Skip to comments.Safety of tipster feared; ‘Huge risk’ vs. $2M reward for Whitey
Posted on 10/10/2011 2:06:38 AM PDT by raccoonradio
The outing of an Icelandic woman as the snitch who dimed out Southie mobster James Whitey Bulger could put her in danger and may have a chilling effect on other witnesses who could think twice before coming forward, former prosecutors warn.
The FBI which vowed confidentiality to the tipster also could take a hit if it comes out that the agency was involved in the leak, experts say. The FBI did not return calls yesterday.
The womans identity was made public yesterday in a Boston Globe story on Bulgers life of the lam. Her background, photo, husbands, career and $2 million reward were detailed by the newspaper and now she faces the global media frenzy alone.
They cant guarantee her 100 percent safety going forward, said former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan. Its unnecessary publicity and unnecessary harassment.
There is a huge risk to the (tipster) program, generally, to be able to cultivate informants if their identification is at risk, added Sullivan, a partner in the Ashcroft Law Firm. It has a chilling effect.
The 82-year-old Bulger is behind bars, accused of 19 murders during his reign of terror in South Boston. He and his galpal Catherine Greig, 60, were arrested in their Santa Monica, Calif., apartment complex June 22 after 16 years on the run. The guessing game on who fingered the Top 10 Most Wanted fugitive began almost immediately after his arrest.
Former federal prosecutor Michael Kendall told the Herald yesterday exposing the woman may be a constitutional right but it doesnt mean you should.
He said shes lucky that everybody in the old gang hates Bulger and are more than happy hes rotting in prison. I cant imagine he has a friend left in the world, nor should he, Kendall added.
But, the former prosecutor said terrorism and organized crime cases could suffer setbacks from her identity being leaked.
You want to protect (informants) from fear or thought theres any risk, he added.
In most cases, the Herald does not use names of tipsters or those who witnessed a crime.
Roxbury community activist Jamarhl Crawford said he isnt so sure the Icelandic woman is danger-free.
Maybe Whitey is ticked off and has a crazy friend, Crawford said. He added the womans exposure adds fuel, somewhat, to the stop-snitchin debate. Sure, she collects a $2 million reward but her life will never be the same.
This is so hypocritical with some of the other things that are kept secret, he said. The hunt is now on for her. People TMZ are probably flying to Iceland right now. Her life will be upside down.
It seems the only names that are withheld are the ones that protect powerful people, he added. Shes a regular citizen ... and now her name is out.
Boston Globe article, interesting facts
Ch 5 Boston also mentioned the name and I believe showed her pic...
One of the comments to this article on the Globe site (btw registration may be req. to see the whole article)
>>The other big problem with this piece of shameless tabloid journalism is how it affects the next person who thinks about calling the FBI to turn in a person on the FBIs most-wanted list. What is wrong with the Shelley Murphy and The Globe? Whose side are they on? Do they want to make it easier for criminals to intimidate people? Disclosing the name of an anonymous tipster to the FBI is harmful anyway you look at, and someone with a conscience at The Globe should have realized that.
So, what are the names of the reporter and editor? Where do they live? Where do their kids go to school?
There was a time the public would make it impossible for scum to stay around.
The MSM has no shame, but I’m being redundant.
As if broadsheets like the New York Times are any better.
This case demonstrates once again how the phrase journalist ethics is an oxymoron.
Gee, d' ya think?
And ironically enough the Globe isn’t tabloid-sized (the Herald is), it’s a broadsheet...
Ironic: At one point Whitey Bulger shot up the huge windows in front of the Globe’s printing plant (upset at their stand on busing I think)
Agree.... presstitutes are.
What is wrong with the Shelley Murphy and The Globe? Whose side are they on?
It is also perfectly obvious that his brother knew of his whereabouts for all of these years, among others.
ATT: FBI. It is not to late to redeem yourselves. Run down the "Holder Gunwalker" deal and give us the scoop. It's about time the Border was made safe for Irish gunrunners and dynamiters.
Leak my Aunt Fanny! This is snitch payback time.