No news conference this year, just a short press release announcing the 11th anniversary of the disappearance of notorious Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger.
Federal and state law enforcement officials on Wednesday said they’re still hunting for the fugitive, an alleged killer who ran drug and gambling rings. In 2005, leads and look-a-likes were investigated in at least 19 countries.
“The public should be assured that we remain committed to leaving no stone unturned in the hunt for James Bulger,” U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan, Boston FBI Special Agent in Charge Kenneth Kaiser, State Police Superintendent Col. Thomas Robbins and state Department of Correction Commissioner Kathleen Dennehy said in a prepared statement.
In the past decade, Bulger has been “spotted” all over the U.S., as well as in Canada, Britain, Mexico. Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. But most of the reported sightings were people who look like Bulger, a balding, 76-year-old man who could blend in anywhere.
Bulger, the former leader of the Winter Hill Gang, was also an FBI informant who ratted out his competitors in the Italian Mafia. He disappeared in late December 1994 after being tipped by his FBI handler, John Connolly, that he was about to be indicted on racketeering charges.
Connolly is now serving a 10-year prison for warning Bulger and his cohort Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi to flee in advance of their January 1995 indictment.
In December 2004, authorities held a news conference to mark the 10th anniversary of Bulger’s disappearance and to highlight their efforts to find him. That year, agencies combined their efforts with state police and formed a single Bulger Fugitive Task Force.
Bulger is on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list, alongside Osama bin Laden, and has a $1 million reward on his head. His “Most Wanted” poster is offered in six languages.
Investigators believe Bulger is traveling with his longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig, 54.