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Boston Mobster's Santa Monica Years to Be Featured in Upcoming TV Series

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By Jorge Casuso

October 4, 2019 -- Santa Monica will be a major setting for an upcoming television series about the pursuit of notorious Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger, who called the beach city home for more than 15 years.

Sky Studios, the production arm of Comcast’s Sky, is working on the series based on the upcoming book “Hunting Whitey” scheduled to be published next year, according to a report in Variety on Wednesday.

Bulger and Grieg mugshots
Mugshots of James Bulger and Catherine Grieg (Courtesy U.S. Marshals Service)

The show's producers said the series will "reveal the story of how Bulger and his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, eluded capture for nearly 20 years until a dedicated team of federal agents finally brought them to justice," Variety wrote.

Nearly 16 of those years were spent living in a Santa Monica rent control apartment under the aliases Charles and Carol Gasko ("Whitey Bulger Lived in Santa Monica 15 Years, Reports Say," June 24, 2011).

Managers of the Princess Eugenia apartments on 1012 Third Street described Bulger and Greig as model tenants who always paid the rent on time and in cash, the Associated Press reported after his arrest.

The 81-year-old Bulger was taken into custody outside the residence on June 22, 2011 after a neighbor turned the couple in.

The neighbor, who had watched an FBI show on television, recognized Grieg as the woman who fed an abandoned cat outside the the couple's apartment ("Mobster Whitey Bulger Believed Homeless Santa Monica Cat Led to His Arrest," May 14, 2019).

“I predicted feeding that cat will cost me my life -- knew we were being noticed for it,” Bulger wrote in a 2017 letter. “Catherine said if we don’t feed the cat he will starve.”

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When the FBI agents insisted Bulger get on his knees, the former mob boss swore at the officers and, because he was wearing white pants, refused before being arrested.

Greig was arrested inside the apartment a short while later, where a substantial cache of guns and cash were discovered, the FBI said.

Santa Monica police assisted with the search following the arrests, police said.

In August 2013, Bulger was convicted of 11 murders and of extortion and racketeering schemes that allegedly brought in more than $25 million ("Jury Finds Mobster James 'Whitey' Bulger Guilty of Murder, Drug Dealing," August 13, 2013).

Bulger was serving two consecutive life sentences at age 89 when he was was beaten to death by two other inmates last October ("Former Santa Monica Resident "Whitey" Bulger Found Dead in Prison Cell," October 30, 2018).

The killing took place less than 12 hours after Bulger arrived at USP Hazelton, a high security West Virginia federal prison.

Last month Bulger's family filed a wrongful death claim against the federal government seeking $200 million in damages.

Grieg was sentenced to nine years for her role in helping Bulger evade law enforcement during the couple's years on the run.

Greig, 68, was held at the low-security Waseca federal correctional institution in Minnesota before being moved in June to a halfway house in Massachusetts.

The book "Hunting Whitey" by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge is the result of "exhaustive investigative reportage" that draws on exclusive letters and interviews, according to advanced publicity for the book.

The authors gave Variety a preview of what to expect from the television series.

“We will reveal how the aging gangster and his girlfriend avoided capture, spotlight the agents who brought them down, showcase the sensational trial back in Boston, and disclose the bizarre series of events that led to Whitey Bulger’s murder.”

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