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The Capture of Whitey Bulger

After 16 years on the lam, James “Whitey” Bulger – a notorious Irish mobster from Boston, who was number 2 on the FBI’s most-wanted list for over 14 years – has finally been captured by the FBI.

Tonight, Mike and Mark speak with noted author Richard Stratton, who has not only researched and written about Bulger, but actually met the man face-to-face when Bulger acted to save Richard from a Mafia hit contract. We’ll talk about Bulger’s history, his turning of FBI agents, the methods used to bring him in, whether or not he’s responsible for a whole string of armed robberies as the infamous “geezer bandit” in Orange County, California…and what secrets he still may have to tell about a thoroughly corrupt FBI that aided him in murdering his rivals.

About the guest:

Richard Stratton is the author of the underground cult classic novel, Smack Goddess. He was a writing fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts in 1970.

In 1982 he was convicted of conspiracy to import marijuana and hashish and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison. He wrote Smack Goddess while incarcerated. He also became a jailhouse lawyer, had his sentence vacated and was released after serving eight years.

In 1989 he was awarded first prize for short fiction in the PEN American Prison Writing contest.

His work has been published in Story Magazine, Rolling Stone, High Times, Spin, Newsweek, Penthouse, Esquire and a number of literary quarterlies. He formerly edited Fortune News, the newspaper of the Fortune Society, a non-profit organization which aids prisoners and ex-offenders and advocates for criminal justice reform.

He worked as a producer and creative consultant on a number of HBO productions including Prisoners of the War on Drugs, The Execution Machine: Texas Death Row, Thug Life in D.C. and the dramatic prison series, Oz. He is qualified as an expert witness in state and federal courts in the areas of prison violence and prison culture, and has testified in capital prison murder cases in Texas, Oklahoma, Utah and California. He co-wrote and produced Slam, the movie, and co-edited Slam, the book. He is co-producer and co-writer of the feature film Whiteboys, and Executive Producer and show runner for Street Time, a dramatic television series.

Richard’s most recent novel is “Altered States of America.”, and his Piece “Super Rat” – about Whitey Bulger, was featured in the February 2009 issue of Playboy magazine. He has many works on his slate at the present time. One of which is the film Dog Eat Dog based on the novel by Eddie Bunker. Richard is the director and the screenplay writer. He resides in New York with his wife Antoinette and their son Ivan and his stepdaughter, Bianca. He has three children from a former marriage, Maxx, Dash and Sasha.


7 comments to The Capture of Whitey Bulger

  • Mary Ann Martorana

    Wow you would have to be some kind of fool not to realize that this whole “capture” thing was a bullshit setup. Ad campaign targeting women who go to beauty parlors??? Give me a break. I’m not sure exactly what the truth is about this whole thing, but only a numb nuts would believe what the media is putting out.

  • EWRS

    Which is EXACTLY what Richard says in the interview! 🙂

    Thanks so much for listening.

  • “Poor John Connolly?”


    The guy was as guilty as they come, a true scumbag who mismanaged the whole program and helped make sure any witness that would jeopardize his cozy relationship with Bulger and Flemmi was taken out of the picture. What he’s been convicted of is just a fraction of what he actually got away with.

  • That was a great show. Thank you so much, it was very informative. I used to subscribed to Richard Stratton Prison Life, The Voice of The Convict, always good
    to know what he is up too. First time I listened to your show.

  • EWRS

    Well, Rich….

    Mark here – I don’t know what he knew and didn’t – but here’s what I do know – he was hundreds of miles away from what he was convicted of being a part of…. and if you actually listened to the show, or used common sense… you’d agree that he couldn’t “mismanage the whole program” – ’cause he didn’t MANAGE the program – which was our point – that someone higher up had to have taken a fundamental part in it.

    Thanks for listening!

  • Elyse Hook

    Great show. Living in Boston this of course is the #1 news story each day. It was nice however to get some background, insight and hear the personal experiences of Mr. Stratton. I learned a lot. Thanks!

  • Mark, my father was a detective who was trying to convict Bulger in the 80s ,and he is featured in Chapter 16 of “Black Mass.” I know a lot about this case as a result of growing up with it, and I know how it put blood on my father’s hands because a witness he interviewed needed the FBI’s help and Connolly told Bulger that witness was ready to cooperate. The “top-echelon informant program” involving Bulger was all Connolly’s doing. His bosses didn’t do the best job of providing oversight like they should have, but it was Connolly who had the most to gain by keeping Bulger and Flemmi in the system as informants despite knowledge of murders committed by both men. You harp on the words “whole program” without addressing the rest of my above statement. Conolly ran Bulger and Bulger ran Connolly, plain and simple. They had an equal opportunity relationship of quid pro quo, but instead of justice being served, only their respective bottom lines got a boost from the deal. It’s sickening to read commentary defending a guy who took advantage of his government service to line his own pockets while my father served his country honorably in vietnam and with distinction in law enforcement after that only to be screwed over by the same government he risked his life for.

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