Fugitive Who Inspired ‘The Departed’ Arrested After 16 Years On The Run
Mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger, who inspired Jack Nicholson’s character Frank Costello in the Oscar-winning movie “The Departed,” was arrested after spending 16 years on the run.
Bulgar was No. 2 on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, but recently moved to No. 1 after the death of Osama bin Laden. He has been wanted for more than a decade for murder, conspiracy to commit murder, narcotics distribution, extortion and money laundering. The bureau offered a $2 million reward for key information related to any of the 19 murders Bulgar has been connected to.
The arrest was made last night at The Princess Eugenia apartment building in Santa Monica without much commotion. Both the 81-year-old Bulger and his 60-year-old girlfriend Catherine Greig were taken into custody. The FBI received a tip on his location after recharging their publicity campaign to find him, the FBI’s spokesperson Steven Martinez told the Associated Press.
The FBI also said Bulger, who was allegedly the head of Boston’s Winter Hill Gang, played a part in “numerous murders committed from the early 1970s through the mid-1980s in connection with his leadership of an organized crime group that allegedly controlled extortion, drug deals, and other illegal activities.” He was also an FBI informant for 20 years, but disappeared in 1995 after learning he was about to be indicted.
Bulger will face a federal judge in a Los Angeles courtroom today. Greig will also face charges of harboring a fugitive.
Although this is not the first time a well-known member of organized crime has inspired a film character, it is rare that the person is captured after the movie he helped to inspire has been released. Examples of other mobsters inspiring cinema include Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta’s portrayal of Al Capone in “The Untouchables” and “Goodfellas,” respectively, and Denzel Washington’s portrayal of Frank Lucas in “American Gangster.”