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News

Santa Monica Neighbors Recall Whitey Bulger, Say He Was a Pretty Nice Guy

This combo of headshots shown during a publicity campaign to locate the fugitive mobster James "Whitey" Bulger. (AP Photo/FBI)
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As James "Whitey" Bulger faces trial in Boston on charges of racketeering, his west coast neighbors who had no idea that the "grandfatherly" man who lived next door was in fact a a known fugitive say he was beloved in the Santa Monica 'hood, friendly and even gentle.Fox 11 interviewed some of them, from a woman who cut his hair to a neighbor who says he came out of his apartment at night to hand her a flashlight. Here are some of their encounters:

FAHIMEH/HAIR STYLIST "Very friendly, very sweet, very gentle." SHE SAYS HE NEVER HAD AN APPOINTMENT. HE JUST WALKED IN THE DOOR, REFUSED A SENIORS DISCOUNT, AND ALWAYS LEFT A 100-DOLLAR TIP.

CYNTHIA BERG/NEIGHBOR
"One time he came out and went across the street, and it was dark, and he brought me a flashlight and just said, 'You've got to be really careful around here.'"

SHE SAYS HE WAS A TOUGH GUY WITH AN EASTERN ACCENT AND STRONG OPINIONS. THAT HE SWORE A LOT AND HAD NO TOLERANCE FOR LOWLIFE'S AND TRANSIENTS.

See, he was just a nice old guy! Just a nice old guy who evaded the FBI for 16 years, all the while living the California dream.

Anyway, those stories are all well and good but this one is by far our favorite:

MIKE RAINE/NEIGHBOR "He absolutely adored animals." MIKE RAINE RECALLS AN INCIDENT WHERE HE SAW A LADY DISCIPLINING HER DOG.

MIKE RAINE/NEIGHBOR
"She slapped the dog a little bit. And he became very very upset and he says, 'I know where you live. If I ever see you do that again I will be there, ya know.'"