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James "Whitey" Bulger

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James Bulger was born September 3, 1929 in Dorchester, Massachusetts. He was one of six children born to his Irish Catholic parents. They lived in public housing in South Boston. He received his nickname, Whitey, because of his blonde hair that was almost white. Even as a child he had behavior problems, and was finally arrested for the first time when he was 14. So began a criminal career of stealing, larceny, forgery, assault and battery, and armed robbery for which he served five years in juvenile detention.

Bulger joined the Air Force, but was placed in military jail for assault and being AWOL. James BulgerHe was honorably discharged in 1952, returned to Boston, and began his criminal career over again. He robbed banks from Indiana to Rhode Island. He was imprisoned in 1956, serving nine years of a 25 year term. After being released, he returned to his life of crime in Boston.

In Boston, he became an "enforcer" for crime boss, Donald Killeen, whom he served until Killeen's murder in 1972. Bulger then joined the Winter Hill Gang, quickly moving up the ranks. When Howie Winter was sentenced to jail, Whitey took over leadership. Surprisingly, Bugler was an FBI informant, helping to bring down the Italian Patriarca crime family. Bulger became even more powerful and, in 1995, was indicted by the FBI. In 1999, Bulger was placed on the FBI Ten Most Wanted list, with a two million dollar reward for information leading to his arrest. He was arrested June 23, 2011 on a tip from someone who saw him leaving a San Diego theater.

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