1991 Bulger and Kevin Weeks, along with associates
Patrick and Michael Linskey, came into possession of the winning
Massachusetts Lottery ticket, which had been bought at a store he
owned. The four men shared a prize of around US$14 million. Bulger was
widely thought to have obtained his share of the jackpot
Photographed in 1994
In April 1994 a joint task force of the Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA), the
Massachusetts State Police and the Boston
Police Department launched a probe of Bulger's gambling operations.
The FBI, by this time considered compromised, was not informed. After
a number of bookmakers agreed to testify to having paid protection
money to Bulger, a Federal case was built against him under the RICO
According to Kevin Weeks::215
In 1993, and 1994, before the pinches came down, Jimmy and Stevie were
traveling on the French and Italian Riviera. The two of them traveled
all over Europe, sometimes separating for a while. Sometimes they took
girls, sometimes just the two of them went. They would rent cars and
travel all through Europe. It was more preparation than anything,
getting ready for another life. They didn't ask me to go, not that I
would have wanted to. Jimmy had prepared for the run for years. He had
established a whole other person, Thomas Baxter, with a complete ID
and credit cards in that name. He had even joined associations in
Baxter's name, building an entire portfolio for the guy. He had always
said you had to be ready to take off on short notice. And he was.
He had also set up safe deposit boxes, containing cash, jewelry and
passports, in locations across North America and Europe, including
Florida, Oklahoma, Montreal, Dublin, London,
Birmingham and Venice. In
December 1994 he was informed by retired
FBI Agent John Connolly that
sealed indictments had come from the Department of Justice and that
FBI was set to make arrests during the Christmas season. In
response, Bulger fled
Boston on December 23, 1994, accompanied by his
common-law wife Theresa Stanley.
After fleeing Boston, Bulger and Stanley spent four days over
Christmas in Selden, New York, before spending New Year's Day in a
hotel in New Orleans's French Quarter. On January 5, 1995, Bulger
prepared to return to Boston, believing that it had been a false
alarm. That night, however,
Stephen Flemmi was arrested outside a
Boston restaurant by the DEA.
Boston police Detective Michael Flemmi,
Stephen's brother, informed Weeks of the arrest. Weeks immediately
passed the information on to Bulger, who altered his plans.
Bulger and Stanley spent the next three weeks traveling among New
York, Los Angeles and San Francisco before Stanley decided that she
wanted to return to her children. They traveled to Clearwater,
Florida, where Bulger retrieved his "Tom Baxter" identification from a
safe-deposit box. He then drove to
Boston and dropped off Theresa in a
parking lot. He met at Malibu Beach in Dorchester with Weeks, who had
brought with him Bulger's girlfriend, Catherine Greig. Bulger and
Greig then went on the run together.
In his memoirs, Weeks describes a clandestine meeting with Bulger and
Greig in Chicago, Illinois. Bulger reminisced fondly about his time
hiding out with a family in Louisiana. He told Weeks, who had replaced
him as head of the Winter Hill Gang, "If anything comes down, put it
on me.":231–232 As they adjourned to a nearby Japanese
restaurant, Bulger finally revealed how exhausted he was with life on
the run. He told Weeks, "Every day out there is another day I beat
them. Every good meal is a meal they can't take away from me.":233
New York Public Library, 42nd Street and 5th Avenue
In mid-November 1995 Weeks and Bulger met for the last time, at the
lion statues at the front of the New York Public Library, and
adjourned for dinner at a nearby restaurant. According to
At the end of our dinner, he seemed more aware of everything around
him. His tone was a little more serious, and there wasn't as much
joking as usual. He repeated the phrase he had used before that a
rolling stone gathers no moss, which told me that he knew he was going
to be on the move again. I got the feeling that he was resigning
himself to the fact that he wasn't coming back. Up until then, I
always believed he thought there was a chance he had beat the case.
However, at that point, there was something different going on with
him. I didn't fully understand all the aspects of his case. It would
be another six months before it became clearer. Yet at that moment, in
that restaurant in New York, I sensed that he had moved to a new place
in his mind. It was over. He'd never return to South Boston.
On November 17, 1999, Weeks was arrested by a combined force of the
DEA and the
Massachusetts State Police. Although by this time he was
aware of Bulger's
FBI deal, he was determined to remain faithful to
the neighborhood code of silence. However, while awaiting trial in
Rhode Island's Wyatt Federal prison, Weeks was approached by a fellow
inmate, a "made man" in the Patriarca crime family. The inmate told
him, "Kid, what are you doing? Are you going to take it up the ass for
these guys? Remember, you can't rat on a rat. Those guys have been
giving up everyone for thirty years.":261
Digital age progression of Bulger done in 2004, in efforts toward his
In the aftermath, Weeks decided to cut a deal with federal prosecutors
and revealed where almost every penny and body was buried. Writing in
2006, Weeks recalled::235
I had known all along, however, that it would not be easy for anyone
to capture Jimmy. If he saw them coming, he would take them with him.
He wouldn't hesitate. Even before he went on the run, he would always
say, 'Let's all go to hell together.' And he meant it. I also knew
that Jimmy wouldn't go to trial. He would rather plead out to a life
sentence than put his family through the embarrassment of a trial. If
he had a gun on him, he would go out in a blaze of glory rather than
spend the rest of his life in jail. But I don't think they'll ever
The first confirmed sighting of Bulger before his capture was in
London in 2002. However, there were unconfirmed sightings
FBI agents were sent to Uruguay to investigate a lead.
Other agents were sent to stake out the 60th memorial of the Battle of
Normandy celebrations, as Bulger is reportedly an enthusiastic fan of
military history. Later reports of a sighting in Italy in April 2007
proved false. Two persons on video footage shot in Taormina, Sicily,
formerly thought to be Bulger and his lover Catherine Greig walking in
the streets of the city center, were finally identified as a tourist
couple from Germany.
In 2010 the
FBI turned its focus to Victoria, British Columbia, on
Vancouver Island. In pursuit of Bulger, a known book lover, the
FBI visited bookstores in the area, questioned employees and
distributed wanted posters. Following his arrest, Bulger
revealed that instead of being reclusive, he had in fact traveled
frequently, with witnesses coming forward to say they had seen him on
Santa Monica Pier and elsewhere in Southern California. A
confirmed report by an off-duty
Boston police officer after a San
Diego screening of
The Departed also led to a search in Southern
California that lasted "a few weeks".
The apartment building in Santa Monica, California, where Bulger lived
as a fugitive for at least 15 years
After 16 years at large and 12 years on the
FBI Ten Most Wanted
Fugitives list, Bulger was arrested in Santa Monica, California, on
June 22, 2011. He was 81 years old at the time of the
He was captured as a result of the work of the Bulger Fugitive Task
Force, which consisted of
FBI agents and a Deputy US Marshal.
According to retired
FBI agent Scott Bakken, "Here you have somebody
who is far more sophisticated than some 18-year-old who killed someone
in a drive-by. To be a successful fugitive you have to cut all
contacts from your previous life. He had the means and kept a low
A reward of US$2 million had been offered for information leading
to his capture. This amount was second only to Osama Bin Laden's
capture reward on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.
Bulger has been featured on the television show America's Most Wanted
16 times, first in 1995, and finally on October 2, 2010. According to
authorities, the arrests were a "direct result" of the media campaign
launched by the
FBI in 14 markets across the country where Bulger and
Greig reportedly had ties. The campaign focused on Greig, describing
her as an animal lover who frequently went to beauty salons.
Some of the weapons found in Bulger's apartment
Authorities received a tip from a woman in Iceland that Bulger was
living in an apartment near a beach in Santa Monica. The
Boston Globe identified the tipster as Anna Björnsdóttir, a former
model, actress, and Miss Iceland 1974, who lived in Bulger's
neighborhood. A day later, "using a ruse, agents and other
task force members lured Mr. Bulger out of his apartment", "arrested
him 'without incident', then went in the house and arrested
Greig".  Bulger was charged with murder, "conspiracy to commit
murder, extortion, narcotics distribution and money-laundering".
Agents found "more than $800,000 in cash, 30 firearms, and fake IDs"
at the apartment. Carmen Ortiz, U.S. attorney for the District of
Massachusetts, said "she believes the death penalty is not an option
in the federal charges Bulger faces in her district, but that he could
face the death penalty for two cases outside the district". In
Oklahoma, where Bulger is alleged to have ordered the killing of
businessman Roger Wheeler Sr., in 1981, Tulsa County District Attorney
Tim Harris said, "It is our intention to bring Bulger to justice and
to be held accountable for the murder of Mr. Wheeler".[citation
needed] In Florida, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez
Rundle said, "After a 16-year delay, I will be working to ensure that
a Miami jury has the opportunity to look [Bulger] in the eyes and
determine his fate".
Immediately after being brought back to Boston, Bulger began talking
to authorities. He said that during his days as a fugitive he often
went back and forth across the border to Mexico to buy medicine for
his heart disease. He also visited
Alcatraz prison and had a
souvenir photograph taken, wearing a striped suit and standing behind
mock prison bars. Many anticipated, and some feared, that Bulger,
in exchange for favorable treatment in sentencing, would have much to
tell authorities about corruption at the local, state and federal
levels, which allowed him to operate his criminal enterprise for so
Bulger was arraigned in federal court on July 6, 2011. He pleaded not
guilty to 48 charges, including 19 counts of murder, extortion, money
laundering, obstruction of justice, perjury, narcotics distribution
and weapons violations.
In a 2011 interview
Kevin Weeks expressed surprise at Bulger's
decision to cooperate after his arrest. Weeks said, "I don't
understand because he's not the same as I remember him. I can't
believe he's so chatty right now. So I don't know what he's
doing". Weeks added that he is not afraid of Bulger, and that the
Boston should not be either: "I don't think he's Pablo
Escobar where he can just walk out of his prison cell and come to
Boston or anywhere. No, no one's worried about him."
Catherine E. Greig, Bulger's girlfriend
Bulger's companion during his years as a fugitive was his longtime
girlfriend Catherine Greig [born (1951-04-03) 3 April 1951
(age 67)], who is almost 22 years younger than Bulger. Greig
grew up in
Boston and had an identical twin sister, Margaret, and
a younger brother, David. Their father was a machinist from Glasgow,
Scotland, and their mother was from Canada.
At about age 20, Greig married Robert "Bobby" McGonagle of South
Boston firefighter. He was from a family that led the
Mullen Gang and was injured during a mob gunfight in 1969. Before
his 1987 drug overdose death, Bobby McGonagle reportedly held Bulger
responsible for the murders of his brothers. Twins Donald McGonagle
Paul McGonagle were killed during fighting between the Mullen and
Killeen Gangs. The body of
Paul McGonagle lay hidden and buried
for 25 years on Tenean Beach in Dorchester. Greig's twin sister
Margaret is the widow of Paul McGonagle. Greig's younger brother David
Greig was a close associate of Bulger. David was found shot dead on
Cape Cod, a death characterized as a suicide.
Greig met Bulger in her late 20s, after she divorced Bobby McGonagle.
She worked as a dental hygienist. Greig has been described as
intelligent, hardworking and educated, although very subservient to,
and dominated by, Bulger. She and Bulger lived together for a time
at her home in Squantum, a section of Quincy, Massachusetts. While
on the run, Greig confided to a neighbor that she feared that Bulger
was suffering from senile dementia.
Greig had been wanted by the
FBI since 1999. The criminal
complaint against her alleges that she harbored a fugitive, Whitey
Bulger. She was represented in the criminal proceedings by the
prominent criminal attorney Kevin Reddington of Brockton,
Massachusetts. After being captured alongside Bulger, Greig sought
release on bail and home confinement, a request that was denied.
Greig initially indicated that she would go to trial rather than
accept a plea bargain. In March 2012, however, Greig pleaded
guilty to conspiracy to harbor a fugitive, identity fraud and
conspiracy to commit identity fraud. On June 12, 2012, she was
sentenced to eight years in federal prison. She declined to speak
during her sentencing.
In September 2015, Greig was indicted on a charge of criminal contempt
stemming from her refusal to testify before a grand jury about whether
other people aided Bulger while he was a fugitive. In February
2016, Greig pleaded guilty to this charge. Greig's attorney
recommended 12 months in prison, while prosecutors—citing Greig's
"unrepentant ... obstruction"—asked for 37 months. In April
2016, U.S. District Judge
F. Dennis Saylor IV sentenced Greig—then
midway through her sentence for harboring Bulger—to 21 months on the
contempt charge, pushing her release date to late 2020.
Greig has served much of her eight-year sentence at the Federal
Correctional Institution, Waseca in Minnesota, but has also been
detained at various points in
Rhode Island ahead of proceedings in the
criminal contempt case.
Racketeering trial and conviction
On June 12, 2013, Bulger went on trial in South Boston's John Joseph
United States Courthouse before Judge
Denise J. Casper on 32
counts of racketeering and firearms possession. The racketeering
counts included allegations that Bulger was complicit in 19
murders. The trial lasted two months and included the testimony of
72 witnesses; the jury began deliberations August 6. On August 12,
the jury convicted Bulger of 31 out of 32 counts in the
indictment. As part of the racketeering charges, the jury
convicted Bulger of the murders of 11 victims—Paul McGonagle, Edward
Connors, Thomas King, Richard Castucci, Roger Wheeler, Brian Halloran,
Michael Donahue, John Callahan, Arthur "Bucky" Barrett, John McIntyre,
and Deborah Hussey. The jury acquitted Bulger of killing Michael
Milano, Al Plummer, William O'Brien, James O'Toole, Al Notorangeli,
James Sousa and Francis Leonard. They also reported themselves unable
to agree about the murder of Deborah Davis, though Bulger had already
been found liable for her death in a civil suit. Following the
verdict, Bulger's attorneys J. W. Carney Jr. and Hank Brennan vowed to
appeal, citing Casper's ruling which prevented Bulger from claiming he
had been given immunity.
On November 14, 2013, Bulger was sentenced to two terms of life
imprisonment, plus five years. Casper told Bulger that such a sentence
was necessary given his "unfathomable" crimes, some of which inflicted
"agonizing" suffering on his victims. He was also ordered to forfeit
$25.2 million and pay $19.5 million in restitution. Prosecutors in
Oklahoma announced after Bulger's conviction that they
would wait until after sentencing concluded before deciding whether or
not prosecute Bulger in their states. Bulger has already been
Florida for the murder of Callahan and in
Oklahoma for the
murder of Roger Wheeler, and could face the death penalty in those
In September 2014, Bulger entered the Coleman II United States
Penitentiary in Sumterville, Florida. His register number is
Bulger has two younger brothers, William "Billy" Michael Bulger (born
1934) and John P. Bulger (born 1938).
Billy Bulger served in the military during the
Korean War but was
never posted to Korea. He was formerly an influential leader of the
Democratic Party in Massachusetts. In a long political career, Sen.
Bulger rose to become President of the
Massachusetts Senate. After his
retirement he was appointed President of the University of
In December 2002,
William Bulger appeared before the House Committee
on Oversight and Government Reform and refused to testify, citing his
Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. In April 2003,
the committee voted "to grant
William Bulger immunity to obtain
information concerning Whitey's whereabouts and the FBI's misuse of
informants." In June 2003,
William Bulger appeared before the
committee, where he was grilled by legislators from both parties.
He testified: "I do not know where my brother is. I do not know where
he has been over the past eight years. I have not aided James Bulger
in any way while he has been a fugitive." Bulger added: "while I
worried about my brother, I now recognize that I didn't fully grasp
the dimensions of his life. Few people probably did. By definition,
his was a secretive life. His actions were covert, hidden even
from--or perhaps hidden especially from those who loved and cared
about him. The subject that interests so many, the life and the
activities of my brother James is painful and difficult for me."
Bulger said that the only contact with his brother during the fugitive
years was a short telephone call in January 1995, shortly after his
brother was indicted. Following this testimony, Massachusetts
Mitt Romney waged an extended and ultimately successful
effort to get Senator Bulger to resign from the presidency of the
University of Massachusetts; Bulger resigned in August
John "Jackie" Bulger, a retired
Massachusetts court clerk magistrate,
was convicted in April 2003 of committing perjury in front of two
grand juries regarding sworn statements he gave concerning contacts
with his fugitive brother.
Bulger fathered one child, Douglas Glenn Cyr (1967–1973), during a
12-year common-law marriage with Lindsey Cyr, a waitress and former
fashion model living in North Weymouth, Massachusetts. Bulger and
Cyr began living together in 1966, when Cyr was 21 and a waitress at a
North Quincy cafe. According to Cyr, "He used to say that there
were four people he would turn up on a street corner for: Douglas, me,
Billy, or his mother. And we all made him vulnerable." At six
years of age, Douglas died from
Reye syndrome after having a severe
allergic reaction to an aspirin injection.
An absolute nightmare, and it was very difficult for Jimmy because, no
matter what, there was nothing that could save this. Money didn't
matter, his power didn't matter. ... I remember that we were walking
out of the hospital the night that he died, and he was holding my
hand. And Jimmy said, "I'm never going to hurt like this again."
Since Bulger's arrest, Cyr has publicly announced her support of
If he wanted to see me, I'd be happy to. If he needs help getting
attorneys and what have you, I'd be happy to help him. Part of me does
[still love him]. I still care for him. I would always help him. I
certainly always stand by him. He is the father of my child. He is 12
years of my life. I want to see him well protected. ... And I'm not
particularly sympathetic to some of the people involved, some of the
After his split from Cyr, Bulger began a relationship with Theresa
Stanley, a South
Boston divorcée with several children. Bulger
bought her an expensive house in suburban Quincy, Massachusetts, and
acted as father to her children while commuting to "work" in South
Boston. However, he was repeatedly unfaithful to her with a host of
other women, and was often absent while overseeing the running of his
organization. In a 2004 interview Stanley stated that she was planning
to publish her memoirs; however, she died of lung cancer in 2012
at the age of 71.
According to Weeks::209
Most of the time, The
Boston Globe wasn't as inaccurate as the Herald.
They just knocked the people from Southie during busing. They also
liked to describe me as, 'Whitey's surrogate son', another example of
the media putting labels on people they wrote about. Jimmy and I were
friends, not like father and son. Even though he was the boss, he
always treated me equally, like an associate, not a son. The reporter
who seemed to do the most research and put real effort into getting
the true story without having been there was Shelley Murphy, who had
been at the Herald for ten years when she went to work for the Globe
in 1993. But Jimmy and I usually ended up laughing at most of the news
stories, as time and time again the media had it wrong, over and over
again holding to their pledge to never let the truth get in the way of
a good story.
According to Weeks' memoirs, in 1980
Boston Herald reporter Paul
Corsetti began researching an article about Louis Litif's murder and
Bulger's suspected involvement. After reporting the story for several
days, Corsetti was approached by a man who said, "I'm Jim Bulger and
if you continue to write shit about me, I'm going to blow your fucking
head off.":207 Corsetti sought help from the Patriarca crime
family, but they said that Bulger was outside their control. "The next
day, Corsetti reported the meeting to the
Boston police. He was issued
a pistol permit within 24 hours. The cop who gave him the permit told
him, 'I'm glad my last name is not Corsetti.' A couple days later
Jimmy told me about the scene with the cop and was glad to hear how
uncomfortable he had made Corsetti.":207
In his memoirs,
Kevin Weeks related his participation in an attempt to
Howie Carr at his house in suburban Acton. Weeks
states that Carr was targeted because he was "writing nasty stories
about people, he was an oxygen thief who didn't deserve to breathe."
Carr has been among the most aggressive critics of the Bulger
Whitey and Billy, for their careers in the
among his works is the book The Brothers Bulger, detailing the Bulger
brothers' 25-year period of controlling
Boston politics and the Boston
Weeks stated that, although several plans were considered, all were
abandoned because there was too much risk of injuring Carr's wife and
children. The plans climaxed with Weeks' own attempt to shoot Carr
with a sniper rifle as he came out of his house. However, when Carr
came out the front door holding the hand of his young daughter, Weeks
could not bring himself to shoot. He wanted another opportunity to
"finish the job," but Bulger advised him to forget about Howie
Carr.:205–206 In his 2006 memoirs Weeks has stated that,
although he is fully aware of the public outcry that would have
followed, he regrets not murdering Carr. "His murder would have been
an attack on the system, like attacking freedom of the press, the
fabric of the American way of life, and they would have spared no
expense to solve the crime. But in the long run, Jimmy and I got
sidetracked and the maggot lived. Still, I wish I'd killed him. No
question about it.":206
Depictions in fiction and non-fiction
The 2014 documentary film Whitey:
United States of America v. James J.
Bulger, made by Joe Berlinger, is based on Bulger's trials
The film Black Mass—released September 18, 2015 in the US—stars
Johnny Depp as Bulger and was directed by Scott Cooper. The film's
screenplay, by Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth, is based on the 2001
non-fiction book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance
FBI and the Irish Mob, by Dick Lehr and Gerard
O'Neill. The film chronicles Bulger's years as an
and his manipulation of his
FBI handler as a means to eradicate his
rivals for control of the
Boston underworld, the Italian Mafia.
Bulger is mentioned considerably in the book All Souls: A Family Story
From Southie by Michael Patrick MacDonald – a memoir about the
author's life growing up
Boston during the 1970s and 1980s.
Characters based on
In Season 11 Episode 21 of the television series Law & Order
entitled "Brother's Keeper," certain plot details are inspired by
Bulger's criminal career. Specifically, an Irish-heritage criminal
having a secret working relationship with the
FBI via a childhood
friend in the agency.
The character of Frank Costello (played by Jack Nicholson) in the 2006
Martin Scorsese film
The Departed is loosely based on Bulger,
though the plot of the movie is adapted from the 2002 Hong Kong film
The 2006–2008 Showtime TV series Brotherhood, about two
Irish-American brothers on opposite sides of the law, was inspired by
the relationship between
Whitey and Billy Bulger, although the show
takes place not in
Boston but in nearby Providence, Rhode Island.
In the TV series Rizzoli & Isles, which premiered in 2010, the
character of Paddy Doyle, an Irish-American mobster who is the
biological father of lead character Maura Isles, is based on a
romanticized vision of Bulger..
In season one of the Showtime series Ray Donovan, the character of
Patrick "Sully" Sullivan, played by James Woods, is loosely based on
The 2013 television drama The Blacklist starring
James Spader about a
career criminal who turns himself in to work with the
FBI on his own
terms was inspired by Bulger's story.
The World's 10 Most Wanted
Criminal justice portal
United States portal
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^ Nagorney, Adam; Lovett, Ian (June 23, 2011). "
Whitey Bulger Is
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^ Zezima, Katie (June 23, 2011). "In South Boston, Mixed Memories of
Whitey Bulger". The New York Times.
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FBI helped Bulger evade detection, ex-cop says". CBS News.
Whitey Bulger arrest may revive old scandals". CBS News. Retrieved
FBI corruption and
Whitey Bulger". necn.com. June 23, 2011.
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^ a b Rudolf, John (June 24, 2011). "Nabbed Gangster 'Whitey' Bulger
FBI Corruption Secrets". The Huffington Post.
^ a b Sonmez, Felicia (June 25, 2011). "James 'Whitey' Bulger's
capture could cause trouble inside the FBI". The Washington
^ a b "Capture Of
Boston Gangster Could Mean More Scandal"[dead link]
^ "James J. Bulger". fbi.gov. September 3, 1929. Retrieved
Whitey Bulger is Arrested in California"
^ Johnson, Kevin (June 23, 2011). "Mobster
Whitey Bulger arrested in
California". USA Today. Retrieved 2011-06-27.
^ "One of America's Top Fugitives James "Whitey" Bulger: Caught in
Santa Monica" International Business Times
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Ellement; Martin Finucane (June 12, 2013). "'Whitey' Bulger defense
claims he was no informant, questions credibility of prosecution
Boston Globe. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
^ a b Shelley Murphy; Milton J. Valencia; Martin Finucane (August 12,
Whitey Bulger, notorious
Boston gangster, convicted in
sweeping racketeering case; jury finds he participated in 11 murders".
Boston Globe. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
^ "Topic Galleries". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on
November 17, 2013.
^ a b "Inmate Locator". bop.gov.
^ a b "
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^ a b "How
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Dulles, and Their Secret World War. New York: Times Books.
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^ a b Murphy, Shelley (April 18, 2004). "Gangster's Life Lures Host of
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liable for Bulger, Flemmi". The
^ "necn.com". necn.com. June 23, 2011. Archived from the original on
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FBI agent tells of '81 probe".
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^ Kornacki, Steve (June 23, 2011). "Mike Barnicle: The best friend a
gangster could have: When
Whitey Bulger was at the peak of his power,
he could always count on a friendly columnist to do his P.R." Salon.
[T]he only reason [Bulger] owned the South
Boston Liquor Mart was
because he'd paid a visit a few years earlier to its previous owner,
Stephen "Stippo" Rakes, intimating that Rakes' child might be harmed
if he didn’t agree to sell the store to Whitey. Similar coercion,
just about everyone figured, accounted for Whitey's lottery
Whitey learned to talk early on". The
Boston Globe. May 30,
^ Shelley Murphy (August 26, 2009). "
Whitey Bulger hunt aims at
^ a b Shelley Murphy (April 20, 2010). "Search for
Whitey Bulger turns
to Canada". The
^ Marjorie Kehe. "James 'Whitey' Bulger is captured — but not
in a bookstore". Chapter and Verse blog. The Christian Science
Monitor. June 23, 2011.
^ Rogers, John (2011-06-23). "People say Bulger liked to visit Santa
Monica Pier". The
San Diego Union-Tribune. Associated Press.
^ Laurel J. Sweet and Dave Wedge, "Calif. cop: I knew he was here all
along!" Archived September 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., Boston
Herald, June 24, 2011
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Whitey Bulger's New York". The New
York Times. Retrieved June 23, 2011.
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16 years on the run". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved June 23,
^ Flaccus, Gillian; Hoag, Christina (June 25, 2011). "Mobster's run
almost textbook case of evasion". The Seattle Times. Associated Press.
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FBI Doubles Reward For
Whitey Bulger". WPRI. Associated Press.
September 3, 2008. Archived from the original on July 20, 2009.
Retrieved September 3, 2008. Bulger, the former head of the notorious
Winter Hill Gang
Winter Hill Gang and an
FBI informant, fled in January 1995, after
being tipped by a former
FBI agent that he was about to be
indicted on federal racketeering charges. He was later charged in
connection with 19 murders.
^ "$2 Million Reward for Bulger". Federal Bureau of Investigation.
September 3, 2008. Archived from the original on August 7, 2010.
Retrieved June 27, 2011.
^ a b c d "
FBI used 'ruse' to lure mobster to his capture". CNN. June
^ "Tip That Led To Bulger Arrest Came From Iceland",
WBUR Radio News,
June 24, 2011
^ a b Murphy, Shelley; Cramer, Maria (October 9, 2011). "Whitey
Bulger's life in exile". The
Boston Globe. Retrieved October 9,
^ "Well-known informant shocks Iceland".
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^ Bond, Josh (November 21, 2017). "Call Me Charlie". themoth.org. The
Moth. Retrieved November 22, 2017. A musician helps the
America’s Most Wanted.
^ "Death-penalty states waiting for bite of Bulger".
June 24, 2011.
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Boston Globe. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
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as a tourist". The Telegraph. London.
^ Lawrence, Janelle; Dolmetsch, Chris (July 6, 2011). "James "Whitey"
Bulger Pleads Not Guilty to 48 Charges in
Boston Court". Bloomberg.
Retrieved September 30, 2011. James 'Whitey' Bulger, the Boston
mobster arrested in
California last month after 16 years on the run,
pleaded not guilty to 48 charges including racketeering, extortion,
money laundering, obstruction of justice, perjury, and weapons
^ a b "Bulger's former associate
Kevin Weeks speaks out". NECN.com.
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journey of Cathy Greig". The
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to the End of Life on the Run". The New York Times.
^ Prussman, Todd A. (June 24, 2011). "Pal: Catherine Greig had 'a
thing' for boys on 'darker side's". BostonHerald.com. Retrieved
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^ Christine Pelisek (June 27, 2011). "
Whitey Bulger's Wily Girlfriend
Catherine Greig". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
^ Oliver, Amy (June 26, 2011). "Love on the run: How
Whitey Bulger was
jealous of his moll's poodles even as she overlooked his other woman
– and 'feared he was suffering from dementia'". Daily Mail.
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Investigation. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
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Catherine Greig". The Taunton Gazette. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
^ "Feds detail role of Catherine Greig, kin in life on run".
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go to trial – Quincy, MA". The Patriot Ledger. Archived from the
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Time for Her Silence, Wall Street Journal (April 26, 2016).
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Depravity of your crimes is unfathomable". Los Angeles Times.
Retrieved November 14, 2014.
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^ a b c d e f Transcript of William Bulger's congressional testimony
before House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (June 19,
2003), provided by the
^ Michael D. Shear, Romney Waged Battle to Oust
Brother, New York Times (June 23, 2011).
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(August 31, 2003).
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Boston Channel June 23,
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^ a b "
Whitey Bulger son's mom steadfast".
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at the Wayback Machine. WHDH-TV, June 27, 2011
^ Video on YouTube
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^ Kevin Jagernauth (January 14, 2014). "
Johnny Depp May Circle Back To
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^ Cappadona, Bryanna (June 20, 2013). "Who Should Play
in Black Mass?". Boston. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
^ MacDonald, Michael Patrick (1999). All Souls: A Family Story From
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^ ""Law & Order" Brother's Keeper (2001)" on IMDb
^ Rottenberg, Josh (February 22, 2013). "Hollywood Insider: What's
Going on Behind the Scenes: Boston's Bulger is Now Hollywood's It
Gangster". Entertainment Weekly. New York: Time Inc.: 27.
^ a b c Vejvoda, Jim (September 18, 2015). "BLACK MASS: 9 MOVIE AND TV
CHARACTERS INSPIRED BY WHITEY BULGER". IGN.
^ Goldberg, Lesley (July 18, 2013). "Comic-Con: 'The Blacklist'
Whitey Bulger's Capture". The Hollywood Reporter.
Retrieved June 14, 2015.
^ Radish, Christina (July 28, 2013). "THE BLACKLIST Showrunner John
Eisendrath Talks about the Show's Inspiration, Getting Inside the Mind
of a Criminal, Casting James Spader, and More". Collider.com.
Retrieved June 14, 2015.
Street Soldier; My Life as an Enforcer for "Whitey" Bulger and the
Boston Irish Mob by Edward MacKenzie and Phyllis Karas, Steerforth,
256 pp., ISBN 1-58642-076-3
Rat Bastards: A Memoir of South Boston's Most Honorable Irish Mobster
by John "Red" Shea
Paddy Whacked; The Untold Story of the Irish-American Gangster by T.
J. English, 2005.
Hitman: The Untold Story of Johnny Martorano:
Whitey Bulger's Enforcer
and the Most Feared Gangster in the Underworld by
Howie Carr (April
Whitey Bulger and the
FBI Agent Who Fought to Bring Him Down
by Robert Fitzpatrick and Jon Land; Forge Books, 2012.
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