Hingham 09/25/19-FOR PUBLICATION ONLY WITH SHELLEY MURPHY STORY The former longtime girlfriend of mobster Whitey Bulger, Catherine Greig walks her dog on the front lawn of the home she is staying at in Hingham which is the residence of one of Billy Bulger's daughters. Photo by John Tlumacki/Globe Staff(metro)
Catherine Greig is staying in Hingham in a house owned by a daughter and son-in-law of William M. Bulger.
John Tlumacki

‘Whitey’ Bulger’s girlfriend Catherine Greig living with his relatives in Hingham

HINGHAM — Nearly a year after James “Whitey” Bulger was murdered in a West Virginia prison, his longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig, is living with the gangster’s relatives in this upscale South Shore town as she finishes the remaining year of her sentence on home confinement.

Greig, 68, looking fit and relaxed, declined to comment Thursday when approached by a Globe reporter as she walked a small, black dog around the yard of the four-bedroom Colonial on a quiet side street in Hingham.

The house is owned by a daughter and son-in-law of Bulger’s brother, William M. Bulger, who was the longtime president of the state Senate and a former president of the University of Massachusetts.

Advertisement

In June, the Globe reported that the Bureau of Prisons notified the families of Whitey Bulger’s victims that Greig was approved for transfer to a Cape Cod halfway house after serving eight years in prison for helping Bulger evade capture for years, but also qualified for home confinement as an elderly offender.

Authorities declined to say where Greig was placed, but said she would be subject to electronic monitoring until she finishes her sentence on July 23, 2020.

It’s unclear how many restrictions Greig has while on home confinement, but on Wednesday she returned to her hometown of South Boston for a lengthy visit with her twin sister, Margaret McCusker, according to the sister.

“She’s doing good,” McCusker said in an interview Thursday, adding that Greig was shocked by how much South Boston has changed since she was last there in the mid-1990s. “I was so excited spending time with her.”

Hingham 09/25/19-FOR PUBLICATION ONLY WITH SHELLEY MURPHY STORY The former longtime girlfriend of mobster Whitey Bulger, Catherine Greig walks her dog on the front lawn of the home she is staying at in Hingham which is the residence of one of Billy Bulger's daughters. Photo by John Tlumacki/Globe Staff(metro)
Catherine Greig.
John Tlumacki

She said Greig is devastated by the slaying of 89-year-old Bulger, who was beaten to death by fellow inmates at a West Virginia prison on Oct. 30, 2018, less than 12 hours after authorities transferred him there under dubious circumstances.

Advertisement

“She cries a lot about it,” McCusker said. “She misses him.”

Bulger was serving a life sentence for killing 11 people while running a sprawling criminal enterprise from the 1970s to the 1990s.

He was in a wheelchair and had suffered numerous heart attacks, yet authorities said his health had improved and transferred him from a Florida prison to US Penitentiary Hazelton, which offered fewer medical services.

Get Metro Headlines in your inbox:
The 10 top local news stories from metro Boston and around New England delivered daily.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Even though Bulger was publicly identified as a longtime FBI informant who had provided information against Mafia members, authorities placed him in general population with Massachusetts inmates with ties to organized crime.

Last week, Bulger’s family filed a $200 million claim with the Justice Department, alleging the government deliberately placed him in harm’s way and was responsible for his brutal murder.

Advertisement
Boston- 09/26/19-FOR PUBLICATION ONLY WITH SHELLEY MURPHY STORY The grass has covered over the gravesite of mobster Whitey Bulger at St. Joseph Cemetery where he was buried nearly a year ago after he died in prison on October 30, 2018. Photo by John Tlumacki/Globe Staff(metro)
Whitey Bulger’s gravesite at St. Joseph Cemetery.
John Tlumacki

McCusker said her sister is a nice person who loved Bulger and doesn’t believe he was guilty of the crimes he was convicted of.

Greig, a dental hygienist and dog groomer, joined Bulger on the run in 1995 shortly after he fled Boston to evade a federal racketeering indictment. He was a fixture on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list when the pair were captured in 2011, living in a rent-controlled apartment near the beach in Santa Monica, Calif.

She was sentenced to eight years in prison for helping Bulger evade capture, then slapped with an additional 21 months for refusing to testify before grand juries investigating whether others helped them while they were fugitives.

“She has no regrets,” McCusker said. “She wishes he was back here. She loved him very much.”

She said her sister is “a little nervous” as she eases into life out of prison, but “she’s feeling good about it.”

In letters from prison to several people who shared them with the Globe, Bulger complained bitterly that Greig was treated harshly by prosecutors, who cut controversial deals with some of his former associates who were involved in murders and cooperated with the government. Greig was forced to sell her home, ordered to pay a $150,000 fine, and barred from profiting from her life story with a book or movie. He wrote that his family promised to take care of her when she was released from prison.

Hingham 09/26/19-FOR PUBLICATION ONLY WITH SHELLEY MURPHY STORY The former longtime girlfriend of mobster Whitey Bulger, Catherine Greig walks her dog on the front lawn of the home she is staying at in Hingham which is the residence of one of Billy Bulger's daughters. Photo by John Tlumacki/Globe Staff(metro)
Catherine Greig walked her dog in Hingham.
John Tlumacki

Greig “did what all the cops, prisons and courts couldn’t,” Bulger wrote in one letter to a friend who had served time with him at Alcatraz in the 1950s. “Got me to live crime free 16 years — for this they should give her a medal.”

On Thursday, Greig’s attorney, Kevin Reddington, said he was happy for his client. “She served her time, she never wavered, and she’s one of the strongest people I know,” he said.

“I’m thrilled that she’s with family and able to resume her life with her sister. They have a lot of catching up to do.”

He added, “I think people should understand she has paid her debt to society and should be able to move on and live her life with happiness.”