BOSTON — Jailhouse love notes between convicted Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger’s and the woman with whom he spent 16 years on the run moved both to tears, Bulger’s trial attorney said.
Bulger thought prison officials would never allow him to write to the woman, Catherine Greig, attorney J.W. Carney told a gathering of Massachusetts defense lawyers Wednesday. So Carney offered his legal pad to Bulger, and Bulger wrote a note that Carney hand-delivered to Greig at the detention center in Rhode Island where she was serving time for helping Bulger evade authorities, according to The Boston Globe.
She wept as she read and wrote a reply, which also made Bulger cry, Carney said. He told Carney that one of his greatest regrets was never marrying Greig.
Carney, who has withdrawn from Bulger’s case, says the exchange was not illegal.
Weeks after the letters were exchanged, Bulger, 84, was convicted of orchestrating or participating in 11 murders. He was sentenced to two life terms plus five years in prison. Greig is serving an eight-year prison term for helping Bulger while he was a fugitive.
Henry Brennan, one of Bulger’s trial attorneys who is also handling his appeal, told the gathering he expects to win the appeal. The defense maintains that the trial was unfair because the judge would not allow Bulger to tell the jury that a now-deceased federal prosecutor promised him immunity for his crimes. The prosecutor, Jeremiah O’Sullivan, died in 2009. He testified during a congressional hearing that he never protected Bulger.
Bulger fled Boston in 1994 after receiving a tip from a former FBI agent that he was about to be indicted. He and Greig were finally captured in 2011 in Santa Monica, Calif., where they had been living in a rent-controlled apartment.
Bulger has been moved to a federal prison in Tucson, Ariz. Since his conviction, he also has spent time at a detention center in Brooklyn, N.Y., and a federal prison in Oklahoma.