WBEZ | gangster http://www.wbez.org/tags/gangster Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Fugitive mobster 'Whitey' Bulger caught in Calif. http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-23/fugitive-mobster-whitey-bulger-caught-calif-88232 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//npr_story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-23/whiteycaptured_custom.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>James "Whitey" Bulger, the notorious Boston mobster accused of murdering 19 people, is in custody in California after an epic 16-year manhunt that turned him into a global sensation.</p><p>The FBI finally caught up with the 81-year-old Bulger on Wednesday at a residence in Santa Monica, Calif. He was apprehended along with his longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig, just days after the government launched a new publicity campaign to locate the fugitives, said Steven Martinez, FBI's assistant director in charge in Los Angeles.</p><p>A tip generated by the campaign led to the arrest, Martinez said.</p><p>Known as "The Irish Godfather" of Boston, Bulger has been on the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted posters for years and was an inspiration for the 2006 movie <em>The Departed.</em></p><p>Along with Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi, he led the violent Winter Hill Gang, a largely Irish mob that ran loan-sharking, gambling and drug rackets in the Boston area. U.S. Attorney Donald K. Stern said in 2000 that the two were "responsible for a reign of intimidation and murder that spanned 25 years."</p><p>In the 1970s, Bulger became a top-secret FBI informant in Boston but later corrupted his handlers.</p><p>The agents "tipped him off to investigations by other police agencies and they also tipped him off to other people who were informing against him so that he could and did murder them," said David Boeri, a reporter from member station WBUR in Boston who has followed the Bulger case for more than two decades.</p><p>When state and federal investigators finally closed in on Bulger in January 1995, he fled Boston with his girlfriend after being tipped by his FBI handler. Two former FBI agents were later charged with plotting murders with Bulger, and one is now serving a life sentence in prison.</p><p>"This is what makes this such a treacherous story," Boeri said. "It is corruption within the FBI."</p><p>But on Wednesday, it was the FBI who took Bulger down. Agents swarmed around the Santa Monica apartment building where he and Grieg, 60, were staying.</p><p>Bulger lived on the third floor of The Princess Eugenia, a three-story, 28-unit building of one and two-bedroom apartments three blocks from a bluff that overlooks the Pacific Ocean.</p><p>The FBI had been conducting surveillance in the area where the arrest was made, said police Sgt. Rudy Flores, who gave no details of the arrest.</p><p>Barbara Gluck, who lives on the same floor as Bulger and Greig, told The Associated Press that she didn't know their names but recognized them from photos on the Internet after she heard about their arrest.</p><p>Gluck described Greig as "sweet and lovely" and said they would have "girl talk" when they ran into each other in the building. But she added that Bulger became angry whenever he saw the two of them talking.</p><p>"He was nasty," Gluck said. "At one point, [Greig] said [Bulger] has a rage issue."</p><p>The former fugitives were scheduled to make an appearance in Los Angeles federal court Thursday. He faces a series of federal charges including murder, conspiracy to commit murder, narcotics distribution, extortion and money laundering. Greig is charged with harboring a fugitive.</p><p>The arrest brings an end to a manhunt that received worldwide attention as the FBI received reported sightings of Bulger and Greig from all over the U.S. and parts of Europe. In many of those sightings, investigators could not confirm whether it was Bulger who was spotted or a lookalike.</p><p>The investigation also touched the highest level of Massachusetts politics. Bulger's younger brother, William, was one of the state's most powerful politicians, leading the Massachusetts Senate for 17 years and later serving as president of the University of Massachusetts for seven years. William Bulger told a congressional committee that he had spoken to his brother shortly after he went on the run in 1995 but had no idea about his whereabouts.</p><p>He declined to comment to the <em>Boston Globe</em> about his brother's arrest.</p><p>Federal officials said they have linked James Bulger to a series of ruthless killings. One victim was shot between the eyes in a parking lot at his country club in Oklahoma. Another was gunned down in broad daylight on a South Boston street reportedly to prevent him from talking about the killing in Oklahoma. Others allegedly were taken out for running afoul of Bulger's gambling enterprises.</p><p>After 16 years on the lam, Wednesday's arrest was a stunning reversal for Bulger.</p><p>"This guy, used to look out at Boston from Southie — the old town — and say, 'I own this town,' " WBUR's Boeri said.</p><p><em>David Boeri of member station WBUR contributed to this report, which contains material from The Associated Press.</em> <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. <img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1308836828?&gn=Fugitive+Mobster+%27Whitey%27+Bulger+Caught+In+Calif.&ev=event2&ch=1070&h1=Around+the+Nation,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=137364197&c19=20110623&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Thu, 23 Jun 2011 08:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-23/fugitive-mobster-whitey-bulger-caught-calif-88232 Gangster Capone’s gun up for auction http://www.wbez.org/story/gangster-capone%E2%80%99s-gun-auction-88116 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-21/capone.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A handgun once owned by notorious gangster Al Capone is going up for sale in London this week.</p><p>Christie's auction house says the Colt .38 revolver is expected to garner between 50,000 and 70,000 pounds. (Or, between $80,899 and $113,258.)</p><p>Christie’s said Monday the gun is being sold by a private collector. The gun was manufactured in 1929, the year of Chicago's St. Valentine's Day Massacre, when seven people were slain during clashes between Capone's gang and a rival gang led by mobster Bugs Moran.</p><p>The pistol will be sold along with an original letter from Madeleine Capone Morichetti, the widow of Capone's brother Ralph, confirming the gun "previously belonged to and was only used by Al Capone while he was alive."</p><p>The gun will go under the hammer on Wednesday.</p></p> Tue, 21 Jun 2011 14:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/gangster-capone%E2%80%99s-gun-auction-88116 Al Capone signature up for auction http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/al-capone-signature-auction <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//al capone arrested resize.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When Geraldo Rivera went in search of buried treasure underneath Chicago&rsquo;s Lexington Hotel what he found was, of course, nothing. But the former headquarters of Chicago&rsquo;s most famous resident are back in the headlines. Or rather, on the block. <br /><br /><a href="http://www.rrauction.com/" target="_blank">RR Auction</a> in New Hampshire will offer for sale a rare signature from Capone, on letterhead from the gangster&rsquo;s castle Wednesday. Bobby Livingston of RR Auction joined Eight Forty-Eight to explore the paper trail.</p><p><em>Music Button: Johnny Gregory and his Orchestra, &quot;Echo Four-Two&quot;, from the CD Crime Jazz (Rhino) </em></p></p> Wed, 10 Nov 2010 15:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/al-capone-signature-auction