5 interesting facts about Whitey Bulger

18 Sep 2015

Whitey Bulger is one of the most notorious gangsters in U.S history and stars in the movie Black Mass, but here are 5 interesting facts you may not have known about him...

1. For over a decade he was as wanted as Osama Bin Laden

Whitey Bulger went on the run in 1994, and remained at large until as recently as 2011. During that time only one name topped his on the FBI’s Most Wanted List – Osama Bin Laden – and Bulger remained at large until just over a month after Bin Laden was found.

Black Mass Johnny Depp

2. 'Whitey' Bulger didn't like his nickname

“Whitey” Bulger got his name thanks to his shocking white blonde hair, but Whitey never really cared for it. He preferred to go by “Jimmy” or “Boots” because of his preference for cowboy boots. Those who worked for him knew well enough to steer clear of the name.

3. If Whitey could choose his own jail, he'd be in Alcatraz.

Whitey Bulger spent a period in Alcatraz from 1959 to 1962, and seemed to develop a fondness for the place. In fact, he was photographed visiting the prison with his girlfriend while he was on the run from the FBI. [1] He even wrote that if he could choose his own epitaph on his tombstone, it would be “I'd rather be in Alcatraz”. [2]

4. His brother had a stellar political career

While Whitey was a mob boss, his brother, Billy Bulger was also a figure of power and influence, but in a very different sphere. As Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Billy in Black Mass, says, “Billy Bulger was a very powerful political figure for many years in the State Senate.  If you wanted anything done, you went through him. “

Depp, who plays Whitey, adds,  “Billy went his way and became this very highfalutin’ politician, and Jimmy went his way and ended up a king of the underworld.  Yet they visited their mom and were a close family even though they were on distinctly different sides.”

Black Mass - Benedict Cumberbatch
5. Connolly and Bulger were from the same neighbourhood

Black Mass tells an epic story, but at its roots it goes back to kids playing in the street. As one character in the movie says, "The truth is, us Irish Southie kids went straight from playing cops and robbers on the playground to doing it for real in the streets.” Both Connolly and Bulger grew up on the same streets in South Boston. If they hadn’t, the whole story may never have happened.

“I don’t think Whitey Bulger would have been an informant for anyone who wasn’t from Southie,” says Gerard O’Neil.

Black Mass Johnny Depp

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