I was in Santa Monica when Whitey Bulger was captured and I did a story about him at the time which can be found in the archives of Down The Road. This week I’m bringing you a follow up report on Whitey and Catherine Greig.
Down The Road with the Original Buffalo Dale
Welcome back. As we all knew, the end of the trail for Whitey Bulger last year was not number 303 at the Princess Eugenia Apartments in Santa Monica, California. As a youthful offender Whitey spent time on Alcatraz Island and after his release he forcibly took control of the powerful Winter Hill gang out of Boston. He was no dummy and at the height of his power he had politicians, cops and judges in his hip pocket. In sworn testimony his former right hand man during the 1970s, Kevin Weeks stated that Whitey’s favorite saying during the holidays was “Christmas is for cops and kids.”
According to the Associated Press,Greig the long time girlfriend, has agreed to plead guilty to several charges and could do as little as thirty two months under federal guidelines. With this plea she will not have to testify against Whitey. Whitey’s day in court has been set by a federal magistrate for November 5, 2012. The defense attorneys had asked for more time to review the thousands of pages of documents filed by federal prosecutors as evidence but their request was denied. The government also filed hundreds of recorded wiretaps and a document entitled “My Life in the Irish Mafia Wars” which was discovered in a Boston home in 1995 that belonged to Whitey. A second document was found in the Santa Monica apartment which prosecutors claim is Whitey’s autobiography. It was discovered along with eight hundred thousand dollars in cash which had been hidden in the walls of the apartment.
In Massachusetts Whitey is being charged with racketeering, murder, conspiracy to commit murder, drug dealing, extortion and money laundering. When this trial is over he is wanted in other states including Oklahoma where he is implicated in the 1981 murder of Tulsa businessman Roger Wheeler who was shot to death in the parking lot of Southern Hills Country Club . In 2006 Whitey’s life was depicted in The Departed, a movie directed by Martin Scorsese starring Jack Nicholson and Leonardo Di Caprio. I imagine with the new information coming to light part 2. won’t be far off.
Another true American mystery is the story of D.B. Cooper who parachuted out of a hijacked Boeing 727 with $200,000 in ransom money, a case which remains the only unsolved hijacking of an American airliner in history. Although the FBI doesn’t know what the initials D.B. stood for, a man calling himself Dan Cooper purchased a one way ticket from Portland, OR to Seattle, WA the day before Thanksgiving 1971 fromNorthwest Airlines. Cooper was in his mid-forties and around five foot ten. He wore a black raincoat, dark suit, white shirt and black necktie. Witnesses said he could have passed as a funeral home director or a banker.
Well friends, a retired law enforcement officer has brought a tip to the FBI. They are saying it’s credible and according to FBI Special Agent Frederick Gutt, it’s the most promising lead they’ve ever had in the case. The retired officer claims that the hijacker died ten years ago and Agent Gutt is trying to match the finger prints they have on file from the plane with the fingerprints of this deceased person. The last anyone saw of Dan Cooper was when he lit a cigarette (which you could do in 1971) ordered bourbon and water and then became an infamous figure in American history.
Over the past eight years I have written many stories both about good men like Waite Phillips and about outlaws like these. It’s all history, both the good and the bad, and I hope you enjoy it.
Till next week I’ll see ya down the road……