Whitey Bulger Arrest: FBI Pays $2.1 Million Reward in Case of Martin Scorsese's 'Departed' Inspiration
Jack Nicholson played a character modeled on the former crime boss, who was captured in June after 16 years on the run, in the Oscar-winning film; two films about the mobster also are in the works.
The FBI has paid a $2.1 million reward to tipsters who provided information leading to the arrests of former crime boss James Whitey Bulger, who was an inspiration for Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning 2006 film The Departed.
Bulger and his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, were captured in June after 16 years on the run together. He had been wanted for his alleged role numerous crimes, including 19 murders.
The reward money was paid to more than one individual, according to an FBI statement released Friday. It did not identify the recipients.
Bulger, 82, and Greig, 60, were arrested in Santa Monica in June with a stash of about 30 firearms and $822,000 in cash hidden in holes in the wall of their apartment.
Just days ahead of the arrest, the FBI launched new televised public service announcements about the pair, aimed at female viewers who might have seen Greig.
The FBI had offered $2 million for information leading to the arrest of Bulger, who had been placed on the agency's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list in 1999. A $100,000 reward was offered for a tip that resulted in apprehending Greig.
Authorities said the information leading to the arrests was a direct result of the new media campaign.
Bulger fled Boston in late 1994 after receiving a tip from a corrupt FBI agent that federal charges were pending. Greig joined him a short time later and has been charged with harboring Bulger as a fugitive.
Bulger, who for years led the Boston-based Winter Hill Gang, faces charges that include 19 alleged murders from the 1970s and 1980s. Both Bulger and Greig have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
In Scorsese’s Departed, Jack Nicholson played the role that was inspired by Bulger (the character was named Francis "Frank" Costello). The movie won four Oscars at the 2007 ceremony, including best picture. It also stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg.
At least two Bulger films are in the works: In June, Peter Facinelli unveiled plans for a project about the mobster. The Departed producer Graham King also said he was fast-tracking a project he’s been developing about John Martorano, the enforcer from Bulger’s Winter Hill Gang who turned government informer.
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