"Whitey" Bulger taken down by ex-Miss Iceland
A Boston Globe investigation reveals it was Miss Iceland 1974 who was the tipster who collected the $2 million reward for information to the arrest four months ago of notorious alleged Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger.
Bulger, formerly No. 1 on the FBI's Most Wanted Fugitives list, was discovered when he went outside to help feed a stray cat. Bulger, who almost never went outside, was seen there and remembered by the former Miss Universe contestant and actress, Anna Bjornsdottir, Bulger's sometime neighbor.
She now lives an ocean away in Iceland.
Bulger is now behind bars, charged with 19 homicides.
Boston Globe reporter Maria Cramer told CBS News, "Probably a lot of people assumed that there would be some 'you'll never take me alive moment,' and instead, it was Miss Iceland 1974."
Cramer added, "By all accounts, he had become a retiree in spite of the fact that he had guns and money in his walls," Cramer said. "He was living this really ordinary life."
Bulger watched TV at night behind blacked out windows, CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano reported. The man who became Charlie Gasko and longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig, lived anything but the high life.
Cramer said, "At the end, what we saw was not some glamorous gangster and his vain moll -- it was just an old couple."
Boston Globe reporter Shelley Murphy, who spent months tracking down details of Bulger's life as a fugitive, said on "The Early Show," that Bulger's apartment building wouldn't permit pets, so he had to go outside to feed the cat.
Murphy said, "Apparently, Whitey liked the cat. ... He would be out there this morning while his girlfriend fed this cat."
The Boston Globe discovered that Bulger took over the identity of a homeless man whom he'd befriended, "Early Show" co-anchor Jeff Glor pointed out.
Murphy said, "This was around 1998, 2000. They're literally walking by a man on a bench and Whitey is struck by how much this man looks like him. ... He looked a lot like Whitey, they were both of Irish descent, both Army veterans, both balding men with white beards and mustaches, and he took his identity -- with his permission, I might say."
Glor noted there are questions about Bulger's mental state, particularly if he has Alzheimer's disease.
"His lawyer says his mind is sharp, that he does not have Alzheimer's," Murphy said. "His neighbors say they never saw signs of that. It was his girlfriend who used that as an excuse for why he was holed up inside much of the day, and once in awhile, neighbors said he was very friendly, but occasionally he would get cranky and she would say, '(He) has early signs of Alzheimer's.'"
While he was in hiding, Murphy said Bulger had little contact with friends in Boston, especially after the FBI formally acknowledged in 1997 he was a longtime informant.
"At that point, things really changed for him. A lot of his cohorts changed against him," Murphy said.
Though Miss Iceland and a stray cat can, in part, be considered responsible for Bulger's arrest, another factor, Murphy said, contributed to Bulger's capture: the death of Osama bin Laden.
Bin Laden, Glor noted, was No. 1 on the FBI's Most Wanted Fugitives list, and after he was killed, the focus shifted to Bulger.
Murphy said, "I think he was concerned about (attention shifting to him). We know from neighbors who used to see him out in the morning and at night walking that he became sort of reclusive right about the time when Osama bin Laden was killed. In fact, he used to pick up the free Santa Monica newspaper and deliver it to a couple of neighbors in his building, and he would always warn them, watch for the weekly crime blotter on Fridays, and he stopped doing that right around the time of Osama's death. We think he was a little bit paranoid."
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