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FBI’S PAID-FOR TV AD CAPTURES MOST-WANTED SUSPECT

June 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Bulger in 1953

Bulger Today (WBUR)

A television ad that had been ridiculed by numerous TV commentators proved just the ticket to capture America’s most wanted criminal suspect, James “Whitey” Bulger. The 81-year-old Bulger was accused of being involved in at least 19 murders, among other charges. (Jack Nicholson’s character in The Departed was reportedly modeled after him.) For about $50,000, the bureau bought 350 ad slots during daytime programs and other shows aimed primarily at women for a commercial featuring Boston-based agent Richard DesLauriers. Instead of aiming at Bulger directly, the ads targeted his girlfriend, Catherine Greig. “There is someone in the United States or elsewhere in the world who knows Catherine Greig as a neighbor, friend or co-worker,” DesLauriers says in the spot. It also mentioned a reward of $2 million for information leading to Bulger’s arrest and $100,000 for Greig’s. Within 48 hours, the FBI’s Los Angeles got a tip that led to the arrest of both Bulger and Grieg. In a column appearing in today’s (Friday) Boston Herald, James Verniere writes, “In American gangster movies, the bad guys usually go out in a blaze of infernal glory. … But there’s seldom such a White Heat exit in real life, just a lonely geriatric cell for so many, Whitey included.”