Why Whitey Bulger Was Finally Captured
Whitey Bulger’s downfall transpired because Catherine Greig loved cats. Greig also became friends with a canary.
Before their life on the run, Catherin Greig had been a dog lover. She still loved dogs, but because Whitey knew he had to be mobile at a moment’s notice, having a permanent pet was out of the question. But that didn’t mean Catherine couldn’t take care of a stray cat, or two, she had encountered near the Princess Eugenia complex in Santa Monica, California.
Enter the former Miss Iceland, Anna Bjornsdottir.
Bjornsdottir, 52, was an actress who had been selected Miss Iceland in 1974. Her acting credits included a stint on Remington Steele, and Diff’rent Strokes. Bjornsdottir also was famous as the lovely young thing with the immaculate skin in the Noxzema television commercials. Bjornsdottir and her husband, Halldor Gudmundson, split their time between living in Iceland, and also at the Princess Eugenia complex in Santa Monica. Bjornsdottir worked as a yoga instructor in America and as a graphic designer in Iceland.
Bjornsdottir, like Greig, was also fond of cats. In fact, her and her husband had published a book about a stray cat they had adopted named Mosa. One day, Greig was fussing over a stray cat in front of the Princess Eugenia complex when she was joined by Bjornsdottir. The ladies formed a friendship of sorts, and Bjornsdottir became acquainted with Carol and Charlie Gasko: Whitey Bulger and Catherine Greig’s longtime aliases.
For almost 19 years, the feds had been trying to track down Whitey; even going as far as featuring him in Fox’s TV program Americas Most Wanted. But they had always come up with bupkis.
Suddenly, someone in the F.B.I. got a rare brainstorm.
The feds thinking was: “We can’t get Whitey, because Whitey is probably in a shell somewhere, and, most likely, rarely ventures out where he can be seen and identified. But Catherine Greig is a different story.”
The feds knew Greig frequented beauty parlors to get her hair done and to get a manicure. Greig was also a proponent of plastic surgery, which she had performed on herself many times to please her man, Whitey. The feds also knew women sometimes saw things that didn’t register with men. As a result, the feds launched a worldwide ad campaign that featured 30-second ads during daytime television with Catherine Greig as the object of attention.
Bjornsdottir was sitting in her Iceland living room when she spotted a woman in a television ad on CNN identified as Catherine Greig, but who Bjornsdottir knew as Carol Gasko. The ad said there was a $2 million reward for the capture of Greig’s traveling companion: Whitey Bulger. Bjornsdottir took out her currency converter, and calculated 2 million clams was approximately 238,974,188 Icelandic Kronas; a nice haul in any language. She picked up the phone, and she dialed the phone number in the television ad.
Forty-eight hours later, both Whitey and Greig were safely in federal custody in a Santa Monica clink. And on June 29, 2011, Whitey arrived in a federal helicopter at Boston’s Logan’s airport; before his trip to the Boston federal court.
The fun was just starting.