Whitey Bulger Arrested

This is one hell of a week for the feds.

After 16 years on the run, James J. “Whitey” Bulger was arrested on Wednesday. He now faces federal racketeering charges in connection with murder, extortion, money laundering and some other foul shit. On top of that, he had a $2 million bounty on his head. As you may or may not know, The Departed’s Frank Costello, played brilliantly by the always entertaining Jack Nicholson, was inspired by Bulger and his antics. Costello was a cold-hearted, yet charismatic SOB; Bulger, on the other hand, was just evil.

In “The Departed,” we get but a taste of Frank’s villainous ways, snorting some cocaine, killing some Providence mafia members on occasion, showing off severed hands to instill fear in his people… you know, the usual stuff. But the depth of his control of the Boston crime rings was coated with a nice Hollywood sheen, and wasn’t nearly as terrifying as Whitey’s actual reign. We’re talking extortion, loansharking, truck hijacking, arms trafficking, being the main distributor of cocaine and marijuana in the state of Massachusetts and, lest we forget, the occasional murder here and there. And he did this uninhibited for 20 years.

However, the two still shared a lot of similarities. Bulger was an (spoiler) FBI informant as well, but he wasn’t even a good one:

The impression we get from “The Departed” is that Costello was actually a fairly useful FBI informant, providing enough usable intelligence to keep himself on the playing field. Whitey, on the other hand, wasn’t especially useful at all. By most accounts, Whitey didn’t actually give up any information that the FBI didn’t already know. In fairness, that keeps his criminal credibility a lot more intact than Frank’s.

The biggest difference of all is that (spoiler) Frank got killed and Whitey survived. Sure, he had been spotted here and there, but he was a lottery pick on the America’s Most Wanted list for almost 20 years before he got bagged the other day. No Hollywood ending of course, but that’s pretty fuckin impressive.

Jack, simply being Jack….

Links: ‘The Departed’ Inspiration Whitey Bulger Caught, Long Elusive, Mob Legend Ended Up a Recluse

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