Miami Prosecutors Plan To Try Captured Mob Boss
MIAMI (CBS4) – Less than 24 hours after a notorious Irish-American mob boss was taken into custody near Los Angeles, Miami prosecutors have announced that they plan to bring him to South Florida and try him for the murder of a local gambling executive.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said James “Whitey” Bulger, 81, remains under indictment for his role in the 1982 murder of jai alai executive John Callahan.
Former FBI agent John Connolly was convicted of murder in 2008 for telling Bulger that Callahan was cooperating with investigators looking into Bulger’s role in the 1981 murder of an Oklahoma businessman.
“Bulger’s criminal activities have been marked by the corpses his killers and associates have left behind in car trunks and alleyways,” said Rundle in a statement. “After a 16 year delay, I will be working to ensure that a Miami jury has the opportunity to look him in the eyes and determine his fate just as we did with his associate, ex-FBI agent John J. Connolly, Jr.”
“It was the first real case that I was involved with that stretched all over the place,” said John Parmenter, a former Miami-Dade detective who was among the first to begin investigating Callahan’s death.
“You have to realize that at the time, we didn’t realize it was a big organized crime. It was a dead body,” Parmenter told CBS4’s Gio Benitez in an exclusive interview.
An inspiration for the ruthless gangland boss in the 2006 Martin Scorsese movie “The Departed,” Bulger was wanted for 19 murders. One victim was shot between the eyes in a parking lot at his country club in Oklahoma. Another was gunned down in broad daylight on a South Boston street to prevent him from talking about the killing in Oklahoma.
Bulger had a $2 million reward on his head and rose to No. 1 on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list after Osama bin Laden was killed. He fled Boston in 1995 when he learned he was about to be indicted, Connolly may have been the source.
The FBI finally caught him at an apartment in Santa Monica along with longtime girlfriend Catherine Greig on Wednesday, just days after the government launched a publicity campaign to locate the fugitive crime boss by circulating pictures of Greig on daytime TV and on billboards.
(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)