Florida and Oklahoma Would Also Like a Word With Whitey Bulger
While the Los Angeles Times speculates he could help solve a famous art heist
James "Whitey" Bulger and girlfriend Catherine Greig are scheduled to appear at Moaxley Courthouse in South Boston later this afternoon, "provided they complete their return from California in time," the Boston Globe notes.
Meanwhile, more details are emerging about the Boston gangster's life on the run, particularly the Santa Monica apartment he shared with Greig, which the Los Angeles Times says was "perhaps 800 square feet," rent-controlled, and three blocks from the beach. (The Boston Herald talked to one tenant who guessed the rent to be about $1,100, which seems like a steal.) Along with "cracked posters" and old furniture left over from the previous tenants, investigators seized a "a fairly big arsenal" of guns, $800,000 in cash, and fake IDs from the apartment, reports the Los Angeles Times. Forbes reported that "one clear plastic bag removed Thursday morning contained boxes of .357 Magnum bullets" and "another bag was labeled miscellaneous firearms and accessories."
Now the question is: what to do with him?
Bulger's only been in custody for one day, but already the Los Angeles Times is speculating he might be of some service in solving the biggest art heist in U.S. history. There's long been speculation that Bulger was somehow connected to the 1990 robbery of the Isabella Gardner Stewart Museum in Boston, where thieves dressed as policemen made off with a Vermeer, five Degas, three Rembrandts and four other paintings valued at $500 million, possibly to fund the IRA. The trouble is, nobody connected to the investigation agrees. And even if he did know something, it's unlikely he'll be able to contribute anything of value in his current state. Girlfriend and fellow fugitive Catherine Greig told neighbors in their Santa Monica apartment complex that Bulger had Alzheimer's and the Los Angeles Times report of the arrest said that Bulger seemed "addled, befuddled by all the commotion" during his arrest.
Meanwhile, capital punishment states Florida and Oklahoma want in on a Bulger trial. Prosecutors in Miami said Thursday they "intend to try" Bulger for the murder of jai alai executive John Callahan. Bulger has been under indictment for the crime since 1982. Tulsa's district attorney Tim Harris said his office would be eager to "bring Bulger to justice and to be held accountable" for allegedly killing businessman Roger Wheeler 30 years ago. In Massachusetts, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz has already said the death penalty "will not be an option" for Bulger. The Boston Herald notes both Oklahoma and Florida will likely give Massachusetts "a wide berth to bring justice home to Boston" before moving forward.