'America's Most Wanted' tipster said he saw Whitey Bulger playing chess in Santa Monica in 2008http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/06/whitey-bulger-americas-most-wanted.html
The host of "America's Most Wanted" said Friday that one of the scores of tips that followed a 2008 broadcast about James "Whitey" Bulger included a claim that the notorious Boston mob boss was seen in Santa Monica -- three years before his arrest there.
John Walsh said in an interview that the tipster did not give specific information in the call to one of the show's operators other than to say a man who looked like Bulger was seen "playing chess on the beach," Walsh said. That information was passed on to the FBI.
Walsh stressed that the Santa Monica tip was one of more than 200 that came in from 20 cities around the country the night of the broadcast.
In all, 16 "America's Most Wanted" shows included segments on Bulger, generating some 2,000 possible leads during the time the crime boss was eluding authorities, Walsh said."There was no specific tip," Walsh said. "It wasn't where or how, other than somebody thought they saw Whitey Bulger playing chess on Santa Monica Beach. It's not like the FBI had specific information that he (Bulger) was in Santa Monica."
The FBI in Los Angeles declined comment on the 2008 tip. At a news conference, FBI Assistant Director Steven Martinez, who heads the bureau's Los Angeles operations, said the arrest culminated a "challenging" international manhunt that involved thousands of leads and took agents from Louisiana to London as well as locations around Southern California.
It turns out that Bulger, 81, and his longtime girlfriend, Catherine Elizabeth Greig, 60, had been living for more than 14 years in their Santa Monica apartment, blocks from the beach and about five miles from the FBI's Westwood office.
After developing information from a tip to the FBI's Los Angeles bureau, Bulger and Greig were arrested Wednesday night.
Walsh said people should not underestimate the difficulty of the case or the ability of Bulger to elude authorities who "followed this guy to the ends of the Earth."
As for the fact that he was living out in the open, Walsh said many of the hundreds of fugitives who their show has helped bring to justice follow a similar pattern. "They don't go to exotic locations, they hide in plain sight," he said.
Man says he spotted Bulger lounging in Santa Monica in 2008
Keith Messina said today he was on vacation with his family in Santa Monica in 2008, when he spotted James “Whitey’’ Bulger in broad daylight, sitting shirtless near the Santa Monica pier.
“I was shocked,” Messina said in a telephone interview from Las Vegas today. “I was like, wait a minute, this is him.”
Messina, who is a fan of “America’s Most Wanted,” said he recognized Bulger from the television show that profiles fugitives.
At the time, Bulger was wearing black sunglasses and a gold necklace with a cross, Messina said, and reading a thick brown book.
When Messina returned from vacation, he looked up photos of Bulger online, and his hunch was confirmed, he said. The photos and descriptions matched up perfectly. He decided to call America’s Most Wanted. He left the tip but refused to leave his name.
Calif. cop: I knew he was here all along!
Cop says he saw fugitive Bulger before capture, but no one believed himhttp://bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1347620
It wasn’t quite the Hollywood ending he’d hoped for, but one California cop with ties to the Hub knows in his heart he and James “Whitey” Bulger will always have San Diego.
“I’m from back there (in Boston). I knew it was him, and they all laughed at me,” said the officer, who the Herald reported in 2006 claimed to have crossed paths with Bulger as the former fugitive left a screening of “The Departed” — acclaimed director Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning ode to the mob monster.
The officer, who asked not to be identified by name but once worked at the former Charles Street jail, was off duty when the alleged brush occurred. Yesterday, the officer said San Diego is about an hour’s drive from Santa Monica, where Bulger, 81, and girlfriend Catherine Greig, 60, were arrested Wednesday night after eluding capture for 16 years.
“I was two feet from him. I held the door for him. And then he ran,” the cop recalled. “After that, he took off. But he didn’t go far, obviously.”
The man he believed to the FBI’s Most Wanted domestic fugitive hopped a trolley, he said.
“We were actively looking for him for a few weeks,” he said. “I knew the whole time it was him. I was always sure it was him.”
The officer told authorities at the time he pegged Bulger for his “steely blue eyes” and muscular physique, but the Bulger Task Force never declared the run-in credible.
“I was pretty discouraged, that a cop from Massachusetts says he sees Whitey Bulger and no one takes it seriously,” the cop said.
Official: Bulger tip came from overseashttp://www.boston.com/Boston/metrodesk/2011/06/official-bulger-tip-came-from-overseas/MTEfJCoe4nQIilH9la9fqL/index.html
SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- The tip that led to a stunning break in the 16-year-long international manhunt for fugitive James “Whitey” Bulger came from overseas, a law enforcement official said.
The tip came from a woman who was living overseas but had previously crossed paths with Bulger and his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, in Santa Monica, where the couple were arrested Wednesday.
The tipster was watching CNN in the other country when she spotted a story about a new FBI TV ad campaign focusing on Greig. The FBI had announced the campaign on Monday, saying it was trying a new tack in its long-thwarted hunt for Bulger. The woman then called authorities.
FBI spokesman Damon Katz said, “The identity of the tipster and where the tipster is from is not something we are going to get into.”
FBI officials have said the tip came in Tuesday to the FBI’s Los Angeles office. It was then reviewed by Bulger experts in Boston and deemed to be credible. Authorities began surveillance of Bulger and Greig’s apartment on Wednesday, arresting them late Wednesday afternoon, Pacific time.
The couple had been living a quiet life in a modest apartment building just a few blocks from the beach.Bulger, 81, went before a federal judge today in Boston on a bail hearing after being caught in Santa Monica, California by federal investigators living with his long-time girlfriend Catherine Greig, 60, on a tip from an Icelandic woman who lives part-time in Santa Monica, according to WCVB TV.
WBUR radio reported Friday that the tip that led the FBI to Bulger came from someone in Iceland who used to live in the same apartment building.
Art Hostage Comments:
Well, now we have heard it all, first, an off duty cop reconises Whitey Bulger in San Diego in 2006 and is met with derision by the FBI, then in 2008 a tipster calls in a tip to America's Most Wanted, who pass details to FBI, but again no action taken, Nada, zero.
Then three years later, a woman, who allegedly lived next door to Whitey Bulger and Catherine Greig and is currently in Iceland, sees a 30 second advert for the TV ad's that are going to be aired about Whitey Bulger and Catherine Greig and calls in the tip. Agents respond and arrest Whitey Bulger.
Now the actual arrest. Why lure Whitey Bulger out of the apartment at all, why not use stun grenades and swat team burst in.
Well, the reason is crystal clear because the FBI knew Whitey Bulger had an armoury inside apartment 303 therefore the ruse was needed to take him alive and protect the life of Catherine Greig.
As Art Hostage said before, this was all staged but it is coming apart at the seams.
If it had been kept simple then it would have been easier to control.
Instead we now have an Icelandic woman, who is Volcano spotting in Iceland, calling in the vital tip three years after old Kevin Messina spotted Whitey Bulger on Santa Monica beach.
Still, we are lucky the spin wasn't the FBI found Whitey Bulger's number on Osama Bin Laden's cellphone and called it.
Catherine Greig answered "Hello, the Whitey Bulger residence" and so the FBI knew they were onto a winner.
Alternatively, the Pakistani ISI threatened to launch an armed raid to capture Whitey Bulger in Santa Monica and ask the same awkward questions of the U.S. Govt that have been asked of the Pakistani Govt.
This whole case is surreal, a flight of pure fantasy.
Still waiting for the news the Rembrandt "Storm on the Sea of Galilee" from the Gardner Museum was found rolled up in the Whitey Bulger apartment.
If Whitey Bulger lasts the course and is not given a Lee Harvey Oswald, then we are all in for a roller coaster ride of claim and counter claim.
We haven't got to the part about how Boston cops, FBI, Politicians etc colluded to send guns to the IRA and collectively help fund the IRA during the Reagan years, early 80's.
The IRA Soldiers given safe haven in Boston with the full knowledge of FBI after breaking out of the Maze prison in 1983, Kevin Barry Artt, Pól Brennan, James Smyth and Terrence Kirby
Forget the 1984 Valhalla, the ones that got through are the smoking guns so to speak.
Food for thought: "
If tip came from Ireland rather than Iceland, then that would fit into the wider Irish Republican theme running through the whole James "Whitey" Bulger saga"
To be continued..........