“The Fugitive: Hide in Plain Sight”

Joseph Bulger: America's Most Wanted

When I first heard about the capture of fugitive Whitey Bulger images of “The Fugitive” Richard Kimball flashed through my mind, a man on the run, persistently hunted by the law, who managing to stay one jump ahead of his pursuers. Of course the circumstances of both fugitives is quite different, Kimball was an innocent man, wrongly convicted, searching for the one armed man who killed his wife. Bulger is a cold blooded killer responsible for the death of at least nineteen people. He’s the real thing.

Bulger’s been on the run for sixteen years, well not really on the run, more like hiding out, living a quiet, unassuming life in Santa Monica with his girlfriend in a small two bedroom apartment near the beach. Just a regular Joe who always paid his rent on time and in cash. The only remnants of his former gangland life were the stash of 30 assorted weapons, fake ID’s and the $800,000 in cash found in the apartment. Yeah turns out the FBI’s most wanted notorious fugitive from justice, is just another little old man  living in retirement.

I can imagine this 81 year old reputed mobster boss quietly sitting back in his easy up recliner watching the History or Western Channel all day, everyday. Drums up images of the retired Godfather playing in his garden with his grandchildren. Bulger is a guy who enjoyed the limelight, hobnobbing, nightclubbing, travelling to the French Rivera, living the good life. Yet there he was, hiding in plain sight in a rent controlled apartment in Santa Monica, go figure. You’d think he’d be in Buenos Aires, Sicily somewhere he could live like a king or even Dublin, Ireland where he could put on a pea cap and blend in with a thousand other old Irish guys. While FBI and other law enforcement agencies were turning over rocks on two continents looking for him, he was sitting in his modest apartment or strolling the Santa Monica Pier. Unreal.

Now what? Bulger faces federal charges that include murder, conspiracy to commit murder, narcotics distribution, extortion and money laundering. What kind of a deal will the former gangster/FBI informant be able to strike? Yep, that’s right, for years he was an FBI informant, ratting out other Boston gang activities and getting a pass from the FBI in return which allowed him to continue his own criminal activities. Sweet deal. There’s been talk that Bulger owned at least six FBI agents as well as others in law enforcement. In fact it was an FBI agent that gave Bulger the heads up that indictments against him were coming down, giving him ample time to make his getaway. It’s good to have friends in high places.

So will heads roll now that Whitey’s back in Boston? Are some of those FBI “friends of Whitey” still in the agency? Will the FBI be forced to air their dirty laundry in public or will Whitey and the Feds come to some sort of an arrangement? Maybe they’ll deal him life in prison instead of the death penalty. Hey, it’s something!

Personally I don’t think Whitey gives a hoot. He’s 81 years old! He doesn’t care. What can they do to him really? I look at his picture and see a harmless old man, not a notorious mobster, cold blooded killer. But then I look at my 87 year old father and see a harmless old man as well, not the tough talking, rough housing, truck driving man who use to give me so much hell when I was a teen. I suppose we all mellow with age. We’ll just have to wait and see what develops in the Whitey Bulger case. Should be interesting.

Just a Thought…

J S

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