“Nah, he’s too smart to get caught,” was Kevin Weeks’ response when asked whether he thought his former boss, James “Whitey” Bulger, would ever be captured. The FBI, indeed, caught up to Bulger, 81, and girlfriend, Catherine Greig, 60, in Santa Monica, Calif., on Wednesday, June 22.
“Nah, he’s too smart to get caught,” was Kevin Weeks’ response when asked whether he thought his former boss, James “Whitey” Bulger, would ever be captured.
The FBI, indeed, caught up to Bulger, 81, and girlfriend, Catherine Greig, 60, in Santa Monica, Calif., on Wednesday, June 22.
Weeks began his road as a career criminal when he was 18, enticed by the opportunity to make thousands of dollars each week, shaking down business owners and assisting in killing those who crossed his path. But he has no regret for his actions.
“The people I hurt were in the business,” he says. “They were criminals like me.”
Weeks spent 25 years, seven days a week, 24 hours a day working under taskmaster Bulger.
Monday evening at Prince House of Pizza in Saugus, Mass., former Irish mobster Weeks and author Phyllis Karas of Marblehead, Mass., were the stars of a book signing and Q-and-A about their most recent collaboration, “Where’s Whitey?” Two days later, Whitey was caught not far from where the book opens, in Los Angeles.
The same chapter contains a graphic description of Bulger shooting a bullet through the eye of a man named Richie Lambodosi for holding out on money owed on a bet. Bulger’s reaction? “Pure elation,” Weeks and Karas write in the fictional account.
Well, maybe not so fictional. The book describes two characters as witnesses to the shooting, one of whom –– named Joey –– is based loosely on Weeks.
Weeks says any parallels end when the character in the book agrees to aid the FBI in the manhunt for Bulger.
“I wouldn’t help the FBI cross the street,” he insists.
In response to a question, Weeks told the audience, “The first chapter is based on an event that really happened.”
Following Lambodosi’s murder in Whitey’s car, the book reads, “The two guys have spent the past hour doing what they love most: taking care of business in the most vicious manner available, nothing beats this for either of them.”
Although Weeks professed to have “no remorse” over the murders in which he was involved, voyeurism was at full tilt during an overly crowded event to benefit the local Jewish Community Center, a nonprofit to which Karas is a donor.
Bizarre as it might be to think about putting Weeks on a pedestal, according to Karas, he’s a good friend and person, a man changed by love. Anna, Weeks’ girlfriend who will be his wife as soon as her previous husband, currently incarcerated, signs the divorce documents, attended the event with her mother.
Weeks, with his bulbous nose, burly build and curly receding hairline, and his girlfriend, with ringlets of bleached-blonde hair extensions and poorly applied bronzer, looked like they had stepped off the set of the movie “Goodfellas.”
At the onset of the book discussion, it was mentioned that Whitey Bulger’s girlfriend, Greig, had made the news the day before but had not been captured.
“It was nothing,” Karas dismissed.
But now it may lead to the FBI paying someone $2 million, the reward for information leading to Bulger’s capture.
Karas mentions Weeks works in construction and has a routine upon coming home.
“He always has a book in his hands,” she says, quickly adding with a smile, “Better than other things in his hand.”
This sends the crowd is in an uproar, which is silenced instantly when all the lights suddenly go out.
Karas grabs her heart, which she says is pounding, and everyone is thinking the same thing, “Will this be the moment Weeks gets his due?”
To the relief of all, the lights soon come back on, and the Q-and-A resumes with a question related to that common thought: Why hasn’t Weeks been “offed” yet?
“Well, before I put on a little weight, I was quick on my feet,” says Weeks, joking and playing to the crowd.
And when asked if his family knew what he was doing, he replies, “My family doesn’t deny me,” even when they found out what he’d been doing for 25 years. He says loyalty within his family remains.
But he also adds that life in the mob is not as it was depicted in “The Godfather” films, which proved to be a great recruitment tool.
“Loyalty is not what the mob is about,” Weeks says. “It’s all about money. There’s no loyalty, honor, nothing.”
The film “Casino” comes closest to Weeks’ reality, he says, while “‘Heat’ was Whitey to a T,” Weeks said.
Weeks gives a description of Whitey as a health-conscious man who watched what he ate and worked out every day.
“He had six-pack abs,” he says, and when asked if he thought Whitey would be deceased by now, Weeks was adamant.
“No. No way,” Weeks said.
Part of Weeks is eternally grateful to Bulger.
“He taught me a lot of things you wouldn’t learn normally,” says Weeks, who says calling the police was never an option on how to handle criminal conflict. “You take it to the street.”
Now that he is in custody, will Bulger admit to having regrets? Doubtful.
Reach Charlene Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org.