Charlie & Carol Gasko, according to neighbors were nothing special just an average elderly couple living an average life less than a few miles from the Los Angeles office of the FBI.

After two years crossing the U.S visiting Texas, Arizona & Wyoming the couple eventually settled in Santa Monica, California a place where their Boston accents wouldn’t gather too much attention.

After some time there, while out walking one day they came across a homeless man, they stopped to talk to the man, his name was Charlie Gaska, they asked Gaska for his social security number in exchange for making it worth his while. Armed with a social security number, the couple then went by the name Gasko and rented an apartment in Santa Monica.

 

Charlie and Carol were model tenants. Every month, about a week early, Carol would deliver the rent to the managers office across the street, where the manager would take their envelope stuffed with hundred-dollar bills and joke, “Carol, did you rob the bank again?” The two would laugh.

The Gaskos soon gained a reputation for being good neighbors and pleasant company but they were also very private people. They said that they came from Chicago for the warm weather and didn’t have any friends or family in the area. Mostly, the Gasko’s life centered on the boring day to day stuff, a weekly planner, listing doctors’ appointments etc. This routine went on for almost 16 years.

Charlie & Carol Gasko seemed like any other elderly couple living in Santa Monica, California, except Charlie & Carol Gasko were really James “Whitey” Bulger and his girlfriend Catherine Greig, one of the most notorious and controversial gangsters of all time.

Much of the time Bulger was on the run remains a mystery, where he went, what he did. It is known however that he did spend some time in New York, Florida & Louisiana, along with short trips to Texas, Arizona & Wyoming, he was eventually caught in California where he had spent the majority of the time living in the open. 

The FBI had been fruitlessly searching for Whitey, who had a reign of terror stretching 20 years and now facing 19 murder charges. They spent millions of dollars on the manhunt, including 16 segments on America’s Most Wanted, before agents finally arrested him in Santa Monica. “We were looking for a gangster, and that was part of the problem,” retired Boston police detective Chip Fleming said. “He wasn’t a gangster anymore.”

On June 22nd 2011, the FBI having received a tip off, set up their plan to capture America’s Most Wanted. Catherine Greig returned a missed call from the property manager. The manager said the couple’s storage locker had been broken into and offered to meet them to inspect the damage. Greig suggested that it would be best if her husband met Josh at the locker. Whitey Bulger went down to the garage to meet him.

It was about 5:45 p.m., Bulger made his way to the garage when FBI agents and Los Angeles police officers rushed up and surrounded him with their guns drawn. After they handcuffed him, an agent dialed Greig and held the phone up to Whitey’s mouth. “Stay in the apartment,” he told her. “I’ve been arrested.”

When the FBI raided Bulgers house they found an incredible array of money, weapons, books and so on, in fact the haul was staggering. In one of his book shelves there was a section devoted to organised crime, a few written about him, one by his right hand man Kevin Weeks. He had one or two more books about him that were written by ex-associates. He also had a collection of books about the Mafia and a huge number of books about war etc.

As agents searched they found an arsenal of weapons, 30 shotguns, rifles, pistols, and revolvers carefully placed inside the walls of the apartment. He had managed to take advantage of lax Nevada gun laws to buy some of them at a show in Las Vegas. He considered his collection a hobby. “It’s recommended to have a hobby after one retires,” he told a neighbor.

Bulger had cut several holes in the walls of the apartment, stuffing the guns, ammunition, and knives inside some; in others, he stacked neat piles of cash totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. For day-to-day expenses, he kept a cash drawer in the kitchen, with neatly stacked rows of bills in denominations ranging from $1 to $100.

Owen Forsyth

Web Designer, Teacher, Artist, Writer, 3D & Visual Effects, DJ

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