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June 23, 2011

Spoiler Alert: FBI's Most Wanted James "Whitey" Bulger Has Been Arrested in Santa Monica, CA

by Catherine Schofield Sezgin, ARCA Blog Editor-in-chief

UPDATE: The New York Times reported that Bulger and his girlfriend Catherine Greig were arrested at a private residence.  The FBI had launched a specific campagin to find Greig who frequented places offering teeth cleaning, beauty salons and plastic surgery.

The Los Angeles Times reported at 8:35 p.m. Pacific Standard Time that the FBI arrested James "Whitey" Bulger this evening in Santa Monica, California. The former FBI informant and Boston criminal has been a fugitive since 1994. Bulger became the most wanted after the death of Osama Bin Laden. A $2 million reward was offered for information leading to his arrest.

The FBI has not yet released an official press release but their website for their "Ten Most Wanted" shows "Captured" under Bulger's photo.

In Ulrich Boser's book, The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World's Largest Unsolved Art Theft, the author reports that at the time of the 1990 theft of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, that "Bulger was one of the most powerful gangsters in Boston, the head of the infamous Irish-American mob, the Winter Hill Gang, and during the 1970s and '80s, Bulger controlled the New England underworld with savage brutality."

Basically, although Bulger was not thought to have orchestrated the largest art theft in American history, such a crime could not have happened in Boston without him knowing about it. Maybe the 81-year-old Bulger would be willing to exchange information about the location of the paintings in exchange for leniency?

We can only hope.

Image of James "Whitey" Bulger above is from the FBI website.