James Joseph "Whitey" Bulger, Jr. (born September 3, 1929) is a former organized crime figure from Boston, Massachusetts. Local folklore depicted Bulger as a Robin Hood–style social bandit dedicated to protecting the neighborhood and its residents. Bulger allegedly masterminded a protection racket targeting drug kingpins and those running illegal gambling operations. Based upon the testimony of former associates, Federal prosecutors have indicted Bulger for 19 murders.
Beginning in 1975, Bulger served as an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). As a result, the Bureau largely ignored his organization in exchange for information about the inner workings of the Italian American Patriarca crime family. Beginning in 1997, the New England media exposed criminal actions by federal, state, and local law enforcement officials tied to Bulger. For the FBI especially, this has caused great embarrassment. On December 23, 1994, after being tipped off by his former FBI handler about a pending indictment under the RICO Act, Bulger fled Boston and went into hiding. For sixteen years, he remained at large. For twelve of those years, Bulger was prominently listed on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.
On June 22, 2011, Bulger was arrested outside an apartment (above) in Santa Monica, California. Arrested with him was his longtime girlfriend Catherine Greig (below).
Bulger was 81 years old at the time of his arrest. Soon after, Bulger and Greig were extradited to Massachusetts and brought under heavy guard to the waterfront federal courthouse. This necessitated the closing of part of Boston Harbor. Greig was arraigned in the Federal District Court of the First Circuit in Boston on charges of harboring a fugitive and is currently seeking release on bail. Bulger has not sought bail and remains in custody at the Plymouth County House of Correction in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
UPDATE 6/22/2013: Whitey Bulger is currently on trial and present in the media.