Whitey Bulger: Fugitive pair used aliases, blended in among Santa Monica retirees
This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.
As the Santa Monica neighborhood surrounding crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger's apparent hideout began to wake up Thursday morning, many of the area's residents seemed to have no idea why a smattering of news trucks and police patrol cars lined the streets.
Peter McMullen, 81, out on his daily stroll to Starbucks, said he was in bed before 9 p.m. Wednesday.
He said the idea a high-profile fugitive living just down the street didn't faze him.
"It doesn't worry me," McMullen said, "I'm 81. I'm going to be afraid?"
Bulger and his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, lived in Apartment 303 of the Princess Eugenia complex on 3rd Street, a few blocks from the beach. The area is filled with retirees, many of whom live in rent-controlled apartments or in nearby senior housing. It would be easy, several residents said, for an elderly couple to blend in undetected.
In fact, authorities said Bulger and Greig used aliases -- Charles and Carol Gasko. The name Gasko is clearly marked on the building's directory.
One woman who lived directly across the hall from the Boston mob boss and his companion said she just considered them a couple who liked to keep to themselves.
They would smile and say hello, but never a dinner invitation, never even small talk, said the neighbor, who asked not to be named.
But Wednesday night, the neighbor said she heard the commotion as FBI agents entered the small, three-story story complex and head for her neighbor's door.
"They were everywhere," the neighbor said.
She said she believed the two lived alone. If the two did have a dog, as some reports have said, they were breaking the complex's no-pet policy.
Robert Goldman, 47, a nearby resident, said he'd seen the couple on the block and walking the Third Street Promenade.
Goldman, the owner of a cocker spaniel and a Chihuahua mix, said what stuck out about the older duo was that, unlike many in the area, they never asked to pet his dogs.
"They sort of kept to themselves," said Goldman, a Boston native. He said he grew up fearing the mobster, but figured he was long dead.
"He's changed so much," Goldman said. "He just looks so much older."
[For the Record, 11:31 a.m. June 23: An earlier version of this post said Bulger lived in Unit 33. Although the building directory shown above gives the number as 33, the actual number is 303. Also, the post previously omitted the first name of Catherine Greig.]
-- Robert Faturechi in Santa Monica
Photo: Authorities say Whitey Bulger and his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, used the aliases Charles and Carol Gasko. The last name is listed on the directory of the Santa Monica apartment building where they were arrested. Credit: Robert Faturechi / Los Angeles Times