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Whitey Bulger: What investigators found inside the mobster's home

June 16, 2012|By Laura J. Nelson
  • FBI agents carry out bags and cases of evidence from the apartment in Santa Monica where legendary Boston crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger was arrested.
FBI agents carry out bags and cases of evidence from the apartment in Santa… (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)

When the FBI arrested Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger last June, officials documented the contents of his Santa Monica apartment with meticulous detail.

Bulger had fled Boston on the eve of a federal indictment in 1994, with girlfriend Catherine Greig in tow. The couple settled in Santa Monica and assumed the names Charlie and Carol Gasko, officials say.

Now, prosecutors have released hundreds of pages of documentation on the “Gasko” apartment. Photos, photocopies and descriptions of items inside the apartment give a glimpse of how Bulger lived during 16 years in hiding.

Here are some of the items, from the practical to the ridiculous:  

  • A mini-library of gangster literature, including “Mob Cops,” “The Last Gangster,” “Public Enemies,” “True Stories of Law & Order” and “Escape from Alcatraz”
  • A glossy blue book called “Cats Up Close,” propped open on the TV stand
  • A"60 Minutes"interview with former Bulger colleague John Martorano. In the interview, Martorano said he was furious when he learned Bulger was an FBI informant. "If I could have killed him, I'd have killed him," Martorano said. "That was what I think he deserves."
  • Roughly 100 handwritten pages of Bulger’s memoir. The manuscript has a foreword of sorts, an investigator noted, in which Bulger explains he began writing because he'd been "driven to this by the lies of [Martorano] and seeing his insane interview on '60 Minutes' was the last straw."
  • More than $800,000 in cash, stuffed into plastic bags and crammed behind a wall
  • Books including “Secrets of a Back-Alley ID Man: Fake ID Construction Techniques of the Underground” and “The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook.”
  • Greig's notebook, with notes on expenses ("$2400 toilet replacement") and to-do lists
  • A self-defense dummy wearing a bucket hat, seemingly peering out the dining room curtains
  • A stack of “Soldier of Fortune” magazines
  • Photos, fingerprint reports and ballistics tests for 30 firearms
  • A kitchen junk drawer with Tums, wads of $20 bills and a 20% off coupon for Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • Step-by-step directions for how to turn on a computer, and printed-out instructions on how to access a Yahoo! email account.
  • News clippings from a rash of "Whitey sightings" in Orange County in 2000
  • Closets piled high with unopened boxes of Q-Tips, soap and Kleenex
  • Binoculars. Apartment landlord said Bulger often sat by the window and used the binoculars to watch the street below.
  • Greig’s 2011 planner. Some days are scheduled (“Vons. CVS. Sam’s Club.”). Others, not so much (“?? Yard sale?”).
  • Copies of “America’s Most Wanted” episodes that featured Bulger
  • Two holiday cards that Greig apparently sent to Bulger. The first features dogs wearing Santa hats, and reads: “Merry Christmas from Santa’s little yelpers.” The second shows a Jack Russell terrier, and reads, “Wishing you a Valentine’s Day that’s tail-waggin’ fun!” (Handwritten below the greeting was a note: “Happy Valentine’s Day, ‘Valentine.’ Love Always, C xxxxoooo.”)
  • A torn notebook page with a scribbled note: “In room BLL: Violent rap music”
  • Ample evidence that Bulger and Greig were Los Angeles Times readers. Investigators found a bill for the couple’s Sunday Times subscription, which expired Feb. 18, 2012, and news clippings from Dec. 16 and Dec. 20, 1998 

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Follow Laura on Twitter or Google+. Email: laura.nelson@latimes.com

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