Caturday felid: gangster Whitey Bulger brought down by Miss Iceland and a stray cat

October 15, 2011 • 6:07 am

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).


23 thoughts on “Caturday felid: gangster Whitey Bulger brought down by Miss Iceland and a stray cat

  1. Good thing there’s no reward out for you! The story of your capture would include, “… after a long standoff, the suspect was lured from the building without incident after releasing stray cats around the perimeter.

  2. …where he had been living as a recluse…

    He was not living so much as a recluse. He traveled several times to Las Vegas and even traveled to Boston.

  3. The Departed was actually a remake of the Hong Kong hit “Infernal Affairs”, so they were were really just using his name rather than basing the story (opposing infiltrators) on his life.

    1. Yeah. The Hollywood version has a creaky, gratuitous & cheesy romantic sub-plot bolted on. Hollywood has a history of stealing wonderful foreign films/books & beating the life out of them. Example…

      Original: The Wicker Man [1973] & the remake [2006] ‘starring’ Nicolas Cage and Ellen Burstyn

      Video evidence [0:27]: Cage wearing a bear suit hits a woman to the instrumental theme music of “Chariots of Fire” by Vangelis ~ it would make a cat laugh! BTW Cage was born Nicolas Kim Coppola which makes a circle back to The Departed

      Don’t get me talkin’ about Hollywood reinventing world history… 🙂

    2. Bingo. And, for the record, Tony Leung in “Infernal Affairs” was about a million times better than DiCaprio ever dreamed of being.

      1. Hollywood also adapted Mystic River, which I heard was quite good. Having read the book no way I was putting mysefl through the movie. More to the point, they adapted Fever Pitch and made it the Red Sox. Not a great film, but a fantastic ending, and very Boston. When they adapted Infernal Affairs and put it in Boston they absolutely had Whitey in mind. In fact, it reads more like Black Mass than Internal Affairs to me.

        My favorite Nicholson performance – when the Celts tanked the Lakers in ’08.

  4. Yes all very interesting, but what are Miss Iceland’s views on whether Evolution should be taught in the classroom?

      1. they tend to believe in fairies and elves more than Christianity, Judaism or any other religion. According to the Iceland Tourist Board, though 80 percent of Icelanders aren’t sure fairies or elves exist, new roads are designed to steer clear of elf habitat. Perhaps that is for the tourists though. Does Iceland get many tourists from Norway? And most importantly, are there kitteh fairies?

  5. “Aww, Bulger liked the kitties. Surely we can overlook the 19 murder charges.”

    Yeah, I know — the murders. But, still I’m bummed that he got caught while HELPING a cat…now, if he got caught when he came out to KICK a cat, I’d feel better about it!

    1. In Iceland you look people up by their first name in a telephone directory as your parents have probably got different patronymics. So I would say Anna Bjornsdottir! Poor puddy tats!

  6. “You can’t make this stuff up!”

    Must be pretty tough to be still clinging to your identity as Miss Iceland 1974 in 2010…

    1. It’s a heritage thing. She’s still doing sash’n’stiletto gigs such as the the second one on the list HERE only the other day.

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