Investigators hope a new media campaign announced today will bring them closer to capturing the notorious mobster and Top Ten fugitive James “Whitey” Bulger by focusing public attention on his longtime companion Catherine Greig.
Bulger, who once ran South Boston’s violent Winter Hill Gang and is wanted for his role in 19 murders, has been pursued around the world by the FBI-led Bulger Fugitive Task Force for the past 16 years.
“In terms of publicity, the FBI knows that combining the reach and power of the media with alert citizens is a successful formula for catching fugitives,” said Richard Teahan, a special agent in our Boston office who leads the Bulger task force. “So we are taking the next logical step and continuing our focus on Greig, who has been on the run with Bulger since 1995.”
|Catherine Greig, as seen (from left) in 1982, 1990, and in an artist's sketch. | View Wanted Poster
The task force has produced a public service announcement (PSA) that will begin airing tomorrow on TV stations in 14 selected markets to make the public—and specifically women—aware of Greig’s physical characteristics, habits, and personality traits.
“We are trying to reach a different audience that will produce new leads in the case,” said Teahan, who has been tracking Bulger since 2006. “Greig has certain habits, characteristics, and idiosyncrasies that are recognizable, and we think the public might naturally notice these things. By running the PSA in markets where we believe Bulger has resided or may still have contacts,” he added, “we increase our chances of getting a tip that will lead to Greig’s whereabouts—and Bulger’s capture.”
One of the things the public may notice, for example, is the more than 20-year age difference between Greig, 60, and Bulger, 81. Some of Greig’s other distinguishing characteristics include:
- She loves dogs and all kinds of animals.
- She is likely to have well-kept teeth because she previously worked as a dental hygienist.
- She likes to frequent beauty salons.
- Prior to her fleeing with Bulger, she had multiple plastic surgeries.
Greig has blue eyes, is 5 feet 6 inches tall, and had a thin build when she fled with Bulger. She is known to go by the aliases Helen Marshal and Carol Shapeton. She was last seen with Bulger in London in 2002. The 30-second PSA includes pictures of Greig after her pre-fugitive plastic surgeries.
Although she is not implicated in the crimes Bulger is wanted for, Greig was federally charged in 1997 for harboring a fugitive. There is a reward of up to $100,000 for her capture. The reward for Bulger is up to $2 million, the largest the FBI has ever offered for a Top Ten domestic fugitive.
“Whitey Bulger was the leader of a violent organized crime group in Boston,” Teahan said. “He is charged with murder, extortion, racketeering, money laundering, and other crimes. We believe Greig fled with Bulger because she wanted to be with him, no matter what it took. It is important for the FBI to bring Bulger to justice,” he added, “and Catherine Greig can lead us to him.”