SOUTH BOSTON (CBS) – It didn’t take long for the news of Whitey Bulger’s capture to resonate with Bostonians, even those spread out across the country.
Whitey Bulger’s brother Billy still lives in Southie, on Third Street, while Whitey himself lived on Third Street in Santa Monica, California, where he was arrested Wednesday evening.
He would not talk to reporters Thursday, but late Thursday night, Billy Bulger released a statement on the arrest of his notorious brother.
“I wish to express my sympathy to all the families hurt by the calamitous circumstances of this case,” the statement read. “As the judicial process takes its course, I shall make no further comment at this time. Along with everyone else involved, I look forward to a resolution of this matter. I do hope, in the meantime, that my family may be accorded a measure of privacy.”
Years ago, Whitey was a neighborhood hero to some residents in Southie. On Thursday, those residents were in disbelief that authorities finally caught up with the fugitive mobster.
WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports.
It’s a day most thought they would never see. Some believed he was dead, while others swore he was alive.
Photos: Whitey Through The Years
But everyone agrees: they never thought the ending of this real life crime drama would wrap up quietly on the West Coast.
“I never thought they’d get him. I thought he was gonna be gone forever.”
“Are you serious? Justice is served finally after how many years?”
“He’s an old geezer and he’s probably going to croak anyways.”
WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez reports.
“Oh, I had no idea where he was, but I thought that was just a good thing for the feds. They get to go on vacation for a little while.”
After 16 years on the run, in some ways Whitey Bulger had become more of a myth than a real man.
“I liked not knowing where he was. I liked the mystery behind it.”
That mystery was solved with a surprisingly anti-climactic ending.
“Try my hardest not to get caught. I wouldn’t have been in California, living in some condo with a girl that came from Southie, definitely not,” said Tommy Allen of Southie.
“Southie’s changed so much in the past 15-20 years. It’s like his influence is no longer relevant,” said another Southie resident.