Update: MSNBC reports that Bulger was living on the 1000 block of Third Street in Santa Monica — a surprisingly public spot at the end of the Promenade. PHOTO of his unassuming apartment, after the jump. See also: “Whitey Bulger: Santa Monica Misfit.”
James J. Bulger, known within his Irish-American crime family as “Whitey” and by the general public as the man who inspired Jack Nicholson's character in Martin Scorsese film “The Departed,” has finally been captured by the feds after over a decade on the run, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Though the majority of his alleged crimes — 21 counts of murder, extortion, drug dealing and more — were committed on the East Coast, as his Winter Hill Gang is based in Boston, the “red notice” mob boss, No. 1 on the FBI's “Most Wanted” list, went down quietly in the yuppie beach town of Santa Monica this evening, at a staggering 81 years old.
What a puny end to a larger-than-life legacy — almost as if he finally just resigned to his fate. Here's Whitey's “Wanted” entry, rendered useless as of tonight:
Anonymous law-enforcement sources tell the Times that Bulger “was arrested by the FBI inside a building without incident.” The crime boss has been at large since he skipped Boston in 1994, but this final takedown comes after feds reinvigorated the manhunt with “a media campaign in 14 cities to help determine Bulger's whereabouts.”
Bulger is an avid reader with an interest in history. He is known to frequent libraries and historic sites. Bulger may be taking heart medication. He maintains his physical fitness by walking on beaches and in parks with his female companion, Catherine Elizabeth Greig. Bulger and Greig love animals. Bulger has been known to alter his appearance through the use of disguises. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, and Mexico.
In celebration of 81 years of awful/awesomeness, we'll let Nicholson take it away with his best Bulger impression:
Update: NBC LA Tweets that “FBI agents are crawling all over the apartment house” where Bulger was arrested. And a statement from L.A. FBI agents reveals that Bulger's longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig, was arrested at the “residence” as well:
“FBI Agents have arrested Top Ten Fugitive, James J. “Whitey” Bulger, and his companion, Catherine Greig, in California. Recent publicity produced a tip which led agents to Santa Monica where they located both Bulger and Greig at a residence early this evening. The two were arrested without incident. Both are currently scheduled for an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in the Central District of California (downtown Los Angeles) on Thursday.”
Kind of unimpressive, for a world-famous money launderer and mob boss. Then again, we all know how much a sweet spot along the Promenade can go for these days. With a balcony, to boot.
Update, 12:30 a.m.: The Times identifies Bulger and Grieg's building as the Princess Eugenia complex, and says they fit right in with fellow dog-walkers in their beachside elderly community. (Not sure their neighbors will be too happy to learn the FBI has been conducting a surveillance operation all up in their elderly business, though. Unless, of course, one is the $2 million-richer snitch.) The fugitive pair lived on the third story.
Most hilariously, “a German couple on a long vacation to Los Angeles” walking by the arrest scene told the Times they “thought it was a movie set.” Closest thing to, pretty much.