Notorious gangster James "Whitey" Bulger was expected to be returned home to Boston on Friday, a law enforcement official said.One of Bulger's former soldiers thinks he'll start blabbing.
Bulger, the former leader of the violent Winter Hill Gang, was captured in Santa Monica, Calif., Wednesday, along with his longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig, after 16 years as a fugitive.
Christina DiIorio-Sterling, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, said Bulger and Greig are expected to be returned to Boston Friday and could have an initial appearance in federal court as early as Friday afternoon. Sterling said logistics are still being worked out.
After 16 long years, the arrest of Bulger appeared to end a long, frustrating manhunt that had embarrassed the FBI and raised questions about its efforts to find one of its most wanted fugitives.
But Bulger’s capture could be only the beginning of a new scandal for the Boston FBI and others.
If Bulger decides to cut a deal with prosecutors, he could implicate an untold number of local, state and federal law enforcement officials, according to investigators who built a racketeering indictment against Bulger before he fled in 1995.
"If he starts to talk, there will be some unwelcome accountability on the part of a lot of people inside law enforcement," said retired Massachusetts state police Maj. Tom Duffy. "Let me put it this way: I wouldn’t want my pension contingent on what he will say at this point."
Edward J. MacKenzie Jr., a former drug dealer and enforcer for Bulger, predicted that Bulger will disclose new details about FBI corruption and how agents protected him for so long.Meanwhile, if you think Howie Carr is gloating, you'd be correct.
"Whitey was no fool. He knew he would get caught. I think he’ll have more fun pulling all those skeletons out of the closet," MacKenzie said.
"I think he’ll start talking and he’ll start taking people down."