NAME: James “Whitey” Bulger
DATE OF BIRTH: Sept. 3, 1929
FAMILY: Grew up in South Boston. His younger brother, William, was one of the most powerful politicians in Massachusetts, leading the state Senate for 17 years and later serving as president of the University of Massachusetts for seven years. William Bulger testified about his brother before a congressional committee and has said he has only heard from his brother once since he became a fugitive.
BACKGROUND: Whitey Bulger led the violent Winter Hill Gang, a largely Irish mob that ran loan-sharking, gambling and drug rackets in the Boston area. He was nicknamed “Whitey” for his shock of bright platinum hair.
FBI DEALINGS: He was a top-echelon informant who provided the Boston FBI with information on his gang’s main rival, the New England Mob. Bulger later was listed as one of the agency’s “Ten Most Wanted” for his alleged role in 19 murders, including the slayings of businessmen in Florida and Oklahoma. He was next to Osama bin Laden on the list and had a $2 million reward on his head.
The prosecution of James “Whitey” Bulger, who faces a host of charges – including racketeering and 19 counts of murder – could also bring embarrassment and public humiliation for corrupt public officials, says a former associate of the Boston crime boss.
On “The Early Show on Saturday Morning,” Eddie MacKenzie, who was an enforcer for Bulger and the author of “Street Soldier: My Life as an Enforcer for Whitey Bulger and the Boston Irish Mob” (Random House), said he believes “there’s a hole dug with a big portfolio full of a lot of dirty public officials and maybe some dirty law enforcement officials that ‘Whitey’ Bulger has had for years, waiting for this day of his capture, so that he can use it for some sort of bargaining tool.”
When asked whom some of those officials might be, Mackenzie replied, “I live in Boston; I’m not about to say anything like that.”
Bulger, who was arrested after 16 years as a fugitive, does not frighten Mackenzie now that he is in custody. “I’m not afraid to say anything because of ‘Whitey’ Bulger because he’s just a rat. He’s a scum bag, an 81-year-old guy. I’m afraid because if there’s law enforcement people out there, any public official out there that knows that they’re dirty and I throw their name out there, you know, I’m going to get myself in trouble.”