Update: The tipster, a former resident of Santa Monica, actually lives in Iceland now, and is indeed eligible for the $2 million reward — probably more money than his/her quirky ashpile of a country is worth altogether.
Who is the mysterious, soon-to-be L.A. millionaire that relieved the FBI of a 16-year search for mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger and his girlfriend, Catherine Greib, yesterday?
The FBI is obviously keeping mum on the tipster's identity, because they'd probably be in for a lifetime of Irish-American mob threats if revealed, but we do know he or she called into the Los Angeles FBI office late Tuesday night after viewing a public-service announcement targeted at the city of L.A. …
… because “the FBI knew that Bulger and Greib had ties” to this area. And we know that the tipster gave the FBI an address, because agents were ordered to set up surveillance “at the location in question” (Bulger's Santa Monica apartment) by the next morning.
Here's the video that caught the tipster's eye, now hailed by the FBI as some genius social-media campaign:
At today's press conference, an FBI spokesperson said agents in Boston were immediately certain that the tipster's “information appeared to be credible and promising.”
So what about the $2 million reward on Bulger's head, and the $100,000 bonus for his girlfriend? FBI media officer Lourdes Arocho says she's not sure “when the reward will be paid” — but she confirms that “there was a reward,” and we can't imagine anything more reward-worthy than pointing to the mobster's exact hideout. (Unlike the dutiful execution of that other “Most Wanted” jerk by Navy SEALs just doin' their job.)
We'll keep you updated on the reward situation. In the meantime, whoever you are, anonymous tipster, hats off for doing what it took the FBI over a decade to do. And on that note, a small aside: Dude was strolling down the Third Street Promenade for 15 years, taking walks on the beach and feeding stray cats like he hadn't just offed 19 guys in cold blood, and nobody could manage to track him down until the ripe old age of 81? Huh.