Johnny's movies

Bulger, the psychologist, and the never-ending dangerous charisma of a criminal…star

Posted in Books, Johnny Depp, movies by Anna Maria Polidori on February 10, 2015

“Whitey” the fascination of a boss and the psychological fragility of a woman



Kevin Cullen is back with an article involving  the latest spectacular news appeared just few days ago on the Globe regarding Whitey Bulger.

Whitey Bulger whitey 4, although in jail for horrible crimes has been able during these past months of causing some messes as well. Bostonians would say: “It’s in his style”.

Whitey has been treated according to the Globe in fact like a celebrity in the prison in Tucson where he was convicted.

Cullen is plenty of irony and the piece extremely funny.  Boston is under the snow and the reporter author with Shelley Murphy of Whitey Bulger amazon asks to himself what it is more upsetting: if Whitey treated as a star or this tiring snow.

I agree with my colleague. At first when I read that news of Bulger and the psychologist on the Globe two days ago written by Shelley Murphy at first I thought: “No no no wait Anna, you are tired, weeks of flu and cold, seriously maybe you are not connected, the brain not focused…English not your first language. You misunderstood all. It can’t be! This one is a story of fantasy. Let’s re-read it can’t be”.

I re-read but it was all true and I thought: “Wow, what a story!”

Paradoxical but all true and with serious consequences for the people involved in the story.

Whitey Bulger not anymore in Tucson but in a prison in Florida, the psychologist waiting for the punishment will be assigned her if recognized responsible of the favors to the Bostonian mobster.


The story is this one. Whitey, while Johnny Depp 10433842_294206544086329_1853548928510790858_n (Copy 1) was starting to filming Black Mass based on the book written by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill: “Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the F.B.I. and a devil’s deal” in which it’s portrayed a long sodalice according to the two reporters of the Globe between Bulger, and the F.B.I. was convicted in Tucson.

A psychologist in her 30’s in a way started to be “fascinated” by the criminal charisma of the famous mobster. Cullen describes the entire situation like “creepy”. Bulger is octogenarian.

What at first I couldn’t believe possible was the role of the person involved in this story: a psychologist. Someone who should know the human mind at perfection and should be theoretically more protected than common people from external influences.

Kevin Cullen knows much better than me Whitey and he reports in his piece that Kevin Weeks one of the most important Whitey’s men of the old criminal times, said Whitey would have done this world and the other for being loved by a person IF he wanted to be loved by that person. A charismatic criminal able to attracts like a magnet other people.

Whitey Bulger in his misadventures or criminal adventures has always been lucky. Cullen reports on the Globe in fact that maybe the biggest hope to Bostonians would have been to see Whitey in jail inoffensive and not taking too much seriously.

All the opposite: because the mobster has been put in an unit in the Tucson’s prison called: the Dropout Unit for informants and sex offenders.

Whitey became a celeb in that prison and I guess that a big role was played by two factors:

1) They had captured and put in jail the most important criminal existing in the Usa at the top ten of the FBI’s criminal most wanted list. For a common criminal someone like Bulger can be and I am sure is a star on his field. A successful criminal, plenty of fame, money, women, an extreme life, no other mobster has been like him. Once dead he will become a legendary character for Boston and his name always remembered by everyone. Tons of movies, documentaries and fictions created thanks to him, books written for trying to clarify and put on written words a legendary criminal life. The one of Whitey not exactly like the position of the poor hens stealer.

2) Whitey’s story was becoming a movie thanks to the arrival in Boston and surrounding areas, of actor Johnny Depp and director Scott Cooper. The movie and the same Johnny Depp created big curiosity around the character of Whitey Bulger. The first historical reconstruction of this criminal mind.

Whitey knew that I am sure, after all the end of the trial was in 2013, the movie started immediately after the sentence we can say, in 2014. In fact one of the biggest problems of Johnny Depp and his arrival in Southie has been this one. A big question of the citizens of Southie: “Whitey will be portrayed realistically well by this production?” To Bostonians accuracy is important like also the idea of not creating with “Whitey the Mobster” a sort of “positive man in his negativity”. What Bostonians are searching for is a good portrait of the reality of the facts during the 70’s and 80s in their city.

I am sure that the real Whitey was in grade thanks to his character of taking advantage also from a situation like that one. Johnny Depp was in Boston for filming. Johnny Depp the most glamorous man existing on the face of the Earth, signing autographs loved and appreciated by the Bostonians thanks to his warm character. Women falling in love for him at first sight.

Whitey started to be affected by a sort of return of “fame and celebrity” I guess. So, forgetting the good Charlie whitey in jailGasko,  he re-started to be proud of being terrible, notorious, most wanted mobster: Whitey Bulger.

Cullen tells that he discovered Whitey Bulger the past year started to appearing in many photographs with other inmates and these inmates were so proud of being in the picture with Whitey Bulger. In line for being portrayed with him.


The Boston Globe published two pictures: this one with an inmate

Bulger, the inmate and Elvis Whitey in the pic of the Globe and with a smiling Bulger


and this one above the picture by Marylin Monroe created by inmate Pietrantonio, autographed by Whitey Bulger and sold by a friend of Pietrantonio on eBay and bought by the Boston Globe for 250 dollars.


m_Marylin Monroe painting by Pietrantonio bought by the Globe

Let’s remember what said inmate Pietrantonio the young man of 36 years with a particular passion for painting to the Globe and Shelly Murphy recently: “Whitey is an American legend in the Mafia”.

A legend of Mafia means as  remembers Cullen graves, death, desperation, drug, departures thanks to the drug. Poverty I would add, in every sense. Not for the mobster but for the portion of society involved by the mafia and the criminal activity.

At the same time these past months it’s possible to start to find, thanks also to Whitey’s blessing a lot of memorabilia on the net. Whitey warmly suggested to one of his friends of selling the letters he had written him: “You can make a lot of bucks with that material. “Sell it”, it seems he said to his friend.

Whitey was able to start this friendship with the psychologist and thanks to it was put in a single cell and for what reported by Cullen the single cell is always his best ideal condition. Cullen tells in fact that Whitey in the 50s let believe to everyone he was going crazy for not staying in a cell with other inmates. They put him in a single cell. Same story and script for Alcatraz. Just single cells.

It’s not the first time Whitey put in a serious mess the life of someone.

Cullen remembers in the piece that when Whitey Bulger left Boston, asked help to his brother Jack Bulger a judge. The brother helped Whitey reports Cullen but lost his pension from the Boston Juvenile Court.

The psychologist accepted some autographed pictures of Whitey (and other celebrities, autographed by Whitey), and talking Whitey convinced the psychologist as reported by the Globe at introducing illegally into the jail a cell phone for calling someone.
Plus the single cell and plus the correspondence with Catherine Greig convicted in a prison in Minnesota. The psychologist can be disciplined or criminally charged if all of it is and if she did this these favors to Bulger.

Whitey Bulger is able to re-create his world into a jail as well. Pity other people must be put in difficult situations because of him.


Anna Maria Polidori


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