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October 2011


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Paper Defends Naming “Whitey” Bulger’s Tipster

Whitey Bulger/fbi

By Danny Fenster

The Boston Globe is standing by its decision to publicly name the tipster that led federal agents to nab fugitive gangster James “Whitey” Bulger in June in California.

Editors were confident that revealing the name of Anna Bjornsdottir, an Iceland native and Santa Monica, Calif. neighbor of Bulger’s, did not pose a threat to Anna, and that the public interest was better served by the disclosure, reports

“We were confident Whitey Bulger and Cathy Greig knew exactly who the tipster was,’’ The Globe’s deputy managing editor for local news Jennifer Peter told the site. “We asked people directly involved in the investigation if she would be in danger if we named her. No one told us she would be in danger at all.’’

The paper said that naming Bjornsdottir served the public by quelling speculations that the FBI had made the tipster up, and that the decision was run by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office, neither of which voiced complaints.

The FBI has had a “corrupt history” with Bulger, says

“There have been so many deceptions and lies in the past. In order to provide a definitive story, and tell the story as it actually happened, we had to name her,” said Peter, the local news editor. “If we didn’t, it wouldn’t be a credible retelling of how Bulger was arrested.’’

Bulger, a longtime FBI informant, fled before a 1995 federal racketeering indictment after being warned of looming charges by a corrupt former FBI handler. He is being held without bail on charges of killing 19 people.

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