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The longtime girlfriend of former reputed crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger, Catherine Greig, will be in court Monday for a bail hearing. The hearing is likely to be contentious.
WBUR's David Boeri joined Morning Edition Monday to explain.
Bob Oakes: David, lay it out for us. Greig's defense attorneys are going to argue that she poses no threat to the community. On what do they base this?
David Boeri: A couple of things. Kevin Reddington, Greig's defense attorney, is making the pitch that in fact her behavior does not fit the standard of harboring a fugitive. He likens her as nothing more than a traveling companion, so he says the government is going to have a hard time proving its case. Greig and her sister are both going to post their houses as bond for the bail. And finally, Reddington is quoting people talking about her — they're going to give her support in the community, and he says in his motion, by all accounts she is considered by family, neighbors and acquaintances as a kind, gentle person with a loving personality.
As I understand it, the defense attorneys are going to argue she's no flight risk, the prosecution is going to argue that she is a flight risk. Why else don't they want her out on bail?
First of all, they are going to point out that that kind, gentle person was loving and caring for a guy wanted for 19 murders. And she did it for 16 years. They don't know the full story about Greig yet. They would certainly like to know, and were they to accept her being out on bail that would be the indication that she is providing some help.
We don't know a lot about Greig, and haven't over the last 16 years. Did she know how to operate any of those 30-plus guns in the house in California? There are all sorts of questions, and of course the government wants to know where he was, where the money is and whether or not anybody helped him.
Imagine being the magistrate in court after the FBI’s biggest scandal — the biggest “Most Wanted” person in Boston, the person who can help you the most with the rest of the case — being put on bail. Think about that decision for a magistrate to make.
There’s also a concern of whether she’s at-risk of bodily harm if she’s freed on bail. And what about the money that’s supposed to be stashed around?
She certainly may know where it is, she might not definitely know where it is, but she’s been with [Bulger], she’s known where he’s gone while he was on the run. Though, we have to put an asterisk beside “run” now, because it seems as if he has been in the same place 15 years or so. But still, she knows a lot about his travels and what he did while out on the road.
We haven’t seen a parting of the interests yet. We don’t know where her interests are going to lie. She is facing five years, maximum. Now, does she plead out or does she go to trial? If she goes to trail she is going to have to have something more to offer, it would seem to me, than “what I did wasn’t breaking the law.” So, does she offer anything up against “Whitey?”
The possibility that she would would seem to me to put her at-risk of danger if she is out on the street, just like “Whitey” is now getting tremendous protection, security protection, as he comes into court every day, for fear that somebody might go after him. There has to be a consideration of what danger she might be in if she were out.
What is the defense’s theory as to why Grieg spent all those years on the run with Bulger?
This is what we’re waiting for. Is there going to be a parting of her interests and “Whitey” Bulger’s? We [saw] her in court in California, the two of them are very, very close together — they’re laughing at that time. Fugitive hunters hoped that at some point she was going to get tired, call and go back to her family. They were wrong on that. Unless, in fact, some conjecture is right and she actually gave him up — we don’t know that. A number of them speculated “Whitey” would kill her to eliminate the danger to him of being associated with somebody that might give him up or might flag attention to him — we don’t know that either.
One theory, and we’re waiting to find out if this is going to be expressed by Reddington — who has been given to imaginative defenses before — is that she was the victim of Stockholm Syndrome. That she was too afraid to leave Bulger, that’s been suggested as well.
This program aired on July 11, 2011.
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