Where's Whitey?

Ed Bradley Reports

James "Whitey" Bulger's life is a textbook example of how to become the most wanted American fugitive, with one new wrinkle: the same federal agency that wants him may have helped him attain its most wanted list.

The Boston Irish mobster was "ratting out" his Italian mob rivals to the FBI over 25 years while he and his gang engaged in the same criminal activities of murder, robbery, drug dealing and extortion - crimes the FBI allegedly knew about but failed to stop.

A former FBI agent is charged with complicity in Bulger's criminal enterprise and alerting him to his imminent arrest, touching off a six-year manhunt and a $1 million reward for Bulger. Ed Bradley reports on this bizarre story that so far has yielded 19 murder victims and a heap of embarrassment for the nation's top law enforcement agency.

At least one former agent in the Boston FBI office wanted to "close" Bulger and prosecute him, but he says he was ignored twice. Retired agent and the number-two man in the Boston office in the 1980s, Robert Fitzpatrick tells Bradley that Bulger was unreliable as an informant. The Boston FBI refused his advice and, after learning, he says, that Bulger was involved in murders, he formally requested that the Bureau terminate Bulger, but again, to no avail.

Fitzpatrick says the FBI also failed to act quickly when he told them he suspected Agent John Connolly - only recently charged with racketeering and obstruction of justice for allegedly tipping off Bulger to his arrest - was protecting Bulger. Connolly's relationship with Bulger lasted 15 years and spanned three decades.

Connolly has denied all the charges, claiming he was only following FBI guidelines for handling high-level informants. Charles Prouty, the new head of the FBI office in Boston, says the whole bureau is appalled and that the rules for handling informants have been stiffened as a result.

The 71-year-old Bulger hasn't been seen for six years.


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  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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