By Jared Bowen
June 21, 2011
UPDATE June 23, 2011: James "Whitey" Bulger and Catherine Greig were arrested on June 22nd, which FBI agents say was a direct result of a tip generated by this campaign.
BOSTON — The FBI insists its pursuit of Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitive Whitey Bulger remains as active as ever — despite the fact Bulger has eluded them for 16 years. Now, the agency is changing its tack and stepping up its search for the woman he took with him.
A longtime leader of the Boston underworld’s Winter Hill Gang, James "Whitey" Bulger fled Boston in 1994 when the FBI came close to arresting him on racketeering charges. Bulger was sighted in London in 2002, and the 81-year-old may still be hiding outside the U.S.
On Monday, the FBI doubled the reward for information leading to the arrest of Bulger's girlfriend Catherine Greig, who is also missing and wanted for harboring a fugitive.
“The way Bulger would operate is he would be out in the open with her and they would be attempting to live under the radar, so to speak,” said Richard Teahan, a Supervisory Special Agent with Boston's FBI field office.
The FBI is trying to paint a more detailed portrait of Greig, although the most recent photos they have of Greig are decades old. Still, it's a new avenue in the Whitey Bulger case, said Special Agent Richard DesLauriers.
“The FBI is continuing to emphasize Ms. Greig because she has received substantially less attention than her boyfriend when the FBI has relied on traditional fugitive publicity,” DesLauriers said.
The agency has also gleaned certain behavioral and personality details about Greig: That she loves animals, has well-kept teeth, frequents beauty salons and has had multiple plastic surgeries. Several of her aliases are known, and she is 21 years younger than the elderly Bulger.
The FBI has also commissioned a public service announcement to run throughout the United States in areas historically tied to the couple. They're hoping to reach women around 60 years old -- Greig’s contemporaries -- who might have crossed paths with her over the years.
To that end, the FBI is taking out commercial time for programs like “Dr. Oz,” “The Nate Berkus Show” and “The Ellen Degeneres Show,” all morning and daytime programs they believe these women are watching.
“I think that we are doing a good job at covering our hunt for Greig and Bulger in the U.S. People focusing on Greig here in the United States and then pushing out from here,” Teahan said.
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