Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

News

Livid Reward Seeker Says FBI Ignored His '08 Tip About Whitey Bulger in L.A.

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

In today's 15 minutes of fame news, comes a newly re-circulating story of a man named Keith Messina who is miffed the FBI didn't do anything about his hot tip that he saw Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger in Santa Monica in 2008. Now, of course, Messina wants a cut of the $2 million reward cash.

The call was fielded by "America's Most Wanted," who have aired 16 pieces about the fugitive over the years. Those broadcasts resulted in 2,000 possible leads. The night Messina called in there were about 200 tips about Bulger logged by the popular crime-stopping show.

Messina, who hails from Las Vegas, is "livid" the feds ignored his tip in 2008. He told his tale to the Boston Herald:

“The FBI should at least come out and say that they did get a call three years ago. If they had called me back, they would have struck gold. But you know how they play their games, the feds. I guess this whole hunt for Whitey Bulger was a game. Now they are saying someone in Iceland found Whitey? Who is that person? I found Whitey three years ago.” “I didn’t make the call for the reward. I just wanted the guy caught. But now the FBI is lying and saying the reward is going to Iceland. I saw the guy. I did the right thing and called. I left my name and number. I should be at least entitled to something."

Bulger was arrested, along with his girlfriend,
Support for LAist comes from
on June 22 at their Santa Monica apartment. He pleaded not guilty to 19 counts of murder this week in a Boston court. The FBI is sticking by their guns; the reward bucks are Iceland-bound.