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Tag: Whitey Bulger

Mobster Whitey Bulger’s Girlfriend Catherine Greig Was Loyal til the End

By Katherine Q. Seelye
The New York Times

From an early age, Catherine Elizabeth Greig knew the life of a moll. By about 20, she had married a Boston firefighter named Bobby McGonagle, joining a family with close ties to a gang that was part of the Irish mafia in their South Boston neighborhood. Violence and shootouts were not uncommon as gangs warred for control of the rackets.

Mr. McGonagle and Ms. Greig were divorced within a few years, and she became involved with Mr. Bulger, who is more than 20 years her senior.

It was a sign, perhaps, that if she could overlook his possible involvement in the deaths of her two brothers-in-law, she could overlook a lot more.

To read full story click here.

Arrest of Mobster “Whitey” Bulger Creates 2nd Opening on FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

For the second time in the less than two months, the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List has another opening.

In May,  the U.S. gunned down Top Ten fugitive Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

Then on Wednesday evening, after a 16-year search, FBI agents in Santa Monica, Calif., arrested Top Ten fugitive James “Whitey” Bulger, a notorious Boston mobster who is accused of killing 19 people. His girlfriend was also arrested.

Filling the Top Ten vacancies is a process.

The FBI solicits from its field offices a candidate.

Often, dozens of recommendations come in to headquarters. Field offices submit packets with information about the case, including a case file, photos and reasons why the person is worthy of joining the list. Some submissions include endorsements from local police chiefs.

The Violent Crimes/Major Offenders Unit also solicits input from the media representatives at headquarters.

The candidates for the list are reviewed by a committee of agents from the Violent Crimes/Major Offenders unit, who carefully look over the submissions and case files.

Then higher ups at headquarters decide who makes the list. The FBI director ultimately signs off on it.

FBI Starts Unique Campaign; Running Ads About Top 10 Fugitive Whitey Bulger’s Girlfriend

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI isn’t giving up on finding the ever-elusive Top 10 fugitive, Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, who is wanted for 19 murders.

The latest: the FBI is launching what it calls a “unique new publicity campaign” by focusing on Catherine Elizabeth Greig, the longtime girlfriend of Bulger. She has not been charged in his crimes, but is a federal fugitive wanted for harboring Bulger.

The campaign includes a 30-second, FBI- produced  public service announcement (PSA) that will begin airing Tuesday on  TV stations around the country. The announcement will hone in on  Greig’s relationship with Bulger and her physical characteristics.

The FBI said it purchased about 350 time slots in media markets in 14 cities in 10 states. The cities are Albuquerque, Biloxi, MS; Boston, Chicago,Ft. Myers, Miami, Milwaukee, Mobile, AL; New Orleans, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Tampa, and Tucson.

“The FBI believes that publicizing Catherine Grieg’s photo and characteristics among her contemporaries will lead to a tip about her whereabouts and, ultimately, to the arrest of Bulger,”  Richard DesLauriers, head of the  Boston Division, said in a statement.

The FBI said the PSA  announcement will air during shows that have a high percentage of female viewers in the same age group as 60-year-old Greig.

The FBI said it homes someone in that audience — a friend, co-worker, neighbor, hair stylist, manicurist, doctor or dentist —  might recognize Greig.

“In terms of publicity, for 100 years the FBI has known that combining the reach and power of the media with alert citizens is a successful formula for catching fugitives,”  FBI  Supervisory Special Agent Richard Teahan, who leads the Boston FBI task force searching for Bulger, said in a statement.  “So we’re taking the next logical step and focusing on Greig as part of a unique initiative.”

The PSA points out that there is more than 21-year age difference between Greig and Bulger, who is 81.

The FBI said some tibits about her include: she loves dogs and all kinds of animals; she is likely to have well-kept teeth because she previously worked as a dental hygienist; she likes to frequent beauty salons and prior to fleeing with Bulger in 1995, she had multiple plastic surgeries.

Authorities said she has blue eyes, is 5 feet 6 inches tall, and had a thin build when she fled.

She is known to go by the aliases Helen Marshal and Carol Shapeton.

The FBI said the last credible sighting of the couple was in London in 2002.

The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to her capture and $2 million for Bulger’s arrest.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHksLNSM9HI&feature=player_embedded#at=11

FBI Suspects Mobster “Whitey” Bulger is in Europe

Boston Mobster Whitey Bulger

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI suspects that Top Ten Fugitive, Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger is hiding out in Europe, Time magazine reports.

A team of investigators are ” keeping a close eye on Europe,” Time reported. “The team has an idea of which country Bulger is possibly in but won’t say for fear of alerting him.”

Bulger, who is a suspect in 19 murders, was last spotted in London in 2002 by a businessman at the gym of the Meridien Hotel in the city’s Piccadilly Circus, Time reported.

Bulger has been on the lam for about 15 years. The FBI is offering a $2 million reward for his arrest.

The magazine reported that Bulger told people one day he expected to be on the lam.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICE ACT STORIES OF INTEREST

100 Ex-FBI Agents Still Pushing to Free Convicted Boston Agent John Connolly

John Connolly

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

One hundred retired FBI agents — including two deputy directors — aren’t giving up their fight to try and exonerate and free convicted ex-Boston agent John J. Connolly Jr., whose relationships with the Boston mob landed  him in big trouble.

The Los Angeles’s Times Richard Serrano reported that the agents, known as Former FBI Agents for Justice For John, are pushing the Florida state courts to overturn his conviction for second-degree murder after having had no luck overturning his federal conviction for racketeering and obstruction of justice.

Connolly Jr., now 70,  was convicted of murder in Florida state court after allegedly tipping off Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen Flemmi that World Jai Alai President John Callahan was likely to implicate them in a murder, the Times reported. Hitman John Martorano killed Callahan in 1982.

Connolly’s supporters have pointed to the great disparity in sentences between Connolly and Martorano, who confessed to killing 20 people and served 12 years, the Times reported.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Connolly will leave federal prison next month after 9 years, but will go right to state prison in Florida to begin serving a 40 year sentence for the murder. They say the lengthy sentence amounts to a death sentence.

Ex-agent Richard Baker, who is leading the charge, told the Times:

“I have no problem doing this. John was wrongly convicted. And he’ll be dead after just two years in that Florida system. He’ll be shanked or killed once they figure out he was an FBI agent.”

The Florida prosecutor Michael Von Zamft who convicted Connolly says of the ex-agents: “John Connolly wore a badge. He was an FBI agent, and he swore to uphold the law. And yet he became one of the criminals and, maybe worse, he was hiding behind that badge.”

In March, the Associated Press reported that the ex-agents, including the one whose undercover work inspired the movie “Donnie Brasco,”  filed two petitions with Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. “demanding appointment of a special counsel to investigate the 70-year-old Connolly’s prosecution, raising a grab-bag of claims spanning many years, some of which have been previously rejected by courts and aired in congressional hearings. They include allegations of questionable tactics by prosecutors, evidence that a key witness lied during Connolly’s 2002 federal corruption trial and contentions there was a rigged result in his 2008 Florida murder case.”

Other ex-agents pushing for Connolly include FBI deputy directors Weldon L. Kennedy and Bruce J. Gebhardt, the Times reported.

To read more click here.

Rumors are That Boston Mobster Whitey Bulger Died; FBI Says No Proof It’s True

Six Decades Later, FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted List Still Hard to Crack

Osama bin Laden

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON — In the film “Take the Money and Run,” Woody Allen played a bumbling, publicity-starved petty criminal named Virgil Starkwell. “You know he never made the Ten Most Wanted list,” Starkwell’s wife, Louise, lamented in the 1969 comedy. “It’s very unfair voting. It’s who you know.”

As Allen’s fictitious character learned, getting on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list is no easy feat. Just being a vicious criminal or a menace to society isn’t always enough.

For one, there has to be an opening. And then there’s the selection process: A committee at FBI headquarters reviews dozens of candidates from FBI field offices — there are 56 in all — before the top brass weighs in with a final decision.

“I’d be lying to say there’s no politics involved” in getting someone on the list, Tony Riggio, a former FBI agent and official, told AOL News.

In 1978, Riggio had the first organized crime figure — Cleveland mobster Anthony “Tony Lib” Liberatore — placed on the Most Wanted list. Riggio said sometimes an extra call to headquarters from a top official in the field helped get someone on the list, adding, “Being a top 10 case agent is really a feather in your cap. I got a lot of respect.”

James Earl Ray/fbi photo

Over the years, the Ten Most Wanted alum have included some of the nation’s most notorious criminals, including escaped Martin Luther King Jr. assassin James Earl Ray, serial killer Ted Bundy and current member, Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, who is wanted in connection with 19 murders. Most stay on until they are captured, a case no longer seems solid or authorities figure the person has died. Osama bin Laden was on the list up until his execution on May 1.

According to the FBI website, the list came about after a reporter for the International News in 1949 told the FBI he was interested in writing a story about the “toughest guys” the FBI was after. The FBI provided the names and descriptions of 10 fugitives — four escaped prisoners, three con men, two murder suspects and a bank robber — and the reporter wrote a story that captured national attention and triggered hundreds of tips.

Earlier this month, the bigger-than-life list, which had long become part of the American vernacular, turned 61. For decades a fixture in post offices and banks, the Ten Most Wanted photos are now more likely to pop up on TV shows, billboards and the Internet through websites and trendy social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

“We recognize the unique ability of the media to cast a wider net within communities here and abroad,” FBI Director Robert Mueller said in a statement marking the 60th anniversary. “The FBI can send agents to visit a thousand homes to find a witness, but the media can visit a million homes in an instant.”

Brad Bryant, chief of the Violent Crimes/Major Offenders Unit at FBI headquarters, says getting on the list is “very competitive.” Field offices are notified at once when an opening occurs.

“The criteria we’re looking for are, first of all, they must be particularly dangerous or be a menace to society or have a lengthy criminal history,” Bryant said.

Often, dozens of recommendations come in to headquarters, Bryant said. Field offices submit packets with information about the case, including a case file, photos and reasons why the person is worthy of joining the list. Some submissions include endorsements from local police chiefs.

The Violent Crimes/Major Offenders Unit also solicits input from the media representatives at headquarters, said Rex Tomb, who was chief of the FBI’s fugitive publicity unit in Washington until he retired from the bureau in 2006.

Boston Mobster Whitey Bulger

“Public affairs personnel like myself were generally asked by the Criminal Division to comment only on whether or not we believed there would be media interest in a fugitive,” Tomb said. “If for some reason there is little or no public interest in a particular case, reporters would generally pass on writing about it. … If there would be little print given to a Top Ten fugitive then there is really little or no reason to put him or her on the list.”

The candidates for the list are reviewed by a committee of agents from the Violent Crimes/Major Offenders unit, who carefully look over the submissions and case files.

“We rank the top four or five in the packet, and we prepare a briefing packet for the assistant director of the criminal division and his boss and the deputy director and the director,” Bryant said. Mueller must then sign off on it.

The tenor of the times has been reflected in the list over the years. In the 1950s, it hosted bank robbers. In the 1960s, some radicals made the cut, and later, organized crime figures and drug traffickers and eventually terrorists, violent gang members and sexual predators were added.

The shortest time anyone spent on the list was two hours. The longest-tenured was Donald Eugene Webb, wanted in the slaying of a police chief in Saxonburg, Pa., in 1980. He stayed on for 25 years, 10 months and 27 days before being removed in 2007. The FBI provided little reason why, only to say he no longer fit the criteria.

The oldest person ever to make the list is mobster Bulger, who got on in 1999 at age 69 and has stayed there ever since.

The list is regarded as a highly successful tool for the FBI. Of the 494 who have appeared on the list, 463 have been captured or located, with 152 of those from a direct result of citizen cooperation, the FBI said.

There are countless stories of citizens’ tips from the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list resulting in arrests. Two fugitives were even apprehended as a result of visitors on an FBI tour who saw the photos.

Ted Bundy

Retired FBI agent Brad Garrett said that in the end, a $2 million-plus cash award — not the Ten Most Wanted listing — helped bring in information that led to the capture of fugitive Mir Aimal Kasi at a seedy hotel in Pakistan. Kasi opened fire outside CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., in 1993, killing two CIA employees and wounding three others. A few months after the shooting, he landed on the list.

“It’s an incredibly successful and novel idea, and it has captured hundreds of fugitives,” Garrett said of the famous list. “But I think it’s a lot more effective in the U.S. than outside” in places like Pakistan.

“I think the idea of a top 10 didn’t carry a lot of weight” in this case, Garrett said. “The dollar signs after his name carried a lot of weight.”

Six Decades Later, FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted List Still Tough to Crack

Osama bin Laden

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON — In the film “Take the Money and Run,” Woody Allen played a bumbling, publicity-starved petty criminal named Virgil Starkwell. “You know he never made the Ten Most Wanted list,” Starkwell’s wife, Louise, lamented in the 1969 comedy. “It’s very unfair voting. It’s who you know.”

As Allen’s fictitious character learned, getting on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list is no easy feat. Just being a vicious criminal or a menace to society isn’t always enough.

For one, there has to be an opening. And then there’s the selection process: A committee at FBI headquarters reviews dozens of candidates from FBI field offices — there are 56 in all — before the top brass weighs in with a final decision.

Boston Mobster Whitey Bulger

“I’d be lying to say there’s no politics involved” in getting someone on the list, Tony Riggio, a former FBI agent and official, told AOL News.

To read full story click here.