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tv   Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge Hunting Whitey  CSPAN  July 12, 2020 12:55pm-2:01pm EDT

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what day they said in 1998q say what day it is? she likes the mystery thank you mary thank you for writing this book. >> thank you susan. >> it was fun. >> this program is available as a podcast. all "after words" programs can be viewed on the website, >> hey everyone, thank you so much for being here. i am a bookseller and event host which is in massachusetts because it's not just limited to geography anymore we could be anywhere. i will get started again by thinking the purchasing copies
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of their book especially in times like these. we get started this a few things about crowd caste platform. as you can see in the chat function that we have been doing throughout the event. if you have any thoughts or anything not a disservice at all i'm encouraging everyone to be kind, respectful, and hopefully that should go without saying. i'll give a short introduction will have time for questions from the audience all come back on screen give any
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questions about how that function works it's the little button right there sort of towards the middle of your screen to the left of the chatterbox. it's really straightforward once you find it. i think that covers about all of the administrative side of things. we are excited they cowrote tribes over tragedy which was adapted will be discussing the new book, the inside story of the capture and killing of america's most wanted crime boss. drawing on exclusive interviews and exhausted investigative reporting telling the complete story of white culture the leader of boston's gang and number the fbi's most wanted list.
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soldiers on the run and capture an eventual murder in prison at one of america's most influence prisons. other books include ice bucket challenge, which is in development as a feature film right now is a "new york times" best-selling 12 the inside story of redemption. he'll be joined tonight in conversation about boston 25 reporter giving one of the best crime reporters from local investigations to federal probes he said hundreds of these cases and known for getting officials, alleged criminals go on record for reporting. he's received numerous awards for his reporting and his community service as well for we are so excited to have the incredible writers and journalists, join me in welcoming him.
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>> bradley thank you so much and thank you for those kind words. it is an honor to be with casie and dave as they launched this a book, hunting white he which i've been reading over the last couple of days. in boston 25 i've known both of you guys for so long a site out in the field on the white tea story and other stories as well. the white tea story for me is probably the most important story i will ever cover. it still goes on. can i ask both of you why you decided to go after the story? what was it you are trying to get across in your new book? >> sure, again bob is been so much great reporting on this story in the boston area. you're one of many journalists that nail down his life of crime messing with his very
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devilish relationship with the fbi but we are looking at after baldwin was murdered in prison where the 16 years that he was on the run and a fugitive all that time was spent in prison leading up to his murder in the murder itself there missing gaps in the saga we were hoping to provide answers for and i think we did. >> : : : thank you for joining us on this innovative book launch event we are doing. these are difficult times for everyone. this is a new way for casey and i to release a book but we hope
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people pick it up and have fun and try to escape a bit into the world of whitey in the case you just described. i covered a lot of the whitey stuff in boston with the boston herald for 14 years and i never thought i would even consider whiting a book about whitey bulger because they were so me different great reporters to tackle the topic, but after he was murdered we really thought there was a need to write the book because so many unanswered questions with his murder and his life on the run and there was a lot of morphology out there about whitey bulger and this benevolent gangster that the three of us now is completely fiction and we felt a duty to kind of reported out so that's what we did here. >> yeah, and one of the great things about the book is that when i approached whitey bulger,
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it is such a huge's story. do you dive in, the crimes, how far back do you go and then there's the fbi corruption and the great thing about this book is you get a taste of all of its with a focus on the last 17, 18 years of his life that's not widely reported so you will learn a lot from reading the book and i think you'll get some insight into who whitey bulger actually was. why don't we go chronologically from what you covered and it really begins in the 1990; right? when not in doubt-- indictment's come down and whitey disappears. he disappears with katherine gregg, the women we all know he was caught with intel monica. >> right before christmas 1994 with his common-law wife teresa stanley. catherine craig was the mistress and whitey bulger's life before
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she went on the run with him, but whitey bulger-- from the corrupt fbi agent, the corporate security officer and we still had by information that he could get from the fbi that whitey bulger one step ahead of law enforcement right before christmas 1994, when there is a nor'easter brewing, 5000, all of his gang members, his partner in crime are about to get indicted, so he takes teresa and takes her for an odyssey that laughs for about a month and a half and teresa is on the run with her husband, so to speak, but she has kids at home. she has grandchildren and home. she's not caught-- cut out for the fugitive life and there is a lot of anger and resentment during that time between the couple and teresa stanley was in
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fear for her life at many times during our period where whitey bulger would be very violent towards her and finally whitey bulger said you are not cut out for it. i'm taking you back and will pick up my mistress catherine greg who has been in love with me for 20 years now and we will see how far this fugitive odyssey takes us and it took them 16 years? host: do you know if when whitey took off that he would be gone for that length of time? guest: i do, bob. casey and i like to say that he was a student of crime and he considered his time in alcatraz as like his harvard, so he considered himself to have a phd in crime, but i think he also considered himself to have a phd as being a fugitive that he-- that phone call from john
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connolly for many many years and he stashed money around the world and around the us. he had cash, access to cash, access to countless weapons and he also had many different aliases and ways to make fake ids and he also had a lot of books on how to be a fugitive. he read up on prison escapes and picked up tips from all these things that served him well during this flight from justice over 16 years. host: it's interesting he has his partner stephen fleming and he does not do that. guest: even frank salami with some of the outside of the gang looking in, they all thought that they had the system rigged. fleming for example, said i've got connections within the massachusetts state police, which he did have. he believed that he would be tipped off as well as whitey was, but
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that was not the case and two james.come he had been planning for years for this particular moment in time where-- >> fleming. >> fleming and moderato and slimy were living day to day and that's what ultimately kept bulger on the run for nearly two decades. >> went in, bob, some of that crew had been a fugitive of the past, fleming and pat had both been fugitives and those guys were no fleming was whitey's right-hand man really and him and pat had a love-hate relationship as you are aware and i think why do you learned a lot of lessons from those two guys about how to be a fugitive. >> it's interesting that two of them did not talk about this obviously because whitey had one approach and stephen had another approach and when they stood up they really split up and that
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was the end of it. >> you know it's amazing that, i mean, they ran their organized crime outfit like terrorists. they were very categorized in terms of the information they share with each other and i don't think bulger shared you no fleming was the close to whitey bulger, kevin weeks was close to him as well but there was a lot whitey bulger kept to himself because he knew that if these two crack under pressure they would ultimately lead a law enforcement to wear whitey bulger was hiding so bulger insulated himself. to me you know if you look at all of the legendary or infamous gangsters in american history, the al capone, lansky's, you know the john gotti i think bulger was smarter than all of them because he was so willing to insulate himself and
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compartmentalize information he was willing to give to others and i think that was ultimately why he survived on the run for as long as he did. >> you talk about him being a ghost on the run and in his fugitive years he was also a ghost when he was a south boston mob boss. you know when he's gone there were no current pictures of him and i remember one time the fbi releasing audio recordings from one of the thugs so you could actually hear what he sounded like a new contract that with the john gotti's of the world you know how capone, very outward going and wanted to be seen in the mr. big bad guy, but not whitey. he wanted to be a ghost in the invisible and that's exactly what he was while he was the king of south boston and while he was on the run. >> he was more like meyer lansky and those type of legendary gangsters that tried to keep the background and never allow themselves
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to be photographed, never allow themselves to be recorded you know the teflon don was more known for the thousand dollars suits he wore to court every week as opposed to how he was able to manipulate and run a criminal organization, so i think whitey was a student of the organized crime legends and infamous legends that came before him and he extrapolated a lot of those lessons into his own life. >> went to keep it moving. we can go over every detail that we could talk for hours about this stuff. he has captured in the car, and the eventually i think the most fascinating part of his years as a fugitive was what happened in louisiana because he took a bit of a risk in that he was there on a regular basis and she appreciated himself with the humanity and people
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in louisiana had no idea who he was. when did they get down to grand isle? >> very shortly after they went on the run. the first were swapping cars and part of the story of hunting whitey is the fbi story and how these agents it despite public perception that they want doing anything to find a whitey bulger you know many of them were including an agent named charlie jia turco who was able to find wide mouth whitey bulger's a so-called getaway cars in a driveway in new york. he takes this car parts and he finds a receipt and that receipt was from a salon i believe in grand isle louisiana, which put the fbi on the hunt for whitey and catherine in the very rural rustic area in the us, but here are whitey
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and catherine and they get down there under the alias of tom and helen baxter. they take a family that's rural, doesn't have a lot of money and bulger and catherine just throw money at them and they pay for all of their groceries or could they take them shopping for fishing equipment. they pay for their medical bills and nothing that dave and i love about that part of the story is they had also had a dog that was pregnant and the dog had a litter of the puppies in one of the puppies was critically ill. you know in massachusetts you would take that animal to a shelter or an animal hospital and ultimately that animal would be either saved or euthanized. in the bio-- by you rather is one way to solve that problem which is with a bullet and whitey bulger this killer of women, this killer of a man seized to this puppy in the
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final moments of his life and he's dripping with tears. he cannot understand that one of the family members is about to kill this puppy and put it out of its misery and he's walking away before the gunshot rings. >> just said do what you need to do. i had never heard that story. >> you know, we dug-- without the family to open up to us and that's one of the great things about this project for dave vandyke you know we covered a lot of different cases. dave and i wrote a book about tom brady and the new weekly and patriots and try to its-- get information from the nfl as the-- it was nearly impossible bug collector whitey bulger after so many years and we were very lucky that everyone opened up and were willing to finally tell their story. >> dave, you saw whitey
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in court and you listened to the violence and things he did when he was younger. you hear a story about whitey crying over a puppy dog, how do you put that together in your head? >> i think it's kind of classic serial killer behavior. every serial killer has their weakness and for whitey bulger that weakness was animals and it ended up playing a vital role in his undoing which we will get to later, but i think again it goes back to the mythology you know he puts this in the job thereof being this super gangster this untouchable gangster when really he was rather cowardly in a lot of ways and i think we were just talking about with the photographs stevie fleming and everyone was on a need to know basis including the family louisiana turk you know, they obviously didn't know he was a fugitive, but he was so good at deceiving them that when they were
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finally told by the fbi who whitey bulger was the absolutely refused to believe it. >> he showed so much kindness to them by a shoe mention kid-- gifts for the kids, buying refrigerators. didn't the kids call him uncle or something seen a call them uncle bob and aunt helen and that's how they knew of whitey and catherine. the day whitey his alias had been made, he and catherine had a very tearful goodbye with the family and whitey tells them you will read some things about me in the newspaper and see some things about me in the news. just know we loved you and we will always love you and bulger you know despite the depravity of the sky and certainly he was a monster, he really had affection for this family and continued to correspond with them will be on his capture and into his years as a
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convict-- convict in federal prison. >> eventually you tell the great story about how he was made and it involves teresa. >> yeah. >> talking about women problems. he traded one for the other and that hurt three greece and that whole episode kind of contributed to whitey to have to make some fast moves. >> teresa was the scorned woman. she was someone that still loved whitey bulger, but had to come back to her family and she still tried to grapple with that. she goes out and gets very close to another underworld person in the fbi is thinking okay, we had this guy as an informant and there could be polite talk between teresa in this low-level gangster is going to get this
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information as to where whitey is. ultimately teresa does give up whitey bulger's alias as tom baxter and bulger and catherine were willing to spend probably the rest of their lives as a fugitives in grand isle and because no one cared about that place no one still cares about grand island. of the fbi just gone down there and that they were in an episode of true detective. it's that rural. it's that unusual and people can hide for years there, but once bulger was made he had to move on and catherine greg certainly was his accomplice and allowed him to crisscross the country like they did. >> one thing, bob, with teresa stanley i think one mistake that was made in the original manhunt before this new group of agents was brought into the case that ultimately tracked
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him was they went into interview stanley after she came home. had they done that sooner perhaps this flight from justice would have been cut dramatically if not stopped right there in grand island. charlie got that break in the case that casey described but the calgary didn't come. charlie was down in grand island and ready to make a move on bulger and he got pulled out of their here to there is a quantum-- a lot of questions about why that happened and we get into that and i think that's an interesting part of the story, the key to the early mistakes made was not really putting teresa stanley under the hot lights right away. they waited weeks-- someone sick should have been sitting on her house the entire time and that didn't happen. >> it almost took two years for the fbi to actually interview john connolly as to the whereabouts of whitey bulger. insane. >> to this day there are no clear answers. with a covering for
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themselves, was it incompetence and that's the whole idea that they don't want to find whitey, that's where it starts that was the question until the day he was caught stealing that's a big part of our story here and that's why we jumped in productive big part of the story that we will get to and people can read about it because that faction that made those mistakes we just described, they were maybe mistakes and maybe they were calculated oversight to enable whitey, protective euro, protect collateral damage in the office that may have been mixed up with john connolly, but the new ages that came in and ultimately cracked the case didn't care about any of that stuff and they didn't have anything to do that >> i remember that well. i remember that people talking to the agents and now is talked about writing and it was very very difficult for them to work in that office as long as he was out there.
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they were getting whipped left and right because while whitey is gone flemmi is still here. finding out that he was the informant was coming out at the time. whitey's out of the picture, but flemmi is dealing with it, monitor on his out there in the agents working the office are dealing with it as well. >> eventually how does whitey get out to california? how does he get their. >> he took a train from chicago all the way to la and he landed in la first and eventually he got to semi cut and he got to la about the same time the o.j. simpson civil trial is underway and we have a little passage in the book where whitey and catherine were at this low rent hotel and all of a sudden whitey is trying to sleep and he hears helicopters overhead and he thinks damn, here come the fbi
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to come and get me. what he didn't realize was they had media folks including helicopters that were following o.j. simpson's motorcade to the civil trial court house in santa monica where that case was ultimately adjudicated, so whitey bulger grabs catherine at that moment and said we got a leave. they end up in venice beach before santa monica and then in venice beach they really start to find themselves as fugitives and bulger currency was social security and file second station. we would find people down on their luck on the boardwalk and offer them cash, $400 in cash if that they would sell their social security number to catherine or sell their social security number to whitey, so he knew right away that it wasn't bullets or it wasn't threatening demeanor
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that was going to allow him to keep on the run. it was cash and social security numbers. >> one of the most interesting cases this time, he sets up on the third floor with their apartment doing their best to mix in, but can one of you tell the story about other legend of whitey came out. no one knows where he is , but his story is getting told in hollywood tells the story through the departed and it turns out whitey was just as interested as all of us were about how hollywood was portraying him. >> there's a funny scene in the book i don't want to give the whole thing away because it is an interesting read, but anyone who ever tells their life story or has a film med-- made about them will want to see it and whitey bulger was no different even though he had nothing to do with "the departe" he was
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fascinated by it and when the movie came out he was in san diego and he went to a showing at the theater in san diego and there he is in the theater watching jack nicholson tray eight character on whitey bulger. a few rows behind him is a young sheriff's deputy from san diego who happen to growth in massachusetts knew who whitey bulger was, recognized bulger, could not believe his eyes and waited for him after the showing to try to confirm it with him and they locked eyes and this deputy that we spoke with for the book told us in no uncertain terms that he made whitey bulger and he believes whitey bulger made him and a chase ensued and obviously bought-- whitey got away , but talk about art imitating life. >> exactly and i've seen the surveillance images of whitey bulger in san diego and the sheriff's deputy is named richard
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eaton. etc. a small-- richard eaton and i went to the same high school together, so i heard the story when it happened in 2006, because richard eaton told me that. he was not proud of it. he was a guy that was incredibly adept in decorated sheriff's deputy in san diego breaking down the drug cartels in san diego and here he is confronting whitey bulger and he knows-- he made whitey bulger because he saw his eyes and that dirty tooth that whitey bulger has and he also noticed that bulger had a short-sleeved polo shirt on and there was a certain bulger not polo shirt that suggested a weapon, that suggested a gun and richard eaton at the time was not armed because it just so happened he was
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testifying in a gun trial at the federal court on the street and he had given his weapon to the bailiff that morning, so here is richard eaton unarmed who knows bulger will not go without a fight and just decides to trail him as long as he can and he does so until bulger gets on a trolley and eventually bulger gives him the slip. >> it's amazing. we only have a few more minutes and i went to spend on the pursuit so let's go right to the capture because you mention the new agents i remember they were constantly coming up with new ideas, new ways to try to keep interest in whitey bulger high. they went to america's most wanted many times. they would target billboards and eventually ultimately what worked was a targeted an ad campaign focused not necessarily on whitey, but catherine greg.
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genius move. tell the story about how quickly things turned around once that started showing up in los angeles. >> so, gleason is one of the main characters in our book, a female agent brought into the case in the mid- 2000 and maureen was among the agents we talked about a while ago that was discussed it with a reputation that the bureau had. she had no ties to the john connolly regime and just wanted to catch her man. she decided to catch bulger's woman. they knew catherine greg had had plastic surgery and they put out-- genius move-- they put out ads in plastic surgeon training magazine and they got feedback and found a plastic surgeon who actually not only treated catherine, put breast implants in, but had many really clear pictures of her which they didn't have before. those pictures were used in the first of its kind public service
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announcement at the fbi did and it was such an innovative project that the fbi put together, couldn't afford to put the psa on tv in every market including la, but it got a worldwide media coverage because he was whitey bulger, the number one most wanted man in america at that point. it was seen by a woman in iceland and also obviously made it into the la market, so it was a huge smart decision by noreen gleason and those people she was working at. >> free advertising. didn't have to pay for every word is seen. >> the dramatic takedown of whitey bulger, they get one of their all-stars in la who is actually on his day off with his family-- well, he was on vacation. >> vacation, yeah. he was at a sporting goods store with his
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kids buying fishing equipment and he gets a text on his phone, possible whitey bulger siding, please contact boston and he was just about to say i'm on vacation and this is more of an oc case mean organized crime. scott was a fugitive hunter that had penetrated the mexican drug cartel successfully, but the agent and him would not let go at so he said he was about to delete it or send the message and then instead he said okay, what you have. at the next text comes over, he has a tipster in iceland that claims she knows that aliases of whitey and kathryn who ultimately was carol casco and has an address which was the 303-- apartment 303 in santa monica, so he said who took the tip. well, it was a us
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marshall named neil sullivan. of the great thing about this ultimate takedown was the fbi utilized us marshal service and the state police and us attorney's office in a very team like fashion to bring down whitey. gary doesn't trust anyone outside the bureau so he says i don't know the guys in the us marshal service. i need to talk to the tipster myself so they put him in touch with this woman in iceland and she gives gary the reason she believes it's whiting catherine. at the end of the conversation gary says you know, i have to ask you how sure are you that it is these fugitives we have been after for 16 years and the tipster says that said i'm not 100% sure it's them. you can see gary getting deflated, but then she jumps in and says i'm 200% sure it's them and
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at that point it was game on. >> then, the trap is set you can see it in your mind. you can see it all take place. you stood in the graduate this went down. what was the ruse and you know he didn't fight back. he knew his time was up. >> you know, they've is about to talk about this, but we have not only the version of those events, but also whitey's version of the events. the first time whitey bulger even discusses how and why he was captured and how he felt at that time. dave, takeover. >> it's funny to read whitey's letter that we retained to this book retaining his own arrest any talks about how it is really quite in the elevator, but the way it went down was they knew
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whitey bulger was armed to the t and that he was the kind of guy that would shoot his way out if he had to. they were afraid that he would take catherine greg as a human shield are hostage so they came up with this ruse and got the manager of the building to call and lie to him and say the storage locker had been broken into and bulger was protected so he came down to meet them and was met by an army of fbi agents and when i first heard that story i was surprised bulger didn't pick up on that. that seems to be something a little unusual why would someone break into a storage locker in the garage. i think he obviously made a fatal mistake there in his years on the run. >> i think also how the building manager presented it to him was you can either come down
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and check it out for yourself or should i call the police and bulger did not want anyone to call the police. charlie was going to go down there and look at it himself. >> they even went to the step to actually, what break the locker and have things straight about so when he got off the elevator that it will look like someone did in fact a break-in. >> that's right. they really took their time and they were meticulous because as dave said they believed whitey bulger was willing to go down with a fight and they weren't going to kick down the door because ultimately that would have ended in a bloodbath. of the easiest way to do it was to lure this elderly man out into the public and when he gets down into the basement of the princes eugenia he knows he's been made before they even announce that it's the fbi, whitey bulger get down. >> still had an act of defiance there didn't he
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even in that moment? >> he did. there was an incredible standoff that he himself describes in that letter and i will again not to give it all away, but he was defiant to the end. i think bulger i believe he expected to go out in a blaze of glory and i think in certain ways this was a little bit disappointing to bulger that it was the way he was going down. he was going down to grab his stuff that someone was trying to steal and he gets taken down in a dirty parking garage. the fiery end he probably anticipated, that was to come as he had aces up his sleeve and i think whitey bulger spent the rest of his life through his lawyers and his own actions trying to keep up this mess about himself. >> so then he's arrested and i don't know about you but my mind was blown when you hear he got arrested and of the
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next day was a blur that took a while to show up in federal court for his initial appearance. i know, for me, when i stood in the courtroom and i saw him for the first time you know there's a ghost in the flesh. what did you think when you heard the news and finally got to see him? >> i think we were all shocked. no one believed to bulger would be captured bulger certainly never believed it. in fact, he told fbi agents while they were interviewing him, you know in the plane ride from la to boston he said you know, if i felt like i was on my last legs i would have gone to nevada or arizona, found an empty mineshaft and just dropped down 30 feet and killed myself, but no one would have found my body. of the fbi would've had
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mud on its face for the rest of their history because they never found me, so bulger wanted to keep this allusion of mythology alive for as long as he could. >> i was in the newsroom that night. it was one of those ones where i was like wow, i couldn't believe it and i actually didn't believe it or cry that it was a mistake. i personally thought whitey was probably dead or in another country and then the news a started breaking that he was in custody in california and he was hiding basically in plain sight. my mind was blown, but as i learned the details in court and while covering it it all kind of made sense. it all made sense that he was just that much of smarter than everyone else at being a fugitive and one would assume he was out of the country in europe or an island or something, but instead he's in santa monica less than a mile
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from the police station in a crappy-- it's a decent apartment building, but not something where a guy with $10 million in cash or cash would be. >> to be in that apartment which we had access in the very cramped space. it's unusual to walk that, to see how bulger was able to move around in a tight limited space for over 16 years going out occasionally onto the balcony with binoculars looking down the street at potential assassins or whether or not there would be fbi or state police team creeping up on him. he lived in that fear constantly. bulger was long gone when we got in the apartment, but his ghost remained. >> he must have had a great relationship with catherine because how do you live like that for
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all that time and not feel so claustrophobic and, i mean, from his point of view, but also from catherine's point of view. who knows what she thought when she got in that car with him way back in 96, 97 when they took off her was at 95 and they took off? did she expect to be in a tiny apartment on that length of time and it could not have been fun for her but yet there was no sign of abuse between the two of them. >> he was abusive to her in the beginning and i think that's his demeanor. his demand on the relationship, but ultimately she became the caregiver and the most important person in that relationship. the letters that dave and i and covered in book are often the love letters between whitey bulger and catherine. whitey clearly loved her and would say to friends of his in these letters,
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i would take the electric chair tomorrow if they would allow catherine to go today, so there was a level of love there, but there was also a level of manipulation and control that bulger had at least early on. >> is starting to get late and i know we want to take questions, but dave, we had to talk about the murder and i went to chama trial. it was an amazing event to cover. what was the moment for you-- is there one thing , it's unfair to ask one thing, or one highlight that you take away that i just can't believe i just saw that the mac i think the whole thing was a server-- circus. it was a kind of decision or life whitey bulger. the one that stuck out to me when we put the book together was the bookie, dickey o'brien i believe. he recalls a story about
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another bookie that whitey was shaking down in a hotel room and he tells the story about headless and you will pay up in the bookie says i think i'm all set and bulger says we have another business beside the bookmaking and he says what that and he says killing people like you expletive. when that bookie testified to that on the stand, bulger is erupted in laughter and disrupted the courtroom and pounded his fist and couldn't believe how funny it was. it was like someone told him the funniest joke he ever heard and i think that was an insight into the psychology of whitey bulger. he was enjoying it. some witnesses he really was disinterested in and didn't care, but there were other moments where it was almost like he was waiting. obviously, flemmi and martorano when those guys took the stand they were huge moments, but anyone in this trial or who has read about it
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can get an insight into what kind of guy whitey bulger was. >> one of the moments for me was not during session, but before stevie took the stand and they brought him out way ahead of time and we were in a break in the two of them were just staring at each other for the first time in 17 years and just the look on their faces, it was just this quiet thing and it looked like stevie was saying to whitey why did you do it and it was like watching two lions about to pounce on each other. >> you remember that stevie was also a government informant, actually even before whitey was. stevie turned turncoat, fbi turncoat in the 60s while whitey bulger was an inmate at alcatraz, so we talked about departmental ovation of organized crime and there were
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secrets that whitey and stevie would go to the grape within secrets that whitey and stevie would keep from each other and that was one of them. >> he's convicted, but the trial was interesting. it did not blow the lid off of boston like many thought it would come off the fbi specifically. did names of people we did know about. he's convicted and goes away and it's interesting how from reading your book how he goes from this feared gangster to really this pathetic old man in the prison system. it led right up to his death and one of the greatest mysteries of this entire case is why was he at hazelton, why did he get transferred in their where all of his enemies were? i still don't understand that. maybe there be an investigation. >> a vest-- investigation is ongoing
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and that's one thing we were able to confirm. the man that's been implicated in the killing is a monster out of springfield. he was a enforcer for the italian mafia and sprinkled and he was serving time for a murder of an l zero-- l zero and when he and whitey bulger comes walking in whitey bulger was moved thereunder very suspicious some may say nefarious circumstances and i think our investigation has shown its accommodation of negligence and incompetence. i think the wardens at florida and hazelton have questions to answer and i hope they do, but literally bulger was thrown to the lions. he was thrown in the most dangerous prison in the country in the middle of a staffing crisis where they had some inmate murders shortly before bulger arrived with guards being attacked and it's filled with mobsters including several from massachusetts and one thing that freddie did not like was a rat and
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that's what whitey bulger was. >> he was murdered hours after he arrived. >> he arrived and freddie is a guy that began corresponding with dave and i sure letters and freddie rodas several letters with leather tipped pencils because they won't give him a sharp instrument because they fear he will either jabbed himself in the neck or will do harm to others so freddie was able to at least paint the picture for us in many ways put us in whitey's jail cell at the very moment he was killed and we also had cooperation with freddie's daughter, taylor, whose very successful in her own right and painted a different picture of the freddie has this very beloved and doting dad who had his own code of honor which was to dave's point if you are
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in this world, you are in this world to stay and you don't rat on others and bulger you know timing out the many of the italian monsters in boston in one of the gangsters that bulger eventually threw in jail for a crime he didn't commit was a guy named freddie and dave will talk a bit more about that, but freddie spent 30 years in a jail cell, many of those years with freddie gs bemoaning the fact that bulger put him there. >> freddie i have gotten to know freddie and i have interviewed him. he's out now. conviction overturned, but he spent 30 years. >> 36 years for a crime he didn't commit and it was all based on largely based on evidence that bulger provided as part of his routine of writing out his rivals
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and freddie served time with him and shirley and freddie gs talked about that in the book and people can read that stuff about his feelings about that case. >> one of the things that struck me as i was reading about freddie and his family and the different view his family had is that it's a mirror image of whitey , i mean, like catherine and the people , billy who you interviewed who just had a completely humanistic view of whitey bulger and just didn't see. in his case it's different because it's his kids that there were as a human side to these guys. vicious killers that went to work and then they would come home and have this family life and it's kind of chilling that people can turn that on and off the way they did. >> and again bulger love to the stability of family life which is why they brought the family under their wing in grand isle as quickly as
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they did because bulger and catherine loved to sit down for dinner. bulger was very focused on the kids getting their homework done as much as he was with tresa stanley's family as well. here you have this guy that tries to live the ozzie and harriet life but he's also scarface and he has to go out and kill and corrupt society, which is what he did. >> and before we go to questions we have to talk about billy bulger. we sat down with billy bulger and he actually talk to you which is something he has avoided talking about the whole time i have been in boston. what was that experience like. >> and billy had not spoken publicly at all for 12 years. he did an interview with boston magazine about 12 years ago but he was pretty evasive-- evasive about jimmy and he was
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evasive with us as well. i had covered the lee bulger when he was in the umass presidency and at the statehouse so we kind of had i do want to say relationship, but he knew who i was so when i showed up on his doorstep he kind of knew who i was and i think he knew why i was there. it was a very strange experience. you know we have all knocked on a million dollars over the years to get interviews and you never know what's on the other side of the door, so i had my phone now and was ready to capture anything he said and i expected maybe he would say i love my brother but i don't want to talk to you and i would at least have a quote. he opened the door and invited me in almost like he wanted to speak and was waiting for someone to ask him. we sat with him and recorded the interview for a couple of hours and again he was very evasive and didn't want to talk about his brother's life on the run because i think he was concerned about being implicated as he should be, but he spoke at length about why he
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thinks his brother went one way and he went to the other. he also talked about the prison murder we discussed and he was clear the family thinks there was corruption or negligence involved and they want answers. >> they have a lawsuit they filed. >> they are suing. >> they are suing now, but the fact that you got billy to show up and talk and let you in, it wasn't as if you had to call, set up an appointment and he has talking points he would go over. >> it was a weird today. >> billy bulger talking. >> as soon as i left the house-- i had them to that house a couple dozen times over the years always knocking on his door and we would always knock on mary fleming's door also as i'm sure you did and very rarely got much out of billy over the years except a little soundbite here and there but as soon as i left that house i called
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casein said buddy, you won't believe what just happened. >> i remember that conversation and the next day i went to the fbi agents i was interviewing for the book as well and told them what he had said and billy was cagey in his conversation with us , but the fbi said you know what that guy should be in jail right now. they said put us on record with this. they weren't mincing words. they believe and had strong evidence to support it that billy was in touch and in contact with his fugitive brother, a killer. what really frustrated them was here's a billy bulger was a politician and also a lawyer which made him an officer of the court and he's harboring one of the most notorious killers in gangland history and the fbi agents could never wrap their heads around that.
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>> when he went down to washington to testify or not to testify the story broke about his grand jury appearance in which he admitted he took a phone call from jim at least one that we know about the record. he went to i think a lawyer's house and took a phone call and they talked and that was leaked to the fore before congress and that's when he had his memory loss. >> we found out in the course of writing the book is that whitey would buy a car and he would drive from santa monica to the midwest where he would place these phone calls to his family and that's because he wanted the fbi to think he was hiding out in canada as opposed to sunny southern california. again, very crafty, smart gangster. >> always always thinking. should we take some questions: mike yeah. >> we only have a few minutes left. >> yeah, definitely.
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>> the first question comes from mike cahill. could whitey have lasted as long as he did-- and on about-- in not all. >> no, he could not. that was the frustration with the fbi when they took over the case picked they were so beside them so that every door they knocked on there was a total silence and here was a guy that was accused of 19 murders including the murder of two women so the fact that bulger early on was invested in the community and always donated to the church and always bought meals for needy families and he was waiting for this moment in time where the community would protect him and they did. >> real quick just to illustrate important fine point on that, whenever the fbi which show up and interview a bulger family member or try to they would get a call back from tom kiley
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, bulger's attorney, the family attorney, so they were really-- they stall the investigation the entire time. no one in the family ever cooperated. >> the next question comes from kate ashton. did you speak with the tipster in iceland? iceland seems like a very convenient distant place. >> we did not get a chance to speak to her. she was very private at the time we decided to write this book, but this tipster in iceland originally lived in santa monica right across the street from whitey and kathryn and what gave up a whitey and catherine ultimately was their love of pets. they would feed a stray cat that they nicknamed tiger in this tipster in iceland was doing the same thing and she built a relationship with catherine who she thought was a delightful person, but here comes
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her boyfriend widely who they called charlie at the time who would rail against president obama's immigration policy and that really stuck with the tipster. she thought he was angry, racist and she never lost that memory and it ultimately lead to their downfall. >> if you think about it the fact that the tip came in from iceland to make sense because you couldn't be further away from santa monica. if you are going to rat out whitey bulger you better be faraway. you better not be in the neighborhood so it makes a lot of sense that she had all that distance to make that phone call and as you said when the fbi agent said are you sure and she said i'm 200% sure. you don't do that if you fear this person will come back and get you. >> we had two questions here from rhonda moskovitz. of the first one is do you think catherine knows where the millions are hidden? >> i mean, i have to
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assume she knows where some money is hidden. she was on the run with him for 16 years. she has not spoken to authorities. she was the good old gangster that she promised whitey she would be. she never cracked. she served her time. she's out of jail and living with members of bulger's family on south shore massachusetts and i think she probably does have information about where he has money hidden. >> the fbi agent said for the book look, if someone close to bulger knows where those safety deposit boxes are and he went away with probably $30 million worth of ill-gotten gains and ultimately that money should go to the victims families. of the fbi said look, follow those types of people that are close to -- that were close to whitey because ultimately they will
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lead you to where the lottery is. >> they were in that tiny apartment and you were in there and saw how small it was. $800,000 in cash takes up a lot of space. there's no way she did know about the money or the weapons. >> i agree, bob. i think she knows everything. >> i do to achieve and took more time on her sentence. she didn't have to serve any time at all. >> some which a-- say she was the perfect accomplice to go on this ride with him. she kept her mouth stuffed-- shut and she stood by her man. >> next question from rhonda is about billy. to what extent do you think whitey and billy kept in touch for all those years on the run mike yeah, i mean, i think we kind of cover that but it's hard to say. we definitely spoke with a lot of folks investigators and others
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that don't believe for one minute that bulger wasn't in regular contact with several people back here in boston including his own family and billy bulger did admit to at least one phone call from his brother. strange to think that was the only one. >> think about the high price the whole bulger family paid. jackie and billy, billy lost his job and i know he has a healthy penchant he's living on but he doesn't have the power or procedure used to have an jackie lost his pension again, they stayed loyal to him to the end. >> we have audio conversations between billy and whitey behind bars at the plymouth house of corrections and there's one moment where billy asks whitey, do you know what you've done to this family and whitey looks at him like he's ready to kill his own brother and he said do you know when it's done to you, what you think it stunned me and he goes off on his own brother and it talks about the fact that he
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can't have any contact with catherine that he will die in prison, so there was some friction in that relationship. >> i think this will probably be the last question we had before we wrap things up but i think it's a good one to end down. catherine asked, what was his mental illness as he was able to disassociate himself-- [inaudible] maybe you can jump from their into a larger psychological sense that you have. >> i mean, i think whitey bulger is a classic sociopath in a lot of ways for the reasons we just discussed that he was able to separate his horrible crimes of killing and disfiguring people and his love of animals you know he was this classic sociopath.
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casey can talk a little bit about his mental condition goes all the way back to his days in alcatraz. >> fairpoint coming bulger was a bad guy to begin with, but he participated in potentially thousands-- to shave off time for a sense in the basically convinced him to do it because they believed-- they told him the government was looking to find a tour for schizophrenia and ultimately it was a cia operation to develop a mind control agent and here is bulger you know participating in all of these crazy lsd trips as a prisoner so you have a guy that's leaning toward being a bad person and then that chemistry with all of the lsd experiments really changes his mind and he almost becomes the purple houck at that point so it definitely
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was a contributing factor and it haunted him for his entire life. we write about that the book, the fact that catherine and whitey couldn't stand the same bedroom at night because whitey bulger would wake up screaming because he would be reliving these hallucinations that he had experienced so many years before. >> fascinating. i'm not a psychologist and i don't know but i know from watching in court watching him every day that he was very involved in his trial. he was prone to outbursts from time to time. he could also turn on the charm as when he was first brought in and asked can you afford a lawyer and his answer was i could if you gave me my money back, serial killer ahead of the mob and he's cracking irish jokes and trying to be one of the guys. so many different facets to whitey bulger and i think that's what made
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him the mob boss, probably the most feared an effective mob boss we have seen in a while. >> i think that's a great place to wrap things up. thank you so much. incredible and great conversation and thank you to everyone who tuned in. there's a link to buy the book down on the little by the boat box. i hope you have a great rest of your night and take good care. >> thanks a lot. >> thank you. >> phase, bob. >> you got it, guys. >> here are some best-selling nonfiction books according to indy banter topping the list america must choose to be antiracist and work towards building a more equitable society that in how be an antiracist. in the room where it happened former trump national security advisor john bolton describes his experience during the time he administration followed by activists memoir
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untamed. after that is the splendid in the bile, historian eric larson's study of winston churchill's leadership. wrapping up our look at some of the best selling nonfiction books is between the world and me, national book award-winning author look at the state of black america. most of these authors have appeared on book tv and you can watch them online. .. tonight's event we are very much appreciate if you do three things, first


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