Silence earns mobster Whitey Bulger’s girlfriend 21 more months in prison

SHARING IS CARING!
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Catherine Greig refused to say if anyone helped them while on the run. Bulger was convicted of 11 murders he committed or ordered from crime gang

In the end, the former dental hygienist who ran away with Boston mob boss James Whitey Bulger and helped keep him hidden for 16 years was more loyal to the mob than any man.

A federal judge ordered Catherine Greig, 65, to spend another 21 months in prison for refusing to tell a grand jury if anyone helped the couple while on the run.

Certainly loyalty is an important value, but if thats whats going on here, its something of a twisted version of loyalty. Its loyalty to a criminal enterprise, judge F Dennis Saylor IV said as he announced the sentence.

Bulger, now 86, is serving life in prison after being convicted of charges including 11 murders he committed or ordered while he ran the Winter Hill crime gang in the 1970s and 80s.

History will remember Bulger as a monster and if she is loyal to that kind of monster, thats her affair, the judge said.

Already serving an eight-year sentence for hiding Bulger, Greig wont be eligible for release until 2021.

Described by her lawyer as a gentle and kind woman whose only crime is falling in love with Bulger, Greig chose not to speak at her sentencing. Her devotion to Bulger has also cost her a fine of $150,000, which she paid by selling her home, and she cannot profit from her life story.

The hearing marked what may be the final courtroom chapter of the crime saga portrayed in the movie Black Mass. (Scenes of Greig, who was played by actress Sienna Miller, didnt make the final cut after the director decided to focus on Bulgers life before he became a fugitive.)

Bulgers former comrades turned on Bulger when the FBI admitted he was their informant. The men opted to accept plea deals and all are now free men, except his partner Stephen Flemmi, who took a life sentence to avoid the death penalty after giving extensive testimony.

James Martorano, the gangs dapper hitman who admitted killing 20 people, served 12 years of a 14-year sentence.

Bulgers enforcer Kevin J Weeks, who was present at several murders and dug secret graves in basements and on urban beaches, served four years and wrote several books about his life under Bulger.

Catherine
Catherine Greig. Photograph: US Marshals Service/AP

Greig joined Bulger shortly after he fled Boston in 1995 on a tip from a corrupt FBI agent that arrest was imminent. They remained at large until 2011, when the FBI arrested them at their Santa Monica, California, apartment.

More than $820,000 and a cache of high-powered weapons were found hidden in Bulgers apartment when they were captured in June 2011.Investigators have long speculated that Greig may know if Bulger stashed additional cash.

Greig, who bought Bulgers heart medications under a phony name and stocked their hideout with cases of his favorite soap, was offered immunity for her testimony but still refused.

The bottom line is she committed a new crime here and has done so deliberately and unapologetically, the judge said. It is possible she did not know in her 16 years on the run with him the extent of his crimes. But she knows it now.

In court, Greig smiled at her twin sister sitting in the courtroom. She spoke a thank you to her lawyer, who argued she deserved a six-month sentence.

Federal prosecutors wanted the court to add three years to her prison sentence to send a message to anyone who might defy the justice system.

She has not accepted that this choice was the wrong one, assistant US attorney Mary B Murrane told the court, Nor does she acknowledge the public has a right to know who else assisted in helping the couple live under phony names in a Santa Monica apartment.

Outside the courtroom, Greigs attorney Kevin Reddington said she does not believe the former Bulger gang members testimony that he repeatedly tortured and killed his enemies.

Whitey
Whitey Bulger and Catherine Greig. Photograph: AP

She does not believe he is guilty of these offenses, Reddington said.

Last year, the courts found Greig guilty of civil contempt for her silence and have already added nine months to her sentence.

Her twin sister Margaret McCusker said her sisters deep distrust of prosecutors kept her from testifying. She said Greig fears agreeing to speak would only lay the groundwork for a perjury trap.

McCusker was convicted of perjury after she admitted telling a grand jury she spoke to her sister four times, not three, in the 1990s while Greig was a fugitive.

Greig, who was voted most likely to succeed in their South Boston high school class, fell for Bulger because he represented the strong father figure she never had, according to her sister. Their own father was an alcoholic. Their younger brother shot himself at age 26, and another sister died from substance abuse, she said.

In the 1980s Greig played the mistress in Bulgers life while another woman named Teresa Stanley was his common-law wife. He originally fled Boston with Stanley in 1995 but she tired of life on the run. Bulger took her home and picked up Greig. Stanley later cooperated with federal authorities.

Tom Donahue, the son of one of Bulgers victims who was gunned down on the Boston waterfront during a mob hit on another man, said he believes Greig will get Bulgers cash one day.

When she gets out of jail, her pension is going to be bigger than any of ours, Tom Donahue said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

SHARING IS CARING!
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