“It was the middle of the night and Bulger had come home in a rage,’’ recalled one former member of the task force. “He was screaming at Cathy that she cares more about the dogs than she does about him. He says if she doesn’t stop, if she doesn’t pay more attention to him, the walls will be covered in blood. She yelled right back at him. It was just a long crazy night.’’
There were other crazy nights. During his years in prison, Bulger had participated in a government study of the effects of LSD in return for a slight reduction in his sentence. An apparent side effect for Bulger was the horrifying nightmares that tortured him for years and left him sweating and sleepless in the middle of the night. Notoriously nocturnal, he often worked through the night, and when he arrived at the condominium in the early morning hours he insisted that Greig be waiting for him fully dressed and made up.
“Cathy had to be perfect all the time,’’ said Fleming, the task force member. “If he was up in the middle of the night, then she was up. And she better look good.’’
Greig wasn’t the only one waiting for the sound of Bulger’s boots at the door. Although Bulger had been a legendary womanizer in his younger years, by the 1980s he had reduced the number of his girlfriends to two. One was Greig. The other was Teresa Stanley, a single mother of four children with whom Bulger had been involved since the 1960s. While Bulger was famously unpredictable as he evaded law enforcement investigators, he reportedly maintained a predictable routine with the women in his life. Each afternoon, he left the condo he shared with Greig and headed to Stanley’s for an early supper. He spent the evening moving around the city until he returned to No. 101 in the early morning. Greig was aware of Stanley but Stanley did not know of her competition until Greig informed her in 1994.
A decade younger than Stanley, the best-looking girl in the class of 1969 was nonetheless not quite good-looking enough. In 1982, just after she turned 31, Greig had breast implants, according to a 2010 ad placed in the newsletter “Plastic Surgery News’’ by the FBI. The ad, crowned by the headline, “Have you treated this woman?’’ says that Greig also had eyelid reconstruction, a facelift, and liposuction. Whether it was Bulger or Greig who desired such enhancements is unclear. Either way, it was Bulger, according to a member of the task force, who paid for it all.
As she lived with Bulger in the early 1980s, it seems unlikely that Greig could have been unaware that her Jimmy was far from the Robin Hood of her vision. By then, Bulger was living with a vivid awareness of his growing list of enemies. During the four years that the couple lived in the unit, the shades were often pulled down and cardboard was taped to the windows of the outside door. Bulger installed a sophisticated alarm system and when he returned home at night, he carefully parked his car at the condo’s door in case he needed a quick getaway.
Some investigators question why Greig didn’t leave then, when it must have become starkly obvious what sort of man she was with.
“The big question about Greig was and always will be: Was she trapped or was she truly devoted to this man?’’ said Pamela Hay, a former member of the Bulger task force and now a private investigator. “I believe she was devoted, because this woman had a gazillion opportunities to leave and she chose not to. Love can do strange things to a person.’’
As Bulger continued to expand his empire, Greig was confronted with more turbulence in her sometimes chaotic family life. Early on a May morning in 1984, her brother, David S. Greig Jr., shot himself in the head in the family’s South Boston home, according to his death certificate. Greig, then 26, had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, according to a police report of the death.
Greig was so devastated by her brother’s death that she left her job. Invited to return some time later, she was still obviously grief-stricken. When colleagues offered their condolences, some recall, Greig broke down in tears. Unable to fully focus on her job, Greig left Forsyth for good at the end of the semester.
“Cathy chose what she chose,’’ sighed Hanlon, the Forsyth dean. “She was having a lot of stress in her family life, and Whitey was there to take care of her, and so she just left.’’
At some point during the 1980s, Greig began working as a part-time hygienist for Milton dentist Dan Sweeney. Like her Forsyth colleagues, Sweeney was impressed with Greig’s work, which he describes as, “A plus. Triple A-plus.’’ The other hygienists were impressed as well with her fur coat.Continued...