Boston Globe Defends Decision To Name Bulger Tipster06:08

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James "Whitey" Bulger in a 1984 FBI handout photo. (AP Photo/FBI Handout)
James "Whitey" Bulger in a 1984 FBI handout photo. (AP Photo/FBI Handout)

When the FBI nabbed alleged Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger and his girlfriend Catherine Grieg in California in June, reports quickly circulated that the tip had come from an unlikely place: Iceland.

This weekend, The Boston Globe reported the identity of the tipster: Anna Bjornsdottir, a former actress and Miss Iceland 1974. She's now a yoga instructor who splits her time between Iceland and Santa Monica, Calif. Bulger and Grieg were her neighbors.

Considering Bulger's alleged history of murdering people who might rat him out, the Globe is now under some scrutiny for publicizing Bjornsdottir's name.

Yet Scott Allen, editor of the Globe metro department's investigative unit, told Radio Boston on Monday that Bulger's reach isn't as long as it once was.

"Pretty much every single henchman and associate he's had has turned on him in every respect. He's a truly isolated person," Allen said.

At no point, Allen added, did the U.S. attorney's office, the FBI, or the family of Anna Bjornsdottir ever raise a concern that the Globe report might put her in danger.


  • Scott Allen, editor, Boston Globe metro department


This program aired on October 10, 2011.