Whitey Bulger-Fugitive No More

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James “Whitey” Bulger, the notorious Irish mobster of South Boston was arrested in Santa Monica, Ca. by the FBI Tuesday after successfully eluding capture for over 16 years.

He began his career in crime as a simple bank robber in 1949, graduating to murder, loansharking, drugs and the protection rackets in South Boston where he became the boss of the Winter Hill Gang.

While Whitey was busy running the mob, his brother, former state Senate President Billy Bulger was busy running the state of Massachusetts.

In the mid-1970s he became an informant for the FBI where he cunningly informed on his rivals and enemies thus eliminating his competition. He is accused of at least 19 murders and may face the death penalty in Florida if the FBI ever lets him stand trial there.

Growing up in the same neighborhood was former FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr. He became Bulger’s chief FBI handler. He was convicted of tipping Bulger of FBI and DEA investigations and alerting him of his impending racketeering indictment in 1995 at which time Bulger fled leading to an international manhunt that lasted until this week.

The library has several books about Bulger, including Black Mass : The True story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI, and the Irish Mob, Street Soldier : My Life as an Enforcer for Whitey Bulger and the Boston Irish Mob, and book on CD The Brothers Bulger : How they Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century.

Bulger has inspired several films and television programs including: Brotherhood. Showtime Series, What Doesn't Kill You, and The Departed.


I'll have to see the programs and read the books.

I had no idea this is who The Departed was based on- I'll be sure to read Black Mass to learn more. Bravo to Cecile for another great blog!

Robin Young of NPR's Here & Now described his longtime girlfriend as a Marilyn Monroe look-alike - if you squint really hard. That made me chuckle.

I wondered why this was on the library homepage! Makes sense now :)

This is a fascinating story. Thanks for the book suggestions for more background.


As soon as I heard this news, I put a hold on The Departed. And it was as good as I remember from seeing it in the theater. It's probably more interesting to me now that I've read the reports of Whitey Bulger's crimes and have a better sense of what's going on with the Jack Nicholson character in the movie.