Whitey Bulger lured from Santa Monica home with FBI 'ruse,' authorities say
Authorities at a multiagency news conference in Boston praised their own persistence and tenacity in the capture of legendary crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger, and credited public service announcements for leading them to the fugitive in Santa Monica.
The announcements were launched Monday and Tuesday in 14 markets across the country where Bulger and his companion, Catherine Elizabeth Greig, 60, had been spotted or had past ties.
Bulger, 81, who has been on the run for more than 15 years, fled Boston in late 1994 as federal agents were about to arrest him in connection with at least 19 killings, racketeering and other crimes that spanned the early 1970s to the mid-1980s. He headed an organized crime group that allegedly controlled extortion, drug deals and other illegal activities in the Boston area.
Bulger had been on the FBI's 10 most wanted fugitive list, and the agency had offered a $2-million reward for his arrest.
Authorities said police received the tip that led them to Santa Monica on Tuesday night, and that by Wednesday morning the FBI Fugitive Task Force in L.A. was asked to conduct surveillance, with assistance from the Los Angeles Police Department.
The task force began setting up surveillance Wednesday about 4 p.m. and determined the tip to be "fruitful" after spotting two people they believed to be Bulger and Greig.
Then, using a "ruse," authorities lured the man out of the apartment, concluded it was Bulger and arrested him without incident. They arrested Greig inside the home. They provided no details about the ruse.
The couple had been using aliases, calling themselves Charles and Carol Gasko, authorities said.
Bulger and Greig are scheduled to appear Thursday in federal court in downtown Los Angeles. Officials plan to also begin extradition proceedings to Boston.
-- Kate Mather
Photo: FBI investigators in the garage of the apartment building on 3rd Street in Santa Monica where fugitive James 'Whitey' Bulger was arrested Wednesday. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times