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FBI pays reward in capture of accused mobster 'Whitey' Bulger

September 23, 2011 |  9:57 pm

Whitey bulger booking mug The FBI confirmed Friday that it has paid a $2.1-million reward to the informers who helped end the 16-year manhunt for fugitive crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger and his companion, captured in June in Santa Monica.

But the identities of those who led the agency to the Santa Monica apartment where Bulger and Catherine Greig were arrested June 22 remain a mystery, according to news reports.

On Friday evening, the Boston Herald reported this statement from the FBI's Boston division:

"On Monday, Sept. 19, 2011, the Boston Division of the FBI received final authorization from the United States Department of Justice to pay the $2.1 million reward to those responsible for providing information which directly led to the arrest of former Top Ten Fugitive James 'Whitey' Bulger and his companion Catherine Greig. This information was generated as a direct result of the FBI’s Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign, which was initiated on June 20, 2011.

"The FBI offered $2 million for information leading to the arrest of Mr. Bulger, and $100,000 for information leading to the arrest of Ms. Greig. As of Friday, Sept. 23, 2011, the FBI has paid this reward money to more than one individual.

"To protect the anonymity and privacy of those responsible for providing information which directly led to the arrests of Mr. Bulger and Ms. Greig, the FBI will not comment further regarding this matter."

Bulger, 82, was on the FBI's 10-most-wanted list in connection with 19 homicides and other crimes in Boston. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Greig, 60, has also pleaded not guilty in the case.

A Las Vegas man, Keith Messina, 45, said he tried to collect the reward because he spotted Bulger in Santa Monica in 2008 and called the television show "America's Most Wanted," according to news reports.

The FBI denied his claim and told his lawyer that the money was given to a tipster in Iceland, reports said.

Messina reportedly plans to file a lawsuit, seeking a share of the reward money.


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-- Gale Holland

Photo: James 'Whitey' Bulger

Credit: U.S. Marshals Service