Bulger, 81, and Greig, 60, were both arrested without incident in Santa Monica, Calif., according to The Boston Globe. Police told the paper that cash and guns were found in the apartment where the arrest was made.
An anonymous official told the Globe that Bulger did not appear in good health when he was arrested.
"I don't think he's in a position to be fighting anybody," the official said. "They got a confession from him."
The FBI's most wanted profile of Bulger speculates that he may take heart medication.
Bulger began his life on the run in January 1995, just before his indictment on federal racketeering charges. According to the Globe, court proceedings later revealed that Bulger had been a longtime FBI informant, and had been tipped off about his impending arrest by a corrupt FBI handler, former agent John J. Connolly Jr.
The FBI press release following Wednesday's arrest credited "recent publicity" for the tip that led to Bulger. On Monday, the agency had announced that it would begin running a public service announcement on daytime television, looking for information about Bulger and Greig (the reward for Greig also doubled, to $100,000). The spot ran in 14 media markets, and targeted women in Greig's demographic. But according to The Los Angeles Times, the spot did not run in the Los Angeles market.
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At a Monday press conference announcing the media campaign, FBI Special Agent Richard Teahan told reporters that the last credible citing of Bulger was in London in 2002. But Bulger had been previously spotted, at least reportedly, all over the country.
In early 1995, Bulger may have been hiding in plain sight. According to the Globe, Bulger met with his right hand man, Kevin Weeks, in a Boston church in February, and then again in March at a beach in nearby Dorchester. Later that year, Bulger reportedly stayed with Weeks' relatives on Long Island. He met with Weeks himself in New York City three times between 1995 and 1996, and at some point during that time the pair also met in Chicago. From December 1995 to February 1996, Bulger and Greig are said to have rented a beachfront duplex in Grand Isle, La. Other sightings were reported in Gulfport, Miss.; Sloan, Iowa; and Sheridan, Wyo.
Bulger has been a subject of fascination in Boston and in popular culture for years. Jack Nicholson's character in Martin Scorcese's movie "The Departed" is loosely based on Bulger. And the television show "Brotherhood," which ran on Showtime from 2006 to 2008, was inspired by Bulger and his brother, William Bulger, who was once president of the Massachusetts state Senate and later president of the University of Massachusetts system.
A Globe reporter knocked on the door of William Bulger this morning, but he only said "no comment" and "thank you" when asked about his brother's arrest.
Michael Huff, a recently retired Tulsa police detective, told the Globe he hopes Bulger will reveal more information about his relationship with the FBI. Huff began investigating Bulger when a prominent Tulsa businessman was killed by members of Bulger's gang, "who were trying to gain control of one of Wheeler's businesses, World Jai Alai," according to the paper.
"In the circles we've traveled in this investigation, people very close to Whitey have eluded that he has other information that he was always holding back," Huff said. "And I'll be interested to see what he has to say and, if that's true, if he'll admit to his crimes over decades."
A press conference featuring law enforcement officials and United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz is scheduled for later this morning.