Dear Whitey, FBI reveals Bulger notebook secrets
Who knew Whitey Bulger was into papaya?
Who knew Whitey Bulger was into papaya?
That’s just one takeaway from the latest FBI document dump on the serial-killing, cocaine-dealing, bank-robbing underworld kingpin whose brother was the most powerful Democrat in Massachusetts politics.
In this latest release of evidence, the corrupt G-men have turned over copies of a spiral-bound stenographer’s notebook they retrieved in 1984 from a “trash bin.”
The pad was apparently used by one of the mass murderer’s girlfriends, Catherine Greig, to communicate with Whitey, whom she called “James,” as in:
“James Papaya Cut up.”
On the next page, she leaves a message for her man:
“1:00 PM – Gone over (to) the house – Papaya cut up in refridge and potato kugel in toaster oven Keeping warm. Be back later… OK. Love (name redacted).”
Despite the redactions, it appears that this was written by Greig, because of the references to house-hunting in Squantum. That was where Catherine Greig did eventually buy a home, which in 2012 would be sold to pay off a $150,000 fine that went along with her prison sentence.
Her Bureau of Prisons number is 57820-112. Now 71 years old, Greig was released from Club Fed in July 2020.
The love affair between Greig and Bulger, who was old enough to be her father, was truly a storybook South Boston romance.
She was a dental hygienist, briefly married to a Boston firefighter, Robert McGonagle.
McGonagle came from a big Southie family. One of his brothers, Donald McGonagle, was murdered in 1969 — by Whitey Bulger. Whitey followed that up by murdering another of his gal pal’s brothers-in-law, Paul, in 1974.
Robert McGonagle died of a drug overdose before Whitey could murder him.
Catherine had a brother, David, whom Whitey took a shine to. Whitey started bringing David Greig to meetings of the gang, suggesting he had a future in the rackets.
Unfortunately, young David had a bad habit, so to speak, of nodding off. Whitey blamed it on a “vitamin deficiency.” The other hoods said, yeah, it was Vitamin P — for Percocet.
Around the time the steno pad was in use, David was found dead of a gunshot wound to his head down on the Cape. The gun was rather a long way from the body, but it was ruled a suicide. Go figure.
In the pages of the steno pad the FBI has finally released, the woman seems quite distraught over a recent death. On the same day she cut up the papaya and left the potato kugel in the toaster oven for Whitey, she added:
“Thanks for the talk & the wine last night – I slept and I feel a little better knowing he’s finally at peace – I hope he knows we loved him.”
On the next page, she writes at 9:30 p.m.:
“James, Decided to stay at my house tonight — nothing is wrong — just feel like being alone for awhile. Talk to you tomorrow. Love (redacted).”
It appears Whitey also left notes in the pad, judging from the similarity of some of the handwriting to that in other documents. He makes lists of things to do, among them: “Burn all notes envelopes numbers etc.”
Then he leaves instructions for his soulmate: “Leave fire place till later in case we burn more soon…. I shook up the ashes in fire place & it seems everything is reduced to ashes so we can clean it later.”
The next page reverts to a grieving Catherine, writing at 7 p.m.
“Gone to visit my mother. Tuna fish & papaya in fridge more bread in freezer. You couldn’t be more wrong when you think I don’t appreciate you. I told my mother, (redacted), everyone that I don’t know what I would have done this past week without you. The long talks have helped to put things out of my mind, the house searching has helped to distract me….”
She’s referring to shopping for that house in Quincy. She eventually finds one she likes, but worries about “water in the basement.”
No reaction from Whitey in the pad to that concern — at the time, he had his own concerns about a basement. He’d buried three bodies in the cellar of a house in Southie, and eventually had to order his obese dim-witted stooge Kevin Weeks to dig up the remains and rebury them in a vacant lot in Dorchester.
Back to Catherine’s cry from the heart:
“… the concern for my mother has given me purpose — but all those things can’t erase the pain — the ache — inside me. I’m really incapable of describing what I feel — I know with time it will ease. I apologize for hurting you. I really do understand your need to be away from me, to take a trip, whatever makes you happy.”
Could this be a reference to the Mexico trip Whitey took with a 15-year-old girl named Tammy? As Stevie Flemmi pointed out at the murder trial of his partner and fellow pedophile: “That’s a violation of the Mann Act!”
Back to Catherine Greig’s epistle to her lover boy:
“I need time James — I feel myself slipping — can’t bear to hear your words of disgust.”
Imagine that! After she cut up all that papaya for him, all she gets from Whitey is hot tongue and cold shoulder.
“I’m trying to keep going. (Redacted) called — I’m meeting her tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. to work out, run and for a bite to eat. It’s only been ONE week and a half I need time to recover you’ve been depressed for a year. Your (sic) much better now.”
Given the time frame, I think Whitey’s depression may have had something to do with the fact that he hadn’t murdered anyone for several months. But since he was probably already planning to strangle Stevie’s stepdaughter Deb Hussey, his mood must have been on the upswing.
“Be around someone who makes you happy,” Whitey’s girlfriend tenderly urges her man. “Go away. Just please don’t say those things to me anymore — I can’t take it James — leave me alone — give me time — I’ll always be here for you.”
Catherine Greig’s lawyer did not return calls asking for comment.