By Joe Mathieu, WBZ NewsRadio 1030

BOSTON (CBS) – The Whitey Bulger verdict marks the end of an era.

And not only for Boston. It’s the end of an era for organized crime.

I say that because Whitey was the last big catch from the old underworld. Those organizations, typically led by Irish or Italian families and often romanticized in the movies, don’t exist any longer.

It’s not just the Winter Hill gang.

The Italian mob here in Boston was dismantled long ago. The Patriarca crime family is history. Even the Gotti family in New York is gone, reduced to a silly reality TV show.

The only things left to show for these groups that once terrorized cities like ours are a few broken-down old men, either hiding in witness protection or rotting somewhere in prison.

But you better believe there are other people and organizations taking their place.

They include what one former Mass State Police investigator described to me as “disorganized crime” – small groups of small-time criminals.

Amateur Hour.

But you could argue the real emerging threat facing law enforcement is far more elusive and dangerous than a wise guy with a gun. They are individuals and groups that use digital technology to steal information and money from people, corporations and even governments.

The FBI, which was complicit in crimes committed by gangsters like Bulger, now dedicates much of its time tracking these new threats.

They don’t wear shark skin suits and they don’t shoot-up restaurants. Instead they break into computer servers and can do more damage with the click of a mouse than Whitey or Gotti or any other old mob boss could have ever envisioned.

Follow Joe on Twitter @joemathieuwbz


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