Damn. First they nab Osama bin Laden and now the federal government has scooped up Boston’s Whitey Bulger. He was a crime figure in the seventies, indicted on 19 murder charges — he was also an F.B.I. informant that made it all possible — and he’s been on the lam for 16 years.
Mr. Bulger was arrested without incident at a private residence in Santa Monica along with his companion, Catherine Greig, who fled with him in 1995, the F.B.I. said. The arrest came after the F.B.I., stymied in its efforts to find Mr. Bulger, had doubled the reward for information leading to the arrest of Ms. Greig, to $100,000, and began broadcasting public service television advertisements on shows geared to women viewers, such as Dr. Oz, as part of an effort to find Mr. Bulger through Ms. Greig.
The case has long captivated Boston, while proving something of an embarrassment to the F.B.I. Mr. Bulger, 81, is a former F.B.I. informant who disappeared early in 1995 after a retired F.B.I. agent alerted him to an imminent indictment.
The arrest was first reported on the Web site of The Los Angeles Times. It was officially announced by Richard DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the F.B.I.’s office in Boston, and Steven Martinez, the assistant director in charge in Los Angeles. They said the couple had been found based on a tip that resulted from the recent public attention to the case, presumably the information the F.B.I. had distributed about some distinctive habits of Ms. Greig, a dental hygienist.
Ms. Greig, they said, had had multiple plastic surgeries, got her teeth cleaned once a month, frequented beauty salons and loved dogs.
Mr. Bulger had proved elusive despite a $2 million award for his capture, the largest ever for a domestic target. He was an outsize figure in Boston lore, and there have been reported sightings of him over the years from all over the world.
Though Mr. Bulger and his crimes are well known in Boston, the authorities had struggled to raise his profile elsewhere in the nation.
Amazing. Another member of the F.B.I.’s most wanted list goes down. Wonder if he ever visited Sonny McLean’s, which is Santa Monica’s famous Boston bar.