In the upcoming episode of the REELZ series, Gangsters: America’s Most Evil, James “Whitey” Bulger is the latest crime boss to be profiled. The episode airs as James’ family sues the federal government for $200 millions and claim that the federal prison United States Penitentiary in Hazelton, West Virginia caused his death.
James is one of the most notorious organized crime bosses in American history, not only for the murders he committed, but also for turning the FBI into his informants. As the leader of South Boston’s Winter Hill Gang, James wreaked terror on his own community for decades. On the run for 16 years, James was finally captured by the very agency that once helped him get away with murder.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Wyshak recalled, “Among the criminal element, they all knew Bulger had connections. He would tell them if you go to the FBI, go to the police, I’ll know before you leave the police station or the FBI headquarters."
The gangster was powerful and influential. Bookies and small businessman would pay “rent” as tribute to James, and he would make up to $10K a week.
Upon his capture, Fred said, “It was like Ahab chasing the white whale. Finally, we got him.” He was interviewed for five hours on the way back to Boston, and James did all of the talking, according to Supervisory Special Agent of the FBI, Richard E. Teahan. “He could turn his personality on and off throughout the interview," Richard recalled. “You could see his eyes go icy.”
Gangsters: America’s Most Evil is a cinematic documentary series that explores the rise and fall of some of the most nefarious and notorious criminals brought to justice by the United States government. From thugs to lethal beauties, outlaws to kingpins, each episode profiles these gangsters and reveals their sinister motives, transgressions and the circumstances that eventually led to their downfall.
Don’t miss Gangsters America’s Most Evil: Whitey Bulger on Sunday, October 20 at 7 p.m. on REELZ!