James J. Bulger, or Whitey Bulger, as he is more commonly known was the leader of the infamous Winter Hill Gang, also known as the Snow Hill Gang, in south Boston. Bulger is the brother of William Bulger, who was president of the State Senate, and was the dean of University of Massachusetts until he resigned from that post in 2003. But while Billy Bulger took to the straight and narrow and lead a good life, Whitey took early to a life of crime.

Whitey ended up in Alcatraz after robbing a bank, and seemed destined for an extended stay, but got out early when he volunteered to participate in experiments with LSD.

By 1975, Whitey's activities as gang leader had gotten him enough attention that the FBI offered him a choice to either go down with his Mafia associates or turn State's Evidence. He turned and provided evidence against the Boston mafia for 15 years, under the code name 'Charlie'. But just when it seemed that Whitey had turned over a new leaf, it became clear he was more cunning and ruthless than anyone imagined.

Throughout the 80's and 90's it was became clear to outsiders that it was not the FBI using Bulger but Bulger who was using the FBI to get rid of competition, and for protection from prosecution.

Evidence came to light that Jimmy Connolly, the FBI agent in charge of the case had received real estate, appliances, wine, and cash as bribes from Bulger. Connolly's boss, Field Supervisor John Morris also received bribes from Bulger.

Bulger, with the local Feds in his pocket, started openly engaging in racketeering, and extortion, and murder. When the Boston police went to the FBI to get them to do something about Bulger openly killing four people and threatening a fifth (a liquor store owner named Rakes), the Boston bureau refused to take action and Connolly specifically refuted the eyewitnesses placing Bulger at those murders. Not long after that Bulger won the Boston lotto netting $1.9 million. The police claimed the winning ticket was either forged or extorted out of the real winner, and forfeited the winnings.

With the increasing attention and very real threat of prosecution, Bulger created four new identities, hid money around the country, and vanished. In 1999 the FBI placed him on the Ten Most Wanted list. They are offering a million dollar reward for information leading to his capture. The charges include murder, extortion, and racketeering. Several of the charges stem from RICO, which is really just a way for the FBI to obtain easier convictions against mafia.

Since his disappearance, no one seems to know where he is, though rumors state he's living on the West Coast of Ireland. The FBI has been trying to squeeze Bulger's sister, though without much luck. No one in South Boston is talking, as many people consider him a hero, and think he's been wrongly accused.

Editor's note: James J. "Whitey" Bulger was captured by the US Marshal Service in Santa Monica, California, on June 22, 2011.

Update November 14, 2013

James J. Bulger was sentenced to two life terms in prison as well as an additional five years by a federal judge. Given that he is 84 years old, chances are he will never see the light of day again.

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