Eyewitness: ‘It Was Absolutely Bulger I Saw’ In 2006

Past Southern California sightings and tips that were never followed may well have been right: It was Whitey.

One of the best of the hundreds of Bulger sightings people have called in to me over the years was from a law enforcement guy in San Diego a couple of years ago.

Now that Bulger’s been arrested in California, where’s he’s said to have lived for years, that call and others warrant a second look.

“What do his legs look like?” was the first question out of the guy’s mouth. The guy he’d seen was wearing shorts.

Check out the article I wrote for the Boston Phoenix in 2007. Now consider the phone call I got Thursday morning, the morning after Bulger was arrested in California not far from where I had last heard from the cop back in 2007.

Here’s the message:

Hey. It’s your buddy in sunny San Diego, where crime bosses wear shorts and walk around downtown. What comes around, goes around, huh buddy?

Having seen our photo of Bulger being booked Thursday, my “buddy” says he’s absolutely the same guy who was wearing shorts that day in San Diegeo at the premiere of the movie “The Departed.”

You can’t make this stuff up.


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Senior Reporter After Edward R. Murrow awards, Emmy awards, Radio and Television News Directors Association awards, Society of Professional Journalists awards and after being named Boston’s Best Political Reporter, David Boeri is making WBUR his next venue for award-winning journalism. David has reported stories such as the wars in El Salvador and Kosovo, environmental issues in Belize, politics in Canada and organized crime in Boston. In the WBUR newsroom, we try not to eavesdrop on the calls he gets from the many sources he has developed through the years. While David’s television work at WCVB-TV and WGBH-TV is legendary, his entire career in broadcasting is impressive. In the early days of public radio in Alaska, he worked at KFSK in Petersburg, where he would sign off with “You’re listening to KFSK, the only station on your dial.” David is a writer at heart, and he has contributed to publications such as The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Boston Globe, Oceans, Yankee, Boston Magazine, and The Boston Phoenix. David is the author of two books. After several years as a commercial fisherman in Boston, he wrote “Tell it Good-bye Kiddo: The Decline of the New England Offshore Fishery.” He later lived and hunted with Eskimo whalers in Northwestern Alaska and authored “People of the Ice Whale” (E.P. Dutton; Harcourt, Brace) about an endangered culture’s hunt for an endangered whale.

3 thoughts on “Eyewitness: ‘It Was Absolutely Bulger I Saw’ In 2006

  1. Phyllis Craine

    I think I saw Whitey as well. I’ll never know for sure of course.  It was the summer of 1997.  My husband and I were South Boston at Castle Island with our twins who were 6 months old.  We were pushing them
    in their stroller and this elderly man who was with a younger man walked
    by and he smiled at them.  What I noticed is that many people out that
    day glanced over at him as if they knew who he was but no one spoke to
    him.  And then I saw that famous photo of Whitey and Kevin Weeks (also taken at
    Castle Island) and it looked exactly like the men I saw.  I honestly thought this would never happen but then I felt the same way about the Red Sox.

  2. Littlesweetie2all

    I’m gonna comment till my fingers hurt … Eye witness in 2006 ? Let me guess … Nothing was done yet again ??? I already commented on one story all ready … The one about Keith Messina making tip but woman from Iceland getting all ??? I won’t rest till others like Keith Messina get what they should & that means sharing the reward …. HONESTLY !!!!