Dentistry, along with the American Dental Association, contributed to the capture of the one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives. James “Whitey” Bulger was taken into custody last week in California with his long-time girlfriend Catherine Greig.
Bulger was alleged to have been a crime boss in the Boston area and fled 16 years ago to avoid apprehension.
To aid in the long search to find him, the FBI contacted the ADA in 2007 to notify dentists that a fugitive may be looking for a dentist. The FBI believed Bulger may make a trip to the dentist because Greig was a dental hygienist and wanted to keep up on her oral health.
The ADA News then produced a story asking dentists about the whereabouts of a man and woman fitting the couple’s description.
The FBI also purchased a full-page advertisement in the ADA News a year ago, asking if any dentists had treated the pair. There was a $2 million reward.
Bulger and Greig were eventually arrested after receiving an anonymous tip. Although the publicity about the couple through the ADA didn’t directly lead to their capture, it aided in the process.
The search for Bulger included 28 countries. He is alleged to have committed 19 murders.