James "Whitey" Bulger has been on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list since 1999. According to the FBI, Bulger is their second most-wanted man, second only to Usama bin Laden. They say Bulger is wanted for 19 murders, as well as for money laundering, extortion, and drug dealing. The FBI is offering a $1 million reward for information that leads to his arrest.
Now a septuagenarian, cops say Bulger ruled Boston's Irish mafia with an iron fist from the early 1970s to the mid 1990s. In 1995, shortly after he was indicted on federal racketeering charges, cops say Bulger went into hiding with his long-time girlfriend, Teresa Stanley. After a month on the run, Teresa asked Bulger to bring her back home to Boston. Bulger did, then hit the road again -- this time with another girlfriend, Catherine Greig, and this time for good.
There have been several confirmed sightings of Bulger and Greig; the last was in 2002, near London's Piccadilly Circus. In April 2007, a tourist on vacation in Sicily shot 18 seconds of video of a couple who bore a striking resemblance to Bulger and Greig. The FBI, thinking the video could very well have been of Bulger and Greig, launched an immediate investigation to identify the couple.
According to Gail Marcinkiewicz, a spokeswoman for the FBI, the couple was questioned and fingerprinted, but they are not Bulger and Greig.
In June 1956, he was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for robbing banks. He ended up serving nine years in Atlanta, Alcatraz, and Leavenworth.
Whitey's Life Of Crime Begins
One of his brothers, Billy Bulger, was the president of the Massachusetts State Senate for nearly 20 years, then served as the president of the University of Massachusetts.
James Bulger, however, took a different path. He joined the Air Force when he was about 20 years old; despite spending time in the brig for several assaults, he received an honorable discharge in 1952.
Soon after returning to Boston, police say he embarked on a life of crime. In June 1956, he was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for robbing banks. He ended up serving nine years in Atlanta, Alcatraz, and Leavenworth.
The Rise Of A Mafia Star
After his time behind bars, Bulger returned to Boston and resumed his criminal activities. In 1979, when Howie Winter -- the head of the infamous Winter Hill Gang -- was sent to prison for fixing horse races, Bulger assumed the gang's leadership.
Over the next 16 years, using both his formidable mind and his considerable muscle, cops say Bulger consolidated his power, and came to control a significant portion of Boston's drug dealing, bookmaking, and loan sharking operations.
He was also, unbeknownst to even his closest associates, an FBI informant. In fact, federal sources say it was his FBI handler, Special Agent John Connelly, who tipped Bulger off to the 1995 indictment, allowing Bulger to get away before he was arrested.
The FBI says Bulger should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. He uses cash for everything, and enjoys visiting libraries and historic sites. He also loves dogs, and often goes to animal shelters.
Bulger got his nickname, Whitey, from the platinum blonde hair he had as a child, but he's now almost completely bald, and it's believed he's taking a heart medication called Atenolol.
If you think you've spotted James J. "Whitey" Bulger or his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, call the America's Most Wanted hotline right now at 1-800-CRIME-TV.
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