In hunt for Whitey Bulger, FBI targeted dental offices, plastic surgeons, beauty salons
FBI officials said Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger was arrested after 17 years on the lam from a tip resulting from a new publicity campaign about the case.
"Recent publicity produced a tip which led agents to Santa Monica where they located both Bulger and Greig," said Richard Deslauriers, special agent in charge of the FBI's office in Boston, and Steven Martinez, the FBI's assistant director in charge in Los Angeles, in a statement.
The campaign focused on finding Bulger's longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig, and included television commercials in 14 major cities where there had been reported sightings of the couple.
FBI officials said the public service announcements were directed at women who might recognize Greig, 60. They also doubled the reward being offered for her capture to $100,000 from $50,000.
ABC News reported Thursday that the FBI also placed ads this year in Plastic Surgery News hoping medical professionals who performed cosmetic surgery on Greig might come forward.
Bulger was believed to have been traveling with Greig for the last several years, according to the FBI. Greig was a dental hygienist by occupation. Authorities say she dyed her hair to disguise her appearance. The media campaign was aimed at women in their 60s, the same demographic as Greig, in hopes of developing leads. FBI officials had noted that Grieg frequented beauty salons.
Officials have not disclosed details about how they got the tip and whether it focused on Bulger or Greig. There have been reporting sightings of the pair for years -- but no lead to solid clues about their whereabouts.
The push marked the latest in numerous efforts by authorities to track Bulger since he went on the run more than a decade ago.
In 2008 the FBI doubled the reward offered for Bulger's capture to $2 million from $1 million. At the time a video announcement of the increased reward called him "a predator in every sense of the word."
The FBI had been seeking Bulger since he fled Boston in 1994 as he was being sought in connection with at least 19 slayings and other charges.
-- Shelby Grad and Megan Garvey