After 16 years of 'pursuit' and listed as one of America's Most Wanted, James "Whitey" Bulger was back in Boston Federal Court in South Boston yesterday to answer to the several indictments which charge him with Racketeering, Extortion, Money Laundering, Loan Sharking, Witness Tampering, Gun Crimes Charges and Murder.
In the courtroom, along with members of his alleged victims' families, and members of his own family, including former Massachusetts Senate President William M. Bulger, the 81 year old James Bulger reportedly sat calmly and collected throughout the initial proceedings.
To the surprise of many, James Bulger asked to be given a court-appointed lawyer despite the government having seized approximately $800,000 in cash from his apartment at the time of his arrest. In the alternative, he asked the Judge Magistrate to return that money so he could hire his own attorney.
Although this may have frustrated many, the reality is that, in order for the government to seize those funds, they would have to show that those monies were derived from his dealings of a criminal enterprise. This is the government's burder - and not Mr. Bulger's to demonstrate that those funds were obtained lawfully. This issue, of course, will be the subject of future court proceedings...
So how did the FBI get James "Whitey" Bulger back in custody? ...it seems there is more to this story than the FBI is reporting.
According to the FBI in Boston, they received a tip from a woman in Iceland who had reportedly crossed paths with both Whitey Bulger and Catherine Greig in Santa Monica. The woman reportedly saw a CNN report that reported a story about the FBI's television ad about Catherine Greig.
I'm not so sure I really believe that James Bulger and Catherine Greig were apprehended after 16 years; after being on America's Most Wanted List for so long, and after a tip following a CNN special from a woman from Iceland of all places.
Additionally, several questions still remain: if Bulger and Greig were in fact living in that same apartment complex in Santa Monica for the last 16 years, how were they able to leave and re-enter the country during that time, especially after 9/11? With the technology available to the government today and will the thousands of tips, how were they able to live in a large city undetected for so long?
Many critics still question whether the FBI actually knew of their whereabouts and simply did nothing because, perhaps, they did not want him found. After all, imagine how many more people James Bulger can bring down and how much more damage he can do to the already tarnished reputation of the FBI if he begins talking...
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