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Secret Walls And A Temper: Feds Want 10 Years For 'Whitey' Bulger's Girlfriend

This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows Catherine Greig, the longtime girlfriend of Whitey Bulger.
This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows Catherine Greig, the longtime girlfriend of Whitey Bulger.

Saying her case of harboring notorious mob boss James J. 'Whitey' Bulger was no "garden variety," prosecutors said they want his girlfriend to serve 10 years in prison.

"It is the most extreme case of harboring this District has seen," the federal prosecutors wrote in a 36-page filing with the U.S. District Court District of Massachusetts.

So what exactly is Catherine Greig, who pleaded guilty in March, accused of doing?

There's plenty of riveting reading in the court filing but here are some of the highlights:

-- Greig was with Bulger at all his dental appointments. The couple told dentists she needed to be there because Bulger was anxious and was a "dental chicken, from Chicago."

"This was not simply an act of compassion on her part," the documents reveal. "Bulger had a volatile temper, and was often abusive toward medical staff. By remaining at his side during procedures, Greig mitigated the risk that Bulger would lash out in a way that might reveal his or her true identity."

-- The couple allegedly targeted people who were mentally ill, transient or with substance abuse problems in order to convince them to sell their identities.

One of them did not remember giving ID info to Bulger or Greig. Here's the story of another one of their alleged victims, who is refered to as P.M.:

"P.M. reported that an older man and woman (whom she described as having 'nice white teeth') approached her on Venice Beach. P.M. was having trouble with her suitcase and the man offered to buy her a new one. The couple — the female in particular — then told her they were from Canada and they needed identification to legally reside in the United States. P.M. sold her identification documents to the couple for $200."

-- When the couple were arrested, investigators found $822,000 in cash and a bunch of weapons that were stashed inside a hidden wall in their apartment. Prosecutors said it would be impossible for Greig not to have known about the cash, because both of them didn't work. Also, Greig seemed to have kept a notebook "that listed items for purchase at home depot." Among them: "'dust' face masks, safety glasses, and ear plugs, among other things. The notebook also notes: 'hacksaw — cuts metal plaster'..."

The implication there is that Grieg was involved in the building of the hiding place. The money, the documents reveal, was placed behind a mirror.

Courtesy of our friend Scott Hensley over at Shots, here are the documents if you want to dig deeper:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.