James Joseeph “Whitey” Bulger (“g” pronounced as “j”) was a notorious Boston mobster who engaged in racketeering, promotion of illegal gambling, and murder. He also served for a while as an FBI informant, but went on the lam in 1994 when his indictment for racketeering was imminent.
The Martin Scorsese movie “The Departed” was based largely on Bulger’s life, with Jack Nicholson playing the Bulger-ish character. (Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Sheen, and Matt Damon were also in the movie, which I and others highly recommend.)
Bulger remained on the run for 17 years, but was finally captured last June in Santa Monica, California, where he had been living as a recluse. How was he caught? Cats tipped off the authorities, helped by Anna Bjornsdottir, a former Miss Iceland, who was Bulger’s neighbor. According to CBS News:
A Boston Globe investigation reveals it was Miss Iceland 1974 who was the tipster who collected the $2 million reward for information to the arrest four months ago of notorious alleged Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger.
Bulger, formerly No. 1 on the FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitives list, was discovered when he went outside to help feed a stray cat. Bulger, who almost never went outside, was seen there and remembered by the former Miss Universe contestant and actress, Anna Bjornsdottir, Bulger’s sometime neighbor.
. . . Boston Globe reporter Shelley Murphy, who spent months tracking down details of Bulger’s life as a fugitive, said on “The Early Show,” that Bulger’s apartment building wouldn’t permit pets, so he had to go outside to feed the cat.
Murphy said, “Apparently, Whitey liked the cat. … He would be out there this morning while his girlfriend fed this cat.”
The CBS video report is here (it’s preceded by a brief ad).