James ‘Whitey’ Bulger is one of the most wanted and notorious criminals on record. The role of tipsters is the most important while capturing one of these dangerous criminals. For which, Jack Levin, the Brudnick Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Northeastern University discusses the roles of these tipsters who help in capturing these fugitives.
Levin says that sometimes law officials fail to recognise the importance of help and information given by the citizens. Also, Bulger’s arrest was made possible by the public’s input. The television show America’s Most Wanted has also informed RBI about various criminals and their locations. In some cases, the neighbours and families of the gangsters have themselves contacted the police about his or her location.
Bulger’s position in the criminal world makes him more of a mobster rather than a serial killer. More than sexual sadism, money and protection can be called his major motives behind committing murders and crimes. Unlike David Berkowitz, Dennis Rader, and John Wayne Gacy who as compared to Bulger took fewer lives.
A fugitive goes on to lead a very normal life being a part of the lifestyle they chose and accepting crime as a profession. Bulger stayed out of the gaze for 16 years. He possibly changed his appearance by wearing a disguise, dressing differently or going under plastic surgery. In order to exercise caution, he might have also made cordial relations with neighbours and other residents in the environment so that there is no suspicion risen. He also could afford good finance to live a life in hiding.
There are examples of many other fugitives who lived a life in hiding with complete support from neighbours, family, and friends. Levin mentions the example of Eric Rudolph who bombed gay night clubs, Olympics in Atlanta, and also abortions clinics but remains safe for a long time with the help of people who supported him.