Whitey Bulger Dies, Spent 15 Years Hiding From Feds In A Santa Monica Rent-Controlled Apartment
Notorious Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger was found dead in prison Tuesday morning after being transferred to a West Virginia penitentiary, according to the Associated Press. The 89-year-old had once led a largely Irish mob involved in drugs, gambling, and loan-sharking, and was known as a ruthless killer.
He was captured in Santa Monica in 2011 after hiding from authorities for 16 years. He was caught at 81 years old outside his apartment near the beach, alongside his longtime girlfriend Catherine Greig.
They'd been living undercover at that two-bedroom rent-controlled apartment for 15 years using the names Charles and Carol Gasko. When the apartment was searched, FBI agents found $800,000 in cash -- meanwhile he'd been paying a rent-controlled rate of $1,145 a month. And he always paid in cash.
He'd previously been an informant for the FBI on his enemies -- and was tipped off that he was about to be indicted by his FBI handler, leading to him going on the run. He was on the Ten Most Wanted list, right behind Osama bin Laden, with a $2 million reward out for him.
After he was arrested, authorities also found more than 30 guns, many of them hidden in holes in the walls of the apartment. The arrest was just days after the FBI had started a new publicity campaign around Greig, noting that she'd been known to frequent beauty salons and get her teeth cleaned once a month.
They were caught thanks to a former Miss Iceland who also appeared in Noxzema shaving cream commercials in the '70s. She saw report on CNN about the efforts to find Greig and called in a tip, leading agents to the couple.
His Hollywood connections go beyond living here -- he was also an inspiration for popular culture, including serving as the model for Jack Nicholson's crime boss in 2006's The Departed. His story was dramatized in the 2015 Johnny Depp movie Black Mass.
This story includes information from the Associated Press. It was originally published at 11:40 a.m.
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