The fugitive

June 23, 2011

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Name: James “Whitey’’ Bulger

Age: 81

Date of birth: Sept. 3, 1929

Family: Grew up in South Boston. His younger brother, William, was one of the most powerful politicians in Massachusetts, leading the state Senate for 17 years and later serving as president of the University of Massachusetts for seven years. William Bulger testified about his brother before a congressional committee and has said he has only heard from his brother once since he became a fugitive.

Background: Whitey Bulger led the violent Winter Hill Gang, a largely Irish mob that ran loan-sharking, gambling, and drug rackets in the Boston area. He was nicknamed “Whitey’’ for his shock of bright platinum hair.

FBI dealings: He was a top-echelon informant who provided the Boston FBI with information on his gang’s main rival, the New England Mob. Bulger later was listed as one of the agency’s “Ten Most Wanted’’ for his alleged role in 21 murders, including the slayings of businessmen in Florida and Oklahoma. He was next to Osama bin Laden on the list, with a $1 million reward offered.