(BOSTON) — Police have released hundreds of photos from the apartment of accused Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger, depicting dozens of weapons, wads of cash and other remnants of his crime-filled past.
Bulger, the alleged head of Boston’s notorious Winter Hill Gang, was arrested last year in the small, rent-controlled Santa Monica, Calif. apartment where he lived in hiding for the last 16 years with longtime girlfriend Catharine Greig.
The just-released photos of Bulger’s hideout include 30 firearms he kept hidden behind the apartment’s walls, an arsenal consisting of pistols, sawed-off shotguns, rifles, and even a grenade. He also hid $800,000 in cash wadded in bags.
Around the apartment, Bulger kept a collection of books about the mafia, including titles like “The Worst Case Scenario Survival Guide,” “Mob Cops” and “The Last Gangster,” in addition to episodes of the television show “America’s Most Wanted” that featured him.
Police also found handwritten pages of Bulger’s memoir, a pair of binoculars Bulger had used to search for enemies, and oddities like a dress dummy that appeared to look out the dining room mirror.
But Bulger, whose life as the boss of the Irish mafia inspired Jack Nicholson’s character in the film “The Departed,” never did fire any of those 30 guns while he was in hiding.
To the contrary, “The reality is that Whitey, now at 82 years old, was living the life basically of a middle class retired couple,” said former FBI consultant and ABC News consultant Brad Garrett.
In hanging on to the weapons, the binoculars and the mob-related books, Garrett says “it’s really more than anything else an identity thing—actually trying to make himself probably a much bigger person than he was in reality.”
Bulger, who was among the FBI’s most wanted fugitives, fled Massachusetts with Greig in the mid-1990s, and awaits trial on 19 counts of murder. Greig was just sentenced to eight years in prison for identity theft and conspiring to harbor a fugitive.
In the months since their capture, five separate safety-deposit boxes filled with money have been found in both the U.S. and Europe, and under the agreement signed by Greig she is not required to reveal where any more may be hidden, and is not required to testify against Bulger.
Despite the wealth secreted away by the pair, Greig and Bulger lived a life that was, by all accounts, solidly middle-class.
Living under the names of Charles and Carol Gasco, they managed to live a normal life before their capture.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Dan Merica and Sophie Tatum, CNN
Carina Storrs Special to CNN
Tom Kludt, CNN