FBI finally arrests James "Whitey" Bulger, inspiration for The Departed
After nearly 15 years on the lam, the FBI has at last arrested James “Whitey” Bulger, the Boston crime kingpin who famously served as the inspiration for Jack Nicholson’s character in Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. Like that film’s Frank Costello, Bulger was a mobster who got away with murder (and many other things) thanks to his years as an informant, and who evaded capture because of tips provided to him by crooked FBI agent John Connolly (the inspiration for Matt Damon’s character). Bulger became a fugitive in 1994, after being tipped off that he was under investigation for 19 killings, plus various counts of racketeering and other crimes. Over the years there were many Bulger sightings, including a rumor that he’d attended a 2006 Departed screening. (The temptation to go to a second showing and suddenly stand up in the theater, wagging a dildo, must have been unbearable.) Anyway, after climbing his way onto the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list and ducking in and out of various cities across the world, he was finally tripped up by his girlfriend, who was made the subject of an intense media campaign. The couple was arrested in Santa Monica, as a rat crawled by symbolically in the background.