Home Boston Press Releases 2011 FBI Announces a Unique Publicity Campaign to Locate a Top Ten Fugitive

FBI Announces a Unique Publicity Campaign to Locate a Top Ten Fugitive

FBI Boston June 20, 2011
  • Special Agent Greg Comcowich (617) 223-6110

BOSTON—The FBI is announcing a unique new publicity campaign aimed at locating a Top Ten Fugitive. The campaign is focused on Catherine Elizabeth Greig, the longtime girlfriend of James “Whitey” Bulger who has been indicted for 19 murders and has been a Top Ten Fugitive since 1999. Ms. Greig, who fled with him in 1995, is not implicated in the crimes he is wanted for, but she is a federal fugitive wanted for harboring Bulger.

The FBI has produced a public service announcement (PSA) that will begin airing tomorrow on TV stations around the country. The 30-second PSA (View | Download) is designed to make the public aware of Greig’s relationship with Bulger and her physical characteristics. Approximately 350 time slots in media markets in 10 states were purchased in an effort to reach a particular demographic to generate quality tips from the public.

“The FBI believes that publicizing Catherine Grieg’s photo and characteristics among her contemporaries will lead to a tip about her whereabouts and, ultimately, to the arrest of Bulger,” said Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Division.

The 14 cities where the PSA will air were chosen because the FBI knows or suspects Greig or Bulger has ties to those areas. The cities are Albuquerque, NM; Biloxi, MS; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Ft. Myers, FL; Miami, FL; Milwaukee, WI; Mobile, AL; New Orleans, LA; Phoenix, AZ; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; Tampa, FL; and Tucson, AZ.

The PSA will air during shows that have a high percentage of female viewers in the same age group as 60-year-old Greig, the group most likely to interact with her. The FBI is targeting that audience with the belief that a friend, co-worker, neighbor, hair stylist, manicurist, doctor or dentist might recognize Greig.

“In terms of publicity, for 100 years the FBI has known that combining the reach and power of the media with alert citizens is a successful formula for catching fugitives,” said Supervisory Special Agent Richard Teahan, who leads the Boston FBI task force searching for Bulger. “So we’re taking the next logical step and focusing on Greig as part of a unique initiative.”

“We are trying to reach a different audience that will produce new leads in the case,” said Teahan, who has been tracking Bulger since 2006. “Greig has certain habits, characteristics, and idiosyncrasies that are recognizable.” By running the PSA in markets where we believe Bulger has resided or may still have contacts,” he added, “we increase our chances of getting a tip that will lead to Greig’s whereabouts—and Bulger’s capture.”

The PSA points out the more than 21-year age difference between Greig and Bulger, who is 81. Some of Greig’s other distinguishing characteristics include:

  • She loves dogs and all kinds of animals.
  • She is likely to have well-kept teeth because she previously worked as a dental hygienist.
  • She likes to frequent beauty salons.
  • Prior to her fleeing with Bulger, she had multiple plastic surgeries.

Greig has blue eyes, is 5 feet 6 inches tall, and had a thin build when she fled. She is known to go by the aliases Helen Marshal and Carol Shapeton. The last credible sighting of her and Bulger was in 2002 when they were believed to be in London together. The PSA includes pictures of Greig after her pre-fugitive plastic surgeries.

There is a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to Ms. Greig’s whereabouts. The maximum reward for information leading to the arrest of Mr. Bulger is $2 million, the largest reward the FBI has ever offered for a Top Ten domestic fugitive.

The PSA is part of a comprehensive publicity campaign focusing on Greig and Bulger. Their images will be placed on digital billboards in New York’s Times Square and multiple other strategic locations across the country. This week, Greig and Bulger will be the focus of the FBI’s syndicated radio shows heard on ABC stations across the country and available on iTunes and at FBI.gov. An FBI news article about the search for Greig will be released through the FBI’s RSS news feed. Photos, audio clips, and other information relating to the fugitive search can be found on the FBI’s website, and its Facebook, You Tube and Twitter accounts. In addition, the PSA is also being distributed to TV stations for their use as part of a traditional PSA campaign.

Anyone with information about Greig or Bulger is asked to contact the FBI by calling 1-800- CALL- FBI, via the Internet at https://tips.fbi.gov, or by calling their local FBI office, or the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.