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The felonious world of Whitey Bulger

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The city of Boston, MA has been strong in the news this past year; with the bombing and anniversary of the Boston Marathon, the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series, and the trial of James Joseph "Whitey" Bulger, Jr.

The notorious gangster had an encore performance on the CBS Sunday evening newsmagazine “60 Minutes.” The first showing of Bulger was seen on November 21, 2013. The same story with added updates in a 60 Minutes special edition called “Crime and Punishment” presented three law-breaking accounts in which Bulger was seen again on March 2.

Whitey Bulger, now 84, was once on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitive list; yet as an informant of that organization continued his criminal behavior. His actions included infiltrating offers to federal agents by paying many of them off.

Bulger’s devious behavior involved murder (he has been charged with killing 19 people), weapons charges, racketeering, narcotics distribution and extortion, among others.

Authors Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy of the Boston Globe published a book in 2013 called “Whitey Bulger – America’s Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt that Brought Him to Justice.” The back text of the book states the journalists “have broken more stories on Whitey Bulger than anyone else.”

The in-depth and comprehensive book captures Bulger’s criminal actions, personality, his relationships with so-called friends, his disappearance and as an informant for the FBI.

There is early life in the South Boston housing project, his Irish background and upbringing, the nine-year stint at Alcatraz, his brother, the famous Massachusetts politician William “Billy” Bulger, and his relationships with women; in particular Catherine Grieg and Teresa Stanley.

Bulger disappeared and was not found for 16 years. He planned his ouster years in advance. Bulger and Grieg moved to the West Coast, changed identities, and began using aliases Charles Gasko and Carol Gasko. The couple kept a low profile and neighbors were unaware of Bulger’s past conduct.

The Gaskos were found and arrested in June 2011 at their apartment (Apt. 303) in Santa Monica, CA. Bulger was lured into coming down to the garage area of the premises thinking someone had broken into his belongings. Hidden in the shadows was the FBI. The walls in Bulger’s apartment contained $822,198 in cash, fake identification cards and thirty guns.

The book displays pictures of Bulger as a teenager, young adult, convict and man on the run. There are also pictures of those who were murdered, his brother, significant others and leading people in his life.

A caption in the book’s prologue states this –

More than anything, this book tries to capture the contradictions that fill in the silhouette that is Whitey Bulger – A man who considered himself a patriot even as he used murder and the threat of it to amass a fortune, a man who could fall asleep moments after killing someone but couldn’t watch a sick dog be put down, a man held loyalty to be the highest moral value even as he traded damning information about friends to the FBI.

CBSnews.com and Bostoncbslocal.com reported this week that a film on Whitey Bulger will be released in 2015 with actor Johnny Depp playing the role of Bulger. More on the story is below –

The still-untitled movie based on the book “Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob,” began filming at locations throughout Boston and Cambridge last week.

In addition to Depp as Bulger, the film will star Benedict Cumberbatch as Whitey’s brother, Billy Bulger; Jesse Plemons as Whitey’s longtime partner in crime, Kevin Weeks; Sienna Miller as Whitey’s lover, Catherine Greig; Dakota Johnson as Lindsey Cyr, Whitey’s former girlfriend and mother of his only child; Rory Cochrane as Steve Flemmi, another member of the Winter Hill Gang; Julianne Nicholson as John Connolly’s wife, Marianne; and Adam Scott as FBI Agent Robert Fitzpatrick.

Wikipedia states “Bulger was sentenced on November 14, 2013 and received two life terms, plus five years. In March 2012, 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 8 years confinement in a Federal penitentiary.”

Boston.com reported in January 2014 that –

Convicted gangster and multiple murderer James J. “Whitey” Bulger has been transferred again, this time to a high-security federal penitentiary in Tucson, according to the US Bureau of Prisons website.

Bulger, 84, is at the United States Penitentiary Tucson, where 1,552 inmates live in a high-security prison and 148 inmates are in an adjacent minimum-security satellite camp, the site says.

Bulger is in the high-security facility in Arizona, prison spokesman John Stahley said in a telephone interview

Whitey Bulger – America’s Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt that Brought Him to Justice is a must-read book for those interested in a close inspection of a living, locked-up criminal.

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