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Whitey Bulger arrest: ‘I never thought they’d capture him,’ victim’s son says

June 23, 2011 |  3:59 pm

Document: Massachusetts federal indictmentMichael Donahue was 13 when his father was allegedly gunned down by James "Whitey" Bulger in 1982.

The late Michael Donahue had been in the wrong place at the wrong time, his son said. A man named Brian Halloran asked him for a ride home from a bar to Dorchester, Mass., where the two lived.

Document: Massachusetts federal indictment

Halloran was an FBI informant. Bulger and an accomplice were waiting outside, and Donahue was killed along with the snitch, Donahue said.

Donahue's oldest son, now 42, said he never thought Bulger would be caught.

Photos: The hunt for James "Whitey" Bulger

"I never thought they'd capture him alive or in the country, and then to hear that he's been hiding out for 15 years,” Donahue said as the local news blared information about Bulger's arrest in the background. “ ‘America's Most Wanted' is supposed to be the best show on TV to catch criminals and they've had tons and tons of shows on him over the years. And then they put a campaign out for the woman he's with, and a fan of Barbara Walters or 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' is the one to put him in jail? It's almost comical."

Donahue said he doesn't have any information about who called in the tip, but he noted that the latest media campaign to catch Bulger and his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, was aimed to appeal to older women. The FBI began airing the public service announcements on daytime television shows, such as "Dr. Oz" — shows that appeal to older women who might have come across Greig during her beauty appointments.

Video: Mobster was target of new FBI campaign

Donahue said he and his family — mother Patricia and brothers Tommy and Shawn — were glad to hear the news, but were wary that justice would be served.

"We'll have to see. I think it's great that they caught him, that he's not living on the ocean in Santa Monica anymore. But it all comes down to the Department of Justice now, and as far as I'm concerned, the Department of Justice has dropped the ball," Donahue said. "My hope is that Florida or Oklahoma gets the case and they give him the death penalty."


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-- Kate Mather