Real Name: James J. Bulger
Aliases: Whitey Bulger, Jimmy Bulger
Wanted For: Murder, Extortion
Missing Since: January 1995
Details: James J. "Whitey" Bulger came from a prominent family and was a petty thief turned bank robber who spent nine years in federal prisons. Afterwards, he established an empire in Boston and ruled it with an iron fist for over twenty years, earning $25 million. Bulger operated out of the back of a liquor store in south Boston. One night in 1989, Bulger arrived at the store where his associate Stephen "The Rifle Man" Flemmi was there along with a store owner named Tim Connolly, whom Bulger allegedly targeted for extortion. Bulger told Tim that he needed $50,000 by the end of the week or else, and $25,000 in two days. Two days later, Tim came to the liquor store and gave him the money, and Bulger accepted him.
However, Tim did not like this so he decided to go to the FBI; they began building a case against Bulger. They found that Bulger was very prominent in south Boston and was well-liked by many people. He took care of the residents, as long as they didn't cross him. He apparently controlled everything that happened there, including drug dealing and loan sharking. From time to time, the FBI brought him in for questioning, but they did not have enough evidence to charge him.
Some speculated that Bulger was never arrested because he was actually an FBI informant who was helping to bring down the Italian mafia. The FBI, however, denies this. In 1990, Bulger set up his office on Castle Island in south Boston. He often met with people in the middle of a busy park, making it difficult for investigators to listen in on his conversations. One investigator noticed that, on several occasions, Bulger would talk to someone, get up, walk around, talk to another person, and then come back and talk to the other person. The FBI thought his actions were strange.
FBI did not have enough evidence until Tim Connolly came forward. He provided them with the evidence needed to build a federal racketeering case against Bulger. In January of 1995, Bulger was indicted, along with Stephen Flemmi and Frank Salemme, on several charges including nineteen counts of murder, extortion, money laundering, perjury, and more. However, Bulger vanished before he could be arrested. He is believed to be traveling with his girlfriend, Catherine Greig. They are both still at large.
Extra Notes: This segment ran November 22, 1996. Bulger was also implicated in the earlier murder of Roger Wheeler, President of World Jailai, whose case ran on January 20, 1987.
This case was also profiled on America’s Most Wanted.
In 2015, James "Whitey" Bulger became the subject of a movie on his life. The film stars actor Johnny Depp as Whitey himself.
Results: Captured. Frank Salemme pleaded guilty to the charges against him. He was released after spending several years in prison. However, in 2016, he was arrested again for another murder. Stephen Flemmi was convicted of the charges and received a life sentence.
James "Whitey" Bulger and Cathreine Greig were arrested on June 22, 2011 in Santa Monica, California after decades on the run. The tipster who led to their arrest was former model Anna Bjornsdottir who lived near the fugitives. On November 11, 2013, Bulger was sentenced to two life sentences plus 5 years for eleven murders. The victims included Wheeler, Brian Halloran, Michael Donahue, and John Callahan; each of their cases were previously featured on Unsolved Mysteries. In September 2014, he was moved to United States Penitentiary, Coleman in Sumter County, Florida to serve his sentence.
On October 30, 2018, while serving his double life sentence behind bars in West Virginia, Bulger was beaten to death by another inmate at the age of 89. His body was found unresponsive in the morning and soon was declared dead by a medical examiner. The cause of Bulger's death was initially withheld by authorities as the FBI was called for investigating the killing.
- James "Whitey" Bulger on Unsolved Archive
- James Bulger on Wikipedia
- Whitey Bulger on Biography.com
- Reputed mob leader wins lottery
- Authorities searching for Boston gangster
- Cozy FBI-mobster ties threaten convictions
- Weld never asked FBI if Bulger, Flemmi were informants
- Bulger makes the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list
- Fugitive mobster's brother takes Fifth
- Accused Boston crime boss "Whitey" Bulger arrested
- Long Elusive, Mob Legend Ended Up a Recluse
- Whitey Bulger: The Capture of a Legend
- The arrest, trial of James 'Whitey' Bulger
- Whitey Bulger, Boston gangster found responsible for 11 murders, gets life in prison
- Supreme Court rejects Whitey Bulger appeal
- A look at the 19 murder victims in Whitey Bulger’s trial
- Whitey Bulger met a violent end after a lifetime of brutality
- Whitey Bulger's Fatal Prison Beating: 'He Was Unrecognizable'
- Whitey Bulger died of head injuries, death certificate says