Legendary Boston crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger, who has been on the run for over a decade in the face of nineteen counts of murder and other charges, was arrested at a private residence in Santa Monica, California, on Wednesday, along with his girlfriend and companion, Catherine Greig. The 81-year-old former leader of the Winter Hill Gang, who has been on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" list for more than a decade, fled Boston in January of 1995 after being tipped off by a former FBI agent that he was going to be indicted. (Bulger had previously provided the FBI with information on his gang's rival, the New England Mob.) The gangster inspired Martin Scorsese's The Departed, and he was last seen in London in 2002. So how did the FBI finally hunt him down?
Police said the couple had been found based on a tip that resulted from the recent public attention to the case, presumably the information the F.B.I. had distributed about some distinctive habits of Ms. Greig, a dental hygienist. Ms. Greig, they said, had had multiple plastic surgeries, got her teeth cleaned once a month, frequented beauty salons and loved dogs.
The Boston Globe, which had previously reported a sighting of Bulger at a San Diego screening of The Departed, quoted an official who said Bulger "did not appear to be in good health."
"I don't think he's in a position to be fighting anybody," the official said, adding, "They got a confession from him."
The FBI aired TV commercials in fourteen cities "on shows geared to women viewers, such as Dr. Oz, as part of an effort to find Mr. Bulger through Ms. Greig," the Times reported.
This post has been updated with additional information.