‘Whitey’ Bulger arrested

The arrest of “Most Wanted” James ‘Whitey’ Bulger in Santa Monica, California, yesterday brings to an end a 16-year-long international manhunt that was proving to be an embarrassment to the FBI.  As the Boston Globe reports

Bulger fled just before his federal racketeering indictment in January 1995. It was later revealed in federal court in Boston that he was a longtime FBI informant who had been warned by his corrupt handler, former FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr., that he was about to be arrested.

Betrayed by the revelation that Bulger was an informant, several of his former associates began cooperating against him, leading to the discovery of secret graves of his victims in the Boston area and additional charges that Bulger murdered 19 people.

Authorities had investigated two possible Bulger sightings in Southern California. In 2000, a tipster reported seeing Greig having her hair done at a salon in Fountain Valley, the newspaper reported. In 2005, the FBI investigated whether Bulger may have been the elderly man who robbed three Orange County banks.

But ultimately, the trail appeared to grow cold and no link was made to the mobster.

The arrest came days after the FBI launched a 30-second ad campaign in 14 cities across the US targetting his partner, Catherine Greig.

Bulger ran a notorious Irish-American organised crime gang based in Boston, the “Winter Hill Group”, in the 70s and 80s.

Unsurprisingly for an Irish-American criminal based in Boston at the time, there’s a local connection.  As the Journal.ie notes

  • Bulger is said to have helped load seven tons of assault rifles meant for the IRA aboard the trawler Valhalla in 1984. However, the shipment was stopped and seized by the Irish navy and gardai. The crew, including future Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris, were arrested. Speaking on RTE’s Today With Pat Kenny this morning, Boston Globe writer Kevin Cullen said the IRA “believed he [Bulger] was responsible for that mission being compromised.”

  • And then there’s the stolen Vermeer…

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    • Mark

      Whitey is lucky he wasn’t buried at sea like someone else on that list .

      The Beit collection didn’t do Martin Cahill much good …..

    • Carrickmoreman

      “believed he [Bulger] was responsible for that mission being compromised.”

      I think that opinion has since been changed,with O’Callahan taking credit for it. Bulger ended up whacking the US/IRA member b/c Bulger thought he was the one who informed. The father of the dead US/IRA guy wrote a book on it.

    • galloglaigh

      Having lived and worked in Southie for some years, I know that the business owners, and the local community will be glad he’s been captured. He was vermin of the highest order, and flooded the streets with heroin and crack. He took over businesses in the lower, less affluent end of Southie, and gave the former owners no money and no notice for them to leave. He stole their businesses.

      His henchmen still walk the streets of Southie, and they will also be glad, although, if Bulger starts talking, some of his former associates might get a knock from the FBI.

      A good end to a sorry saga for the people of South Boston and Quincy.

    • Tochais Síoraí

      Jack Nicholson’s character in The Departed was supposed to have based on Bulger.

    • Nunoftheabove

      “Enjoy your clams sockcuckers”, as I tend to address the local clergy since the movie was released. Some of them mind.

    • Mark

      I can’t imagine why Nuno ….

      South Boston has had some exposure more recently with movies such as The Town and The Fighter .

      Boxing fans will remember Irish Mickey Ward and his three fights with Arturo Gatti .

    • Rory Carr

      Good reminder, Mark. For those of you who may have only experienced Irish Mickey Ward as a fictional character in the (well-deserved Oscar) winning movie The Fighter I urge you to check out footage of his three legendary fights with Arturo Gatti, the complete record of which can be found on Youtube (search under ‘Arturo Gatti’. Quite the greatest trio of boxing matches that I can ever recall having seen (and I can go back to Joe Louis).

      Let Mickey Ward stand as a proud representative of working-class Boston Irish. And as for Whitey Bulger? Fuggedabahtim !

    • ulsterobserver

      Lets hope the IRA gunrunner enjoys his new surroundings in a Federal Facility !!

    • Mark

      Rory , they don’t make em like that anymore …. and even if they did , their management wouldn’t let them fight . The days of the Superfight are over in boxing . They couldn’t even make the Pacquiao / Mayweather fight . Maybe if Barney Eastwood was still around and one of the fighters had a dodgy ankle and it was the middle of the summer and the fight was outdoors in a desert and the ref was a homer ….maybe ?

    • ranger1640

      I thought Gerry Adams said Irish republicans can’t be a criminals. Bulger was not only an Irish republican, he was a gun smuggling, drug dealing and protection racketeer.

    • HeinzGuderian

      Roary………you musn’t have seen much of The Four Kings……….Hagler,Hearns,Leonard and Duran ?

      I would also point you in the direction of an excellent DVD titled Unforgivable Blackness;The Jack Johnson Story !!

      What you know about boxing lad,friend mork knows about golf………..ahahaha 😉

    • Mark

      Heinz ,

      You do not include England’s finest Alan Minter in your list who claimed before fighting Marvellous Marvin Hagler , that no black man was going to take his title .

      Hagler of course destroyed him over 3 rounds leaving poor Alan quite black and blue himself . The British fans took it well though , starting a riot and pelting Marvellous Marvin and his corner with beer cans – no breeze blocks available ….

      I suppose you have Andy Murray in the tennis ….

    • Mrs jones

      Ali,Muhammads response to losing to Sonny Liston was a bit Irish.He drank a bottle of the hard stuff and woke Sonny up at four in the morning screaming ‘you ain’t no champ if you can’t beat me’.Sonny took the bait and got hammered in the rematch.It still didn’t come anywhere near the ‘rumble in the jungle’,Ali demonstrated his brilliance by holding onto the ropes for the first five rounds and then put Foreman down in the sixth.Ali was the greatest.

    • Mark

      ” No Vietcong ever called me a Nigge? ” – Muhammad Ali .

    • Mrs jones

      ” No Vietcong ever called me a Nigge? ” – Muhammad Ali ….’I want to win my title to uplift my brothers who are sleeping on concrete floors in America,to uplift my people who have no knowledge of themselves…

    • Mrs jones

      Best Boxing film?The Hurricane

      Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties
      Are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise
      While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot cell
      An innocent man in a living hell
      That’s the story of the Hurricane
      But it won’t be over till they clear his name
      And give him back the time he’s done
      Put him in a prison cell but one time he could-a been
      The champion of the world

    • Mark

      Mrs jones ,

      Best Boxing film – Somebody up there likes me .

    • Nunoftheabove

      Kevin Cullen of the Boston Globe this morning claimed that he got a tug from a “very senior person in the IRA” at a funeral in Belfast in 1998 asking him if Whitey “was a tout”. Seems they still figured he had more than a little something to do with the compromising of the Marita Ann importation in which Ferris and Crowley had their collars felt. Crowley was pulled back for questioning by the Scapp mob after he did his time, says Cullen. On the basis that Crowley (as I understand it) remains alive, one or two sweaty PRM fingers must continue to point at the Whitester albeit other lead-heavy justice was issued to others closer to home at the time in relation to the apparent betrayal.

      “No ticky, no laundry”.

    • Mrs jones

      Best Boxing film not yet made?Big Dan Donnelly the dublin docker who was irelands first heavy-weight champion.He fought in 1798 and was a friend of Ann Devlin,Robert Emmetts housekeeper.It was said that even on the tough streets of Dublin, Dan Donnelly had a reputation of being a hard man to provoke, a man who would go to great lengths to avoid settling an argument in the traditional manner. But when the need arose—usually when the old, feeble, or female were mistreated—Donnelly was known to be handy with his fists, and he became the district’s new fighting hero.He died in poverty but his ‘arm’ is still legendary,because some physician made a copy of it.They should make a film about Donnelly,the peoples champion and the King of the Curragh.

    • Mark

      Best Boxing film not yet made – Rocky 9 .